COVID Related Office Closure- Winter 2021 update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The Union office will remain closed throughout the winter semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff and executive members are working safely from home, and can answer any questions you may have via email, phone, or Zoom/Teams/Jitsi. Please email first, and we can set something up with you later if email doesn’t answer your question.

Below are instructions for how to submit benefits claims while the office is closed:

For Healthcare Spending Accounts, UHIP Rebates, and Childcare rebates, please continue to leave forms in our drop-box (directly outside KTH B111) or mail them directly to the Prosure Group:

PROSURE GROUP ADMINISTRATORS LTD.

2225 Sheppard Ave East, Suite 1400, Atria III.

Toronto, ON. M2J 5C2

For Dental claims, please create a login at www.equitable.ca with Policy Number 97528 and your employee number as your certificate number (if you do not have a specific employee number, then use your student number), and follow Equitable Life’s instructions for submitting online claims.

For Professional Development Fund applications, please email benefits@cupe3906.org

For further assistance, please contact administrator@cupe3906.org

For issues or concerns with your rights under any of our three collective agreements, please email mecampbell@cupe3906.org or bwalchuk@cupe3906.org

For equity-related concerns, please contact equity@cupe3906.org

Solidarity with Boğaziçi workers

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The CUPE 3906 Executive has written letter of solidarity to show our support of Boğaziçi workers who are fighting for their right to democratically elect their university president! Boğaziçi is a major research university in Istanbul, Turkey. They are facing police violence and arrests but their resistance is growing, and we are proud to stand with them! #BogaziciDireniyor

Vacant Health and Safety Rep Seats

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We have a number of vacant seats on Health and Safety Committees. If you work in any of the following areas, are a member of the Unit listed, and are interested in the vacancy, please let us know. The time commitment is not huge, and you are compensated at your regular hourly rate:
 
D. Appendix: Vacant Health Safety and Safety Building Committee Seats
 Arts- Unit 2 and Unit 3
 Communications Research Lab- 1, 2, and 3
 Braley Health Sciences Centre- Unit 1, 2 and 3
 DeGroote Business- Unit 1, Unit 2, and Unit 3
 Engineering- Unit 2, and Unit 3
 Health Sciences- Unit 1
 Ivor Wynne/Braley Athletic- Unit 1, Unit 2, and Unit 3
 Libraries (incl. MacPherson)- Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3
 MARC- Unit 2
 McIARS (Radiation Science)- Unit 1
 MDCL- Unit 2 and Unit 3
 Ron Joyce Centre- Unit 1, Unit 2, and Unit 3
 Science- Unit 2, and Unit 3

CUPE Hours Tracker

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We wanted to remind you about the CUPE online hours tracker (<– Click Here), developed with help from CUPE Ontario. You will need to make an account, and from there you can easily join the CUPE 3906 group. From there, you will see a number of pre-loaded drop-down options of common TA tasks from which to choose. Given that a number of our Unit 1 Members (TAs and RAs in-lieu) have expressed concerns about going over their hours allotted by their employment contracts, we are encouraging you all to use this hours tracker. The more you track your hours, the better chance we have at ensuring you aren’t overworked or underpaid! Please also feel free to forward any feedback or technical issues to president@cupe3906.org.

New Work Permit Offered by Federal Government to Keep International Students in Canada

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Beginning January 27, 2021, and running until July 27, 2021, international students holding an expired or expiring post-graduation work permit (PGWP) can apply for another open work permit offered by the federal government. The new work permits will be valid for 18 months and offer flexibility to former international students whose post-graduation plans were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This change was made as a pandemic recovery measure to assist in mitigating the decline of international students remaining in Canada. The new work permit program will also facilitate graduates in gaining the needed work experience to later apply for permanent residency.

To be eligible for the new work permit, an applicant must:

  • Have a PGWP that expired on or after 30 January 2020, or a PGWP that expires in 4 months or less from the date they apply;
  • Still be in Canada; and,
  • Have a valid temporary resident status or be applying to restore their status.

Application forms and details on how to apply will be added on January 27, 2021 to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s webpage concerning COVID-19 and international students.

January 2021 General Membership Meeting Information

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Click HERE to register in advance for our next GMM, happening Wednesday, January 27 at 12 PM!

Dear Members,

CUPE 3906’s first General Membership Meeting of the Winter 2021 term will be held on Wednesday, January 27, from 12 PM to 2 PM. Any members wishing to present pre-written motions should provide theirs via email to president@cupe3906.org by Tuesday, January 26.

As always, 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 on January 27. This is the only way we can verify 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. *Please allow for some delay as each request has to be approved manually.*

By-elections on this GMM agenda

Along with other important union business, this GMM will include by-elections to two different positions on our Executive Committee: Benefits Officer and International Officer. You can find the details on each position – as well as certain eligibility criteria – in Section 5 of the CUPE 3906 Bylaws: Duties of Executive Officers.

We will also be electing one new member of the Local’s Bylaws Committee. This would be a great opportunity for any members looking to become more involved with the union. Time commitment is minor, with approximately one meeting every 1-2 months. You can read more about the Bylaws Committee in Section 6 of the CUPE 3906 Bylaws, or feel free to get in touch with us via email.

About the virtual GMM elections process:

Nominations for all three elections will be held on the (virtual) floor of the GMM, but our Bylaws also allow for those unable to attend to self-nominate in writing ahead of the meeting. If you are unable to attend the GMM but wish to run for one of the the three positions up for election, you can nominate yourself by emailing your 500-word candidate statement to bwalchuk@cupe3906.org anytime before 10 AM on Wednesday, January 27. Because our Bylaws require that only staff accept nominations for elections, only those sent to bwalchuk@cupe3906.org will be accepted, and their CUPE 3906 membership then verified.

Voting on these elections will occur in real time (via Zoom), meaning only members in attendance will be able to cast a ballot. This is the method we have determined most closely aligns with our in-person GMM elections and the processes laid out in our Bylaws and the CUPE National Constitution.

Stay tuned for related communications in the lead up to next week’s GMM, and feel free to send your election-related questions to bwalchuk@cupe3906.org or staff@cupe3906.org. All other GMM-related inquiries should go to president@cupe3906.org. We hope to see you all there!

In solidarity,

The CUPE 3906 Executive Committee

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CUPE 3906 UNIT 1 MEMBERS WORKING IN THE WINTER 2021 TERM: DENTAL COVERAGE DEADLINES

Mary Ellen CampbellUncategorized

The following message is for CUPE 3906 Unit 1 (Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants in Lieu) Members who did not work as CUPE Unit 1 Members (or as CUPE Unit 2 or Unit 3 Members) in the Fall 2020 Term:

CUPE 3906 UNIT 1 Members who did not work as CUPE 3906 Unit 1, 2, or 3 members in the Fall 2020 Term will be charged the Single Dental Coverage Premium for the 2020-2021 academic year ($125) on their TA and/or RA in lieu pay on the first pay in January 2021.  This coverage reimburses costs incurred for eligible dental claims incurred between September 1, 2020 and August 31, 2021 regardless of when you begin working as a CUPE 3906 Unit 1 member in the 2020-2021 academic year.

Please note that there is a 30 day change of coverage period during which you may enroll in family dental coverage or opt-out of dental coverage (if you already have comparable coverage and provide proper supporting documentation.  The deadline to submit forms and supporting documentation is January 27, 2021Reimbursements for successful opt-outs will be issued via direct deposit (not via payroll) by our Third Party Administrator, The Prosure Group, within 30 days of the deduction being made.

Please click here for further details about dental change of coverage for Unit 1 Members: https://cupe3906.org/files/2021/01/U1-WINTER-Dental-Letter-2020-2021.pdf

To obtain a family dental enrollment or dental opt-out form, please visit the “Important Updates” or “Forms” section of our website, here:  https://cupe3906.org/tas-unit-1/dental-plan/

Please note that, due to the office closure caused by COVID-19, forms and supporting documentation will only be accepted via email to administrator@cupe3906.org.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

In solidarity,
Your CUPE 3906 Staff

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CUPE 3906 UNIT 2 MEMBERS TEACHING IN THE WINTER 2021 TERM: DENTAL COVERAGE DEADLINES

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The following message is for CUPE 3906 Unit 2 Members (Sessional Faculty and Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty) who did not teach as Unit 2 Members (or work as CUPE 3906 Unit 1 or Unit 3 Members) in the Fall 2020 Term:

CUPE 3906 UNIT 2 Members who did not work as CUPE 3906 Unit 1, 2, or 3 members in the Fall 2020 Term will be charged the Single Dental Coverage Premium for the 2020-2021 term ($170) on their Sessional Faculty pay in February 2021.  This coverage reimburses costs incurred for eligible dental claims incurred between September 1, 2020 and August 31, 2021 regardless of when you begin working as a CUPE 3906 Unit 2 member in the 2020-2021 academic year.

Please note that there is a 30 day change of coverage period during which you may enroll in family dental coverage or opt-out of dental coverage (if you already have comparable coverage and provide proper supporting documentation.  The deadline to submit forms and supporting documentation is January 31, 2021

Please click here for further details about dental change of coverage for Unit 2 Members: https://cupe3906.org/files/2021/01/U2-WINTER-Dental-Letter-2020-2021.pdf

To obtain a family dental enrollment or dental opt-out form, please visit the “Important Updates” or “Forms” section of our website, here: https://cupe3906.org/sessionals-unit-2/unit-2-dental-coverage/

Please note that, due to the office closure caused by COVID-19, forms and supporting documentation will only be accepted via email to administrator@cupe3906.org .

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

In solidarity,
Your CUPE 3906 Staff

Important Information/Deadlines for Sessional Faculty and Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty Working in the Winter 2021 Term

Mary Ellen CampbellUncategorized

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CUPE 3906 UNIT 2 MEMBERS TEACHING IN THE WINTER 2021 TERM: DENTAL COVERAGE DEADLINES

The following message is for CUPE 3906 Unit 2 Members who did not teach as Unit 2 Members (or work as Unit 1 or Unit 3 Members) in the Fall 2020 Term:

CUPE 3906 UNIT 2 Members who did not work as CUPE 3906 Unit 1, 2, or 3 members in the Fall 2020 Term will be charged the Single Dental Coverage Premium for the 2020-2021 term ($170) on their Sessional Faculty pay in February 2021.  This coverage reimburses costs incurred for eligible dental claims incurred between September 1, 2020 and August 31, 2021 regardless of when you begin working as a CUPE 3906 Unit 2 member in the 2020-2021 academic year.

Please note that there is a 30 day change of coverage period during which you may enroll in family dental coverage or opt-out of dental coverage (if you already have comparable coverage and provide proper supporting documentation.  The deadline to submit forms and supporting documentation is January 31, 2021

Please click here for further details about dental change of coverage for Unit 2 Members: https://cupe3906.org/files/2021/01/U2-WINTER-Dental-Letter-2020-2021.pdf

To obtain a family dental enrollment or dental opt-out form, please visit the “Important Updates” or “Forms” section of our website, here: https://cupe3906.org/sessionals-unit-2/unit-2-dental-coverage/

Please note that, due to the office closure caused by COVID-19, forms and supporting documentation will only be accepted via email to administrator@cupe3906.org .

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

In solidarity,
Your CUPE 3906 Staff

Unit 3 End of Term Update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Congratulations on making it to the end of a difficult term. We hope you’ve managed to stay safe and healthy – both physically and emotionally – and that the coming break will be relaxing and enjoyable. Having said that, we wanted to send a quick end-of-term email to inform you of a few important things.

Holidays

Please note that paid holidays to which you are entitled include any business days that fall on or between December 25th and January 1st. Such days are without loss of pay and do not come out of your annual vacation day entitlement below. While we’re at it, here is your annual vacation entitlement:

Duration of Appointment in Years Vacation Time Accrual Rate
(Full-Time Days Per Month)
Less than 1 year 1.25
1 or more but less than 3 1.67
3 years or more 2.08

Please note that accrued and unused vacation time from the current entitlement year is payable upon the end of the PDF’s appointment. This means that vacation days that you do not use in the last year of your appointment are paid out when your appointment ends.

“Grey Zone” Lockdown Closure

As you may have seen, the province has recently announced that Hamilton will be entering the grey-lockdown zone as of 12:01 a.m. Monday, December 21. The University has posted this update to the community. What does that mean for you?

In the event that you are not already working from home and are not engaged in research on campus that is permitted under the new protocols, we expect that supervisors will work with you to address opportunities for remote work where at all possible.

If such work is not made available and you are informed that you will not be paid, please reach out to us immediately so we can help to address the situation.

Homewood Health Counselling

This past semester has been tough for all us for a variety of pandemic-related reasons. We wanted to remind you that you have free and confidential access to the Employee Family Assistance Program (through Homewood health). Homewood offers you free and confidential and professional counselling on depression, stress, bereavement, relationships and more, as well as counselling for careers, work-life balance, and health.

Log-in details and information guides on using the new homeweb.ca website are located on McMaster’s Employee and Family Assistance Program webpage here.

Dental Plan Information

For those of you enrolled in the Unit 1 dental plan, the $1000 in single coverage (or $2,000 for family coverage) per calendar year will re-set as of January 1, 2019. Unused money does not carry over, but all members enrolled in single coverage will now have $1000.00 for 2019 (and $2,000 for family coverage), in addition to any claims from eligible dental procedures done in 2018.

Office Closure

Lastly, please note that the “online office” is now closed and many 3906 email accounts will not be monitored and messages won’t be addressed until the New Year. If, however, you have any emergency emails, please direct them to staff@cupe3906.org and someone will respond accordingly.