Updates from Your Union

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Below are a few useful updates and reminders from your Union. Specifically, this mailer concerns the following:

(1) General Membership Meeting: August 31
(2) Vacant positions
(3) Sessional Faculty is bargaining with the employer!
(4) Reminder: Sign our Petition for a Safe and Equitable Return to Campus!
(5) “Gardening for Wellness” Program
(6) Benefits: Did you know? 

General Membership Meeting: August 31

CUPE 3906’s next General Membership Meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 31, from 12 PM to 2 PM Eastern Time. Any members wishing to present pre-written motions should provide theirs via email to president@cupe3906.org by Tuesday, July 27.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.

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. An election will take place at the next Committee meeting. If you’re interested in running for the position or simply in mobilizing our members in support of our Union’s goals and the Labour Movement in general, please send an email to our Organizing Committee Co-Chair, Wouter van den Berg, and he’ll be happy to assist you.

Sessional Faculty is bargaining with the employer!

The Sessional Faculty Bargaining Team is bargaining with the employer their new Collective Agreement. The membership has identified 6 priorities to be advanced in the new agreement:

  • Respect, Equity, and Inclusion;
  • Compensation;
  • Job Security;
  • Health and Wellbeing;
  • Workload;
  • Professional Support and Training.

We have been asking our Sessional Faculty members to tell us what these priorities mean to them and what impact it has on their work and lives. For this week, we’d like to share with you this quote from our Member, Emily Cowall, on why it matters that Sessionals have access to Professional Supports and Paid Training:

You can keep yourself up to date with our bargaining by visiting our bettermac.ca website. Now more than ever Sessionals need our support. If you can, help us share their messages and come to the Bargaining Support Committee meetings for us to prepare a strong campaign and get our message across to management. It’s time for a #BetterMac.

Reminder: Sign our Petition for a Safe and Equitable Return to Campus!

You might have seen the email from McMaster alerting us that a person who tested positive for COVID-19 had been on campus previously and that the university is taking measures to address the health risks posed by this case. Cases like these are why our local is continuing to advocate for a safe return to campus and why it is frustrating that McMaster has refused to adopt all of our return to campus priorities. If they truly want to stop the risk of outbreaks from happening in the future we need smaller class sizes, we need social distancing measures in small classrooms, we need a clear procedure for what to do if a student refuses to wear a mask. 

If you haven’t done it yet, please take a minute to sign our petition for a safe and fair return to campus for all TAshttps://www.change.org/p/mcmaster-university-cupe-3906-unit-1-return-to-campus-priorities

Your support is needed if we are to guarantee a safe return to campus that can also respect us and the vital work we do for the university to be able to carry out its mission. It’s time for the university to finally start paying attention to our needs too, all of us workers deserve safe and fair working conditions!

In line with our demands, please let us know if you are being pressured into working offline. It is our position that all workers and students must have a choice on whether to return to in person learning or not. The safety of our members is not negotiable.

“Gardening for Wellness” Program

All students are welcome to apply to the “Gardening for Wellness” Program launched by the GSA and CUPE 3906 in partnership with Hamilton Victory Gardens! Apply and go to spend enjoyable time full of various exciting gardening activities, while socializing with other participants! Students experiencing food insecurity may discuss with the coordinator about bringing home seasonal produce. More info. in the application form here.

Questions? Contact your International Officer, Sarah.

Benefits: Did you know?

Did you know? You can submit medical expenses to the Health Care Spending Account! You can be reimbursed by $300 per academic year (Sept 1st-Aug 31st) for any medical (health and dental) expenses considered eligible by the Canada Revenue Agency for tax purposes.

Any Unit 3 (Postdocs) Member can apply while employed as a Unit 3 Member at McMaster. To file a claim, fill out a claim form available at https://cupe3906.org/postdocs-unit-3/post-doc-health-spending-account/ Email the completed, signed form with a scan of your receipts (and other supporting documentation where required) to claims@prosure-group.com.

You can claim expense(s) for a spouse and/or dependent(s) from this account. These expenses count towards your individual $300 annual cap.

More information can be found at: https://cupe3906.org/postdocs-unit-3/post-doc-health-spending-account/

Stay safe and take care, everyone.

In solidarity,

The CUPE 3906 Executive Committee