Winter 2019 Pay Dates

Brad WalchukUncategorized

For members of Unit 1 (TAs/RAs in lieu) and Unit 2 (Sessionals), the first pay date of the semester is Friday, January 18th, 2019. Pay is bi-weekly thereafter (Feb 1, Feb 15, Mar 1, Mar 15, Mar 29, April 12, and April 26).

Members of Unit 3 (Postdocs) are on the same schedule and paid bi-weekly throughout the year. Their first pay of 2019 was January 4th.

Important Dental Information for Winter Term Sessional Faculty Members and New TAs/RAs (in lieu of TAs)

Mary Ellen CampbellUncategorized

Please find below important dental coverage information that may apply to you if you are: a) a Sessional Faculty Member teaching for the first time for the current (2018-2019) academic year in the Winter 2019 term; or b) a new TA or RA (in lieu of TA) holding an undergraduate degree and beginning a new program in January 2019.

Your immediate action to opt-out of the CUPE 3906 dental plan or enroll in family coverage in the CUPE 3906 dental plan may be required before January 31, 2019. Read More

Happy New Year

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Our office has re-opened as of January 2nd, 2019 and will be opened on January 3rd, closed from the 4th-6th, and re-opened again on January 7th, 2019.

Our New Year’s Resolutions are to ensure the successful re-negotiation of strong collective agreements for both Unit 1 (TAs) and Unit 3 (Postdocs). We’ll be looking for the support of our members throughout this year to give the support that is needed to follow through on that resolution.

End of Year Message from CUPE Ontario

Brad WalchukUncategorized

As 2018 draws to a close, many of us are taking a well-earned break from work to spend time with family. While we do, let’s not forget the members of our union who work over the holidays to look after our loved ones and keep our communities strong while we’re away.

Let us also reflect with pride on our efforts as a union over the past year and steel ourselves for the challenges ahead. In 2018, CUPE Ontario members played a leading role in ousting the Wynne Liberals and electing the strongest NDP caucus in a generation. But there’s no sugar-coating it–we’re looking at a hard road ahead under the Ford Conservatives.

They’ve wasted little time implementing their far-right agenda. Rolling back the gains for working families made under Bill 148. Undermining the free collective bargaining process by forcing CUPE 3903 members and power workers back to work. Passing discriminatory laws targeting trans people, taking our sex-ed curriculum back to the 90sattacking the rights of Franco-Ontarians, and much, much more.

And even though Canadian corporate tax rates are among the world’s lowest, the Ford Conservatives, like the Wynne and Trudeau Liberals, have refused to address the main cause of underfunding for the public services we all depend on: criminally low taxes on the wealthy that perpetuate inequality in our society.

But there is still hope. CUPE members are rising up to resist this far-right resurgence. Whether going on strike against two-tier contracts and precarious work, mobilizing our members in elections, fighting the Ford austerity agenda at Queen’s Park, stemming the rising tide of racism in our communities, defending our pensions, pushing minimum care standards for long-term care residents, or standing in solidarity with our allies in the labour movement, we must never forget that WE are the people and the only way the far-right wins is if the people do nothing.

2019 will bring fresh challenges but also the chance to elect new leaders in the Canadian federal election. As CUPE Ontario members, we resolve to continue standing on the front lines in defence of the public services our parents and grandparents left to us, while making new gains for working people and their families.

Wishing you a safe and joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year.

In Solidarity,

Fred Hahn
President, CUPE Ontario

Candace Rennick
Secretary-Treasurer, CUPE Ontario


CUPE 3906 Office Holiday Closure

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We hope you’re able to enjoy some downtime over the holidays while the campus is shut down. The campus, as well as our office, will re-open on January 2nd. No one will be in the office between December 20th and January 2nd.

If you are a member experiencing an urgent situation over the break, please e-mail and your inquiry will be addressed in priority sequence.


CPP Rate Change

Brad WalchukUncategorized

CPP Contribution Rates are Increasing in January

For many of our members, the change will not be significant on a week-to-week basis. Those earning higher amounts, such as Postdocs and Sessionals with a heavy teaching load, will see a maximum increased CPP contribution of $155.10 per year (based on earning $57,400 or above).

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is a federal government program that provides pension and benefits when people retire, become disabled or die. It covers almost all working Canadians over the age of 18. The CPP is funded by contributions from employees and matching employer contributions, as well as investment earnings generated.

The Government of Canada is introducing changes to CPP that will be phased in over a number of years.  The first change takes effect in January and will require that both employees and the University contribute more to CPP.  Beginning with your January pay deposit, the CPP contributions will increase from 4.95% to 5.10%.

CPP contributions are calculated on earned income above $3,500 and up to the YMPE (Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings).  Here’s an illustration of the impact of the contribution increase when comparing the maximum contributions in 2019 to 2018.

CPP Contributions: 2018 2019
YMPE $55,900 $57,400
Basic Exemption $  3,500 $  3,500
CPP Contribution Rate 4.95% 5.10%
Calculation of Maximum Contributions for the Year ($55,900 – $3,500) * 4.95%

= $2,593.80

($57,400 – $3,500) * 5.10%

= $2,748.90

2019 Increase in the Maximum CPP Contribution   $155.10


The above example shows the maximum CPP contributions for the year.  If your earned income for the year, is less than the YMPE, your CPP contributions will not reach the maximum for the year.  CPP is deducted on each bi-weekly pay deposit and contributions cease when the maximum amount for the year is reached. McMaster University matches your contribution amounts.

The next change to CPP will take place in January 2020 when the rates will increase to 5.25% of earned income.

Increase to Postdoc Health Care Spending Account- now $250/yr

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Dear Postdocs,

We have an important (and, we think, a helpful) update about the Health Care Spending Account that was secured in our most recent round of contract negotiations.

The maximum amount has been increased from $125 per academic year to $250 per academic year (subject to the availability of funds). 

This account will cover any health-care related expense approved by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and can be used to supplement items/services not fully covered by your SunLife plan, or items that are not covered at all by the Sun Life Plan.  (Click here to see the list of types of authorized medical practitioners whose services are eligible according to the CRA.)

The link to the application form is available here.

You must currently be working as a CUPE 3906 Unit 3 Postdoc at McMaster to access the funds.

This fund is just one of the many benefits that unionized postdoctoral fellows receive by virtue of their membership in CUPE.

McMaster’s “All Unions Committee” responds to passage of Bill 47

Brad WalchukUncategorized

While Bill 47 may now be the law, it should not be seen as a green light for McMaster University to rollback workers’ rights on campus.

We, along with Unifor 5555, SEIU Local 2, IUOE Local 772, the McMaster University Academic Librarians Association, the McMaster University Faculty Association, and Fight for $15 and Fairness – Hamilton (McMaster Chapter) stand united in our opposition to this bill and expect McMaster to live up to a higher standard.

A PDF of the signed letter is available by clicking here (all unions updated letter), and the text can be found below:

To President and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane, and Provost and Vice-President David Farrar,

We the undersigned would like to openly and clearly voice our opposition to the provincial government’s efforts to introduce Bill 47 – The Making Ontario Open for Business Act. The content and nature of this legislation directly contravenes not only the long overdue labour reforms secured through Bill 148, but also Doug Ford’s campaign promise to be “for the people.”

This anti-labour legislation adds to the growing regressive legacy of the Ford Conservatives and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms. This legislation, as its naming suggests, is beneficial for only one segment of Mr. Ford’s constituency: that of big business and those associated with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. The repeal of a minimum wage that is closer to a living wage, of paid sick days, of fairer scheduling practices, and of equal pay measures for part-time, temporary and casual workers, can never be “for the people.”

We the undersigned call on the Ford Conservatives to not repeal the positive changes made under Bill 148.

We also call on McMaster University to enact, in policy, changes that will uphold the changes won under Bill 148. Regressive legislation should not be seen as an opportunity for McMaster University to pay any worker less than $15 an hour or to take away two paid sick days. A recent widely published survey found that 77% of those asked opposed the repeal of the two paid emergency leave days provided under Bill 148. These days help improve the mental and physical wellbeing of employees, as well as the physical health of coworkers and students. They should be available to all workers, and the government’s new legislation should not be seen as an opportunity to strip these days from workers who do not have them guaranteed under a collective agreement. Furthermore, Bill 47 should not be taken as an opportunity to again start asking for doctor’s notes in the event of a sick day – a policy which the medical community, including those at McMaster’s medical facilities, have spoken out against. Nor should this anti-worker legislation be used to increase precarious work conditions for non-full-time employees – which the McMaster-led Poverty and Employment Precarity in Southern Ontario (PEPSO) research project has found leads to worse health outcomes and lowers household well-being.

We call on McMaster University to live up to their Brighter World campaign. If the “health and well-being of all” is truly a goal of this institution, then the Making Ontario Open for Business Act and the values of McMaster are irreconcilable. The research produced by McMaster itself supports this claim.

We call for you to join us in the fight for justice, fairness, and research-based policy-making that promotes the health and well-being of all.


Angie Perez (CUPE 3906)

Emily Heikoop (Unifor 5555)

Greg Hoath (IUOE 772)

Dave Bridger (SEIU Local 2)

Denise Smith (McMaster University Academic Librarians Association)

Ben Owens (McMaster 15 and Fairness)

Michel Grignon (McMaster University Faculty Association)



Hiring: Two Member Mobilizers

Brad WalchukUncategorized

CUPE 3906 is looking for someone to do mobilizing work as part of our bargaining efforts. The mobilizing work
will consist of talking to academic workers on the McMaster University campus, with a focus on organizing
events, rallies, and helping to implement a bargaining campaign. There are two positions to fill.

The job posting is available at this link: CUPE 3906 member mobilizer- November 2018