COVID-related Office Closure

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The Union office will remain closed throughout the fall semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff and executive members are working safely from home, and can answer any questions you may have via email, phone, or Zoom/Teams/Jitsi. Please email first, and we can set something up with you later if email doesn’t answer your question.

Below are instructions for how to submit benefits claims while the office is closed:

For Healthcare Spending Accounts, UHIP Rebates, and Childcare rebates, please continue to leave forms in our drop-box (directly outside KTH B111) or mail them directly to the Prosure Group:

PROSURE GROUP ADMINISTRATORS LTD.

2225 Sheppard Ave East, Suite 1400, Atria III.

Toronto, ON. M2J 5C2

For Dental claims, please create a login at www.equitable.ca with Policy Number 97528 and your employee number as your certificate number (if you do not have a specific employee number, then use your student number), and follow Equitable Life’s instructions for submitting online claims.

For Professional Development Fund applications, please email benefits@cupe3906.org

For further assistance, please contact administrator@cupe3906.org

For issues or concerns with your rights under any of our three collective agreements, please email mecampbell@cupe3906.org or bwalchuk@cupe3906.org

For equity-related concerns, please contact equity@cupe3906.org

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CUPE 3906 UNIT 1 MEMBERS WORKING IN THE WINTER 2021 TERM: DENTAL COVERAGE DEADLINES

Mary Ellen CampbellUncategorized

The following message is for CUPE 3906 Unit 1 (Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants in Lieu) Members who did not work as CUPE Unit 1 Members (or as CUPE Unit 2 or Unit 3 Members) in the Fall 2020 Term:

CUPE 3906 UNIT 1 Members who did not work as CUPE 3906 Unit 1, 2, or 3 members in the Fall 2020 Term will be charged the Single Dental Coverage Premium for the 2020-2021 academic year ($125) on their TA and/or RA in lieu pay on the first pay in January 2021.  This coverage reimburses costs incurred for eligible dental claims incurred between September 1, 2020 and August 31, 2021 regardless of when you begin working as a CUPE 3906 Unit 1 member in the 2020-2021 academic year.

Please note that there is a 30 day change of coverage period during which you may enroll in family dental coverage or opt-out of dental coverage (if you already have comparable coverage and provide proper supporting documentation.  The deadline to submit forms and supporting documentation is January 27, 2021Reimbursements for successful opt-outs will be issued via direct deposit (not via payroll) by our Third Party Administrator, The Prosure Group, within 30 days of the deduction being made.

Please click here for further details about dental change of coverage for Unit 1 Members: https://cupe3906.org/files/2021/01/U1-WINTER-Dental-Letter-2020-2021.pdf

To obtain a family dental enrollment or dental opt-out form, please visit the “Important Updates” or “Forms” section of our website, here:  https://cupe3906.org/tas-unit-1/dental-plan/

Please note that, due to the office closure caused by COVID-19, forms and supporting documentation will only be accepted via email to administrator@cupe3906.org.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

In solidarity,
Your CUPE 3906 Staff

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CUPE 3906 UNIT 2 MEMBERS TEACHING IN THE WINTER 2021 TERM: DENTAL COVERAGE DEADLINES

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The following message is for CUPE 3906 Unit 2 Members (Sessional Faculty and Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty) who did not teach as Unit 2 Members (or work as CUPE 3906 Unit 1 or Unit 3 Members) in the Fall 2020 Term:

CUPE 3906 UNIT 2 Members who did not work as CUPE 3906 Unit 1, 2, or 3 members in the Fall 2020 Term will be charged the Single Dental Coverage Premium for the 2020-2021 term ($170) on their Sessional Faculty pay in February 2021.  This coverage reimburses costs incurred for eligible dental claims incurred between September 1, 2020 and August 31, 2021 regardless of when you begin working as a CUPE 3906 Unit 2 member in the 2020-2021 academic year.

Please note that there is a 30 day change of coverage period during which you may enroll in family dental coverage or opt-out of dental coverage (if you already have comparable coverage and provide proper supporting documentation.  The deadline to submit forms and supporting documentation is January 31, 2021

Please click here for further details about dental change of coverage for Unit 2 Members: https://cupe3906.org/files/2021/01/U2-WINTER-Dental-Letter-2020-2021.pdf

To obtain a family dental enrollment or dental opt-out form, please visit the “Important Updates” or “Forms” section of our website, here: https://cupe3906.org/sessionals-unit-2/unit-2-dental-coverage/

Please note that, due to the office closure caused by COVID-19, forms and supporting documentation will only be accepted via email to administrator@cupe3906.org .

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

In solidarity,
Your CUPE 3906 Staff

Important Information/Deadlines for Sessional Faculty and Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty Working in the Winter 2021 Term

Mary Ellen CampbellUncategorized

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CUPE 3906 UNIT 2 MEMBERS TEACHING IN THE WINTER 2021 TERM: DENTAL COVERAGE DEADLINES

The following message is for CUPE 3906 Unit 2 Members who did not teach as Unit 2 Members (or work as Unit 1 or Unit 3 Members) in the Fall 2020 Term:

CUPE 3906 UNIT 2 Members who did not work as CUPE 3906 Unit 1, 2, or 3 members in the Fall 2020 Term will be charged the Single Dental Coverage Premium for the 2020-2021 term ($170) on their Sessional Faculty pay in February 2021.  This coverage reimburses costs incurred for eligible dental claims incurred between September 1, 2020 and August 31, 2021 regardless of when you begin working as a CUPE 3906 Unit 2 member in the 2020-2021 academic year.

Please note that there is a 30 day change of coverage period during which you may enroll in family dental coverage or opt-out of dental coverage (if you already have comparable coverage and provide proper supporting documentation.  The deadline to submit forms and supporting documentation is January 31, 2021

Please click here for further details about dental change of coverage for Unit 2 Members: https://cupe3906.org/files/2021/01/U2-WINTER-Dental-Letter-2020-2021.pdf

To obtain a family dental enrollment or dental opt-out form, please visit the “Important Updates” or “Forms” section of our website, here: https://cupe3906.org/sessionals-unit-2/unit-2-dental-coverage/

Please note that, due to the office closure caused by COVID-19, forms and supporting documentation will only be accepted via email to administrator@cupe3906.org .

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

In solidarity,
Your CUPE 3906 Staff

Unit 3 End of Term Update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Congratulations on making it to the end of a difficult term. We hope you’ve managed to stay safe and healthy – both physically and emotionally – and that the coming break will be relaxing and enjoyable. Having said that, we wanted to send a quick end-of-term email to inform you of a few important things.

Holidays

Please note that paid holidays to which you are entitled include any business days that fall on or between December 25th and January 1st. Such days are without loss of pay and do not come out of your annual vacation day entitlement below. While we’re at it, here is your annual vacation entitlement:

Duration of Appointment in Years Vacation Time Accrual Rate
(Full-Time Days Per Month)
Less than 1 year 1.25
1 or more but less than 3 1.67
3 years or more 2.08

Please note that accrued and unused vacation time from the current entitlement year is payable upon the end of the PDF’s appointment. This means that vacation days that you do not use in the last year of your appointment are paid out when your appointment ends.

“Grey Zone” Lockdown Closure

As you may have seen, the province has recently announced that Hamilton will be entering the grey-lockdown zone as of 12:01 a.m. Monday, December 21. The University has posted this update to the community. What does that mean for you?

In the event that you are not already working from home and are not engaged in research on campus that is permitted under the new protocols, we expect that supervisors will work with you to address opportunities for remote work where at all possible.

If such work is not made available and you are informed that you will not be paid, please reach out to us immediately so we can help to address the situation.

Homewood Health Counselling

This past semester has been tough for all us for a variety of pandemic-related reasons. We wanted to remind you that you have free and confidential access to the Employee Family Assistance Program (through Homewood health). Homewood offers you free and confidential and professional counselling on depression, stress, bereavement, relationships and more, as well as counselling for careers, work-life balance, and health.

Log-in details and information guides on using the new homeweb.ca website are located on McMaster’s Employee and Family Assistance Program webpage here.

Dental Plan Information

For those of you enrolled in the Unit 1 dental plan, the $1000 in single coverage (or $2,000 for family coverage) per calendar year will re-set as of January 1, 2019. Unused money does not carry over, but all members enrolled in single coverage will now have $1000.00 for 2019 (and $2,000 for family coverage), in addition to any claims from eligible dental procedures done in 2018.

Office Closure

Lastly, please note that the “online office” is now closed and many 3906 email accounts will not be monitored and messages won’t be addressed until the New Year. If, however, you have any emergency emails, please direct them to staff@cupe3906.org and someone will respond accordingly.

Unit 2 End of Term Update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Congratulations on making it to the end of a difficult term. We hope you’ve managed to stay safe and healthy – both physically and emotionally – and that the break will be relaxing and enjoyable. With that being said, we wanted to send a quick end-of-term email to inform you about a few important things.

New Collective Agreement
First, we have received word that the Employer ratified the tentative agreement. This means that the new agreement is now in place. A full copy of this agreement – in which each of the changes has been highlighted – can be viewed here.

Effective at the start of the winter term, the base-rate of pay for a 3.0 unit course will be $7630.55. You are not likely to see an amended appointment letter reflecting the rate, but the payroll system will increase your rate to this amount automatically. You should be able to double-check this on your pay stubs- please let us know if there are any concerns.

Homewood Health Counselling
Second, this past semester has been tough for all us for a variety of pandemic-related reasons. We wanted to remind you that you have free and confidential access to the Employee Family Assistance Program (through Homewood health). Homewood offers you free and confidential and professional counselling on depression, stress, bereavement, relationships and more, as well as counselling for careers, work-life balance, and health.

Log-in details and information guides on using the new homeweb.ca website are located on McMaster’s Employee and Family Assistance Program webpage here.

Employment Insurance 
Please note that the final pay for this term is December 31st. This represents what Service Canada refers to as an ‘interruption of earnings’  and should be the date you list on your EI application as the last pay date (not the date for which you were last paid). The ‘day for which you were last paid’  and your ‘last day worked’  should be listed as December 24th.  We would encourage all Sessionals who may utilize Employment Insurance at any point in 2020 to apply after December 31st, even if you are employed during the Winter term.

The first pay in the Winter term, for those of you who are employed, will be on January 15th and the first day of work will be January 6th. This means you should be able to collect EI for a brief period of time prior to January 6th, if you have enough insurable hours. For information on EI, click here. If you have already served a withholding period in the past 52 weeks, you will be able to collect EI sooner. If you have not served a withholding period, you can serve one week over the holidays and should be able to collect EI sooner in late April. If you have yet to serve the one-week withholding period in the past 52 weeks and plan on accessing EI over the spring/summer, we would strongly encourage you to apply for EI over the holidays to serve the withholding period.

In certain instances, it is possible to both work and collect EI (with some clawbacks) if the amount of work have in the winter has dropped substantially from the work you had during the fall term. More information is available here.

The employer will upload your ROE automatically to Service Canada. You can apply for EI at any point after you see it uploaded to your Service Canada site.

Post-Contract Work
Remember, any post-contract work (that is, work requested by your supervisor and done after your final grades have been submitted) is separate from your contract and payable at a rate of $66.70/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 and submit to get paid, is available here.
Large Class Supplemental Fee
If you have yet to be paid the Large Class Supplemental Fee, please let us know. For those of you earning the base rate and teaching a class with more than 75 students, you are eligible for this added supplement.  For a typical 3-unit course, this would amount to $6.00 per student for each student above 75. If you taught a class with more than 75 students, you may wish to remind your department (we’ve had HR do this as well), and please confirm that this additional supplement will be paid prior to the end of contract (and contact us if you haven’t received it!).
Professional Development Fund
All applications to the Fall 2020 round of professional development fund have been reviewed and decisions made. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by early next week.
Office Closure
Lastly, please note that the “online office” is now closed and many 3906 email accounts will not be monitored and messages won’t be addressed until the New Year. If, however, you have any emergency emails, please direct them to staff@cupe3906.org and someone will respond accordingly.

Unit 1 End of Term Update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Congratulations on making it to the end of a difficult term. We hope you’ve managed to stay safe and healthy – both physically and emotionally – and that the coming break will be relaxing and enjoyable. Having said that, we wanted to send a quick end-of-term email to inform you of a few important things.
No Obligation to Grade Deferred Work or Exams

Article 12.06 of your Collective Agreement states that employees will not be required to grade deferred term work or deferred exams submitted after the end of the academic term in which an employee holds an assignment. It is understood that such work is the responsibility of the course instructor. However, if an employee agrees to grade deferred term work or deferred exams submitted after the end of the academic term in which an employee holds an assignment, the employee will be paid at the rate specified in Schedule “A,” based on the employee’s status at the time of grading. Furthermore, if an employee agrees, at the Employer’s request, to attend an academic integrity hearing or at an academic appeal hearing, the employee will be compensated for such attendance at the rate specified in Schedule “A,” based on the employee’s status at the time of such hearing.

No Work Required After December 24th

Article 20.03 of your Collective Agreement states that all hours of work assigned to the TA for the fall term, including those allocated for marking exams and associated duties, shall be completed as assigned but no later than the close of business on December 24, with one exception as follows: If a TA is requested to perform duties after December 24th, additional hours may be assigned and completed over the period up to and including December 31st. For each such hour worked, a stipend of half the regular hourly wage rate will be paid on the second regular pay date in January.

Homewood Health Counselling

This past semester has been tough for all us for a variety of pandemic-related reasons. We wanted to remind you that you have free and confidential access to the Employee Family Assistance Program (through Homewood health). Homewood offers you free and confidential and professional counselling on depression, stress, bereavement, relationships and more, as well as counselling for careers, work-life balance, and health.

Log-in details and information guides on using the new homeweb.ca website are located on McMaster’s Employee and Family Assistance Program webpage here.

Dental Plan Information

For those of you enrolled in the Unit 1 dental plan, the $1000 in single coverage (or $2,000 for family coverage) per calendar year will re-set as of January 1, 2019. Unused money does not carry over, but all members enrolled in single coverage will now have $1000.00 for 2019 (and $2,000 for family coverage), in addition to any claims from eligible dental procedures done in 2018.

Office Closure

Lastly, please note that the “online office” is now closed and many 3906 email accounts will not be monitored and messages won’t be addressed until the New Year. If, however, you have any emergency emails, please direct them to staff@cupe3906.org and someone will respond accordingly.

December GMM- December 16th at Noon

Brad WalchukUncategorized

CUPE 3906’s next General Membership Meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 16, from 12 PM to 2 PM. Any members wishing to present pre-written motions should provide theirs via email to president@cupe3906.org by Tuesday, December 15.

As with recent virtual GMMs, pre-registration will be required in order to attend this meeting. Please note that you must register with your McMaster email address no later than 10 AM the day of the GMM. This is the only way we can verify your membership prior to the meeting. Any registration requests made from non-McMaster email addresses will be denied.

Register in advance for the GMM HERE. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. *Please allow for some delay as each request has to be approved manually.*

Stay tuned for related communications in the lead up to next week’s GMM, and be sure to send any related questions to president@cupe3906.org. We hope to see you all there!

 

Sessional Faculty End-of-Term Update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Congratulations on (almost) reaching the end of another term! We hope that you’re staying well in light of the current pandemic. Before the term comes to an end, we wanted to provide some updates that might be useful. This message contains important information about the following:

  • Professional Development Fund (PDF) deadline extension + invitation to join the Benefits Committee 
  • McMaster’s policy on work from home expense reimbursements during COVID-19
  • Post-Contract Work
  • Large Class Supplemental Fee

 

Professional Development Fund (PDF) deadline extension
+ invitation to join the Benefits Committee

The deadline for Unit 2 Professional Development Fund applications has been extended to Monday, December 13. All Unit 2 PDF applications for the Fall 2020 term will be reviewed after this deadline.

The application form can be found herePlease note that electronic submissions are now preferred and should be sent to benefits@cupe3906.org in a single document. Any questions should also be sent to benefits@cupe3906.org.

We’d also like to take this chance to remind you that we are always looking for members to join the Benefits Committee. For Unit 2, this committee is especially important for ensuring an efficient and accurate adjudication of PDF applications. The time commitment is minimal and all meetings are now held virtually. If you are interested in joining the Benefits Committee, please email benefits@cupe3906.org and/or staff@cupe3906.org.

McMaster’s policy on work from home expense reimbursements during COVID-19

With the end of term fast-approaching, we would also like to remind members of the Employer’s policy for reimbursing work-related expenses during the pandemic. This policy assists employees who are working from home due to the pandemic closure, and contemplates a number of expenses such as long distance and internet overages, printer ink, and more.

Members should contact their employment supervisors and/or Department or Area Chairs for more information about how to submit expenses. Please note that the Union is not involved in administering this policy, nor can our benefits funds be used to cover the costs associated with working from home.

You can find more details about the policy here and here.

Post-Contract Work

Any post-contract work (that is, work requested by your supervisor and done after your final grades have been submitted) is separate from your contract and payable at a rate of $66.70/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 and submit to get paid, is available here. If you are asked to perform this work and are collecting EI, please let us know.

Large Class Supplemental Fee

We have also heard that most sessionals have yet to been paid the Large Class Supplemental Fee. For those of you earning the base rate and teaching a class with more than 75 students, please note that your last pay stub should reflect an additional supplementary payment of $2.00 per student per unit for each student above 75. For a typical 3-unit course, this would amount to $6.00 per student for each student above 75. If you taught a class with more than 75 students and you have yet to see the supplemental fee added, please reach out to your department ASAP to confirm that this additional supplement will been paid on December 18. If the payment is not processed by the end of this week, it will not make the December 18 pay and will come on the December 31 pay date. This could adversely impact EI, so please follow up with your administrator this week and let us know if there are any issues.

Statement of Support for Amar Fayaz

Brad WalchukUncategorized

On November 8, 2020, a young activist by the name of Amar Fayaz was abducted by what appear to be paramilitary security forces in Pakistan. Amar is affiliated with the Progressive Youth Alliance and is active in the struggle for free education and employment for all and the restoration of student unions in his country. To date, his whereabouts are still unknown, even to his wife and daughter, and local police cannot explain his arrest, nor have they registered charges against him.

The Executive Committee of CUPE 3906 joins a growing number of workers and unions in condemning the disappearing or activists and organizers like Amar, and in calling on the Pakistani Government to release Amar immediately. We are also encouraging our members to sign the Pakistan Trade Union Solidarity Campaign’s petition for Amar’s release, and to send letters to relevant officials in Pakistan and at the Pakistan Consulate in Toronto using the templates available on our website.

We have also made a $500 CAD contribution to Pakistan Trade Union Solidarity, and we encourage other unions in Canada to consider doing the same.

#ReleaseAmarFayaz

Petition: http://chng.it/hRq5Jf4pNY

In solidarity,

The CUPE 3906 Executive Committee

Interdisciplinary Conference for the Canadian Union of Public Employees

Brad WalchukUncategorized

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

(Hosted by the Local 3906)

As academic employees and members of CUPE, we are all too familiar with discussions surrounding labour issues
and the process of collective bargaining to ensure just working conditions. However, when it comes to the vital
research that we engage in day to day, members rarely get a chance to come together on these topics and interact with each others’ work. The goals of this conference are to bring our research together and to provide unique opportunities for collaboration , open up discussion about key labour issues, and ultimately facilitate a creative avenue for building union solidarity.

For this first iteration of this conference the overarching theme will focus on academia, justice and the workplace. We
invite all workers employed in academia to submit an abstract and/or proposal. We highly encourage creative
submissions in addition to the standard talking format (whether that be visual art, multimedia, etc.). Group
submissions for panel presentations are also welcome.

Topic examples include but are not limited to:
● Working in academia
● Equity and discrimination in the workplace
● Anti-black racism
● Other forms of discrimination
● Indigenous rights
● Corporatization of the post-secondary sector
● The role of unions in academia at large

Further suggestions that align with this year’s theme are welcomed.

Due to the current state of travel, this conference will be held virtually over Zoom.

● Conference is to be held between the dates of April 18th to 24th 2021 pending review of abstracts.
● Please email all submissions to organizingchair@cupe3906.org
● The deadline for submissions is January 15th 2021.
● All submissions must include an abstract or project description (250-500 words).
● Submissions must include the author’s name, affiliation, and contact information.
● Submissions from other locals are welcome and encouraged.