CUPE General Meeting – July 15, 2024 02:00 PM EST via zoom

Brad WalchukMeetings

We hope that you are enjoying a relaxing start to your summer. You are invited to our next General Membership meeting, which will be held remotely via Zoom.
When: July 15, 2024 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Health and Safety Payment Form

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The most recent Health and Safety Payment Form is here. Please note that the form is currently being updated by McMaster to include Unit 2 Sessionals. The current form only refers to Unit 1 TA/RAs in lieu. Until Aug 31, 2024 this work is compensated at a rate of $28.98 for UG TAs and $48.52 for graduate TAs; on September 1, 2024 those amounts increase to $29.98 for UG TAs and $49.52 for graduate TAs. Unit 1 members can continue to use the above form until the updated form is available.

Unit 2 members, please contact for instructions on submitting your hours. The payment is $71.13 per hour.

More information about health and safety can be found here: 


Expanded Technological Entitlement under Unit 3 Professional Development Fund

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Based on your feedback from our recent professional development fund survey, the benefits committee has voted to expand the scope of the professional development fund to include technological items required for research and professional development. The overall entitlement remains at $1000 per academic year, but we have expanded the level/amount of technology permitted under that entitlement. In other words someone can now make a $1000 tech claim for approved items (which would amount to 100% of your yearly entitlement). Previous there were limitations on the scope and amount of technological items that were eligible under the fund.
Please note that for these to be considered members must include a short explanation as to why these items are necessary in their application. This change is contingent upon availability of funds and is subject to change. If you have questions please email

Professional Development Opportunities for Postdocs

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The McCall MacBain Postdoctoral Fellows Teaching and Leadership Program is offering some great professional development opportunities to McMaster postdocs. It is a FREE program dedicated to postdoc professional development. In the summer and fall, they have a few events happening for Postdocs working in Canada (see below). They also have an intensive program that runs from September – April (in person 1 day a week) – the registration link is below!
  1. Postdoc day! (July 10th 2024) a free event for all Canadian postdocs or postdocs working in Canada. The day will include Online or in person attendance, a keynote speaker, workshops and networking opportunities. To register for this event CLICK HERE 
  2. Wellness and networking event (July 10th evening) Free event to allow postdocs and academics to recenter, reset and rejuvenate. The event includes Yoga, Wellness strategies and discussion with Author, Carla Labella as well as light refreshments. (registration via the EdCog conference registration)
  3. EdCog Conference workshop and speaker days (July 11-12) postdocs receive a 50% discount with code POSTDOC50. To register for this event CLICK HERE
Cohort 6 (McCall MacBain postdoctoral fellows teaching and leadership program) – This is a Free professional development opportunity for postdoctoral scholars. Our full 8-month program is offered 1x per week from September – April. A cohort of approximately 20 interdisciplinary and interinstitutional postdocs will come together to network and engage in professional development related to teaching and knowledge translation as well as leadership. Applications are now open. Interviews will take place in August.
Please direct any questions to:

Unit 2 (Sessional) Dental Update – June 2024

Brad WalchukUncategorized

This is an important update that is relevant to Sessionals who did not teach in Fall 2023 or Winter 2024 and are teaching for the first time this academic year in Spring/Summer 2024.

For those of you who began teaching in May and did not opt out of the Unit 2 Dental Plan by the widely publicized opt out deadline, the $150 single premium will be deducted from next week’s pay cheque (June 12th). The plan offers $1000 per calendar year (January 1 to December 31) in dental services. You can find out additional information about coverage and how to make claims here:

For Sessionals who have yet to teach in the 2023/24 academic year, you will have $1000 of dental coverage which can be backdated for any approved procedures/services since September 1, 2023. Your eligibility ends as of August 31, 2024 (unless you secure a fall 2024 contract).

There is no change or impact for members who have already taught in either Fall 2023 or Winter 2024.

If you have any questions about this, please direct them to Fran, our benefits administrator: 

Survey on Changes to Unit 3 (Postdoc) Professional Development Fund

Brad WalchukUncategorized

In June 2023, the Unit 3 Professional Development Fund reimbursement was increased to $1,000 per academic year per eligible member. Only eligible expenses (see below) incurred while working as a CUPE 3906 Unit 3 member will be reimbursed up to the maximum academic yearly amount.

The fund currently covers expenses related to: conference participation, professional association fees, academic books, research journal subscriptions, leadership development courses, McMaster courses not covered by the tuition waiver policy, Research Journal Subscriptions, Leadership Development courses, Language courses as eligible expenses, and limited technological costs such as software (but generally not hardware).

To provide greater entitlements to members, your elected benefits committee is thinking about the following changes and we want to you from you. Possible options for increasing your entitlements include:

  1. Incorporating Technology Expenses: We’re considering adding technology-related expenses, such as laptops, within the Postdoc Development Fund. Previously, these items weren’t covered, but we believe this adjustment could greatly benefit your research endeavors. We welcome your thoughts on this proposal.
  2. Increasing Postdoctoral Development Fund (currently up to $1000 per academic year).We’re exploring the possibility of raising the Postdoc Development Fund. This increase aims to better support your professional growth and research activities. We’re keen to hear your opinions on this potential adjustment.
  3. Combining a Cap for Hardware Technology with a Small Increase in the Postdoc Development Fund: Another option on the table is to provide a smaller increase in the Postdoc Development Fund and develop a cap technology expense to a specific amount to be determined by the committee. This approach aims to provide flexibility while still ensuring adequate support for both research and technological needs. We’re eager to hear your thoughts on this proposal as well.

To gather your feedback efficiently, please fill out the attached form and provide any additional comments or suggestions you may have. Your input is invaluable in helping us make informed decisions that benefit the entire unit.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need further clarification on any of the proposed changes.

 For a link to the survey, please email or 

International Solidarity Seminar: Understanding the Hong Kong Labour Movement-June 12th from 5:30 pm to 7 pm

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The International Committee from CUPE 3906 is organizing a workshop titled “Understanding the Hong Kong Labour Movement” in collaboration with the Solidarity Place Worker Education Centre and the UK Labour Rights Monitor.

The event will be held in a hybrid format, and you will be provided with a Zoom registration link following your registration if you plan on attending online.

Food and drinks will be provided to in-person participants.

Venue: Solidarity Place Worker Education Centre (51 Adair Ave South)

Date: June 12th,2024, from 5:30 pm to 7 pm