August General Membership Meeting

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We will be holding our August General Membership Meeting on Wednesday, August 22nd at noon in BSB 108. The agenda will be posted in advance of the meeting. We hope to see you all there.

Statement on Trump’s Immigration Policies

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The General Membership of CUPE 3906 strongly condemns the recent policies of the Trump administration and the practices of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency who have willfully abused human rights and engaged in torture through the separation of parents and children in various detention centers across the country. The most recent numbers indicate that at least 2300 children have been separated from their families since April; however, this is a considerable underestimation given that not all ports of entry have reported their numbers to Homeland Security.

While the Trump administration has rescinded its policy of separating families at the border due to mounting political backlash, there have thus far been no efforts to actively reunite families, as children are effectively being used as hostages for political leverage. This gross violation of human rights is utterly deplorable and must not pass with silence.

The international community, including Canada, must take a stand against these practices. CUPE 3906 would like to call on elected officials and ordinary citizens alike to take two minutes out of their workday to sign and submit the Council of Canadians’ and Amnesty International Canada’s letters to Justin Trudeau and Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, urging them to suspend Canada’s “Safe Third Country Agreement” that prevents the vast majority of asylum seekers who arrive in the U.S. from making claims in Canada. By now it should be clear to everyone that refugees are no longer safe in the United States.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Trudeau’s statement that “this is not the way we do things in Canada,” denies a history of forcibly separating children from their family, and contradicts the practices that continue today. The forceful separation of families has been a central practice in Canada’s settler-colonial institutions. The current child welfare system represents a “humanitarian crisis” as over 50% of the are Indigenous.

Moreover, while we must rightly call on the United States to end their policy of detention and reunite these families for good, CUPE 3906 also calls on Canada to end its policy of separating children from their parents in immigration detention. Year-over-year the number of families separated in detention has increased. This unacceptable and inhumane practice has lasting negative consequences that do not conform with the best interests of the children that our system is intended to protect.

We urge you to take the following action(s):

The Council of Canadians’ letter to PM Justin Trudeau and Minister Hussen:

Link to Amnesty International Canada’s letter to Minister Hussen:

You can also contact your local MP directly by following the directions linked here:

Anyone looking for more information on Canada’s Safe Third Country Agreement with the U.S. can read the FAQ fact sheet provided by the Canadian Council for Refugees linked here:

Finally, we’d also urge you to connect with local migrant rights groups, such as Justicia 4 Migrant Workers (, the Hamilton Immigrant Working Centre (, Wesley Urban Ministries ( , Refuge: Hamilton Centre for Newcomer Health (, the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War (, and the Emergency Support Committee for Refugees (, to whom our General Membership Meeting supporting making a financial donation to on June 27th, 2018.

We urge you for your support in these trying times.



Angie Perez, President

On behalf of the General Membership of CUPE Local 3906

Next General Membership Meeting- August 22nd

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Our next General Membership Meeting will be held on Wednesday August 22nd at noon. The location is TBA at this point, but will be confirmed soon. The agenda will be posted in advance of the meeting. We hope to see you there, and as always, lunch will be provided and child-care costs reimbursed upon request.

Statement on Recent Arbitration Ruling re/ course evaluations

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Recently, William Kaplan, one of Ontario’s most respected arbitrators, heard a grievance put forward by the Ryerson University Faculty Association at arbitration. The grievance dealt with the usage of Student Evaluations of Teachings (or SETs) and their applicability for employment related decisions by Ryerson University.

Your Union has long expressed concerns about the effectiveness of SETs when we have bargained with the Employer. Among other things, we have been concerned that various factors, especially personal characteristics such as race, gender, accent, age and “attractiveness” skew the results. We have also expressed concern that a simple numeric figure is limited in its effectiveness and easy to skew. We believe that the decision by Arbitrator Kaplan, which can be read in full here, confirms many of our long-held concerns about the shortcomings of SETs (or course evaluations, as they are more commonly referred to here).

Perhaps the most notable part of the decision is as follows: “The expert evidence led at the hearing persuasively demonstrates that the most meaningful aspects of teaching performance and effectiveness cannot be assessed by SETs. Insofar as assessing teaching effectiveness is concerned – especially in the context of tenure and promotion – SETs are imperfect at best and downright biased and unreliable at worst.

We believe this decision has the potential to have important implications on hiring decisions here, especially in those instances in which departments rely heavily on SETs to deny members employment. We will also address this decision at our next round of collective bargaining, scheduled for 2020.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact either Peter Graham (Unit 2 Chief Steward- or Brad Walchuk (Unit 2 Staff



Employment Insurance Information

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Because our membership is precariously employed, we often find ourselves (temporarily) out of work. CUPE 3906 has re-designed its Employment Insurance (EI) pamphlet. We encourage all members to apply for EI when they find themselves out of work. The pamphlet will provide you information about eligibility, entitlement, and process.

For more information, please click on this link, which will direct you to our new Employment Insurance pamphlet.



June General Membership Meeting (June 27)

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The Union’s most significant decisions are made by Union members at General Membership Meetings (GMMs).

All CUPE 3906 members of all 3 units (TAs and RAs in lieu, Sessional Faculty, Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellows) can attend regular GMMs and get involved in the Union’s decision making processes.

Our next GMM will be held on Wednesday, June 27th at noon in BSB 136.

We offer a free lunch and reimbursement for childcare costs. A detailed agenda will soon be posted

Ontario Provincial Election- June 7th

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Dear CUPE Local 3906 members,

As you likely know, the provincial election is taking place on Thursday, June 7th, and it is expected to be the closest election in years. Information about voting, polling locations, ID requirements, and the like is available here: 
We won’t presume to tell you who to vote for, but we will say that a lot is at stake on issues that are important to graduate students and precariously employed academics, most notably affordable tuition, equal pay for Sessional Faculty, and the creation of more stable and secure academic jobs. So too is an ongoing commitment to a $15/hr minimum wage, something that your Union has long supported.
CUPE Ontario has highlighted the three major parties positions on a variety of issues. You can  access the hyperlink here.
The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, a body representing over 17,000 faculty at 29 different faculty associations, has created a document that specifically analyzes post-secondary issues.
This election will go a long way in determining what the next four years will look like in Ontario, and we encourage all members who are legally eligible to vote to get out there and do so.
In solidarity,
Angie Perez, President, CUPE Local 3906

FREE First Aid Training for CUPE 3906 members

Brad WalchukUncategorized

As usual, we’ve received a lot of questions about the FREE first aid training for CUPE 3906 members at McMaster. YES, IT REALLY IS FREE.

CUPE doesn’t offer the training (it is normally done through recreation and athletics) but our collective agreements have secured members access at no charge. The cost is billed back to your department (not the individual supervisor) and as such the departmental administrator will need to enroll you.

Let us know if you have any additional questions.

Upcoming Equity Action Committee Events

Brad WalchukUncategorized

CUPE 3906’s Equity Action Committee is proud to announce that we will be hosting a Summer Clothing Swap. Please join us on Thursday, June 28th, from 10:30am to 3:00pm, in MUSC 311/313. Bring clean clothing you no longer wear (we encourage clothing for all body types and genders!). All leftover clothes will be donated to the Native Women’s Centre in Hamilton.

If you are able, please drop off your clean clothes and books at the CUPE office (KTH B111) prior to the event during hours of operation (Monday to Thursday from 9am-5pm). You may also wish to bring your clothes with you to the event and display them upon your arrival. We will have a box on location for book donations.

For more information regarding the poetry event, please contact

The Equity Action Committee is also proud to announce that we will be hosting an event for members to share their art (poetry, fiction, performance, among other forms of creative expression) as part of a larger initiative titled, “Healing With Feelings.” The theme will be on class and labour! This event is an opportunity to meet new folx, engage with each other’s creative works, and heal collectively from intersecting oppressions. Please join us on Thursday, July 19 in CIBC Hall (308/309). The doors open at 7:00PM while the event finishes at 9:00PM.

If you’re interested in sharing your work, we have 11 available slots of 10 minutes each to choose from. Please sign-up by sending an e-mail to Even if you’re not reciting any poetry, fiction, or performing, this event is meant to show support and solidarity to your fellow peers.

We look forward to seeing you there!