Below you will find statements provided by candidates for each position.
Respected CUPE Members,
My motivation towards running for Vice-President because of my involvement in CUPE since
last four years both as a member as well as an executive for last two years. Being associated with
CUPE since 2017 in various capacities like executive, chair of the committees etc. has
established me in handling various concerns of our members like safe working conditions, our
sovereign rights and interests, etc.
During this time, we need a strong and promising leadership who would not hesitate in
making hard decisions. As your Vice-President I will be stressing on the following issues –
1. COVID relief financial package
2. 5th year guaranteed funding
3. Paid sick leave
4. Partnership with GSA to resolve member issues
5. Extended health benefits especially mental health
6. Better supervisor TA relationships
7. Family benefits for spouses and dependents
8. More Contingency funds
9. Online teaching support tools
10. Support for out of province members
11. Support for our International members
Hopefully, we will get out of the pandemic soon and can get back to normalcy. I want to fight for
you irrespective of background and ethnicity. Let us come together to build our union and MAC
together with love, friendship and support for each other. Our motto- vote for unity and solidarity
of all. I am hoping to have your utmost support in my candidacy for the very last time. I want to
leave my mark on McMaster for one final time for the benefits of the union, I love. Thank you
all and please stay safe!
Looking forward to your support!
PhD Candidate, ECE Dept.
My name is Fernando Lennertz, I’ve been a unit 1 member for almost 3 years now. I first became involved with our local in 2019 during the bargaining of our unit 1 collective agreement, when I’ve also had the honor of serving as co-chair of the Bargaining Support Committee.
I’ve worked as Vice President since this past February and have familiarized myself with the inner and outer workings of our local, including sitting on as many committee meetings as I could. I’ve worked closely alongside our President and in support of our executive officers, as well as in support of membership through grievances and with the Employer to defend our rights.
If reelected to this position, I’d like to continue leading the re-establishment of our Communications Committee to engage our membership with our current campaigns and to further support the other committees in their communications. I would also like to work to the best of my abilities for this bargaining round as well.
I would be a good candidate for the position because I’ve been engaged with the union for a long time, I’m certainly committed to our labor movement, I’ve built relationships with other locals and community actors, including being a delegate to the Coalition of Student Employee Unions and the Hamilton and District Labor Council, which make it easier for me to engage with other locals and the community at large.
I hope the membership will give me the honor of continuing my work as Vice President
Vice President (External)- ACCLAIMED
Recording Secretary- ACCLAIMED
Benefits and Advocacy Officer- ACCLAIMED
Undergraduate Officer- VACANT
Equity Officer – ACCLAIMED
I’m Sarah Elshahat, PhD student. Thank you for electing me as International Officer in 2021. I
would be honoured to continue serving you through the same role, raising your needs, completing
the initiatives I started and developing new inclusive programs!Since my election as International Officer, I have recruited 30+ superb members in the International
Committee from across different cultures/identities and McMaster’s faculties, always welcoming
more to join! I’ve developed and currently working on several projects in collaboration with GSA,
IGSA and SGS. Examples below!I organized “Meet-and-Eat” Event with prizes for best ethnic dishes to celebrate our diversity atMcMaster and enhance intercultural awareness. I am currently working with the great CUPE staff
on the First-Ever FREE “McMaster-International-Cookbook” to introduce you All to amazing
worldwide food cultures. Make sure to reserve your copy!Out of my understanding of the challenges facing international students, I launched the “International-Domestic Peer Support Program” to help students connect with fellows, exchange knowledge and learn about various hidden beneficial opportunities. The program runs in
collaboration with 6 leading Canadian universities and shall start soon after matching process!
I developed the “International-Student-Award-Program” to be launched this summer for improving
your conditions. I’m also advocating in different working groups and university committees to
secure more major Scholarships for you and adapt funding for students whose work was impacted
by the pandemic. I also advocated for accommodation strategies for students returning from abroad.
If elected, I plan to build on the ongoing work to improve your experience at McMaster and
beyond. I would appreciate you voting for me, so I can continue serving you All!
Abu Ilius Faisal
My name is Abu Ilius Faisal, a 2nd year international PhD student in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Department and a Unit-1 member of CUPE3906 from 2017. I am nominating myself to run for
“International Officer” to get the opportunity to fight for international members’ rights and their benefits
I am actively involved with CUPE3906 from the beginning of my journey at McMaster. I was an active
member of International Committee and currently I am a Departmental Steward of ECE Department. I also
worked as a Department Representative of EGS from 2018-2019. Before McMaster, I worked for Samsung
R&D Institute Bangladesh, where as an employee representative of Samsung GWP (Great Workplace), I
actively worked to make the work environment great. These all experiences really helped me to improve
my leadership skill and be a team player. As well as, taught me to fight for what is correct and the power
of being a collective.
Therefore, I am eagerly showing my interest in the position of “International Officer” because I feel it is
a challenging role and I believe I can contribute energetically through this with the help of the honorable
president, executives, and other experienced CUPE3906 members. Just what I need is your support. If I got
this opportunity, I promise to serve the international student body to the best of my ability. I hope you can
all trust in my ability to adequately represent my fellow international students as the “International
Officer” and thank you for your consideration.
Abu Ilius Faisal
Health and Safety Officer- ACCLAIMED
Trustee (1 year term, exp 2022)
My name is Tuoyu Wu, and I am a 3 rd year Ph.D. student studying Earth Sciences at
School of Earth, Environment and Society. I am here to nominate myself to run for the
one-year trustee (exp. 2022) of our union. As a senior CUPE member with the past two-
year working experience of trusteeship, I am confident that I could serve as a qualified
trustee for our union in the next year.
First, I am a fully motivated person, and always prepare to make commitment to our
union. I have been the union steward of my department for the past two years and
working as the liaison between the union and the graduate student body in my home
department. I attended every general committee meeting and steward’s council meeting
in the past two years and circulate the agendas and minutes of each meeting to the
graduate student body in my department. During the pandemic period, I also helped
distributing the union masks among my department. I always treat myself as an informed
ambassador of the union in my department, and always looking for more chance to
serving the union. The one-year trustee position gave me a perfect opportunity to fulfill
my will in my last PhD year. In turn, my passionate dedication to this job will also make
contribution to the union and associated graduate student members.
Second, I have worked on this position for the past two years and engaged in
auditing our union financial reports for three consecutive years. During my past trustee
work, I had a good communication and cooperation with the secretary treasurer and
other trustees. With the two-year professional working experience, I am fully aware
responsibilities of trusteeship, and always remind myself the importance of students’
right to know financial situations of the union. In addition, my professional extrovert
characters and teamwork spirit will help to create a friendly but engaging working
environment for trusteeship.
Above all, I firmly believe I have the motivation, capabilities, and personal characters
to become a qualified trustee. Herein, I am here to ask your support and sincerely hope
you give your valuable vote for me.
Shekhar Rammohan Singh Tandel
“I am Shekhar and I am a first-year MASc in Mechanical Engineering student at McMaster University. I am a recent addition to the CUPE 3906 and it was a great learning experience till now. I would like to go one step further and would like to serve in CUPE as a trustee (1 year). I am hard-working, diligent and intellectual and find myself a great candidate for this position. I hope to seek your support and give an opportunity to serve in this position”.
Unit 1 Chief Steward (TAs/RAs in lieu)
Hello everyone, my name is Brock Bodo. I am a TA in the Labour studies department and
I am running for Chief Steward of Unit 1.
I have been an active member of our local, serving as PAC co chair with Leah, vocally
fighting McMasters unjust exclusion of our out of province TA from our local, I have been one
of our local’s Hamilton District Labour Council (HDLC) delegates and I led the HDLC campaign to
push the city of Hamilton to pay its student workers a living wage. Recently, I worked with the
organizing committee to create a survey of our member’s priorities for the potential return to
campus in the fall. I have also been a McMaster student for the past 5 years so I have deep ties
with students and will be rallying them to support a safe campus for all.
I am running because I know we are coming up to a very important time for our union.
We have a fight on our hands, with the return to campus in the fall. If we want a safe campus
for all staff and students, that means we are going to have to force the university to spend as
much money as needed to make that happen. As chief steward for unit 1, I will contribute to
that by working with our amazing stewards’ network to reconnect with every single member
who we have not been able to have personal contact with over this last year of online work. We
will reach out to those members with personal contact on the phone, in zoom calls, and in
person if we are on campus (not just with emails and social media posts). I want to know
everyone’s concerns in every department. By being in constant contact with our stewards, I
want to ensure that every classroom is safe to work in.
Finally, I know all staff and students at McMaster have had really tough year. We have
made so many sacrifices to make this year work for this university. We have been isolated from
our friends, families and coworkers which has taken a toll on our mental health. As chief
steward I will always fight for working people against the powerful, and I will be ready to take
on this university so that our members are compensated for that sacrifice. What’s different
about me? I will be an organizer as a chief steward to get our members ready to fight for a safe
campus for all!
My motivation towards running again for Chief Steward TAs/Unit-1is because of the
initiatives that I have personally started last year are showing results now. Being in CUPE since
2017 in various capacities developed me in handling various concerns of our TAs like better
working conditions, our rights and interests etc. We deserve higher pay because as TAs we
provide a quality education to undergrads and as graduate students contribute to research both of
which makes MAC a world ranking institution.
One of the imperative contributions which I made last year as Chief Steward is an effective
steward council representing thirty-three departments from six different faculties. Our current
stewards are playing a great leadership role within their departments by protecting our rights and
Since the last year I am trying for all TAs to receive extra financial support. As in the current
situation TAs are facing tough times so I wanted to work for the following:
1. Pay hike
2. Online Teaching support tools required
3. Mental health support
4. More Benefits for family, spouses
5. Support for International Students
As we head out of this pandemic we can get back to a better life. Create a world of love,
companionship and supporting each other thereby making MAC a better place which is why I am
hoping to have your support in my candidacy for the last time. Let’s make a better MAC. Thank
you all and stay safe!
PhD Candidate, ECE Dept.
Hi everyone, my name is Angshuman Podder, and I am a PhD candidate in Materials Science
Engineering. About myself, I started working for CUPE 3906 as a Steward in 2019 and since then, I
have been spreading the word of the union and its activities. Also, by being an active member of the
finance committee, I have learnt about how our union continues to support the various working
groups and local communities. Previously, I have served students in various roles and as a PhD
student now with a good background in union activism, I want to bring the knowledge and
experience that I have gathered so far to my current role and to my work on the Executive
So as a Chief Steward this year, I will be taking a proactive approach to ensure that all interests of
their unit are represented at the Executive level, work closely with Local staff representatives to file
grievances, represent members in grievances, discuss grievances with the employer and promote,
awareness of health and safety issues that pertain to members of the Local, along with the Health
and Safety Officer.
As we move into what promises to be a challenging term of office, with Unit 2 in bargaining and with
the return of students in the Fall ‘21 amidst this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I believe we need to
continue to find creative ways to use our resources to build a stronger union and to address the
safety needs and concerns for all the communities in Unit 1. With the help of the network of
department Stewards, I plan to work closely with the employer to understand the steps and
protocols that will ensure a smooth transition to the new term in September.
Finally, I am looking forward to each one of you for your support, understanding and help in serving
you as the new Chief Steward. If given the opportunity, I would like to serve the union to my best
Unit 2 Chief Steward (Sessionals)- ACCLAIMED
Unit 3 Chief Steward (Postdocs)- ACCLAIMED