2016 Mike Skinner Activist Award

Brad WalchukUncategorized


The Mike Skinner Activist Award is a member-mandated award offered by the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3906 on an annual basis. Its title honours long-time labour activist and former CUPE 3906 Staff Member Mike Skinner.

CUPE 3906 represents roughly 3 000 Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants (in lieu), Sessional Faculty, Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellows at McMaster University each academic year.

The value of this year’s award is $500 to one person (or committee), an award certificate and an inscription on the Mike Skinner Activist Award plaque. This award is open to all current members of CUPE 3906 (this includes all Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants in lieu, Sessional Faculty, Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellows), and anyone who has been a member of the local within the past 12 months.

The nomination period for this award is from February 1st, 2016 to March 18th, 2016.

If a suitable candidate has been active in your organization or department, or if you have seen a suitable candidate around campus or the in community, we invite you to nominate them for this award.

Specifically, the recipient of the Mike Skinner Activist Award may have been involved in the following possible issues over the course of his or her stay at McMaster University:

  • Fighting for social justice issues (these issues are diverse and can include environmental justice, labour solidarity, gender equality, equity issues, and the advancement of peace);
  • Promoting the welfare of humanity and the environment and the elimination of pain and suffering through acts of community organizing, education and/or solidarity.

This is not an exhaustive list, but includes a few common examples of the things that past award winners have been involved in and that the selection committee considers.

Award Criteria:

Please review the award criteria, and, when writing your letter of nomination and seeking supporting letters from others, include the nominee’s specific contributions. The main criterions are:

  • Impact of their service to the community;
  • Length and level of involvement or commitment of the nominee to their act of community service;
  • The dedication and courage of the nominee’s activism.

The selection committee is comprised of members of the CUPE 3906 executive and members-at-large. Members of the selection committee cannot nominate a candidate. Members of the selection committee cannot nominate a candidate. Members of the selection committee who have personal ties with the nominees must yield their place to another member of the Executive or a CUPE member-at-large nominated by the members of the selection committee.

This year’s Activist Awards will be presented at the Annual General Meeting in late March or early April, 2016.

We look forward to receiving your nomination of an amazing CUPE 3906 member activist.

For further information please contact president@cupe3906.org or staff@cupe3906.org

Bargaining Survey in Mills Library- February 10th

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Just a heads up, we’ll be in the Mills library entrance from 10:30 to 3:30 with bargaining surveys for TAs/RAs in lieu and post-docs for our upcoming negotiations. We hope to see you there. This is an important way to make sure that your voice and priorities and reflected in the bargaining process.

T4 Updates

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The electronic slips for anyone who opted in to receive the electronic format before February 17th should have their slips available by February 19th. The printed slips, for those who have not opted in, will be mailed out by the last day of the month.  Employees who are no longer active will receive their T4s in the same delivery method mentioned above.  Employees still have the ability to opt in on the Mosaic portal to receive their T4s electronically.

CUPE Bargaining Survey Launch

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Dear TAs and RAs (in lieu),


We just wanted to remind you about our bargaining survey launch, happening today, between 10:30 and 4:30. It is a drop-in event, so swing by at a time that is convenient for you. We’ll have pizza over the lunch hour, and a fruit tray, veggie trey, and timbits throughout. The event is taking place in MUSC 301 (the Student Centre).


At the event, you can meet members of your elected bargaining teams, enjoy some food, and fill out your Bargaining Survey for your chance to win a prize (a $200 pre-loaded MasterCard) that is exclusive to those who fill the survey out at our launch party!


If you can’t make it to the event, you can also fill out the survey at your leisure online.  A link will be sent to your inbox.


The survey is crucial to ensure that we have your input and support to make this round of negotiations a success!


Survey Launch Party invitation flyer

Unit 1 (TAs/RAs in lieu) and Unit 3 (Post Docs) Bargaining Survey Launch

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Dear TAs, RAs (in lieu) and Postdoctoral Fellows,

WHAT: Bargaining Survey Launch Party
WHEN: Wednesday, February 3, 2016, any time between 10:30 and 4:30
WHERE: MUSC (the Student Centre) Room 301

Did you know that your Collective Agreement expires on August 31st, 2016?
The Collective Agreement is the contract that governs your working conditions, wages and salaries, benefits and protections as workers at McMaster University.  Every few years, your Union (as your legal bargaining agent) negotiates our contracts with the McMaster Administration.
We need your input and support to make this round of negotiations a success!  Please join us on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 in MUSC 301 any time between 10:30 and 4:30 for a bargaining survey drop-in launch party!  At the party, you can meet members of your elected bargaining teams, enjoy some light refreshments, and fill out your Bargaining Survey for your exclusive chance to win a prize (valued up to $200) that is exclusive to our launch party!
If you can’t make it to the event, you can also fill out the survey at your leisure by following the instructions that we will send out on February 3rd.
As  fellow academic workers at McMaster, I would like to thank you for your participation.  We hope to see you on the 3rd!
In solidarity,
Your CUPE 3906 Bargaining Teams and Executive Committee

Join Hamilton’s Steelworkers at City Hall Rally- Sat Jan 30th

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We need good jobs. Our communities need a reliable tax base to fund schools and parks. And our seniors need to know that their pensions and benefits are secure.On January 30, please join the United Steel Workers in Hamilton for a rally to demand justice for workers and pensioners and to call for immediate government support for a domestic steel industry.

WHEN: Saturday, January 30, 2016 from 1 – 4pm

WHERE: Hamilton City Hall

Details on buses and transportation from the following areas to the rally and back can be found on the Facebook event page:

  • Downtown Toronto
  • Peel / Halton
  • Windsor / Chatham / London & South Western Ontario
  • Sudbury & North Eastern Region
  • Cambridge / Kitchener / Waterloo / Guelph /Fergus

Steelworkers helped build the amazing communities we live in and love today. Come out Saturday and stand with steel!

Join us for a screening of Made in L.A.

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Please join us for the screening of Made in L.A.

Made in LA is about a group of women who work under sweatshop conditions in textile factories in Los Angeles. It is a story of their 3 year battle against Forever 21 to improve their conditions.

Check out the trailer: http://www.madeinla.com/


Made in L.A.

MDCL 3023

Wednesday February 3rd, 2016


Free Admission

Snacks Provided

Office Closure- January 27th

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Please be advised that our office in KTH B111 will be closed all-day on Wednesday, January 27th as the executive and staff will be in an all day strategic planning session.

There will be limited e-mail access on the 27th as a result.

The office will re-open on Thursday, January 28th, 2015.

Next General Membership Meeting- January 20th

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Our next General Members Meeting will be taking place on Wednesday January 20th at 5 pm in CNH B-107.

The agenda includes: Election of Vice President, Election of Benefits/Advocacy Officer, Discussion of Mental Health Fee Increase, and Bargaining Update.

Pizza will be provided, and childcare costs will be reimbursed upon request.

We hope to see you there!  For more info, please contact staff@cupe3906.org

union meetings

Dental Coverage for newly employed TAs/RAs in Winter 2016 semester

Brad WalchukUncategorized

This is an important message regarding dental coverage for new Graduate Students and newly hired TAs (or RAs in lieu) who begin their TA employment in the winter 2016 term.
CUPE 3906 provides dental coverage for TAs and RAs in lieu who i. hold and undergraduate degree and ii. hold an appointment to work as a TA or RA (in lieu) at McMaster for at least 130 hours in the current academic year.
Graduate students who are just joining your programmes and/or newly hired Classification “A” TAs for the winter term are able to enroll in family dental coverage or opt-out of dental coverage until January 31st, 2016 by filling out the appropriate change of coverage form(s) (see below) and dropping them off to our office in KTH B111.  Opt-outs and enrollment forms submitted after January 31st, 2016 cannot be processed.
The family enrollment and opt-out provisions are described in the following letter:
 The family enrollment and dependent information forms are available at the following links:
The dental opt-out form is available here:
Please note that dental opt outs require appropriate proof of alternate coverage or they will not be processed.  (For more information on what constitutes appropriate change of coverage status, please see the provisions letter that is linked above.)
Finally, please note that the family dental enrollment and opt-out provisions are only open to newly hired Classification A TAs (or RAs in lieu) and/or Classification A TAs (or RAs in lieu) who begin their academic programmes in the winter 2016 term.  (In other words, the January family dental enrollment and dental opt-out provisions do not extended to eligible TAs/RAs in lieu who were registered in September and were already contracted to work 130 hours in the winter 2016 term.)  Newly enrolled graduate students should contact the Graduate Student Association for the GSA extended health (and, where applicable, dental) coverage information by visiting http://gsa.mcmaster.ca/.
More general information on our Unit 1 dental coverage is available at http://cupe3906.org/tas-unit-1/dental-plan/
Please contact administrator@cupe3906.org wtih any specific questions regarding the opt-out or family enrollment process for new TAs/RAs in lieu.
Thank you very much and happy new year,