CUPE 3906 OFFICE Information MARCH 2023

Mary Ellen CampbellUncategorized

Please note that we have returned to our on-campus location at Kenneth Taylor Hall B111. Our office hours are 10am to 4pm, Monday to Thursday. You can also reach us via email.

Until further advised, masks will be mandatory for those visiting the office.

Members who are not comfortable or who cannot safely visit the office are encouraged to continue to contact the union over email. We will continue to meet with members virtually as necessary. If you need to connect with us virtually to submit benefits claims, file a grievance, or any other union business, instructions for doing so can be found here.

Thank you!

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.


Brad WalchukUncategorized

As the semester wraps up, we’ve noticed that there are a few remaining strike cheques that have not been picked up. If you have picked up your cheque but have not cashed it, please do so as soon as possible as they will soon become void and a new cheque will need to be issued.
Strike cheques must be collected in person at KTH B111 by Thursday, May 18th at 8pm.
The KTH Office will be open for remaining pick ups from Monday-Thursday, 12-4pm for the next two weeks. There will be one extended last day, Thursday May 18th from 12pm-8pm. They must be signed for and can’t be picked up by someone else. Please have photo ID with you. The office is in KTH B111, take the elevator to the basement, turn right and follow the pink signs to the CUPE office.
****Please note, the strike office on King Street has been closed***
If you have picked up your cheque but have not yet cashed it, please do so ASAP
If you have additional questions, please reach out to

Dental Opt-Out and Family Enrollment Deadline for Incoming Spring/Summer Sessional Faculty Members

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The Deadline for submitting CUPE 3906 Unit 2 (Sessional Faculty) Dental Coverage opt-outs and family dental enrollments is May 26, 2023.
Please note that only Sessional Faculty who have not worked as CUPE 3906 Unit 2 Members thus far in the current academic year (Sept 1, 2022-Aug 31, 2023) may opt-out of dental coverage or enroll in family dental coverage at this time.
CUPE 3906 Unit 2 members are automatically enrolled in our Single Dental Coverage, and may opt-out of dental coverage with adequate proof of alternate coverage, or opt-in to family dental coverage at the start of your first Unit 2 contract within any given academic year.  You must complete these forms every academic year to maintain your opt-out or family enrollment (otherwise you will default to single dental coverage).
You can access more details about the opt-out and family coverage enrollment here:
For more details about the coverage, and to access a dental opt-out or family coverage enrollment form, please visit our website:
Please submit your forms and supporting documentation (where required) to:  Questions may be directed to

Unit 2 End of Term Update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Here are a few useful updates and reminders from your Union relevant to the end of the term. Specifically, this mailer concerns the following:


  1. Final Payment
  2. Large Class Supplement
  3. Post-Contract work
  4. Employment Insurance
  5. Professional Development
  6. Health Spending Account
  7. First Consideration Appointments
  8. Teaching and Learning Month Opportunities

Final Payment

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.

Post-Contract work
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.

Employment Insurance
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.

Professional Development

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:

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 CourseIntensive 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 (

Featured Workshops:

Conflict Resolution In The Workplace

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

Flexible Work as a Catalyst for Organizational Agility & Well-being

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 – Strategies for Efficiency

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

End of Semester Update – Unit 1

Brad WalchukUncategorized

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. 
Dental Coverage Through August 31st
If you have dental coverage through CUPE, it will continue through until August 31st, even if you TA position has come to an end. More information about the dental plan is available here:
Final Pay Date
The final pay date of the semester is this Friday, April 21st. By this point, you should be paid in full. The YTD (or year-to-date) column on your pay-stub should equal the number of hours you were assigned this term. If you have not received payment equaling the number of hours you were assigned, please let us know.
Changes to Hours of Work Forms
Your employment supervisor cannot unilaterally change your hours of work form. If a change is required, the collective agreement outlines a process in Article 12.04. A meeting is required and you must be provided with an amended hours of work form. Your supervisor cannot just hand you additional work at the end of the semester that isn’t included on your hours of work form.

Solidarity with CUPE 233

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Solidarity with CUPE 233: TMU works because CUPE 233 does!
Local 3906 is looking for local members interested in joining rank-and-file members and members our Executive in support CUPE 233 (custodians, groundskeepers, and maintenance workers at Toronto Metropolitan University), on strike since April 17, 2023.
We will be booking a bus and/or heading down Friday, April 21, 2023 at 10 am to join Local 233 picket lines. Local 3906 is looking for folks interested in joining us; if we can solidify 20 interested persons, we’ll arrange a bus covered by the sector. Email if you can join us!
We echo CUPE 233’s call for financial support, used to maintain pressure on TMU to reach a fair agreement as bargaining continues. Our Executive approved a $500 Strike Donation Pledge on March 27th; we urge other locals to match or exceed this support, where possible.
Why is CUPE 233 on strike?
CUPE 233 is fighting for better pay for members and for pension fairness! TMU has low-balled pay increases that are far below inflation and far below standards in the sector. TMU has also insisted that  CUPE 233 and OPSEU 596 (Academic & Administrative Supports, Research Assistants) pay a larger  share of their wages for pensions than faculty and other TMU workers.
If you’re unable to join us in Toronto, please take 15 seconds to sign and share a letter to TMU administration: E-Action here:

Additional Postdoc Ratification Information and Unit 3 Chief Steward Election

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We wanted to send a reminder that the postdoc bargaining team secured a tentative agreement with McMaster University and we are recommending the members ratify it. The specific details of the new tentative agreement will be shared with you at an upcoming ratification meeting held via Zoom on Tuesday, April 18th at noon. The registration link for this meeting has been sent to your McMaster email address.

At this meeting, we will also be electing a Chief Steward for Unit 3. All members in good standing can run.

After this meeting, postdocs will have an opportunity to vote to ratify the new agreement through an online vote. The ratification vote will be held online with a secret ballot via Election Runner. A separate email will arrive in your mailbox on April 18th after 1 p.m. (please check your junk/spam/other). The ballot will be sent from Election Runner, not CUPE 3906, but please follow up with us if you have any questions or do not receive a ballot. All postdocs employed on April 18th will be entitled to vote in the ratification election. The election will run from April 18th at 1 p.m. to April 20th at 1 p.m., and results will be shared thereafter.
This agreement could not have been secured without your support, solidarity, and encouragement. 
In solidarity,

Your CUPE 3906 postdoc bargaining team (Nabeel, Aly, Javier, Afshin)

Postdoc (Unit 3) Tentative Agreement Reached

Brad WalchukUncategorized

After eight long months of bargaining, your Unit 3 postdoctoral fellow bargaining team is pleased to report that we secured a tentative agreement with McMaster University at a bargaining session yesterday and we are recommending the members ratify it. The specific details of the new tentative agreement will be shared with members at an upcoming ratification meeting held via Zoom on Tuesday, April 18th at noon.

After this meeting, postdocs will have an opportunity to vote to ratify the new agreement through an online vote. This agreement could not have been secured without your support, solidarity, and encouragement. Voting details, including a link to the ballot, will be sent separately. 

In solidarity,

Your CUPE 3906 postdoc bargaining team (Nabeel, Aly, Javier, Afshin)

Solidarity Statement with CUPE 4600 at Carleton

Brad WalchukUncategorized

As the CUPE 4600 strike at Carleton University enters its second week, unions of contract academic workers across the province stand in solidarity. Contract Instructors and Teaching Assistants at Carleton are standing up to the university, not just for fair pay in the face of a cost of living crisis, but to protect their intellectual property and ensure there are reasonable limits in place on the number of students a TA can be responsible for.

This is just the latest disruption in a growing strike wave in which academic workers across the country are standing up to the increasingly anti-worker and anti-student governance of our institutions. Workers at Dalhousie and McMaster were on strike for three weeks each over the fall to fight for better pay in the face of record inflation. Faculty Associations across the country have been striking for job security and against administrative greed.

In every case, these actions have won the support of students who are tired of seeing their tuition dollars diverted to administrative bloat and away from the academic workers they rely on, many of whom are now struggling to make ends meet. Carleton is sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars in reserves and paying their senior administrators a fortune while their TAs and CIs struggle to keep up with the rising cost of rent. They are paid substantially less than their University of Ottawa counterparts who do the exact same work in the exact same city.

We will stand in support of striking academic workers at Carleton for as long as it takes for them to win a fair contract. We join them and the growing chorus of concerned voices in demanding that Carleton return to the bargaining table with a fair offer–one that recognizes the importance of their work and gives them the tools and protections they need to provide their students with the education they deserve.

In solidarity,


Chris Fairweather- President, CUPE 3906 (McMaster University)

Eriks Bredovskis- President, CUPE 3902 (University of Toronto)

Nathan Cecckin- President, CUPE 4207 (Brock University)

Scott Duchesne- President, CUPE 3913 (University of Guelph)

Catherine Larocque- President, CUPE 2626 (University of Ottawa)

Stephanie Latella- Chairperson, CUPE 3903 (York University)