Health and safety is an essential part of our union’s work. CUPE members face a wide range of hazards. We provide tools, resources and training to help members stay healthy and safe and to encourage activism. We also conduct research on current and emerging health and safety hazards. For more information on health and safety activism from our national union, please click here.

At the local level, our Health and Safety Officer sits on our executive committee and is responsible for:

  • Safeguarding the occupational health and safety of the membership by being available to members as a resource person and by using their knowledge and training to discover and improve hazardous situations and practices.
  • Reviewing and preparing recommended revisions for the clauses in the Collective Agreement pertaining to the membership’s occupational health and safety, in order to continually improve the quality of the worker’s environment; and
  • Serving on the University Central Occupational Health and Safety Committee.

The Health and Safety Officer also manages the Union’s health and safety committee and coordinates with our various area/building representatives. These building representative positions are paid by the Employer under the terms of the Occupational Health Safety Act. You are paid for the workers’ prep meeting, the area/building joint committee meeting, and any inspections you perform. The payment form is available here..

Our area/building reps attend regular joint health and safety committee meetings in the building(s) they represent and “also conduct regular inspections of all McMaster work areas to help better identify any safety-related issues that need to be addressed. JHSCs also make recommendations to Senior Management regarding the identification and control of hazards. These recommendations may include building improvements, procedure implementation, training requirements, policies and programs.” There are no additional requirements (in our bylaws or CUPE Constitution) that the members need to follow (except for reporting back to the membership, where possible).

Under our Collective Agreements, the areas/buildings where we are entitled to health and safety representatives and have members regularly employed . We are entitled to representatives from each of our three units (1- TAs, 2- Sessionals, 3- Postdocs) in each of the areas listed below, and open positions are noted. If you are interested in fulfilling an open spot, please contact Anastasia (

  • Science- Unit 1, 2, and 3
  • Engineering- Unit 1, 2, and 3
  • Arts- Unit 3 (Units 1 and 2 filled)
  • Ivor Wynne Centre/David Braley Athletic Centre- Unit 1, 2, and 3
  • McMaster Institute of Applied Radiation Sciences (McIARS) (Nuclear Facilities)- Unit 1, 2, and 3
  • Libraries and Museums- Unit 1, 2, and 3
  • DeGroote School of Business- Unit 1, 2, and 3
  • Longwood- Unit 1, 2, and 3
  • MARC- Unit 2 and 3 (Unit 1 filled)
  • Ron Joyce Centre (RJC)- Unit 1, 2, and 3

We are also entitled to representation in the following areas, though we normally do not have members employed here:

  • One James North (OJN)
  • Housing and Conference Services
  • Administration
  • Campus Services
  • Hospitality Services
  • UTS

If you have any questions about our health and safety committee, please email Anastasia (health and safety officer).

Photos from Day of Mourning Ceremony, 2022. Pictures are of (L-R) K. Morrison, A. Soukhov, M.E. Campbell, and C. Fairweather.