My name is Sylvia. I’m nominating myself for the role of Chief Steward Unit 2 (sessional instructors) at McMaster with CUPE3906. I have one year of experience teaching as a sessional at McMaster and two years at University of Toronto. Before that I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at York University during the prolonged strike at York that revolved around compensation and job security for sessional faculty. I am very motivated to help SIs know their rights under the collective agreement and see negotiations continue with the employer for fairer pay and job security for education workers in the university across the board. Many SIs like myself work for multiple institutions, juggle their work with childcare, and integrate university teaching with other sources of income to provide for themselves and their families. I understand the challenges we face. Universities turn to sessional instructors for relatively cheap and temporary labour. Yet with the education, research experiences and relationships we bring to enrich the university we should not be treated as either cheap or temporary.
For two years I have served as CUPE 3902 Unit 3 (sessional instructors) Departmental Steward for history and philosophy of science at University of Toronto. I have been an active member of CUPE 3902 and have formed a good working relationship with Dr. Kristin Cavoukian, their Chief Steward for Unit 3 (sessional instructors). My experience with CUPE 3902 would undoubtedly help me integrate into CUPE 3906 were I to be elected to the position of Chief Steward Unit 2. In this position I would be able to build solidarity across 3902 and 3906, which I believe would be in the interests of Unit 2 members, because 3902 has negotiated certain benefits for sessionals that 3906 has yet to acquire in their contract with the employer. In short it would be a pleasure to work for greater equity for our members by serving in this position.