COVID-19 Resources & Information


For CUPE 3906 Members


** April 22nd CERB Update**


Union Business (Office Closure / Benefits claims, etc.)

Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) & EI Info and Resources

UNIT 1 (TA/RA in lieu) Work

UNIT 2 (Sessional Instructor) Work

MELD Sessional Instructor Work

UNIT 3 (Postdoctoral Fellow) Work

McMaster University’s CUPE Member FAQ Page

A Compelling Essay about Putting your Courses Online

For CUPE & Non-CUPE Members

Accessing Aid & Leaves if your Income is Cut-Off / Reduced

Q & A on Income Supports Available During COVID-19 Pandemic

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) FAQ


Congratulations to the winners of our International Committee’s art and music competition!

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our international members who participated in last week’s art and music competition. The Committee was highly impressed by all submissions, and after much deliberation, decided on the following 1st and 2nd place winners for each category:

1st place: Romina Kazemivala 
PhD student, Electrical and Computer Engineering
2nd place: Umma Sumaiya
MSc student, Civil Engineering
1st place: Abhijit Chatterjee
PhD student, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Click HERE to listen to Abhijit’s rendition of “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran!
2nd place: Bruno Frare
PhD student, Department of Engineering Physics
Click HERE to listen to Bruno’s cover of “Helplessly Hoping” by Crosby, Stills, and Nash!

Increase to UHIP Rebate for members paying UHIP fees (now $250)

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Thanks to your support during our contract negotiations this past fall, we have been able to increase the amount of money in our UHIP Rebate program for Unit 1 members who pay UHIP fees.

If you have already received $200 in UHIP rebates this academic year, you can now apply to receive an additional $50.  If you have not received any UHIP rebates and you are an eligible member, you can now apply to receive $250 in rebates.

Please note that you must provide proof of UHIP fee payments even if you are only claiming the additional $50.

Please visit our website for more instructions on how to apply.

Increase to Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) for Unit 3 members

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Thanks to your support during our contract negotiations this past fall, we have been able to increase the amount of money in our Unit 3 HCSA.

If you have already claimed $250 from our Unit 3 HCSA this academic year (i.e., September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020), you can now claim an additional $50 for eligible expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2020.

If you have not yet claimed any funds from our Unit 3 HCSA this academic year (i.e., September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020), you can now claim $300 for eligible expenses.

For information on eligibility, how to make a claim, and a claim form, click here.

Face coverings required on campus

Brad WalchukUncategorized

You might have noticed on the McMaster Daily news that all employees, students, and visitors on campus will be required to wear masks or face coverings inside campus buildings as July 14. Read the full statement here.

The Union has been informed that, if you do not have a mask, you will be directed to a station to obtain one.

The Employer will provide appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where appropriate (e.g., in labs where non-medical paper masks could pose a fire hazard, or in labs where medical-grade masks are required).

Please note that this requirement does not change who is expected to work on campus.  (In other words, you are still not required to come to campus unless you are directed to do so by your supervisor and there is an appropriate safety plan in place.)

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Union at or

Recruiting Unit 2 Stewards!

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We are looking for any Unit 2 Members who may be interested in representing and advancing the interests of their fellow sessional instructors at the department level! Sign up for the compensation (honouraria) and the satisfaction of standing together in precarious employment. Contact Sylvia at! For more details about becoming a Steward, have a look at our new recruitment flyer.

Bargaining Priorities for Sessional Faculty, Hourly-Rated Sessional Music Faculty, and MELD Sessional Faculty

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Your elected Bargaining Team has reviewed the results of the Unit 2 bargaining survey that was sent out to Unit 2 members earlier this spring.  Based on your responses in conjunction with three years’ worth of conversations our Executive and Staff have had with members about how to strengthen and improve your rights as frontline workers at McMaster, the Bargaining Team has created a list of priorities for you to ratify as we head into negotiations with the Employer, the McMaster University Administration.

We have grouped these priorities into six categories:  Wages, Job Security, Professional Supports, Health and Wellbeing, Workload, and Pensions.  For a more detailed explanation of what these priorities mean, please visit our website for a helpful guide.

Your participation in the ratification of our priorities package is another easy way to contribute to the bargaining process and show your support as the Bargaining Team prepares for negotiations with the Employer.  The Labour Relations Act does not require such a vote, but it’s just one more way we like to engage members during the bargaining process.

Since we are not able to hold our normal in-person meeting, voting will take place online, via Helios. The voting period will begin this Wednesday (June 17) at 5pm and end this Sunday (June 21) at 5pm. Other key details can be found below:

  • Unit 2 members will receive a voter ID and password to vote via McMaster email from an online platform called Helios.
  • Helios is the most user-friendly and secure voting platform we have found.  For more information about Helios, please visit
  • Once the polls are open, you will be able to log in and cast your vote either in favour or opposed to referendum question regarding the six priorities identified in this presentation.
  • Your vote will then be encrypted and logged anonymously. Your email and username will only grant you access to the polls and will not be associated with your vote, nor will it be used or sold by Helios voting thereafter.  Once the polls are closed, Helios will automatically tally the results.

Thank you in advance for your participation!

Run-Off Election Results Announced

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Our Staff Representative, who chairs our Executive election processes, has asked us to share the results of this week’s run-off elections. The successful candidates are:

Benefits Officer: Zobia Jawed
International Officer: Avijit Mallick
Health and Safety Officer: Arghyadeep Sarkar
Chief Steward Unit 3: Kezhuan Gu

Thanks to everyone who participated, and congratulations to those who were elected!

Unit 2 (Sessionals) Bargaining Update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

As many of you know, CUPE 3906 Unit 2 – employed as Sessional Faculty, MELD Faculty, and Hourly-Rated Sessional Music Faculty – is currently in the early stages of bargaining a new Collective Agreement with McMaster.

As this will undoubtedly be a difficult round of bargaining (due to both the passage of Bill 124 and the University’s fiscal situation post-COVID), having widespread and mass member engagement to pressure McMaster will be vital to negotiating a fair contract.

We would thus encourage all CUPE 3906 members to join us in building our Union’s collective capacity to secure better working conditions and compensation as academic workers. This is an opportunity to develop communications, campaigning, organizing, and advocacy skills and does not require any previous experience. Those looking to get involved in this exciting work should contact

Unit 2 Bargaining Team Alternate elected
The Unit 2 Bargaining Team is pleased to announce the election of their Alternate member, MELD instructor Lisa Dent. The team looks forward to working with her over the next several months. Welcome, Lisa!

Run-off elections for Benefits Officer, International Officer, Health and Safety Officer, and Unit 3 Chief Steward

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Monday, June 15 @ 12pm to Tuesday, June 16 @ 12pm

In addition to our previous announcement that three of our Executive positions would require run-off ballots, we can now confirm that our Unit 3 Chief Steward election will need one as well. None of these elections resulted in a majority candidate, as defined in Article 4 of our bylaws.

The following positions thus require run-off elections between the candidates listed for each:

Benefits Officer:
Zobia Jawed
Maxwell Lightstone
International Officer:Avijit Mallick
Sarah Elshahat

Health and Safety Officer:
Arghyadeep Sarkar
Sudarshan Sharma

Chief Steward, Unit 3:

Kezhuan Gu
Reza Heydarian

The run-off elections for these positions will be open from Monday, June 15th at 12pm until Tuesday, June 16th at 12pm. The process will be identical to our previous election. You will receive an email from Helios Voting prior to the election with your voting credentials. Please double check your spam folders for your credentials, as some emails have wound up there for members.

Statements of candidacy from each of the remaining nominees can be found here.