Membership Updates – June 2024

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Free First Aid Training

We would like to remind you that Free First Aid Training is a benefit guaranteed under your Collective Agreement and available to all CUPE 3906 members. This is a Standard Red Cross certificate course offered on a number of dates this spring through Athletics and Recreation (
Further information is available here ( You will need to attend both days in order to receive the certificate.

The sessions are being held on campus. If you have questions about the specifics of the material being offered, please contact Athletics and Recreation at ext. 24464. They are the ones who are offering and teaching the class. If you are a TA/RA in lieu and working in a different department/program other than the one that you are registered in as a student, registration should be done through the department in which you are employed. Normally, the Administrator from the department that employs you will need to register you as they must provide the departmental code so the cost can be billed accordingly. Sessionals and Postdocs, please go through the department where you are employed. This charge cannot be passed on to you. There are occasionally issues with registration, so please let us know if there are issues with your registration.

Please note, this is not a course offered by CUPE – we only secure access under your collective agreement and we do not handle the registration.

HCSA Reminder

CUPE 3906 members have access to a Health Care Spending Account. The specific amount varies from unit to unit and is secured through collective bargaining. This account covers items approved by Revenue Canada and can be used to cover items not covered or not fully covered by another benefits plan. Access for Sessionals and Postdocs is per academic year (which ends on August 31, 2023), so making use of the fund over the summer will maximize your entitlement. For information about TA eligibility, please click the “Unit 1” link.)

Dental Insurance Coverage Period

Please note that your dental coverage runs per academic year. If you have worked at any point during the 2022-23 academic year, you have until August 31, 2023 to make a claim. Members who continue to work in the fall semester will have continued access, but if you are not expecting to work at McMaster in 2023-24, you may want to make a dental claim before the end of the summer.

(Please note that the amount you can claim renews according to the calendar year, but your access to any funds is governed by your employment as a CUPE 3906 member in any given academic year/eligibility period.  In other words, you can only access the yearly reimbursement funds if you are currently eligible in the current academic year.)

Gender Affirmation Fund: Update and Committee

Through collective bargaining, Unit 1 members (TAs and RAs in lieu) have access to a Gender Affirmation Fund Postdocs will have access to a similar fund following the collective agreement ratification process.
We are seeking trans and non-binary members to participate in a committee that will review the fund in Unit 1 and help to establish the parameters for the fund in Unit 3. We are particularly interested in hearing from TAs/RAs who have made use of the existing gender affirmation fund. Please contact or reply to this email if you are interested in advising on the fund in Unit 3.

Call for Unit 2 stewards!

Stewards hold one of the most important positions in our Union. They are our eyes and ears in every department and are vital to inform both their departments and the rest of the Union about what is going on. We are constantly looking for more motivated people to fulfill this role and build a strong network of sessional stewards across departments. Unit 2 members that have taught the past, current, and upcoming terms are eligible.

If you want to do this crucial service to your fellow workers, please get in contact with Unit 2 Lead Steward Carolyn Capretta at There is also a small honorarium per term set out in our budget in recognition of the valuable work our Stewards do.

Join a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC)

Interested in Health and Safety for your workplace? Join a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC)! Email if interested.