Here are a few useful updates and reminders from your Union relevant to the end of the term. Specifically, this mailer concerns the following:
- Final Payment
- Large Class Supplement
- Post-Contract work
- Employment Insurance
- Professional Development
- Health Spending Account
- First Consideration Appointments
- Teaching and Learning Month Opportunities
The final pay of the winter semester arrived in your account on Friday April 21st and covers the period from April 2nd to April 15th. As of April 21st, your contract was officially over.
Large Class Supplement
Some sessionals have yet to be 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 us immediately. If the payment is not processed soon, it could adversely impact EI entitlement, so please follow-up with your us or your department administrator this week and let us know if there are any issues.
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 $68.72/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, please let us know.
Once your marks have been submitted (the main list, this does not need to include any deferred exams or extensions based on accommodations), your contract is over, and this triggers the beginning of the post-contract period.
The final pay was April 21st. This final pay triggered 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 15th. We would encourage all Sessionals who may utilize Employment Insurance at any point in 2023 to apply as soon as possible, even if you are employed during the spring term.
The first pay in the spring term, for those of you who are employed, will be on May 19th and the first day of work will be April 30th. This means you might be able to collect EI from April 16th to April 29th 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 should be able to collect EI as of April 16th. If you have not served a withholding period, you will need to serve a one week over period before you collect EI.
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 at some point this week or early next week, but please apply to EI as soon as you can if you plan to utilize EI in the spring or summer.
For those of you who are curious, applications made to the Professional Development Fund this semester were adjudicated earlier this month and we will provide you with an update on your outcome as soon as we can. Cheques will be cut as soon as possible and should arrive shortly.
If you’ve missed the previous winter semester’s deadline, no worries. We have one final deadline for Unit 2 Professional Development Fund applications for this academic year – August 4th, 2023. All applications for the 2022-23 academic year MUST be submitted in advance of August 4th.
Health Spending Account
Finally, a quick reminder that your Health Care Spending Account entitlement was recently increased to $500 per academic year. The fund covers the cost of various health care related expenses (as approved by Revenue Canada) and provides a tax-free reimbursement to you. More information is available here: https://cupe3906.org/sessionals-unit-2/unit-2-benefits/
There is no cost or fee to you. The fund is secured through collective bargaining and made available to members to use as needed.
First Consideration Appointments
One major question we get related to seniority relates to job security. Sessionals have job security in the form of First Consideration Appointments. These function in the same way as a right of first refusal. First Consideration Appointments are a form of job security that occurs when you are appointed to a course without having to apply to it through a competitive application process.
You become eligible for a Standard First Consideration Appointment when you have taught the course for two consecutive appointments after applying to teach it in two open competitions. With First Consideration, you are entitled to be appointed to that course, without it being posted or you needing to apply for it, the next three times that it is offered to Sessional Faculty.
Members who have completed a Standard First Consideration Appointment are then eligible for an Enhanced First Consideration Appointment. When the course is posted again and you are hired in an open competition, you are then entitled to be appointed to that course, without needing to apply for it, the next four times that the course is offered to Sessionals.
Once you have secured a Standard or Enhanced First Consideration, the department can extend your appointment and continue to appoint you directly.
Teaching and Learning Month Opportunities
May is Teaching and Learning month at McMaster, and many useful courses are being offered. Many of these courses are included in our Training Fund, which provides payment for completion of certain courses ($100 per course, maximum of $300 per year). Please consult the Training Fund link for more information and to access the application form. The fund includes training includes the Learning to Teach Online Course, Intensive Workshops, Teaching & Learning Certificates of Completion Program, and Professor Hippo-on-Campus (Student Mental Health Education Program for Educators and Navigators).
Below are some opportunities being offered by the MacPherson Institute that you may be interested in, though not all are covered by the Training Fund. Many of the events are now listed on the Teaching and Learning Month Zoom Event page, and it is being updated regularly.
EDUCATN 740: Peer-Evaluated Teaching Experience **eligible under Teaching Fund**
This zero-unit graduate course is offered in a small group setting and is designed to enhance teaching effectiveness. During the course (full attendance is mandatory to earn a pass), students design and conduct short lessons and receive verbal, written, and video feedback from the other students who have been learners in the lessons. Using an intensive experiential learning approach, students are provided with information on the theory and practice of teaching adult learners, the selection and writing of useful intended learning outcomes with accompanying lesson plans, techniques for eliciting learner participation, and suggestions for evaluation of learning. Reflection and examination of one’s teaching practices are encouraged.
Format: Virtual and Online
Dates & Times: Students will complete asynchronous work Monday, May 1 to Friday, May 5, as well as select two of the following options:
Wednesday, May 10, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Thursday, May 11, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Wednesday, May 17, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Thursday, May 18, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Wednesday, May 24, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Thursday, May 25, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Wednesday, May 31, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Thursday, June 1, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Wednesday, June 7, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Thursday, June 8, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Wednesday, June 14, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Thursday, June 15, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
EDUCATN 780: Essential Skills in University Teaching **eligible under Teaching Fund**
In this zero-unit graduate course, learners will engage in a self-directed teaching experience in order to apply teaching and learning theory in a real-world context. Critical examination of the colonial origins of the university as it relates to teaching and learning theory and the learning environment is a key component of this course. Learners will develop a teaching application plan, deliver their lesson, and observe a lesson. Learners will reflect on their experience throughout the course and identify further areas for growth and exploration.
Format: Virtual and Online
Dates & Times: This course will largely take place asynchronously with weekly in-person class sessions on the following dates:
Tuesday, May 9, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Tuesday, May 16, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Tuesday, May 23, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Tuesday, May 30, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Tuesday, August 1, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Note: you must be able to identify a teaching opportunity in the term you have registered (e.g., teaching a course, guest lecture, teaching in a volunteer/work setting, etc.) at the beginning of the course. If you have questions about the appropriateness of your teaching opportunity, please email Stephanie Verkoeyen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Conflict at work is inevitable; it’s not a matter of if it will happen, but when. Gain the skills, strategies and best practices to manage workplace conflict in a sensible, equitable manner; strengthening your working relationships.
Date: May 1-2, 2023
Time: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. ET
Course Code: ESS 899
Instructor: Lesley Calvin
How do leaders move beyond words and make the commitment to enable this strategy in their environment, with a goal to improve productivity, equity, and morale? Explore successful practices that support a productive, flexible workplace strategy that benefits both the individual’s growth potential and the organization’s success.
Date: May 4, 2023
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET
Course Code: ESS 913
Instructor: Jennifer Hagen
Remote work is here to stay. The good news is working remotely can be productive, effective, and convenient. To achieve this, we need to be prepared, which means thinking beyond technology. Remote work involves structure, clear goals, and strong communication practices.
Date: May 11, 2023
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET
Course Code: ESS 905
Instructor: Lori Stephenson