Unit 3 (Postdocs) Spring Photo Contest

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Our postdoctoral fellows recently held a spring photo contest- and they didn’t disappoint. Despite being in the midst of the third-wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, they found beauty around town.

Sessional Faculty End-of-Term Updates

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Employment Insurance

Please note that the final pay for this past term was April 23rd. This represents what Service Canada refers to as an ‘interruption of earnings’  and should be the date you list on your EI application as the last pay date (not the date for which you were last paid). The ‘day for which you were last paid’  and your ‘last day worked’  should be listed as April 16th.  We would encourage all Sessionals who may utilize Employment Insurance at any point in 2021 to apply immediately, even if you are employed during the coming Spring term.

The first pay in the Spring term, for those of you who are employed, will be on May 21st and the first day of work will be May 2nd. This means you should be able to collect EI for a brief period of time prior to May 2nd, if you have enough insurable hours. If you are not working this Spring, you should be able to collect starting now and throughout most of the summer.

For information on EI, click here. If you have already served a withholding period in the past 52 weeks, you will be able to collect EI sooner. If you have not served a withholding period, you can serve one week over the holidays and should be able to collect EI sooner in late April. If you have yet to serve the one-week withholding period in the past 52 weeks and plan on accessing EI over the spring/summer, we would strongly encourage you to apply for EI over the holidays to serve the withholding period.

In certain instances, it is possible to both work and collect EI (with some clawbacks) if the amount of work have in the winter has dropped substantially from the work you had during the fall term. More information is available here.
The employer will upload your ROE automatically to Service Canada. You can apply for EI at any point after you see it uploaded to your Service Canada site.

Post-Contract Work

Remember, any post-contract work (that is, work requested by your supervisor and done after your final grades have been submitted) is separate from your contract and payable at a rate of $66.70/hour. This would include reviewing grades that are being challenged, marking exams that have been deferred, and dealing with cases of plagiarism. This is not an exhaustive list, and more information, including the appropriate form you’ll need to fill out and submit to get paid, is available here.

Large Class Supplemental Fee

If you have yet to be paid the Large Class Supplemental Fee, please let us know. For those of you earning the base rate and teaching a class with more than 75 students, you are eligible for this added supplement.  For a typical 3-unit course, this would amount to $6.00 per student for each student above 75. If you taught a class with more than 75 students, you may wish to remind your department (we’ve had HR do this as well), and please confirm that this additional supplement will be paid prior to the end of contract (and contact us if you haven’t received it!).

Mourn for the Dead, Fight Like Hell for the Living

Brad WalchukUncategorized

On April 28 at 11 a.m., the Hamilton and District Labor Council will be replicating its traditional Day of Mourning ceremony from City Hall on Zoom. The HDLC will also continue its practice of having roses available for those individuals who wish to lay one at the monument in memory of a loved one.

On April 28, we will remember those comrades we’ve lost due to workplace injuries and illnesses, not just this past year, but also throughout our personal workplace histories.

We will continue to share music as a tool of contemplation and reflection.

We will hear from some labour leaders about the impact the pandemic has had on their sector and how we can safely transition back to “normal” working conditions.

And we will hear from coalition partners around the city who work with injured workers on a daily basis, even under trying times.

You can register for the event by clicking here. Even though the event will be live at 11 a.m., the YouTube stream will be available after the event is done on our HDLC YouTube Channel.

Mourn for the Dead, Fight like Hell for the Living!

Each year on April 28, the labour movement commemorates a Day of Mourning, in memory of all of those workers who have been killed or injured on the job. This year, the Day of Mourning is particularly somber, as we remember thousands of workers across the country who have died of Covid-19, many of whom contracted the deadly virus in their workplaces. When people don’t have access to paid sick leave, they are far more likely to have to go to work, either because they can’t afford the lost time, or because they can’t risk being disciplined or terminated for missing work. In 2018, workers won a small number of paid sick days for all, but one of the Ford Government’s first acts in power was to take those away. Ontario currently only guarantees workers three days of job-protected leave for personal illness, none of which are paid.

This Wednesday at 10:00am, we are encouraging all of our members to take a ten minute break from their work to take action for paid sick leave for all, including the following:

  • Observe a moment of silence;
  • Wear black;
  • Use this form on the CUPE Ontario website to send a message to Doug Ford and your local MPP;
  • Use the Decent Work and Health Network’s form to send a message as well;
  • Download the poster and send a picture of yourself with it to 1-866-821-7273. Share it on social media with the hashtags #PaidSickDays and #10for10, and make sure to tag us as well;
  • Find more graphics and infographics from #10for10 and the Decent Work and Health Network here, and share them on social media;
  • Sign up here to participate in future actions with your co-workers in support of paid sick days for all.

Unit 2 (Sessionals) Bargaining Survey

Brad WalchukUncategorized

As you are likely aware, your union will be re-negotiating your Collective Agreement with the Employer (McMaster University) later this summer. You already elected a bargaining team of five sessionals who have been hard at work creating a bargaining survey. They bargaining survey is an important part of this process because it allows you to provide feedback to the bargaining team to ensure that your priorities and needs are reflected in the proposals that we bring forward to the Employer this summer. You’ll have the opportunity to ratify those priorities in mid-May. Your feedback on this survey will help create a better and stronger Collective Agreement.
The survey is open now and will remain open until May 6th. You can access the survey through a link provided in your McMaster email account. If you didn’t receive one, please let us know and we can send it to you directly.
All participants who provide an e-mail address will be entered into a draw to win a grand prize of a $100 grocery gift card, or one of four secondary prizes of a $50 grocery gift card.
If you have any questions, feel free to email us: staff@cupe3906.org
In solidarity,
Your Unit 2 Elected Bargaining Team (Peter, Kojo, Zoi, Carolyn, and Leon)

Annual General Meeting- Election Results

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Thank you for your participation & patience with our election this week!

We are pleased to announce the following results:

  • Vice President: Fernando Lennertz
  • International Officer: Sarah Elshahat
  • 1-year Trustee: Shekhar Rammohan Singh Tandel
  • Chief Steward Unit 1: Brock Bodo

They join the following people, who were elected at the meeting.

President: Sharoni Mitra (re-elected)

Vice President External: Shirleen Datt (re-elected)

Treasurer: Chris Fairweather (re-elected)

Recording Secretary: Rohit Gupta (re-elected)

Chief Steward Unit 2:  Carolyn Capretta

Chief Steward Unit 3: Kezhuan Gu (re-elected)

Benefits and Advocacy Officer: Kyle Morrison (re-elected)

Equity Officer: Laurie Sherry-Kirk (re-elected)

Health and Safety Officer: Arghyadeep Sarkar (re-elected)

Undergraduate Officer: Vacant, please contact staff@cupe3906.org if you are an interested undergrad TA

Trustee (3 year year term, exp. 2024): Wouter van den Berg

Trustee (2 year year term, exp. 2023): Maxwell Lightstone

The Political Action Committee (Co-Chairs) remain Leah McGrath Reynolds and Brock Bedo. These positions are determined by consensus at PAC meetings throughout the year.

Unit 2 (Sessional) End-of-Term Updates

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Professional Development Fund (PDF) Deadline Extension

The deadline for Unit 2 Professional Development Fund applications was previously April 7th; however, in light of current circumstances, our Benefits Officer has extended this deadline to 5:00 PM on April 17th. We hope that this added flexibility can provide our members with some relief in these difficult times. The application form can be found herePlease note that electronic submissions are now preferred and should be sent to benefits@cupe3906.org in a single document. Any questions should also be sent to benefits@cupe3906.org.

Post-Contract Work

Any post-contract work (that is, work requested by your supervisor and done after your final grades have been submitted) is separate from your contract and payable at a rate of $66.70/hour. This would include reviewing grades that are being challenged, marking exam that have been deferred, and dealing with cases of plagiarism. This is not an exhaustive list, and more information, including the appropriate form you’ll need to fill out and submit to get paid, is available here. If you are asked to perform this work and are collecting EI or CERB, please let us know.

Large Class Supplemental Fee

We have also heard that most sessionals have yet to been paid the Large Class Supplemental Fee. For those of you earning the base rate and teaching a class with more than 75 students, please note that your last pay stub should reflect an additional supplementary payment of $2.00 per student per unit for each student above 75.  For a typical 3-unit course, this would amount to $6.00 per student for each student above 75. If you taught a class with more than 75 students and you have yet to see the supplemental fee added, please reach out to your department ASAP to confirm that this additional supplement has been paid on April 24th. If the payment is not processed by the end of this week, it will not make the April 24th pay and will come at a later date. This could adversely impact EI and CERB entitlement, so please follow-up with you administrator this week and let us know if there are any issues.

Postdoc Photo Contest

Brad WalchukUncategorized

This spring is the one year mark of COVID-19 global pandemic. As we all continue to do our part in fighting this pandemic, the U3 Stewards’ Council would like to cheer up our members by inviting each of you to enter our spring photo sharing event. We encourage everyone to participate by sending us spring photos. These could be photos of nature in spring, flower blooming, plants with green leaf in your backyard. It could also be pictures of the city in the spring or local trails that you walk on.

Every participant will have a chance to win a prize. The top 5 photos selected by the U3 Stewards’ Council will be awarded one $50 dollar gift card each, and another 10 will be selected as runners up and receive a $25 dollar gift card each. To participate, please send your photos to chiefsteward_postdocs@cupe3906.org  no later than Friday, April 16, 2021.

Paid TA Training- Upcoming Survey

Brad WalchukUncategorized

You’ve likely already seen this before (and that’s a good thing!), but we too are reaching out to all current TAs regarding the upcoming paid TA training that will begin this fall. 

As part of the last round of collective bargaining with McMaster, your union secured paid access to an institution-wide or Faculty-specific training program for all Unit 1 members. Each TA will be paid for five hours of training outside of their TA contracts. This was a major priority on our bargaining survey.

In preparation for the launch of the training program in September 2021, we are encouraging you to complete a short survey regarding existing TA training in your Department. This is also your opportunity to provide recommendations regarding the training to be developed. CUPE has members on three working groups helping to implement this training, and we assure you that the voices of TAs are vital to ensuring the implementation of a robust and effective program of TA training that meets your needs and the needs of your students. 

The TA Training Feedback Survey – Teaching Assistants will be available until April 13th at 11:59 pm, and we hope you will take a few minutes before then to complete this survey. 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the survey, please contact Erin Allard, Chair of the Structure and Content Working Group (allarde@mcmaster.ca).  If you have questions about your rights as an employee and the impact of this training, please contact staff@cupe3906.org 

AGM Election Update- voting deadline extended until Tuesday April 13th

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Some of you may have experienced delays with receiving your ballots today. We’ve been in the process of getting things straightened out in consultation with McMaster and Election Runner in order to ensure a fair and equitable election.
Earlier today we sent out over 4000 ballots to all members containing the VP, International Officer, and Trustee positions along with over 3000 to just TAs for the Unit 1 Chief Steward position. Unfortunately, but for a logical reason, these messages were flagged as spam/phishing by McMaster’s IT setup and most were not sent through on time. McMaster recently made arrangements to approve the mass of ballots and Election Runner is now re-sending the ballots.
Because of this, we are extending the election time period to Tuesday April 13th  at 5pm to ensure that all ballots are received and that folks have enough time to cast a ballot. Please keep an eye out for an email from noreply@electionrunner.com and check your spam folder. You’ll receive two ballots – one for your chief steward and another for the remaining contest positions. Thanks for your patience and understanding about this, and apologies for the inconvenience.
In solidarity,
CUPE 3906 Executive

Update from 2021 Annual General Meeting

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Thanks to all the amazing members who took time out of their afternoon to log in to this afternoon’s Annual General Membership Meeting. Some positions were acclaimed, some that are slated for election, and one that remains vacant. Here a breakdown of the results.

President: Sharoni Mitra (re-elected)

Vice President: **position contested, please see your McMaster email for access to the ballot**

Vice President External: Shirleen Datt (re-elected)

Treasurer: Chris Fairweather (re-elected)

Recording Secretary: Rohit Gupta (re-elected)

Chief Steward Unit 1: **position contested, please see your McMaster email for access to the ballot**

Chief Steward Unit 2:  Carolyn Capretta

Chief Steward Unit 3: Kezhuan Gu (re-elected)

Benefits and Advocacy Officer: Kyle Morrison (re-elected)

Equity Officer: Laurie Sherry-Kirk (re-elected)

Health and Safety Officer: Arghyadeep Sarkar (re-elected)

International Officer: **position contested, please see your McMaster email for access to the ballot**

Undergraduate Officer: Vacant, please contact staff@cupe3906.org if you are an interested undergrad TA

Trustee (3 year year term, exp. 2024): Wouter van den Berg

Trustee (2 year year term, exp. 2023): Maxwell Lightstone

Trustee (1 year year term, exp. 2022): **position contested, please see your McMaster email for access to the ballot**

The Political Action Committee (Co-Chairs) remain Leah McGrath Reynolds and Brock Bedo. These positions are determined by consensus at PAC meetings throughout the year.

A major thank you to Dr. Sylvia Nickerson, our outgoing Chief Steward, Unit 2 (Sessionals) who decided to not offer for re-election. Sylvia has done amazing work over her term as Chief Steward and we’re excited for her continued involvement as a rank-and-file member.