#BetterMac article in the Silhouette

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The Silhouette (campus newspaper at McMasterU) sat down with President Sarah Wahab and Vice President Graham Baker to explore the #BetterMac campaign. It means job security, mental health support, and so much more. The full story is here.

An important excerpt:

Sarah Wahab, president of CUPE 3906, clarified the conflation between mental illness and financial pressure. “It’s precarious work… Poverty can definitely amplify mental illness. So we think it is very important they have access to [mental health care]… So that’s something that was specifically mentioned in the survey: mental health care. #bettermac is trying to make a space that we already care deeply about, better. We love McMaster– we want to make it a better space for everyone to work.”

CUPE Fall Social- September 28th at 7 p.m.

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Greetings, CUPE members (and a warm welcome to our new members)!
It’s time for our annual Fall Social — which many of you know involves a whole lot of fun, food and music! This year we’ll have a surprise live musical group for you all to enjoy while you are getting to know your fellow academic workers better in a social setting.
You will also be able to enjoy a complimentary drink of your choice made by the fine folks at The Staircase (at 27 Dundurn Street North, right at a key transportation hub for many of our members).
Since the fall social this year falls on a Wednesday (Sept. 28th), we are holding it from 7pm to 11pm instead of 8pm to midnight as in previous years. So, those who have an early class the next day will hopefully be able to make it out for at least the first half :).
We will have many of our exec members and members of our Unit 1 (TA and RA in lieu) and Unit 3 (Postdoctoral Fellow) bargaining teams there to talk a bit about how things are going at the negotiating table, so it is also a good opportunity to get to know them better. On that note, please do visit bettermac.ca for a recent update on Unit 1 bargaining.
If you have dietary restrictions, let us know and we will make sure there is something suitable for you to munch on.
Hope to see you there!
Your CUPE 3906 Executive

Unit 1 Bargaining Update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Dear Unit 1 Members,

RE: Important Bargaining Update

We have met with the Employer on several occasions in the past week to continue to re-negotiate the Unit 1 collective agreement, the contract that governs our collective working conditions as TAs and RAs in lieu at McMaster. 

The Employer has tabled a settlement offer that still contains what we view as major concessions and conflicts with the many concerns you expressed in our bargaining priorities document and bargaining survey.   

We are requesting additional dates from the Employer to meet at the bargaining table in the next few weeks to continue to work towards the priorities you set out and to attain a #BetterMac.  We will provide more updates as they arise. 

In solidarity,

Your Elected Unit 1 Bargaining Team

Unit 1 Bargaining Update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The Unit 1 bargaining team met with the Employer on August 31 and September 1 for two full days of bargaining.  While the parties made considerable progress on some minor issues, the parties have yet to agree on many large issues that need to be addressed to make a #BetterMac, most notably the dental plan and 5th year PhD guarantees.

A full copy of our bargaining bulletin (the second that we have released) is here.  It contains the status quo language, the Union’s most recent proposal, and the Employer’s most recent response.

Our first bargaining bulletin from the end of July can be found here.

Welcome Back: #BetterMac swag

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Welcome (back) to the over 2400 TAs/RAs in lieu who comprise Unit 1.  We’re looking to make a #BetterMac through collective bargaining.  That includes a functional and affordable dental plan that works, 5 years of guaranteed TA funding/work, fair wages, mental health support, and academic freedom.

Swing by our office in KTH B111 for some great #BetterMac swag.


Upcoming Networking and Teaching Support Events for Sessionals

Brad WalchukUncategorized


Our sessionals might be interested in some of the following events:



Thursday, September 1, 2016 | 9:00am – 1:30pm

Registration (Free): https://2016nsno.eventbrite.ca

This half-day event welcomes new sessional instructors to McMaster’s campus and invites them to connect to campus resources to support their teaching, learning, and research. Meet the President and other senior leaders and faculty, and learn about McMaster’s institutional culture. Get to know the McMaster Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (MIIETL) and other campus resources available to support your teaching, learning, and research.


9:00am -12:00pm: Networking Orientation * Limited Seating available for AM* 

Location: Alumni Memorial Hall, Great Hall


12:15pm -1:30pm: Resource Fair

Location: MIIETL, Mills Library-L504



Thursday, September 8, 2016 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (Engineering, Health Sciences, Science)

Thursday, September 8, 2016 | 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (Business, Humanities, Social Science)

Registration (Free): https://2016tlf.eventbrite.ca

The Teaching and Learning Forum is the McMaster Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning’s (MIIETL’s) teaching and learning event held each September for new and returning graduate students, teaching assistants (TAs), and sessional instructors.



Tuesday, October 11, 2016 | 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Burke Science Building (BSB) – Multiple Rooms

Registration (Free): https://2016eedd.eventbrite.ca

This half-day event invites participants to choose from 20 different workshops on a variety of teaching & learning topics such as Teaching and Research Supports from your Library, Active Learning, and Leveraging Technology in the classroom.


Sessional Faculty who hold seniority in CUPE 3906, Unit 2, have access to these events through the McMaster Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (MIIETL).  As other events become available, they are posted at http://miietl.mcmaster.ca/site/.


Additional online resources, such as the Guide to Teaching and Learning, are available at: http://miietl.mcmaster.ca/site/teaching-development/