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:


2225 Sheppard Ave East, Suite 1400, Atria III.

Toronto, ON. M2J 5C2

For Dental claims, please create a login at 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

For further assistance, please contact

For issues or concerns with your rights under any of our three collective agreements, please email or

For equity-related concerns, please contact

Unit 2 Ratification Details

Brad WalchukUncategorized

This is a reminder that we will be holding an online Special General Membership Meeting (SGMM) tomorrow, November 25, at 1:00 PM EST. The purpose of this meeting is to present the details of the tentative agreement reached by your Unit 2 Bargaining Team and McMaster University.

In order to preserve the security and confidentiality of our SGMM, registration for this meeting will be required. Please note that you must register with your McMaster email address before 1 PM tomorrow. 

To register for this SGMM, click the following link:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing a link to join the meeting tomorrow at 1:00 PM.

***PLEASE NOTE: While we would strongly encourage all Unit 2 members to attend tomorrow’s SGMM, this is NOT a requirement to cast your ballot for or against ratification. Voting on the tentative agreement will be open to ALL Unit 2 members in good standing – not just those who attend the SGMM – and occur online, via Helios Voting. 

By now, all eligible Unit 2 members should have received their ballot and other information required to vote from Helios (to their McMaster email address). This includes a link to the full text of the new agreement, with all changes highlighted so that each voter can cast their ballot based on informed choice. The ballot will remain closed until after tomorrow’s SGMM, around 2:00 PM EST. You will be notified via email once voting has begun. Voting will close at 5:00 PM EST on Thursday, November 26.

If you believe you are eligible to vote but still have yet to receive your ballot, please email us at ASAP. Please also get in touch if you have trouble registering for the SGMM via the link provided above.

Out of respect to Unit 2 members, no details about the Collective Agreement will be released until such time as the tentative agreement may be formally presented to Unit 2 members at the SGMM.

On behalf of the CUPE 3906 Executive and the entire Bargaining Team, we would like to thank members for their support during this difficult round of negotiations.  A deal would not have been possible without your ongoing support.


Your CUPE 3906 Unit 2 Bargaining Team

Unit 2 (Sessionals) Tentative Agreement Reached

Brad WalchukUncategorized

After several days of negotiation in conciliation, your Unit 2 Bargaining Team has reached a tentative agreement with the Employer.

Details of the tentative agreement will be presented at an online Special General Membership Meeting (SGMM), which will be held on Nov 25, 2020 1:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada).

Voting on the tentative agreement will be online and will occur immediately following the SGMM and will continue until  Nov 26, 2020 5:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada).

We will send more details in a separate e-mail to members about how to participate in the SGMM (held via Zoom) and the ratification vote (held via Helios Voting).  Please note that, due to the pandemic health and safety measures, no meeting or voting will be conducted in person.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Please note that, out of respect to Unit 2 members, no details about the Collective Agreement will be released until such time as the tentative agreement may be formally presented to Unit 2 members at the SGMM.

On behalf of the CUPE 3906 executive and the entire Bargaining Team, we would like to thank members for their support during this difficult round of negotiations.  A deal would not have been possible without your ongoing support.


Your CUPE 3906 Unit 2 Bargaining Team

Winter Semester to Begin January 11th

Brad WalchukUncategorized

As you may have heard, the vast majority of university classes in the winter will start one week later, on January 11th instead of January 4th.
We have confirmed that, on an employment level, there are no changes to contract start and end dates or pay periods, nor should there be an expectation of an additional workload.
The start/end dates and pay periods are especially important for folks who may be collecting EI.

Sessional Faculty: It’s Conciliation Day!

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Our Unit 2 Bargaining Team is meeting with the Employer today for ongoing negotiations with the McMaster University Administration. These negotiations are part of a process called conciliation, which precedes a strike or lockout and is assisted by a government-appointed Conciliation Officer.

There are a few outstanding issues at the table.  First and foremost is the Employer’s position on proration—that is, the Employer’s ability to determine, arbitrarily and unilaterally, the amount of work involved in teaching a course (and, by implication, the amount of stipend a member should be paid for teaching).  The Union is absolutely opposed to this position.

The Bargaining Team will provide an update for members following our Conciliation Session today (November 16th).  Please check your emails for updates, and follow us on social media (@cupe3906 and @cupe_3906).

To support your Bargaining Team and to join our strike committee, please contact Sylvia at mobilizer@cupe3906.orgYou can also attend tomorrow’s strike committee meeting, happening via Zoom at 1pm EST. Click here to join the meeting. We hope to see you there!

CUPE 3906 Executive Committee Statement on Doug Ford’s Anti-Democratic Bill-168

Brad WalchukUncategorized

CUPE 3906 Executive Committee Opposes the Ford’s Anti-Democratic Bill-168, Which Silences Palestinians and Threatens Academic Freedom

The CUPE 3906 Executive Committee stands firm against the Ford government’s recent adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism (IHRA-WDA), through an Order-In-Council, circumventing a third hearing and public debate on the associated Bill 168. The IHRA-WDA is the product of a growing movement that seeks to redefine antisemitism to include criticism of the Israeli state. We, the executives, believe that this definition poses a serious threat to critical research and scholarship in Ontario.

Recently, the Trump Administration has begun considering labelling several human rights organizations, (including Amnesty International, Oxfam, and Human Rights Watch), as “antisemitic,” and two Ontario universities have been the site of false and destructive charges of antisemitism against respected international human rights scholars. These attacks are deeply troubling for us as scholars and teachers. The IHRA-WDA is a direct attack on academic freedom, endangering our ability to engage in scholarship and teaching that explore facts and perspectives that are critical of a foreign state. It can place Ontarian academics at great risk of being falsely accused of being antisemitic, which could result in intimidation, censorship, job precarity, and costly litigation.

The conflation of antisemitism with critique of Israel is dramatically out of step with the views of most Canadians, including the executives at CUPE 3906. No Ontario university has adopted the IHRA-WDA. According to a poll released earlier this month, 80% of Canadians do not believe that criticisms of Israel are antisemitic. The Ford government has shown that it is willing to back down on reactionary decisions when it is met with robust public opposition. Strong intervention in defence of academic freedom and the necessary autonomy of university governance can prevent this neo-McCarthyist definition from being used to silence Palestinian rights defenders.

Outlawing and censoring critique of a foreign state in university research and teaching is governmental overreach. Modern universities have been defined and governed as autonomous institutions of learning for a reason. Expectations of institutional autonomy and collegial governance, like that of academic freedom, protect universities from governments or private interests wishing to set limits on what can be researched and what can be taught. Human rights research is as vulnerable to such intrusion as research in pharmaceuticals, energy, white collar crime, foreign relations, or any other potentially contentious research subject.

In solidarity,

The CUPE 3906 Executive Committee

General Membership Meeting- November 18 at 12 p.m.

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Click HERE to register in advance for our upcoming GMM, happening Wednesday, November 18 at 12 PM!

CUPE 3906’s next General Membership Meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 18, from 12 PM to 2 PM. Any members wishing to present pre-written motions should provide theirs via email to by Tuesday, November 17.

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 confirm 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 We hope to see you all there!

Payment for Postdocs during Quarantine Period

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We have confirmed that McMaster will be compensating incoming international postdocs during their mandatory quarantine period. Depending on when the individual arrives in Canada, the quarantine period may happen prior to the actual appointment start date or overlap with the appointment start date. In any case, folks will be paid their full weekly salary for each week during the mandatory quarantine period. In cases where the mandatory quarantine period falls within the start date of the appointment, the employee may be required to work, subject to them being able to complete the work remotely, during the quarantine period.

Unit 2 Conciliation TODAY!

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We’re back at the conciliation table on Monday and hoping to secure a fair collective agreement. Sessionals make vital contributions to McMaster and deserve a collective agreement that reflects this. Let’s go!!!



Unit 2 Conciliation Update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The CUPE 3906 Unit 2 Bargaining Team met in conciliation with the Employer on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 and Wednesday, October 21, 2020.  “Conciliation” refers to contract negotiations that are assisted by a government-appointed Conciliation Officer, who tries to help the parties reach agreement before they can initiate a strike or lockout deadline.

The implications of the Conservative Party’s Bill 124 continued to make negotiations difficult and frustrating for both parties.  The legislation limits compensation to 1% per year over the first 3 years of a contract.

Aside from the implications of Bill 124, the Employer refused to cede ground on job security, training, and the proration of 3-unit positions.

Both parties are returning to the table in the near future to continue negotiations.  The Bargaining team would like to thank members again for the strong show of support through the 81% strike mandate.

Unit 2 Dental Deductions Scheduled for OCTOBER 23rd pay

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The single dental premium deduction for Sessional Faculty is scheduled for the October 23rd, 2020 pay.  The deduction is $170, and it covers 12 months of single dental coverage.  More details about the coverage (including how to submit a claim) are available here:
The deduction will appear clearly as a “CUPE Dental” deduction on your pay statement.  Please note that if you successfully opted out with appropriate proof of coverage by the October 2nd deadline, you should not see this deduction on this pay statement.
Please note that the dental enrollment process takes a bit of time. If you are going to the dentist, or have gone to the dentist as of September 1, 2020, and wish to submit a claim, you may encounter delays.  If you are in this situation, please contact us at for further instructions and assistance.