Important message regarding dental coverage change of coverage periods for brand new TAs and RAs in lieu beginning academic programmes in January 2018

Mary Ellen CampbellUncategorized

Dear New Members,

If you (i) hold an undergraduate degree, (ii) are just starting a TAship or RAship (in lieu of TAship) this winter 2018 term, and (iii) are just starting a new academic programme this winter 2018 term, this message applies to you.

New members who meet all three of the above-mentioned criteria are able to make changes to their CUPE 3906 dental coverage until January 31, 2018.

Please note: change of status (including family coverage enrollment and opt-outs) expires for all members on August 31, 2018.  To maintain your status next academic year (if you are still working as a TA or RA in lieu), you must complete this process again in September.
For more general information on dental coverage or dental change of coverage, please visit or contact

Thanks Graham!

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We’re saddened to announce the resignation of our President, Graham Baker. Graham is long-serving 3906 member (and a veteran of the 2010 strike) and a former Unit 1 Chief Steward. After becoming president, he led the local through two rounds of bargaining (TAs and Sessionals) that led to important gains for our members. Our loss is the gain of the Grant MacEwan University Faculty Association, where Graham has taken up a staff representative position. He also returns to his home province of Alberta.

Thanks Graham for your years of service to the local and the labour movement in Hamilton.

CUPE Labour Law Course- Feb 20 and 21

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We are hosting a 2-day Labour Law course over Reading Week (Feb 20 and 21). The course is FREE and gives and overview of the Labour Relations Act, the Duty to Accommodate, and Disciple/Discharge. It is open only to 3906 members.

If you are interested in more information, or to register, please contact bwalchuk {at}

Welcome Back and Happy New Year

Mary Ellen CampbellUncategorized

Hello Members,

We hope you had a safe and happy holiday and wish you the best for the new year.

Our office (in KTH B111) is now open again.  Please note that our Administrative Coordinator’s hours are Mondays to Wednesdays, 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M..  If you have non-benefits inquiries, please contact our staff representatives, Nancy or Brad, at or x 24852 (TAs and Postdocs) or 24056 (TAs or Sessional Faculty).

Or, for non-emergency situations, you can also contact our executive members, whose contact information is available here.

Take care and happy new year!

Unit 2- End of Semester Update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Congratulations on reaching the end of another term! We know you’ve heard a lot from us recently, but please allow me to take a few moments of your time with a couple of important end-of-term items.
First, as you know, Unit 2 members recently ratified a new Collective Agreement. As part of this ratification, each sessional member employed during the Fall 2017 termregardless of how many courses they taughtwill receive a one-time signing bonus of $200 (minus statutory deductions) to be paid on January 5th. If you don’t see this additional payment on that date, please let us know.
We also wanted to provide some other relevant end-of-term information that might be useful. Any post-contract work (that is, work done after your final grades have been submitted) is separate from your contract and payable at a rate of $63.50/hour. This would include reviewing grades that are being challenged, marking exam that have been deferred, and dealing with cases of plagiarism. This is not an exhaustive list, and more information, including the appropriate form you’ll need to fill out to get paid, is available here. It will be updated in early January with the new rate.
The final pay for this term is December 22nd. This represents what Service Canada refers to as an ‘interruption earnings.’ The first pay in the Winter term, for those of who employed, will be paid on January 19th (the first pay week of the month is for Dec. 31st to Jan. 13th). We would encourage all Sessionals who may utilize Employment Insurance to apply over the holidays, even if you are employed during the Winter term, as the week from Dec. 24th to Dec. 31st will serve as your EU withholding period. This means that when your next interruption of earnings occurs, you’ll be eligible to collect EI immediately. For information on EI, click here. Remember it is possible to both workand collect EI (with some clawbacks) if the amount of work have in the Winter term has dropped substantially from the work you had during the fall. The employer will upload your ROE in early January as they are closed over the holidays, but you can (and should) apply immediately.
Over the past few weeks, we have heard from many Sessionals who have wrongly received a statement from Service Canada alleging an overpayment for a previous semester in a previous academic year in EI. This was the result of how the employer had been recording dates worked and paid. To our knowledge, no member has been required to pay back these funds, as the original Record of Employment contained incorrect information. If you receive such a statement, please advise us immediately.
Finally, thanks for your hard work, support, patience, and solidarity throughout a difficult bargaining process this past term. We will continue to work together for an even #BetterMac in 2018.
In solidarity,
Graham Baker, President, CUPE 3906

Unit 2 Collective Agreement Ratified

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Members of CUPE Local 3906, Unit 2 have ratified a new Collective Agreement with the Employer. The tentative agreement, ratified by 88%, was secured following two days of conciliation in late November. CUPE Local 3906, Unit 2 represents close to 500 Sessional Faculty and Hourly-Rated Sessional Faculty at McMaster University.

The new three-year collective agreement – in place until August 31, 2020 – provides important gains to members, although it falls short of everything we hoped to achieve at the outset of bargaining. While we did not secure the $8000.00 per course we hoped for or the six automatic First Consideration Appointments we proposed, improvements were made on both of these fronts.

The new agreement secures modest wage increases that will increase the 3.0 course rate from $7050.00 (present) to $7191.00 effective January 1, 2018, $7407.00 effective September 1, 2018, and will be increased to $7555.00 in the last year of the agreement. Hourly-Rated Sessional Music Faculty – currently earning $62.25/hr – will see their wages increase to $63.50 effective January 1, 2018, $65.40 effective September 1, 2018, and will be increased to $66.70 in the last year of the agreement. This will also be the new hourly-rate for post-contract work for Sessional Faculty.

The bargaining team also secured gains to job security. The current model of First Consideration Appointments, which guarantees two automatic appointments following two consecutive successful applications, will expand immediately to guarantee three automatic appointments. Similarly, the current model of Enhanced First Consideration Appointments, which guarantees three automatic appointments following an additional successful application, will expand immediately to guarantee four automatic appointments.

The newly ratified agreement also provides funds to maintain the Health Care Spending Account, Dental Plan, and Professional Development Fund that the Union administers.

The new collective agreement also secures for members a pregnancy/parental leave of up to 90% for 19 weeks (an increase from the current 45%) and increases the course cancellation fee from $2000.00 to $4000.00 for course cancelled in the two weeks before class (effective September 1, 2018). Sessional Faculty and Hourly-Rated Sessional Music Faculty are now also entitled to paid domestic violence leave that will provide 100% of wages for up to the duration of contract. The Collective Agreement also includes a formal Aboriginal Land Recognition, increased transparency in course evaluations, the introduction of concept of ‘coaching’ to discipline and discharge procedure, and access to a credential training program through MacPherson Institute.


Sam Oort, National Representative-

Graham Baker, President, CUPE Local 3906-

Brad Walchuk, Staff Representative and Chief Negotiator, CUPE Local 3906-

Unit 2 Ratification Vote Information

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Unit 2 (Sessional Faculty and Hourly-Rated Sessional Music Faculty Members),

   Your elected Bargaining Team recently secured a tentative collective agreement with the Employer. Before this agreement can take effect, however, both parties need to ratify it, according to their respective processes.
 We have been given word that the McMaster Board of Governors has now formally ratified this agreement on behalf of the Employer. Now, CUPE Unit 2 members will have the opportunity to do the same.
   The union will be holding a Special General Membership Meeting this coming Tuesday, December 12th at 5:00PM in Kenneth Taylor Hall, Room B104. At this meeting, the Bargaining Team will provide you with an overview of the agreement itself and answer any questions you might have.The ratification voting will commence for 90 minutes immediately following the meeting (just as we did for the Strike Mandate Vote).
   Voting will continue from 9AM to 5PM the following day (Wednesday, December 13th) in the lobby of Mills Library, for those members who cannot attend the SGMM. Information about the tentative agreement will be available in the Union Office (KTH B111) and at the polling station itself. Note: the bargaining team is recommending this agreement for ratification by the members.
   Any member who has taught at any point over the last two academic terms or who has secured a contract for the Winter of 2018 is entitled to vote. Please bring Photo ID with you.
   The results of the ratification vote will be announced on the evening of the 13th.
   Finally, please note that in the event of a work stoppage by members of UFCW Local 175 and 633 (Fauclty Club Staff), an alternative off-campus location will be utilized. We will keep you updated with information.
   Have questions? Email

Saddened to Announce the Passing of David Gerry

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We’re saddened to announce the passing of David Gerry, a long-time sessional faculty at McMaster University and member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. David was also an elected member of the Unit 2 bargaining team, which recently secured a tentative agreement with the Employer.

Our deepest condolences go out to his many friends and students, and especially his mother Lucy and his husband Johnathan. Below is a passage from Judith Shedden, a faculty member at Mac and a close friend of David’s:

“With great sadness we tell you that our David passed on this evening. He went peacefully and without pain. His passing was more beautiful because his beloved Sara Traficante was here to play for him, with the gold flute that he left her. She played for him for close to an hour and it was so beautiful. The last piece she played was the Largo e dolce from Sonata in b minor by JS Bach. David exhaled his last breath on the final cadence.”


Holiday Office Closure

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Please be advised that the CUPE office in Kenneth Taylor Hall Room B111 will be closed, beginning Friday December 15th. The office will reopen for the Winter Term on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018.
If you have benefits or other forms to submit prior to the end of the term, please ensure that they’re in to us by no later than Thursday, December 14th.
Unit 2 (Sessional Faculty) Members, a reminder as well that your PDF Applications are due by the end of the day today.
Have questions? Email
In solidarity,
Graham Baker, President, CUPE 3906