Unit 2 (Sessionals) End of Term Information

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The end of the term is here, and for many of our members, that means the end of their employment. This has a few implications, discussed below.

We wanted to remind sessionals that can (and should) apply for Employment Insurance (EI) as soon as possible.  The last pay period of the semester is on Friday, April 29th, and this will represent an ‘interruption in earnings,’ which is a technical term that must first happen before you can apply for EI.  You’ll also need to have received a Record of Employment (ROE) from McMaster, which should be automatically uploaded to Service Canada.  You’ll need to create a  Service Canada ID if you don’t have one already.  Normally, each 3.0 unit credit is equivalent to 238 hours, and you will need to reach a certain threshold of hours worked in the past 52 weeks in order to be eligible for EI (in Hamilton, for example, you will need 700 hours if you a return EI applicant, but it is generally lower in other areas).  More information can be found here: http://cupe3906.org/sessionals-unit-2/employment-insurance-unit-2/

If you feel that you have exceeded the 238 hours for a 3.0 unit course, you can speak to us and make a request to your chair.  There won’t be additional payment, but the additional hours will be reflected on your ROE and will count toward the EI threshold.

Finally, for those of you with a large class (that is, a class over 75 students), you will receive an additional lump sum payment (if you haven’t already) that reflects the higher workload associated with a large class.  It will appear on a separate line on your pay stub and listed as ‘class size.’ If you don’t receive this, please notify your Union.

Your collective agreement provides you with protections from post-contract work, and offers an additional payment if you are required to perform it. In the event your supervisor requests you to re-read papers or exams, attend appeals, deal with cases of academic dishonesty, grade or regrade late papers or exams after the contract expiry date, and in the event that you agree to perform such extra work, you will receive extra remuneration at the hourly rate of $61.00/hr.  If this occurs, payment should be processed automatically and paid within one-month.  You will need to verify the time spent doing such work with your department.  If this payment is not processed, please contact your Union.

If you have any questions about this information, including Employment Insurance, please contact Brad, the staff representative assigned to Unit 2: bwalchuk@cupe3906.org

Unit 1 (TAs/RAs in lieu) Bargaining Proposals Meeting

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We wanted to let you know that we’ll be holding a ratification meeting for our bargaining proposals on Wednesday April 27th from 12:00 to approx. 1:00 p.m. in CNH B-107. Lunch will be provided.

As you know, your collective agreement expires on August 30th, and your elected bargaining team has been working diligently on preparing a series of proposals that are reflective of the priorities that you indicated as being important on the bargaining survey in February.

The purpose of the meeting  is to provide TAs/RAs in lieu an opportunity to see and, if desired, amend the proposals package,which will form the basis of what we are asking the Employer for during the collective bargaining process.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP so we have a better idea of numbers to ensure that there is enough food, and materials, for those in attendance.

2016-17 CUPE 3906 Executive

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We are pleased to announce the 2016-17 CUPE 3906 Executive that was elected by the membership last night.

President- Chandra Kavanagh

Vice President- Angie Perez

Secretary-Treasurer- Richard Mah

Vice President External- Sepideh Ebrahimi

Recording Secretary- Naim Tajvarpour

Chief Steward Unit 1- Graham Baker

Chief Steward Unit 2- Farhad Sadeh

Health and Safety Officer- Raul Sadavarte

Equity Officer- Sarah Wahab

Benefits and Advocacy Officer- Kirk Lougheed

International Officer- Darko Ljubic

Undergraduate Officer- Jennifer Tang

We’d also like to extend a sincere thank you to those who previously served and are not returning, as well as those who put their name forward in last night’s elections.

agm exec 2016a agm exec 2016b

Congratulations to our 2015-16 TA/RA Award Winners

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Congratulations to the amazing winners of the the 2105-16 TA/RA Award.  We present this award annually to one winner in each faculty to recognize teaching and research excellence, which is an integral part of what we do on campus.  We know that students and faculty appreciate the hard work and dedication that all of our members have.  Here are the 2015-16 winners:

Li He (Social Science)

Michael Cino (Engineering)

Philip Carella (Science)

Dhuha Al-Sajee (Health Sciences)

Julie Condor (DeGroote School of Business)

Shelby MacGregor (Humanities)

ta winner 2016 ta winner 2016a ta winner 2016b ta winner 2016c

Annual General Membership Meeting- TONIGHT

Brad WalchukUncategorized

A quick reminder that our Annual General Meeting (AGM) is being held tonight at 5 p.m. in DSB B-105.  At the meeting, we will be electing all 13 executive positions (to one-year terms), a trustee (to a three-year term), and four delegates to the CUPE Ontario Convention in Toronto, as well as seeking members to join our committees (ie/ benefits committee).  We will also be presenting the TA/RA Award winners (one per faculty). Pizza will be served at 5 p.m. and childcare reimbursement is available upon request.

AGM Poster - April 2016

$400 Lump Sum Bonus Payment for Post-Docs

Brad WalchukUncategorized

In our last round of Post-Doc (Unit 3)collective bargaining, your Union secured annual lump sum bonuses of $400 per member (in addition to yearly increases to the salary floor).  On the April 15th, 2016 payment, all unionized post-docs currently employed will receive a $400 bonus, in addition to your regular pay.  Remember, this bonus was won through collective bargaining, and your Union’s elected post-doc bargaining team will be back at the bargaining table this summer.

*please note, this amount is considered income and subject to regular deductions*

Arrive and Thrive Project

Brad WalchukUncategorized


This is a publicly fund project to help relief Mental Health issues at the university, it includes several workshops where you can participate:

  • COG (Cooperative Outdoor adventure Games): Take a quick break and activate by joining us for a mid-week adventure. You’ll work together to discover the secrets of the McMaster campus on foot and to clear your mind. No experience or skills required, just you and your runners.
    • Running on Wednesdays from 5:30pm until 6:30ish. We meet in the plaza area between Mills and MUSC. Our staff and volunteers will be wearing blue Arrive and Thrive t-shirts.
  • WIND (Walk In Nature Days): you can get outside and leave your worries behind, by getting into nature with others in a positive, mutually supportive environment. No experience or skills required, just you and your hiking/walking shoes.
    • Running on Saturday mornings starting at 10:30am and meets in DBAC by the business office (glassed in office by front entrance). The walk goes for about an hour or so and then we provide a pizza lunch.
  • Koru class: An evidence-based 4-week program, specifically designed for teaching mindfulness, meditation and stress management touniversity students and young adults. The curriculum consists of mind-body skills, guided meditations and more, aimed at helping you open your mind and manage your stress.
    • A graduate student only Koru class is scheduled to begin Thursday, April 7th and goes for 4 weeks (time and location will be sent after pre-registration). Register: arriveandthrive@mcmaster.ca
  • Pause: is a 1:1 session with a counsellor which allows for individualized assessment and discussion of a student’s use of substances (alcohol, marijuana, or tobacco), reasons for use and motivation to change their use. If the student is ready to make a change, support, suggestions and referrals. An email will to us will start that process, and we hope to see the person at their convenience (yes, we plan to have evening and day time hours – possibly even weekends). Once we receive someone interested in Pause we will be in contact within a week (if not sooner).
  • Exploring Change: Do you have a habit that you are thinking about changing or would like to change? Using a variety of activities and a judgement-free approach, these 4 week groups focussed on partying (substance use), procrastination or perfectionism will help you figure out if you’re ready and how to make a change in your life.


All of our programming is confidential and in no way connected to either the student record or the health record unless the student requests it to be. For more information email arriveandthrive@mcmaster.ca or check their website:  http://arriveandthrive.ca/