Unit 2 End of Term Update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Congratulations on making it to the end of a difficult term. We hope you’ve managed to stay safe and healthy – both physically and emotionally – and that the break will be relaxing and enjoyable. With that being said, we wanted to send a quick end-of-term email to inform you about a few important things.

New Collective Agreement
First, we have received word that the Employer ratified the tentative agreement. This means that the new agreement is now in place. A full copy of this agreement – in which each of the changes has been highlighted – can be viewed here.

Effective at the start of the winter term, the base-rate of pay for a 3.0 unit course will be $7630.55. You are not likely to see an amended appointment letter reflecting the rate, but the payroll system will increase your rate to this amount automatically. You should be able to double-check this on your pay stubs- please let us know if there are any concerns.

Homewood Health Counselling
Second, this past semester has been tough for all us for a variety of pandemic-related reasons. We wanted to remind you that you have free and confidential access to the Employee Family Assistance Program (through Homewood health). Homewood offers you free and confidential and professional counselling on depression, stress, bereavement, relationships and more, as well as counselling for careers, work-life balance, and health.

Log-in details and information guides on using the new homeweb.ca website are located on McMaster’s Employee and Family Assistance Program webpage here.

Employment Insurance 
Please note that the final pay for this term is December 31st. 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 December 24th.  We would encourage all Sessionals who may utilize Employment Insurance at any point in 2020 to apply after December 31st, even if you are employed during the Winter term.

The first pay in the Winter term, for those of you who are employed, will be on January 15th and the first day of work will be January 6th. This means you should be able to collect EI for a brief period of time prior to January 6th, if you have enough insurable hours. 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.

Post-Contract Work
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 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.
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!).
Professional Development Fund
All applications to the Fall 2020 round of professional development fund have been reviewed and decisions made. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by early next week.
Office Closure
Lastly, please note that the “online office” is now closed and many 3906 email accounts will not be monitored and messages won’t be addressed until the New Year. If, however, you have any emergency emails, please direct them to staff@cupe3906.org and someone will respond accordingly.