Updates from Your Union

Brad WalchukUncategorized

McMaster Fun & Comfy Zone

Huge thanks to Crystle, Afrooz, Raghd Elgamal, PG & the other anonymous participant for the amazing photo submissions this week to the McMaster “Fun & Comfy Zone” for the July theme “Walk around the World”! We are excited to see your photos and know about the interesting thing you come across during your walk! Submit here and inspire us for a chance to win 1 of SIX PRIZES available for the winners this month!

Join the McMaster “Fun & Comfy Zone” on Facebook & Instagram! You can watch our demo here for more info. Questions? Contact your International Officer Sarah.

National Summit on Islamophobia

On July 22, the Government of Canada held a virtual National Summit on Islamophobia. Important steps have been taken, yet they don’t go far enough to fully counter Islamophobia. We urge the federal and provincial governments to consider more attentively the recommendations made by numerous organizations in defense of the Muslim community, such as the recommendations from the National Council of Canadian Muslims, whose calls we shared in a previous email.

The CUPE 3906 Executive has also published a statement against Islamophobia where we call upon the government, our members and everyone to do their part in fighting Islamophobia. The statement can be read in its entirety here: https://cupe3906.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/501/2021/07/CUPE-3906-islamophobia-letter-June-2021.pdf

Inspiring International Student of the Year Award

Are you a McMaster international student? Then you’re welcome to apply to the “Inspiring International Student of the Year Award” Program that has just been launched and supported by CUPE 3906! Two awards are available, each worth $300. You can find more about the award and the application by clicking here. Applications open on July 29th and close on August 31st, 2021 (6pm EST). Submit your application here.

Questions? Contact the International Officer Sarah.

Our Congress on Academia, Justice and the Workplace is coming soon!

CUPE 3906 has partnered with the Coalition of Student Employee Unions (CSEU) to host their annual congress from August 12th till 15th.

This year’s conference will be particularly special as we crawl out of a global pandemic which has perpetuated, exacerbated, and amplified numerous fatal flaws in our institutional and social arrangements. Want to speak about BIPOC worker exploitation? Unjust labour practices? The rampant ableism which undergirds our institutions? This is the space. We have extended our proposal deadline to accommodate a wide range of views. Let’s talk!

This is a popular event that congregates unions from all over North America and beyond for 3 days of conferences on this year’s theme: academia, justice and the workplace. It is also entirely free, neither attendants nor presenters have to pay anything. You can find out more about the CSEU and the event by heading over to their website: https://www.cseu-csee.org/en/congress/ .

We are also still seeking any and all volunteers who are curious about what goes on behind-the-scenes and want to help organize the conference! Be that by helping with translations, contacting partners, or just making sure things get done, we’d love to have your help.

If this interests you, or if you simply want to learn more, please email us at: organizingchair@cupe3906.org  !

Members’ Labour Art Showcase

Are you a talented member who is sick and tired of the employer’s attacks during a pandemic and want to share your artistic protest with the world? Then submit your artwork to CUPE 3906 Members’ Labour Art Showcase!

We are looking for art that can be a good criticism of the employer’s practices or that can be supportive of the labour movement in general. You can express yourself through poems, photographs, paintings, cartoons, songs, objects, video art, performances, … you name it!

For this week, we have a blast from the past in the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre buttons collection, a beautiful pride button from our Hamilton and District Labour Council. How would you update it for our times and for our CUPE 3906 local, in recognition of Pride Season?

We also have a time-sensitive request this time around: Our Sessional Faculty is headed for bargaining their Collective Agreement next month. We have received from the membership 6 priorities: Respect, Equity, and Inclusion; Compensation; Job Security; Health and Wellbeing; Workload; Professional Supports and Paid Training. Can you think of an artwork to better explain these demands?

Please send an email to vicepresident@cupe3906.org if you’re interested in participating or have any questions.

Prizes are available! Besides being shared in our communications and having their art print in shirts, buttons, posters or other media, the five best submissions will receive a $25 gift card. Submit your artwork now!

Announcing vacant positions

We have currently 2 vacant positions open to all our members. Both positions come with a honorarium, set in our annual budget. The first one is in the Bylaws Committee, which is the committee charged with overseeing, changing, and updating the Local’s Bylaws. Please contact our Bylaws Committee Chair, Maxwell Lightstone, if you’d like to participate!

The second position is as Co-Chair of the Organizing Committee. It is with a heavy heart that we see our brilliant Co-Chair, Rachel Yeo, go at the end of this month. We’d like to express our deep gratitude for all the amazing work that she has done – and continues to do – for the Local. If you’re interested in mobilizing our members and planning actions in support of our Union and Labour Movement, please send an email to our other excellent Organizing Committee Co-Chair, Wouter van den Berg, for details on how to join.

HDLC Elect Change

Hamilton District Labour Council has just launched a campaign called “Elect Change”. The goal of the campaign is to connect progressive people in Hamilton to help candidates in the upcoming municipal, provincial, and federal elections over the next couple of years. We are helping people connect to candidates who are committed to ending poverty, fighting systemic racism and oppression in our society, and who will create good, full time, living wage jobs. We think this campaign is a great chance for CUPE 3906 members to fight for social justice by joining election campaigns which will fight for our city’s most vulnerable.  Sign up link is here https://www.hamiltonlabour.ca/electchange

New CUPE 3906 Face Masks Are In

Newer, better CUPE 3906 face masks have arrived! These ones have adjustable ear loops and a metal nose insert to help keep your glasses from fogging up. Supplies are somewhat limited, so if you’d like to receive one from the union, please fill out the request form here.

Benefits: Did you know?

Did you know? We have a Gender Affirmation Fund! In recognition of Pride Season, we’d like to remind our members that our Gender Affirmation Fund is open to all our Unit 1 (TAs and Ras in-lieu) members who identify as Two Spirit, trans, or nonbinary. This fund provides a total of $10,000 per year to help offset the costs involved with various elements of affirming one’s gender – including everyday, medical, administrative, legal, and other expenses. Head over to https://cupe3906.org/tas-unit-1/gender-affirmation-fund/ to find more about it!

Protest songs from around the world

Have a protest song you’d like to share? Send it to vicepresident@cupe3906.org 

This week’s protest song comes with a twist. It is a story that crosses boundaries, of a poor worker in Detroit who became a legend in South Africa, fueling the youth’s discontent with the apartheid regime and showing them a way to voice their criticisms through the honesty of his melodies, lyrics and sentiments. What is particularly surprising in this story is that this happened without him having any idea of it, for decades nobody even knew his full name, even though he was in the 70’s a star on par with Elvis Presley or the Rolling Stones.

His story is told in the documentary Searching for Sugar Man, Sixto Diaz Rodriguez kept on working all his life to pay the bills and eventually gave up on his music career. This should go to show us that true talent might be just around the corner awaiting to be discovered, and that small acts from us, when made from our hearts, can have a large impact, even if it takes time for them to reach their full potential (or at least for us to find it out…). We are starting a Members’ Labour Art Showcase and encourage all of our membership for submissions, this an excellent opportunity to share your art and inspire your fellow workers. We want to keep our membership motivated in joining our fight for a better world and you are a crucial part of making this happen. We don’t just want bread, we want roses too, and we need your art to support our long walk towards justice.

Stay safe and take care, everyone.

In solidarity,

The CUPE 3906 Executive Committee