LGBTQ & Straight Allies Workshop

Nancy MacBainEquity, Events, News

CUPE 3906’s Equity Action Committee welcomes you to McMaster!  In case you are wondering what we do as a union committee, let me tell you: we are a semi-autonomous activist committee that works to dismantle oppression targeting Equity Seeking Groups within our union and local community.  Our initiatives center around educating our membership about equity issues and advocating for people groups our union members represent and for groups we have become affiliated with.  If you are interested in joining us, contact us at

To help kick off McMaster Ontario Public Interest Research Group’s (OPIRG) Alternative Welcome Week (Sept.13-Sept.17, for more details click this link), the Equity Action Committee has organized a Positive Space Workshop for unionized and non-unionized folks who identify as Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Trans/Queer (LGBTQ) or as straight allies.  This workshop will offer anti-oppression training, discussion on how to create positive spaces, and an opportunity for LGBTQ folks & straight allies across campus to meet one another, come together as a collective, and quite possibly in the future, organize as a CUPE 3906 working group.  There will also be a sign-up sheet for folks to join an email listserv.

Please join us for the Positive Space Workshop on Monday, Sept. 13, from 2:00-5:00, in McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC) 313/311.  The workshop will run for two hours, so if you cannot make it to the workshop, please come at 4:00 for the food and meet new folks!

Also, there will be a Saturday Night Social on Sept. 18 for LBGTQ folks and straight allies.  We will be hitting Embassy, on 54 King Street E.  If you are new to Hamilton, we could meet up beforehand and head over to Embassy together.  More details will be sent out to folks who sign up to be on the email listserv.

Calling All Creative Artists and Writers

Maria MustafaGeneral

CUPE 3906 is seeking to publish short pieces of nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and artwork in the upcoming fall issue of our print and online magazine. This issue will be directed at welcoming and introducing new and returning union members to our local by showcasing the creative talents of union members here at 3906. Prose submissions should range up to 750 words, and poetry submissions should range from 1-3 pages double-spaced. We also welcome bios and online links of union members with musical talents. We currently cannot pay artists and authors for their work, but they will be invited to read and perform their work at a CUPE 3906 magazine launch/welcome party in September.

Some possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the following…
-Labour Struggles
-The Life of Academia
-Travel Narratives and Field Research
-Social Activism
-Sci-fi, Lab Rats, Mad Scientists
-Why You Should Read This Book!
-What is Canadian?
-Mathematics and the Everyday

Submissions should be emailed to Malissa Phung at no later than August 24, 2010. We also strongly encourage union members who are also from equity seeking groups (Indigenous peoples, people of colour, LGBTQ communities, people with disabilities) to submit their work.

Stop the Special Diet Cut – Raise Welfare/ODSP Rates Now!

Nancy MacBainNews, Political Action

Meal, Rally & Action
Wed. July 21st at noon
Ministry of Community & Social Services, 900 Bay St (at Wellesley)

There will be a bus leaving from Hamilton
Meeting at Gore Park (James St & King)
Leaving 10:30am – Returning around 3:30pm

On June 26th the G20 met in Toronto with the government spending over $1 billion on the summit. This money funded the militarization of our city, security fees, promotional stunts involving a fake lake, lavish dinners and hotels for world leaders and their entourages. That weekend, in response to the G20 meeting, tens of thousands of people demonstrated on the streets of Toronto despite police violence and extreme intimidation. We know all too well that these attempts to criminalize and brutalize will continue in the daily violence that poor communities, people of colour, and First Nations communities face.Read More

CUPE 3906 Condemns Arrests and Detention of 900 G20 Protesters

Nancy MacBainGeneral, News

Photo by the Toronto Media Co-op

The following statement was sent to the Movement Legal Defense Committee (NOTE: the number of reported arrests increased to 900 after the drafting of this statement):

I am writing on behalf of CUPE 3906, representing over 3000 academic workers at McMaster University, to condemn the arrest, detention and abuse of nearly 500 G20 protesters.

Reports from the Movement Defense Committee?s Summit Legal Support Project indicate that protesters are given incorrect information about the bail process and denied timely access to counsel and release.  Meanwhile, those peacefully protesting the detention are subject to police assault and illegal detention.

G20 Protesters are standing up for values of justice, equality, and rights for working class people, indigenous people and the environment.  The unprecedented, violent response of the Harper government, the Toronto Police, and the Integrated Security Unit marks an attack on all of our democratic rights.  It is a clear program of intimidation, silencing and assault on people of conscience who oppose the neoliberal agenda of the G20 leaders.

CUPE 3906 calls upon the government to ensure that courts and crown attorneys act to enforce constitutional rights, to end of the program of police violence and intimidation against G20 protesters and their families and to hold accountable those officers and elected officials responsible for this attack on democracy.

CUPE 3906 stands in solidarity with the detained G20 protesters in their fight for release, fair representation, and justice.

In solidarity,
Mary Ellen Campbell
President, CUPE 3906

Website Calendar Temporarily Out-of-Service

Nancy MacBainCommunications, General, News

Some people may have noticed that the website was down for a short period yesterday. We were undergoing some routine software upgrades that have temporarily rendered the Events Calendar incompatible. A fix is expected to arise in the next few days, and the calendar will be restored at that time.

Sorry for any inconvenience!


June 21: National Aboriginal Day

Maria MustafaEquity

By Jennifer Adese

On June 13, 1996, the then Governor General of Canada declared June 21 to be National Aboriginal Day (also sometimes referred to as National Aboriginal Solidarity Day), a day for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples to share their various cultural expressions with the rest of Canada.  Celebrated annually around the time of the summer solstice, National Aboriginal Day is celebrated by Indigenous peoples across what is often referred to as “Turtle Island.”

In recent years, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) has marketed the day as “an opportunity to learn more about Aboriginal people and their contributions to Canada.”  It is marketed as but one in an eleven day series that includes Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, Canadian Multiculturalism Day, and Canada Day, titled “Celebrate Canada!” aimed at celebrating the history of the Canadian nation.

Read More

Surveying the field

Brad WalchukGeneral

A couple of months ago I told you about an upcoming survey of Contract Faculty. This is an important project since Stats Canada, for instance, stopped collecting data on these workers in the mid-1990s. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that data collection stopped just as universities, especially in Ontario, decided on faculty non-renewal policies and turned to contract workers instead. CAUT is only now including them in their surveys. Read More

Stop the Special Diet Cut! – Rally

Brad WalchukGeneral

On June 17th, we will rally in Hamilton against the Liberal Government’s decision as part of their 2010 budget to CUT the Special Diet Allowance. The Special Diet Allowance is money that people on Welfare (OW) and Disability (ODSP) rely on in order to access healthy food and pay the rent. For hundreds of thousands in Ontario, the Special Diet is the only means left to try to survive on shamefully inadequate OW and ODSP rates.

In March, the Ontario Liberal Government, including local Hamilton-Mountain Liberal MPP Sophia Aggelonitis, put forth the most anti-poor budget since Harris in 1995. In cutting the Special Diet Allowance, the Liberals are only the third Government in Ontario’s history to cut Social Assistance. It is a 200 million dollar cut to Social Assistance! This is a brutal move that will make hundreds of thousands of people hungry, sick, at risk of being evicted, or homeless.

In Hamilton this cut to Social Assistance will be devastating. Hamilton is a community that has faced huge job losses in this economic crisis and attacks on the Public Sector. Statistics estimate that 22% of Hamilton residents live below the Poverty Line, with official unemployment being well over 8%.

We are demanding that the Ontario Government reinstate the Special Diet immediately, and that they finally reverse the 1995 Harris cut by raising OW and ODSP rates at which people can live with health and dignity.

Contact the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty  / (416) 925-6939

CUPE Ontario Recognizes 3906!

Nancy MacBainNews

CUPE Ontario held its annual Convention in Windsor from May 26-29. On the convention floor Local 3906 received a plaque “Celebrating the strength of your members in your struggle for equality, respect and fairness in the workplace.” The award recognized the strength and solidarity of the membership stemming from the Unit 1 strike in November.

The award was accepted on behalf of the Local by Nick Longaphy, a bargaining team during both Unit 1 and Unit 2 bargaining.

Nick Longaphy (centre) accepts the award on behalf of CUPE 3906 members. (Photo by J. Duff)