Period Poverty- Campaign Update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Due to popular demand our local has ran out of REGULAR size menstrual cups!!! We still have a limited number of size LARGE (made specifically for those who have given birth) menstrual cups.

The Women’s and Equity committee remain committed to their campaign tackling period poverty and will be requesting additional funding in the next GMM (April 2020). Due to the high demands of menstrual cups we are restricting mail-outs orders so we can purchase more cups for members.

We are so appreciative of everyone’s interest and are overjoyed by the positive feedback we are receiving!

Shirleen, Amelia and Alexis.

CUPE 3906 Women’s Committee Launches ‘Period Poverty’ Campaign

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Our amazing Women’s Committee has been working on our period poverty initiative since September 2019. Last year we were able to get menstrual products in women’s and (some) all-gender washrooms across campus. This year we wanted to get a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative – menstrual cups! Menstrual cups are eco-friendly alternatives to tampons and pads. It Is an environmentally friendly solution compared to the conventional alternatives that exist on the market today. Here’s some more information on menstrual cups:  
  • Menstrual cups can last up to a decade because they are made of medical-grade silicone, rubber or latex
  • Can also reduce plastic waste by using a menstrual cup
  • One cup produces an estimated 0.4% of the plastic waste that single-use pads build up, or 6% of that created by tampons in the span of 10 years
  • Silicone is a pretty green ingredient. The material is derived from silica, a type of sand, and as it degrades, it will slowly go back to its original state; the second most abundant mineral in the Earth’s crust and one that isn’t hazardous to the environment.
We also created a poster (see attached/below) that we will be distributing across campus for further member outreach. As of now, members can email EQUITY@CUPE.3906.ORG to arrange pick up of their menstrual cups (available in medium, or large- designed specifically for those who have given birth). We are also looking into mailing menstrual cup to members who may not feel comfortable/safe picking up their cup in office (more information on this to follow) 
We thank everyone for their support and look forward to any feedback!
Shirleen, Amelia and Alexis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Statement of support for an Indigenous land defender and Unit 1 member


Last week, one of our Unit 1 members, a Teaching Assistant, participated in one of the ongoing rail blockades in support of the Wet’suwet’en. Our member was interviewed by a public news source and was reported to have made claims about requiring students to participate in the blockades. The comment she was alleged to have made was not an accurate representation of what she actually said regarding students and the potential for a teachable moment. By virtue of this reported comment, our member has been subjected to targeted harassment and bigotry by members of the Hamilton community and beyond. Let us be clear at the outset: The claims our member was said to have made were not accurately reported, and even if they were, they would constitute no violation of the Collective Agreement which sets the terms of her employment.

CUPE 3906 has issued a statement standing in full solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en and has offered financial support to the Unist’ot’en Camp’s growing legal defence fund.

Meanwhile, in what appears to be an indirect yet targeted response to our member, McMaster University (our member’s employer) published a message via their Twitter account addressing the situation, claiming that grades cannot be associated with attendance at any particular protest. This message does not refer to any portion of the Collective Agreement between Unit 1 of CUPE 3906 and McMaster University, nor does it refer to any internal university policy.

The Collective Agreement does, however, outline McMaster’s duty to provide its Teaching Assistants with a safe working environment. By posting this message to the university’s public Twitter account, McMaster created an unsafe environment for one of its employees (who is also a student), essentially inviting – indirectly or not – targeted harassment and bigoted vitriol. Since the tweet was posted, our member has received direct messages rooted in racism and misogyny, as well as calls for the termination of their employment. As a union member, a Haudenosaunee womxn, and a human being, it is completely unacceptable that she has received such messages. McMaster’s tweet has drawn dozens of online comments, many of which are in clear violation of the university’s Discrimination and Harassment: Prevention and Response Policy. While we recognize that McMaster itself has not posted these racist and bigoted comments, deleting the tweet would be a step in the right direction to securing a safe working environment, enforcing their own discrimination and harassment policy, and taking away the space for these comments to be made and seen publicly.

Further, since our member has not violated any aspect of the Collective Agreement, any and all statements calling for our member’s termination are not only completely unfounded, but demonstrate a striking lack of understanding of what it means to be an employee, let alone a Unionized employee.

We find this event particularly egregious and ironic given McMaster University’s repeated public support of reconciliation. In particular, McMaster has stated it is “fully committed to supporting our Indigenous students, faculty, staff and local communities now and in the weeks and months to come.” Within the past weeks, McMaster has had the opportunity to put these words into action by standing up for its members (be they students or employees) as they support Indigenous rights across Turtle Island. Instead, McMaster chose to remain silent and, even worse, to tacitly (if not explicitly) endorse the harassment our Indigenous members are facing. The irony of allowing such anti-Indigenous hatred to go unchecked in a time when the university continues to tout its commitment to so-called “reconciliation” should not be lost on any of us.

CUPE 3906 stands in solidarity with our member (and indeed any other land defenders) in the face of such abuse. We also support their participation in the solidarity blockades.

Because McMaster has facilitated and exacerbated the issues outlined above, we publicly call on the university to immediately take the following actions:

  1. Remove the tweet.
  2. In keeping with McMaster’s stated commitment to reconciliation, as well as its duty to ensure a safe working environment of its employees, issue a statement condemning the attacks being made against our member.
  3. In continuation of the above, issue a statement condemning anti-Indigenous violence in all forms, including both resource extraction and the harassment of so many land defenders, including our member discussed herein.


Nathan Todd

President, CUPE 3906


For a signed PDF version of the above statement, click here.

FREE First Aid Training for CUPE 3906 Members

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We wanted to remind you that Free First Aid Training is a benefit guaranteed under your Collective Agreements and available to all 3906 members at no charge.  The course, a Standard Red Cross certificate course, is offered being offered on a number of dates this spring through Athletics and Recreation, and the cost of registration is covered by the Employer. Dates for the ten different two-day sessions, and further information, are available here. You will need to attend both days in order to receive the certificate.
The sessions are being held on campus. If you have questions about the specifics of the material being offered, please contact Athletics and Recreation at ext. 24464. They are the ones who are offering and teaching the class. Online registration is not an option. If you are a TA/RA in lieu and working in a different department/program other than the one that you are registered in as a student, registration should be done through your academic department. Normally, the Administrator from the department or program that employs you will need to register you as they must provide the departmental code so the cost can be billed accordingly. This charge cannot be passed on to you.

CUPE 3906 Stands in Solidarity with the Land Defenders of Wet’suwet’en


At our most recent General Membership Meeting, CUPE 3906 approved a $3,000 donation to the Unist’ot’en Legal Defence Fund.

We also endorsed the following statement, and urge other labour unions to do the same:

CUPE 3906 stands in solidarity with the land defenders of Wet’suwet’en, the hereditary chiefs of this sovereign Nation, and all other Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island fighting to protect the land from unwanted degradation and militarized police intervention. We understand that extractive industries, environmental devastation, and police violence against Indigenous peoples are all inextricably linked as pillars of the settler colonial project that requires the continuous dispossession of Indigenous lands.

Earlier this month, RCMP trespassed further into Wet’suwet’en territory and began arresting both members of this sovereign Nation and (settler) legal observers, forcibly removing women in ceremony, and tearing down the gates that that had been set up for their protection – all while denying journalists the access to record such illegal acts.

Indeed, these acts fly in the face of Wet’suwet’en, Canadian, and international law. Most importantly, under Wet’suwet’en law, authority over the Nation’s territory remains with the hereditary chiefs of five clans, all of whom oppose the pipeline. While elected band councils may or may not have jurisdiction over reserve lands (at least under Canadian law, which forcibly imposed the band council system on Indigenous peoples in the first place), they absolutely do not have jurisdiction over the territories closest to the pipeline. The jurisdiction of hereditary chiefs over these lands was further confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1997 Delgamuuk’w decision. In that case, the Court sided with the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en and neighbouring Gitxsan nations, finding that both retained title to their territories. Furthermore, the evictions of land defenders from Wet’suwet’en constitute blatant violations of Article 10 (“No Forced Removals”) in the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which clearly states that “Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories.” We would like to remind the federal government that in their quest for so-called “reconciliation,” they agreed to abide by the UNDRIP in 2017. The violation of Indigenous people’s territorial sovereignty has been the norm in Canada for well over a century, yet somehow our government continues to frame this country as a progressive global leader on matters relating to Indigenous issues and the climate.

This week, OPP officers violently arrested several Tyendinaga Mohawk land defenders who had occupied a rail line in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en. As tensions continue to escalate and blockades increase in strength and numbers, we know that the only way to end the stand-offs in a peaceful manner will be to ensure the demands of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs are met. We unequivocally support these demands, which are listed below:

  • That the province cease construction of the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline project and suspend permits.
  • That the UNDRIP and the Wet’suwet’en right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) are respected by the state and RCMP.
  • That the RCMP and associated security and policing services be withdrawn from Wet’suwet’en lands, in agreement with the most recent letter provided by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s (CERD) request.
  • That the provincial and federal government, RCMP and private industry employed by CGL respect our laws and our governance system, and refrain from using any force to access Wet’suwet’en lands or remove Wet’suwet’en people.


We also call on other labour unions and progressive organizations to make similar statements of support, not just in words but also in action. As of now, our Local has plans to send a substantial donation to the 2020 Unist’ot’en Legal Defence Fund, and many of our members stand ready to answer the call of Indigenous land defenders nearby, on the Haudenosaunee and Mississauga territories on which we live.





Province-Wide Teachers Strike

Brad WalchukUncategorized

This Friday, February 21st, all four of the province’s education sector unions (OSSTF, ETFO, OECTA, and AEFO) will be striking together in the fight against Ford and Lecce’s plans for public education in Ontario. We are asking that you please join us on the picket line in solidarity with these education workers.
Some key details:
  1. A  group of us will be meeting at the CUPE office (KTH B111) at 11:00 AM and taking the bus from campus to the nearby schools in Westdale together (closest stop: Longwood @ King). The more, the merrier!
  2. It is VERY important that each person sign in with at Picket Captain upon arrival at the picket line. This goes for those who arrive in the large group, and for those who find their own transportation to the picket line. Picket Captains are typically easy to locate. Look for brightly coloured hats, vests, or other distinctive clothing.
  3. Come by the CUPE office anytime before 11:00 AM Friday to grab your very own 3906 toque to wear on the picket line!
  4. Those interested can also come by the office to make your own signs in support of Ontario’s education workers, starting at 9:00 AM Friday morning. We will provide the supplies!
* If you know you will be coming for sign making, the solidarity picket, or both, please contact Mollie at so that we have an idea of how many people to expect. 

Unit 2 (Sessionals) Special Meeting to Elect Bargaining Team

Brad WalchukUncategorized

As you may know, the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) covering Sessional Faculty and Hourly-Rated Music Faculty expires on August 31, 2020. The CBA is a legal employment contract covering all sessionals that outlines their rights, benefits, and privileges.

Unit 2 members (Hourly-Rated Sessional Music Faculty and Sessional Faculty, including MELD Sessionals) will be electing their bargaining team at a Special General Membership Meeting beginning at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, February 24th in MUSC 311/313. Interested members will have the chance to address the membership short after 12:00 and voting will occur immediately thereafter. The Local’s President, Nathan Todd, will also speak about his experience bargaining with McMaster this past year for Unit 1 (TAs), as well as for Sessionals in 2017 with a Q and A session to follow. As per our by-laws:

The Unit 2 Bargaining committee shall consist of not more than four (4) members in good standing of which the majority must be from Unit 2, elected by Unit 2 members at a General Membership Meeting. The bargaining team may choose to be assisted by an advisor, a staff representative/business agent, and/or a person with secretarial functions. The National Representative assigned to the local shall be a non-voting member of the Committee and shall be consulted at all stages from formulating proposals, through negotiations, to contract ratification by membership.

We also elect an alternate team member in the event that one of the members is unable to complete their term on the bargaining team. Each position comes with a monthly honorarium of $300.

Members can self-nominate (at the meeting or via e-mail in advance) or have someone else nominate them. We encourage all members interested to submit a written statement that will be copied and left in the room for members who arrive who may arrive late. All members who run at the meeting will be given 2 minutes to address their co-workers. In order to be elected, a candidate must receive more than 50% of votes. Subsequent run-off elections will be held, if needed, until 4 members and one alternate have met this threshold. Should more than the required number of members meet this threshold, those receiving the most votes will be elected.

For any questions, please contact president[@]

February General Membership Meeting

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Further details will be forthcoming, but here is the preliminary information for this month’s General Membership Meeting.


TIME: 12:00 PM-3:00 PM

DATE:Tuesday, February 25, 2020