Back-to-Mac update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

As you probably have heard by now, McMaster University announced its return-to-campus measures in a January 5th letter from President David Farrar and Provost Susan Tighe. We believe these measures are nowhere near enough to address our members’ concerns and we are organizing our response. Some of us have already met to discuss our strategy and we will meet again this coming week. If you’d like to join us to voice your concerns and strengthen our demands, please send an email to vicepresident@cupe3906.org and we’ll loop you in.

An important note about accommodations at the current stage: If you have a medical reason (e.g., disability, immunocompromised, etc.) for why you shouldn’t have to return to work in person, you can request a workplace accommodation through the following form: Workplace-Accommodation-Procedures-June-2021.pdf (mcmaster.ca). If you do believe you should qualify for an accommodation, please let us know and we can help you with the process. If you apply for an accommodation and are denied, please let us know.  The Employer only has to provide accommodations for bonafide medical or human rights reasons according to the law, and even then they only have to provide a reasonable accommodation up to the point of undue hardship. An accommodation might not entail what members think they should entail, but if you are seeking an accommodation you should be clear with what you need and why you require it.  The Employer can also request certain medical documentation (for example) to support an accommodation request. We are happy to do our best to assist and work with you if you think you might require a workplace accommodation for medical or other human rights code reasons.

We believe that the barriers shouldn’t be set so high and that everyone should be entitled to more accommodations than what management is willing to grant us, but, at the moment, this is the process imposed by management we will only get what we deserve if we fight for it.

Employment Insurance Information- Unit 2

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We have received a few questions about payment for the winter semester and feel that an update to all members would be useful. There is not a pay date on January 21, 2022 nor was there on January 14th. The final pay for the (Fall term) was December 31st, and the first payment for the Winter Term is January 28, 2022. There is a reason for this.

This year the winter semester started on January 10, the latest calendar date that the semester can begin. The first biweekly pay period (for most permanent employees) fell on January 14, the latest calendar day in which a first pay period of the year could run. This occurs infrequently, but is possible depending how the semester and calendar lineup.

Wages paid to you are one week in arrears. This means that the January 14 pay covered the last week in December and the first week in January – a time when Sessionals were not employed (and thus were eligible to collect Employment Insurance). For those of you working this winter, your contract started on the first day of the semester (January 10), instead of starting the contract on January 1. This more accurately reflects the period you work, and allows those of EI to collect for a longer period.

You should be/should have been able to collect EI from January 1st to January 9th if you have enough insurable hours. For information on EI, click here. If you did not apply for EI over the holidays but met the criteria, it is not too late to apply. More information can be found at the link above.

If you have already served a withholding period in the past 52 weeks, you would have been able to collect EI as of January 1st. If you have not served a withholding period, you could have served one week over the holidays and should be able to collect EI for a day or two. However, you will have served the one-week waiting period, which means you won’t need to do so again in the spring.

If you are not working this winter semester, we would encourage you to apply to EI. Service Canada will determine your eligibility. 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.

If you were collecting EI over the holidays and are teaching this semester, you should be reporting to Service Canada that you are back working. If McMaster is your sole employer, you should report your first day worked/first day for which paid as January 10, 2022.

The employer has already uploaded your ROE automatically to Service Canada for the past semester.

The final pay date for this semester is April 22, which covers the period from April 3rd to April 16th. April 16th is the date that you can report to EI as your last day of work/last day for which paid if you are applying to EI over the spring. The full pay schedule can be found here: https://cupe3906.org/files/2021/09/Pay-Dates-for-CUPE-TA-and-Sessional-Faculty_2021_22.pdf

If you have any questions, please contact brad@cupe3906.org or Carolyn (chiefsteward_sessionals@cupe39306.org)

Solidarity with PSAC 901 at Queen’s University

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Dear PSAC 901 members,

On behalf of the CUPE 3906 executive – which represents approximately 3,500 Teaching Assistants, Sessional Faculty, Hourly-Rated Sessional Music Faculty, and Post-Doctoral Fellows at McMaster University – we wish to express our support and solidarity with Queen’s Graduate Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, and Teaching Fellows in your current round of bargaining. Your demands, including an additional year of guaranteed employment, mental health supports and rebates, mandatory and paid anti-racist training and sexual violence prevention training, and a revised accommodations process, are essential for the wellness of your workers and for a proper job performance, even more so during the troubled times of a harsh global pandemic. As post-secondary workers ourselves, we are all too familiar with the approach employers are taking at the bargaining table and it is disappointing to see the Employer’s lack of interest in continuing to meet with your team, going so far as to claim your demands were “unreasonable”.  We stand in solidarity with you and urge you to stay strong as you continue to fight for better working and learning conditions at Queen’s University.

 

In solidarity and on behalf of the CUPE 3906 Executive,

Leah McGrath Reynolds

Vice President External, CUPE 3906

 

a PDF version of this letter can be found here

CUPE 3906 Welcomes New Executive Members

Brad WalchukUncategorized

At this week’s well attended GMM, there were elections for four positions. Former Treasurer Chris Fairweather was elected as President, and former Recording Secretary Eric Macpherson was elected as Treasurer.

The membership elected William Foley as Chief Steward, Unit 1, while Sarah Szymanksi was elected as Recording Secretary. Welcome to the executive!

Congratulations to those of you elected, and thanks to those of you who put your name forward for the elections.

LOCAL 9460 ~ the Northland's health care workers union

Temporary Expansion of Unit 1 Childcare Fund

Brad WalchukUncategorized

In light of the ongoing restrictions and covid-19 pandemic, the Benefits Committee has voted to temporarily amend the maximum amount Unit 1 members (TAs and RAs in lieu) can claim in Childcare.

Members may soon claim a maximum of $450 dollars for any and all eligible expenses incurred between September 1st 2021 and January 31st 2022. This means that if you have already claimed your yearly maximum of $300, you will soon be eligible to claim an additional $150 dollars.

Please note that there may be some delay in processing these additional claims as we work with Prosure to make these changes. If you have any questions please contact your Benefits Officer, Kyle Morrison, at Benefits@cupe3906.org . We will be sending out further instructions soon regarding how to submit additional claims.

Postdoctoral Fellow Support Fund Reminder

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The Postdoctoral Support Fund is a fund secured by your Union in collective bargaining. The fund provides postdoctoral fellows with access to up to $500 to cover expenses for various circumstances. Previously the fund provided support for one-time, unanticipated emergencies. In the current COVID crisis, you and your family may find yourself in such a situation. We’re happy to announce that under the terms of the new collective agreement, the fund can also provide support for childcare subsidy and extended UHIP for employee and/or dependants.

Unit 3 members are eligible to apply to the Postdoctoral Fellow Support Fund to address areas of financial need. The fund is currently limited to a maximum of $500 a person, and is administered through the School of Graduate Studies. In our most recent round of bargaining, CUPE 3906 secured a representative on the adjudication committee to advocate for our members who apply.

The fund has historically been a total sum of $20,000 per year. Effective September 1, 2020, the fund increases to $40,000 per year. This was another change we secured in our most recent round of collective bargaining.

More specific details about the eligibility, process and requirements to apply for this fund is laid out in the documents found at the link below.

For more information about the fund application process and for a link to the application form, please visit: https://gs.mcmaster.ca/app/uploads/2020/01/postdoctoral_support_fund_2017.pdf

Dental Plan Opt Out Reminder

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Are you working in the Winter 2022 term (i.e., this term)? If you’d like to opt-out of our dental plan or enroll in family dental coverage for the next term, you can already check the requirements and download the forms by visiting the page below:
Please note that the deadline for change of coverage forms for eligible members working in the Winter 2022 Term is January 31st, 2022.

REMINDER: General Membership Meeting (with executive elections) Tuesday January at 3 p.m.

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Our first General Membership Meeting (GMM) of the year will be held on Tuesday, January 18, from 3 PM to 5:30 PM. Any members wishing to present pre-written motions should provide theirs via email to staff@cupe3906.org and vicepresident@cupe3906.org by Monday, January 17.

As always, pre-registration will be required to attend this meeting. Please remember: You must register with your McMaster email address no later than 10 AM on the day of the GMM. Using your Mac address is needed for us to confirm your union membership prior to the meeting.

Register in advance for our GMM here:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYkf-Cppz0jEtJqptJUpdgboMFRWHDfCVPo

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

By-elections on this GMM agenda

Along with other important union business, this GMM will include by-elections to four different positions on our Executive Committee: Chief Steward Unit 1, President, Treasurer and Recording Secretary. You can find the details on each position – as well as certain eligibility criteria – in Section 5 of the CUPE 3906 Bylaws: Duties of Executive Officers.

About the virtual GMM elections process:

Nominations for both elections will be held on the (virtual) floor of the GMM, but our Bylaws also allow for those unable to attend to self-nominate in writing ahead of the meeting. If you are unable to attend the GMM but wish to run for one of the two positions up for election, you can nominate yourself by emailing your 500-word candidate statement to brad@cupe3906.org anytime before 10 AM on the day of the GMM. Because our Bylaws require that only staff accept nominations for elections, only those sent to brad@cupe3906.org will be accepted, and their CUPE 3906 membership then verified.

Voting on these elections will occur in real time (via Zoom), meaning only members in attendance will be able to cast a ballot. This is the method we have determined most closely aligns with our in-person GMM elections and the processes laid out in our Bylaws and the CUPE National Constitution. Please note: if you are attending via a phone call (instead of using the Zoom app), you will not be able to be able to vote, because all votes in elections are anonymous.

We hope to see you there!

Free COVID-19 rapid test kits at Mac- Jan 17 at 9 a.m

Brad WalchukUncategorized

To be 100% clear, CUPE Local 3906 believes that the Ontario government and McMaster (a publicly funded university) should be providing COVID 19 tests to all staff and students. As usual, the Ontario government prefers playing Hunger Games. We want to let members know about the following:

A rapid antigen test pop-up distribution site hosted by the Province of Ontario is scheduled for Monday, January 17, at McMaster University’s main campus.

A limited number of test kits will be available to the McMaster and wider Hamilton community outside the Bates Residence starting at 9 a.m.

You must register in advance. Advance registration to pick up kits can be booked here. Kits of five tests will be distributed two ways: drive through and walk up. One kit will be allotted per registrant.

Arriving to the distribution site:

Do not arrive earlier than your scheduled appointment time (avoid lineups).

Please use the drive through option, if possible. Walk-up is available if you do not have a car.

  • Drive-through: Enter the University at the Main Street entrance and turn left onto University Avenue (before reaching the hospital), left on College Street and follow the signs to the pick-up area. Stay in your car and do not park on campus.
  • Walk up: Walk to the pick up location and if a line is present join the line on the north side of Scholars Road. Remember to maintain physical distancing.

The pop-up site at McMaster is part of a larger provincial initiative to distribute tests across the province, including several university campuses.

Postdocs Reminder: $500 Support Fund

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The Postdoctoral Support Fund is a fund secured by your Union in collective bargaining. The fund provides postdoctoral fellows with access to up to $500 to cover expenses for various circumstances. Previously the fund provided support for one-time, unanticipated emergencies. In the current COVID crisis, you and your family may find yourself in such a situation. We’re happy to announce that under the terms of the new collective agreement, the fund can also provide support for childcare subsidy and extended UHIP for employee and/or dependants.

Unit 3 members are eligible to apply to the Postdoctoral Fellow Support Fund to address areas of financial need. The fund is currently limited to a maximum of $500 a person, and is administered through the School of Graduate Studies. In our most recent round of bargaining, CUPE 3906 secured a representative on the adjudication committee to advocate for our members who apply.

The fund has historically been a total sum of $20,000 per year. Effective September 1, 2020, the fund increases to $40,000 per year. This was another change we secured in our most recent round of collective bargaining.

More specific details about the eligibility, process and requirements to apply for this fund is laid out in the documents found at the link below.

For more information about the fund application process and for a link to the application form, please visit:

https://gs.mcmaster.ca/app/uploads/2020/01/postdoctoral_support_fund_2017.pdf