For details about how the local is operating, please click here. Please note that the physical office remains closed, but our staff and executive members are easily accessible online.
If the campus was located in a high priority area (or hot zone) of Hamilton, the rules have been changing to potentially include individuals who work in a high priority community. Members can check the websites, both provincial (https://covid-19.ontario.ca/ontarios-covid-19-vaccination-plan#hot-spot-communities) and region (https://www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines), to see if they are eligible.
A message from our friends at the Ontario Federation of Labour:
The Ford government’s Bill 124 is continuing to take its toll on our frontline workers by freezing wages and stopping any chance at good-faith negotiations.
Twenty-four nurses in Sarnia have been forced to take strike action this week after contract negotiations with VON Canada broke down. Two years after their previous contract expired and over one year into this pandemic, nurses are still fighting to get the wage increases and overtime pay they deserve.
The right to fairly and freely negotiate with their employer is a Charter right of every worker in Ontario – but because of the Ford Conservatives and Bill 124, frontline healthcare workers who sacrifice so much to save lives have had their right to collective bargaining stripped away from them.
This isn’t right. Frontline workers deserve fair compensation. Bill 124 needs to be reversed immediately so that workers can negotiate for fair wages. Help us get the word out by liking and sharing our post on social media demanding better.
Frontline workers across the province and across the country have already given so much just so they can get a fair contract at work. They’re already defending us from this deadly virus – they shouldn’t have to fight another battle on top of that.
The public understands the vital role that public sector workers play in our society. Our leaders should be paying them fairly for their service, not introducing draconian measures that trample on their rights.
Frontline workers deserve better. Join us and spread the word on social media. With enough pressure, we can force the Ford Conservatives to do the right thing and scrap Bill 124 for good.
The Ontario Federation of Labour
McMaster University and CUPE have reached an agreement with respect to Teaching Assistants residing outside of Ontario and other employees normally represented by the CUPE 3906, Unit 1 collective agreement with McMaster.
The Collective Agreement recognizes CUPE as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for all part-time employees, including professional engineers, in Ontario, employed as teaching assistants, demonstrators, tutors and super tutors, markers, and research assistants who receive a research assistantship in lieu of a teaching assistantship, save and except those persons employed in a managerial capacity or in a confidential capacity with regard to labour relations.
In September 2020 CUPE filed a policy grievance alleging that the University violated the Collective Agreement by refusing to recognize Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants (in lieu of Teaching Assistants) working outside the Province of Ontario as the Union’s bargaining unit members.
Beginning in the Spring/Summer 2021 terms, employees who have received approval to work remotely in Canada but outside of Ontario as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic will be recognized as members of CUPE 3906 Unit 1, and will be subject to the Unit 1 collective agreement.
This agreement recognizes the special circumstances and the prolonged nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also reflects the University’s ongoing Return to Campus planning and the potential to increase on-campus classes and student experiences in the Fall, depending on public health requirements. This agreement will be in place until April 30, 2022, at which time the parties are hopeful that any remaining pandemic related circumstances will be significantly reduced and mostly behind us.
In solidarity with Professor Azarova and in support of CAUT’s imposing censure on the University of Toronto, any requests for funds or reimbursements for speaking engagements, activities, or conference participation for any events at or affiliated with the University of Toronto are no longer eligible expenses for reimbursement under CUPE Local 3906’s Professional Development Funds for both Sessional Faculty and Post Doctoral Fellows. This policy will remain in place until CAUT’s call for censure has been resolved to their satisfaction.
Further, we strongly encourage members of all three of our bargaining units to respect the call for censure and refrain from attending or participating in events being held at the U of T.
CUPE 3906 Benefits Committee
A PDF of the letter can be found here: CUPE 3906 UofT censure letter 2021
Please note that the final pay for this past term was April 23rd. 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 April 16th. We would encourage all Sessionals who may utilize Employment Insurance at any point in 2021 to apply immediately, even if you are employed during the coming Spring term.
The first pay in the Spring term, for those of you who are employed, will be on May 21st and the first day of work will be May 2nd. This means you should be able to collect EI for a brief period of time prior to May 2nd, if you have enough insurable hours. If you are not working this Spring, you should be able to collect starting now and throughout most of the summer.
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.
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 exams 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!).
On April 28 at 11 a.m., the Hamilton and District Labor Council will be replicating its traditional Day of Mourning ceremony from City Hall on Zoom. The HDLC will also continue its practice of having roses available for those individuals who wish to lay one at the monument in memory of a loved one.
On April 28, we will remember those comrades we’ve lost due to workplace injuries and illnesses, not just this past year, but also throughout our personal workplace histories.
We will continue to share music as a tool of contemplation and reflection.
We will hear from some labour leaders about the impact the pandemic has had on their sector and how we can safely transition back to “normal” working conditions.
And we will hear from coalition partners around the city who work with injured workers on a daily basis, even under trying times.
Mourn for the Dead, Fight like Hell for the Living!
Each year on April 28, the labour movement commemorates a Day of Mourning, in memory of all of those workers who have been killed or injured on the job. This year, the Day of Mourning is particularly somber, as we remember thousands of workers across the country who have died of Covid-19, many of whom contracted the deadly virus in their workplaces. When people don’t have access to paid sick leave, they are far more likely to have to go to work, either because they can’t afford the lost time, or because they can’t risk being disciplined or terminated for missing work. In 2018, workers won a small number of paid sick days for all, but one of the Ford Government’s first acts in power was to take those away. Ontario currently only guarantees workers three days of job-protected leave for personal illness, none of which are paid.
This Wednesday at 10:00am, we are encouraging all of our members to take a ten minute break from their work to take action for paid sick leave for all, including the following:
- Observe a moment of silence;
- Wear black;
- Use this form on the CUPE Ontario website to send a message to Doug Ford and your local MPP;
- Use the Decent Work and Health Network’s form to send a message as well;
- Download the poster and send a picture of yourself with it to 1-866-821-7273. Share it on social media with the hashtags #PaidSickDays and #10for10, and make sure to tag us as well;
- Find more graphics and infographics from #10for10 and the Decent Work and Health Network here, and share them on social media;
- Sign up here to participate in future actions with your co-workers in support of paid sick days for all.
Thank you for your participation & patience with our election this week!
We are pleased to announce the following results:
- Vice President: Fernando Lennertz
- International Officer: Sarah Elshahat
- 1-year Trustee: Shekhar Rammohan Singh Tandel
- Chief Steward Unit 1: Brock Bodo
They join the following people, who were elected at the meeting.
President: Sharoni Mitra (re-elected)
Vice President External: Shirleen Datt (re-elected)
Treasurer: Chris Fairweather (re-elected)
Recording Secretary: Rohit Gupta (re-elected)
Chief Steward Unit 2: Carolyn Capretta
Chief Steward Unit 3: Kezhuan Gu (re-elected)
Benefits and Advocacy Officer: Kyle Morrison (re-elected)
Equity Officer: Laurie Sherry-Kirk (re-elected)
Health and Safety Officer: Arghyadeep Sarkar (re-elected)
Undergraduate Officer: Vacant, please contact email@example.com if you are an interested undergrad TA
Trustee (3 year year term, exp. 2024): Wouter van den Berg
Trustee (2 year year term, exp. 2023): Maxwell Lightstone
The Political Action Committee (Co-Chairs) remain Leah McGrath Reynolds and Brock Bedo. These positions are determined by consensus at PAC meetings throughout the year.
Professional Development Fund (PDF) Deadline Extension
The deadline for Unit 2 Professional Development Fund applications was previously April 7th; however, in light of current circumstances, our Benefits Officer has extended this deadline to 5:00 PM on April 17th. We hope that this added flexibility can provide our members with some relief in these difficult times. The application form can be found here. Please note that electronic submissions are now preferred and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org in a single document. Any questions should also be sent to email@example.com.
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 or CERB, 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 has been paid on April 24th. If the payment is not processed by the end of this week, it will not make the April 24th pay and will come at a later date. This could adversely impact EI and CERB entitlement, so please follow-up with you administrator this week and let us know if there are any issues.