Here are a few useful updates and reminders from your Union:
i. Congratulations – you’re done!
Congratulations!! You’ve reached the end of the semester and the end of your fall term TAship. While you will be getting one additional pay cheque (December 29th), your work obligations are over as of Saturday December 23rd, regardless of whether you have any hours remaining from the Hours of Work form.
This means that you are officially on vacation and cannot be compelled to perform TA work or other employment tasks for McMaster. Article 20.03 of the Collective Agreement states that: “All hours of work assigned to the TA for the fall term, including those allocated for marking exams and associated duties, shall be completed as assigned but no later than the close of business on December 24.”
It goes on, however, to recognize one exception as follows: “If a TA is requested to perform duties after December 24th, additional hours may be assigned and completed over the period up to and including December 31st. For each such hour worked, a stipend of half the regular hourly wage rate will be paid on the second regular pay date in January.”
This means that if you are asked to perform work stemming from the fall term after December 24th – regardless of what is left on your Hours of Work form – and you agree to perform that work you are paid additionally over and above what was on your contract. If you have concerns about working past December 24th, please do not hesitate to contact email@example.com
ii. End of Term means end of work
Once the term ends, you no longer need to perform any TA/RA work. Your collective agreement states the following: “Employees will not be required to grade deferred term work or deferred exams submitted after the end of the academic term in which an employee holds an assignment. It is understood that such work is the responsibility of the course instructor. However, if an employee agrees to grade deferred term work or deferred exams submitted after the end of the academic term in which an employee holds an assignment, the employee will be paid at the rate specified in Schedule “A,” based on the employee’s status at the time of grading.” (here)
iii. Winter office closure/re-opening
The CUPE 3906 Office in KTH B111 will be closed over the winter break, starting Wednesday, December 20th at 12:00 pm. The executive and staff will be out of office and responses to emails will be delayed. The office will re-open January 8th, 2024.
We hope you have a safe and restful holiday, thank you all for the solidarity in 2023, see you in the new year!
iv. All-Unions Social – December 20th, 7 pm – 12 am
Join us with friends from other unions on campus – including SEIU Local 2, UNIFOR 5555, IOUE Local 772, and McMaster University Academic Librarians’ Association (MUALA) – for an All-Unions karaoke social, Wednesday December 20th from 7 pm. We’ll be meeting at Backstreet Bar and Grill, 94 Macnab St N. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join the CUPE 3906 contingent and celebrate the end of term!
v. Dental Coverage Through August 31st
If you have dental coverage through CUPE, it will continue through until August 31st, 2024, even if your TA position has come to an end and you do not have work in the winter semester. More information about the dental plan is available here: https://cupe3906.org/tas-unit-1/dental-plan/
The same is true about your Health Care Spending Account (HCSA). You can make a claim until August 31st, 2024 so long as you have worked for at least one semester in the 2023-24 academic year: https://cupe3906.org/tas-unit-1/unit-1-benefits/
vi. International Student of the Year Award Program (2023-2024)
Are you a McMaster international student? Then you’re welcome to apply to the “International Student of the Year Award” Program for the year (2023-2024) supported by CUPE 3906! More information about the award and the application can be found here. Two awards are available, each worth $300. Apply here by January 31st, 2024.
Questions? Contact the International Officer at email@example.com
vii. Tenant Solidarity Working Group (TWSG) – organizing at 10 Bay St N
At our November GMM, we ratified our newest working group, the Tenant Solidarity Working Group (TWSG). Since that date, members have been hard at work drawing attention to the living conditions at the 10 Bay Graduate Residence. This struggle is important, for one, because the vast majority of the 168 tenants at 10 Bay are our members, and secondly, because employers like McMaster have made the move to provide housing to our members and their failure to deliver upon dignified and honest housing standards will invariably affect our members.
Tenants have been busy organizing to draw media attention to water contamination; bug infestations; unexpected unit entry; privacy and secure concerns; electrical outages; and more. Tenants have already secured an additional 25% rent reduction for November and December due to their collective pressure, following a 50% reduction in September and 25% reduction in October. All that is to say – collective organizing gets the good. Check out coverage in CBC Hamilton (here, and here); Global News (here), and front page of the Hamilton Spectator (here). To get involved/support, the TSWG can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow their Instagram @10BayTenants.
CUPE 3906 Executive