GMM postponed (Feb 12)

Brad WalchukUncategorized

With the university closing due to inclement weather conditions on Tuesday Feb 12 (our scheduled GMM), we will be re-booking a General Membership Meeting at some point after Reading Week. An updated date, time, and location will be sent out as soon as we have confirmed. This meeting will feature the election of a Vice President, a Recording Secretary, and a Unit 1 Chief Steward.

Another study highly critical of Student Evaluations of Teaching

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We’ve been saying this for a while, an arbitrator made this very clear last year, yet another study supports the claim- we hope that university employers will finally get the message: student evaluations of teaching are highly problematic for the purpose of (re)-hiring and tenure/promotion.

“…as this report clearly demonstrates, using student questionnaires to evaluate faculty performance is counterproductive and harmful, and it raises serious equity questions.”


“The report is one of the most exhaustive of its kind in Canada and examines the methodological, research ethics, and human rights implications of student questionnaires. It finds that:

  • Women, racialized, and LGBTQ2S+ faculty, as well as faculty with disabilities, receive lower scores than their white male colleagues. Using SQCTs to determine pay and promotion risks marginalizing these equity seeking groups even further, impacting their career prospects and limiting academic diversity.
  • It is impossible to adjust SQCT scores to account for their bias.
  • Anonymous SQCT comments are regularly used to target faculty members with abusive, harassing, and harmful comments.
  • Students are not adequately informed about how SQCTs are used, or how their information can be shared.
  • Using SQCT scores to evaluate teaching discourages innovation and undermines student learning.”

Read more:

Bargaining Survey Released

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The link to the Unit 1 (TAs/RAs in lieu) and Unit 3 (Postdocs) bargaining survey was sent via e-mail link today. If you are a member and did not receive the link, please contact

Today’s survey launch event in MDCL was cancelled due to the weather, but we’ll be continuing the survey launch tour next week in ETB 230 on Tues at 11:30 and in TSH B129 on Thurs at 11:30


Bargaining Survey Launch Tour- Feb 6th, 12th, and 14th

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Dear TAs/RAs in lieu and Postdocs,

As you’ve likely heard already, your Collective Agreement expires on August 31, 2019 and your elected bargaining teams are preparing to negotiate a new and improved agreement over the summer months. Before they can do that, we need to hear from you!!! Our bargaining proposals are based on the priorities you identify. We’ll be releasing our bargaining survey on Wednesday, February 6th and having Bargaining Survey Launch Tour to support it and reach out to members. We’ll be making three stops around campus and we’re hoping you’ll drop in to one of them for some free pizza and to fill in the survey. The dates and locations are:
Wednesday, February 6th- MDCL 3023- drop in anytime between 11:30 and 2:30
Tuesday, February 12th- ETB 230- drop in anytime between 11:30 and 12:30** 
Thursday, February 14th- TSH B129- drop in anytime between 11:30 and 2:30
**A General Membership Meeitng will occur in ETB 230 from 12:30 to 2:30, so we’ll be on hand between 11:30 and 2:30. This meeting will feature the election of a Vice President, Unit 1 Chief Steward, and Recording Secretary**
In addition to the free pizza, anyone who comes to one of these drop-ins will be given a ballot to win a $100 grocery gift-card for Fortino’s/No Frills. There is one prize for each of the three sessions. The rooms are all in accessible locations, and childcare costs are eligible for reimbursement.
The survey gives you the chance to provide input into the things you’d like to see introduced or improved in the new Collective Agreement. Members of the bargaining teams will be on hand to chat about items you’d like to see reflected in the Collective Agreement. If you can’t attend one of these events, the e-link to the survey will also be sent on February 6th, and the survey will remain open until March 6th.
In solidarity,
Your elected Unit 1 and Unit 3 Bargaining Teams

Let’s Talk about Mental Health Support for CUPE members

Brad WalchukUncategorized

This seems like a good day to remind you that, as a member of CUPE 3906, you have access to McMaster’s Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP). This program is FREE and CONFIDENTIAL, and external from the university. The program offers FREE professional counselling on depression, stress, bereavement, relationships and more, as well as counselling for careers, work-life balance, and health.
More details, for members of all three of our units (TAs/Sessionals/Postdocs) can be found here:

Access to this service was won through collective bargaining, and TAs and Postdocs will be at the bargaining table again this summer looking to make additional gains.

Dental Information for New Unit 2 Members (Sessionals)

Brad WalchukUncategorized

If you are a Sessional Faculty Member teaching for the first this academic year in the Winter 2019 term, this information applies to you.

New Sessional Faculty Members who are beginning their teaching for the 2018-2019 academic year in January, 2019are able to make changes to their CUPE 3906 dental coverage until January 31, 2019.

Please note: change of status (including family coverage enrollment and opt-outs) expires for all members on August 31, 2019.  To maintain your coverage status (or opt-out) next academic year (if you are returning as a Sessional Faculty member), you must complete this change of coverage process again in September.

For more general information on dental coverage or dental change of coverage, please visit or contact

OSAP Gutted- Time to Resist

Brad WalchukUncategorized

A number of student groups are coming together for a rally on Friday, February 1st at Gore Park in Hamilton (corner of James and King). There will be various speakers from 12 to 1, followed by a downtown march from 1 to 1:30.

Why do Ford’s reckless changes matter? How will they adversely impact students?

  • dependency on family income in determining OSAP funding has been extended from 4 to 6 years
  • interest on debt begins accumulating immediately after graduation
  • increase of loan-to-grant ratio: higher loans, lower grants
  • services and student unions face an existential threat by funding restructuring. Valuable services, including student-run newspapers, may be lost as a result
  • OSAP cuts are part of a larger attack on social services

More information about these changes and their impacts can be found in this release by our friends at CFS Ontario.

Increased Entitlement to Postdoc Professional Development Fund

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We’re pleased to announce that your benefits committee has just voted to increase the Unit 3 (Postdoc) Professional Development Fund entitlement from $150 per academic year to $300 per academic year. The fund remains limited to conference participation, professional association fees, and academic books. More information about the fund is available by clicking here. The application deadline is rolling, so you can submit an application whenever you wish. All currently submitted applications have already factored in this increase. While we cannot retroactively add to previously approved submissions, Postdocs will still have $300 per academic year and can use the remainder of this balance to make another submission.
We also wanted to remind you that your benefits committee had previously increased the Health Care Spending Account from $125 per academic year to $250 per academic year (subject to the availability of funds). This account will cover any health-care related expense approved by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and can be used to supplement items/services not fully covered by your SunLife plan, or items that are not covered at all by the Sun Life Plan. More information about this fund, including the application form, are available by clicking here.

Free Credential Training Program for Sessional Faculty

Brad WalchukUncategorized

In our last round of bargaining, we secured access to a free, credentialed training program from McMaster’s MacPherson Institute. This program can help develop your teaching portfolio. Enrollment for courses being offered this upcoming semester is open now and available hereRegistration is required. More information about the process for certification is available here. Many sessionals have already taken advantage of this great opportunity and we hope that many others will.

We’re Hiring- Administrative Coordinator

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We are looking for someone willing to commit to a democratic union culture, work with our diverse membership while working under the direction of, and in close collaboration with, an annually elected Executive Committee in the position of the Administrative Coordinator. This is a temporary position to back-fill a leave of absence.

The Administrative Coordinator will work with the Executive Committee. The primary role will be the
administration and processing of benefits. This includes processing claims, answering member
inquiries, and preparing annual reports on benefits. They will also be responsible for Job Postings
administration, including checking over all postings that come in from the University to ensure they are
in line with the Collective Agreements.

The job posting, which closes on February 1st, is available by clicking Here