General Membership Meeting – January 24, 2024 @ 10 am (Zoom)

presidentUncategorized

Join us for our firstly monthly General Membership Meeting of the 2024 Winter term on Wednesday, January 24 at 10 am to ring in the new semester! As always, pre-registration will be required to attend this meeting. These meetings usually run 2+ hours; we ask that you attend if you can, or drop by in-part otherwise. We will be holding elections for any vacancies and electing a Unit 2 bargaining team for upcoming negotiations.

Please remember: You must register with your McMaster email address. Using your Mac address is needed for us to confirm your union membership prior to the meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.  Any members wishing to present pre-written motions should provide theirs via email to president@cupe3906.org by Monday, January 22.

Register in advance for our GMM here. You will receive a Zoom link after registration: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwrfuuhqzMoGtYnzw5NnQXFivyuuyypPASN

Important Dental Information for TAs, RAs (in lieu of TAs) and Sessional Faculty Working in the Winter 2024 Term

Mary Ellen CampbellUncategorized

If you are a CUPE 3906 TA, RA (in lieu of TA), and/or Sessional Faculty Member who is working in the Winter 2024 term (but did not work in the Fall 2023 term), this message is for you!

Until February 5th, 2024, CUPE 3906 Classification “A” TA, RA (in lieu of TA) holding an undergraduate degree, and Sessional Faculty Members who are working in the Winter 2024 term (but did not work in the Fall 2023 term) can opt-out of dental coverage or enroll in family dental coverage.  CUPE 3906 Classification “A” Unit 1 (TA or RA in lieu holding an undergraduate degree) and Unit 2 (Sessional Faculty and Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty) are automatically enrolled in CUPE 3906’s single dental coverage with Equitable Life of Canada unless they successfully submit a dental opt-out or family dental enrollment form by the deadline.

If you are a CUPE 3906 Classification “A” Unit 1 (TA or RA in lieu) Member working in the Winter 2024 term (and you did not work in the Fall 2023 term) and would like to opt-out of dental coverage or enroll in family dental coverage, please read this important letter and visit our website for instructions and forms: https://cupe3906.org/tas-unit-1/dental-plan/

If you are a CUPE 3906 Unit 2 (Sessional Faculty and Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty) Member working in the Winter 2024 term (and did not work in the Fall 2023 term) and would like to opt-out of dental coverage or enroll in family dental coverage, please read this important letter and visit our website for instructions and forms: https://cupe3906.org/sessionals-unit-2/unit-2-dental-coverage/

The deadline to submit these forms and any applicable supporting documentation to administrator@cupe3906.org is February 5, 2024.

Unfortunately, we can no longer accept dental opt-out or family enrollment forms from members who worked in the Fall 2023 term.

Members who are working as Unit 1 or Unit 2 Members in the Spring/Summer term(s) (and did not work in the Fall 2023 or Winter 2024 terms) may opt-out of dental coverage or enroll in family dental coverage at the beginning of the Spring/Summer term(s).

General information about our dental coverage for TAs and RAs (in lieu of TAs) may be found at our website, here: https://cupe3906.org/tas-unit-1/dental-plan/

General information about our dental coverage for Sessional Faculty and Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty may be found at our website, here: https://cupe3906.org/sessionals-unit-2/unit-2-dental-coverage/

Bargaining Mobilizer: Job Posting

presidentUncategorized

The union is looking for one (1) dedicated member to book-off the role of Bargaining Mobilizer for member education, engagement, organizing, and campaign work to support upcoming rounds of Unit 2 bargaining. This position is for roughly 10 hours per week and is compensated at the rate of $31.77/hr. This position is unionized with CUPE 1281. Complete information about this book-off position, including job description and duties, can be found here: 2024 U2 Member Mobilizer
Interested members should apply by January 18th, 2024 by sending a CV, cover letter, and two references to president@cupe3906.org.

End of Semester Update – Unit 2 (Sessionals)

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Here are a few useful updates and reminders from your Union:


i. Final payment

The final pay of the semester will arrive in your account on Friday December 29th and will cover the period from December 10th to December 23rd. As of December 21st, your contract is officially over and you should not work past this point.

ii. Large Class Supplement 

We have learned that some sessionals have yet to be 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 December 29th. If the payment is not processed by the end of this week, it will not make the December 29th pay and will come at a later date. This could adversely impact EI entitlement, so please follow-up with your administrator this week and let us know if there are any issues. We are happy to help if there are any issues.

iii. 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 $71.13/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, please let us know.  Once your marks have been submitted (the main list, this does not need to include any deferred exams or extensions based on accommodations), your contract is over and this triggers the beginning of the post-contract period.

iv. Employment insurance

The final pay for this term is December 29th. This final pay on December 29th 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 December 21st.  We would encourage all Sessionals who may utilize Employment Insurance at any point in 2024 to apply after December 29th, even if you are employed during the Winter term.   

The first pay in the Winter term, for those of you who are employed, will be on January 26th and the first day of work will be January 8th. This means you may be able to collect EI from December 22nd to January 7th if you have enough insurable hours. For information on EI, click here. If you have already served a withholding period in the past 52 weeks, you may be able to collect EI as of December 29th. If you have not served a withholding period, you can serve one week over the holidays and should be able to collect EI for a day or two. However, you will have served the one-week waiting period, which means you won’t need to do so again in the spring.   

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.  

If you have any EI questions, we recommend that you speak with someone from Service Canada. Any information provided here are simply insights and you should clarify things with Service Canada as their understanding is legally correct and they can follow-up for over-payment if things are not done correctly.  

The employer will upload your ROE automatically to Service Canada at some point in early 2024, but please apply to EI as soon as you can after December 29th if you plan to utilize EI in the winter.     

Please note that there are many individual factors that determine your ability to access EI to which we are not privy (such as how many hours you have worked in the past year outside of McMaster or the bargaining unit, etc.).  Only the government can give you definitive information about your particular circumstances.  Please be sure to review regulations and information at the government links (provided above).

v. Professional Development

For those of you who are curious, applications made to the Professional Development Fund this fall were adjudicated earlier this month and cheques were already mailed out. If you have any PDF questions, please email administrator@cupe3906.org. If you missed the fall deadline, you can apply at any point in the upcoming winter semester.

vi. Health Care Spending Account

A quick reminder about your Health Care Spending Account entitlement of $500 per academic year. The fund covers the cost of various health care related expenses (as approved by Revenue Canada) and provides a tax-free reimbursement to you. More information is available here: https://cupe3906.org/sessionals-unit-2/unit-2-benefits/  

There is no cost or fee to you. The fund is secured through collective bargaining and made available to members to use as needed. You can still make a claim in 2024 if you are no longer teaching, so long as you work in fall 2023.

vii. Winter office closure/re-opening

The CUPE 3906 Office in KTH B111 will be closed over the winter break, starting Wednesday, December 20th at 12:00 pm. The executive and staff will be out of office and responses to emails will be delayed. The office will re-open January 8th, 2024. 

We hope you have a safe and restful holiday, thank you all for the solidarity in 2023, see you in the new year!

  

viii. All-Unions Social – December 20th, 7 pm – 12 am

Join us with friends from other unions on campus – including SEIU Local 2, UNIFOR 5555, IOUE Local 772, and McMaster University Academic Librarians’ Association (MUALA) – for an All-Unions karaoke social, Wednesday December 20th from 7 pm. We’ll be meeting at Backstreet Bar and Grill, 94 Macnab St N. Email president@cupe3906.org if you want to join the CUPE 3906 contingent and celebrate the end of term!

ix.  Tenant Solidarity Working Group (TWSG) – organizing at 10 Bay St N

 At our November GMM, we ratified our newest working group, the Tenant Solidarity Working Group (TWSG). Since that date, members have been hard at work drawing attention to the living conditions at the 10 Bay Graduate Residence. This struggle is important, for one, because the vast majority of the 168 tenants at 10 Bay are our members, and secondly, because employers like McMaster have made the move to provide housing to our members and their failure to deliver upon dignified and honest housing standards will invariably affect our members.

Tenants have been busy organizing to draw media attention to water contamination; bug infestations; unexpected unit entry; privacy and secure concerns; electrical outages; and more. Tenants have already secured an additional 25% rent reduction for November and December due to their collective pressure, following a 50% reduction in September and 25% reduction in October. All that is to say – collective organizing gets the good. Check out coverage in CBC Hamilton (here, and here); Global News (here), and front page of the Hamilton Spectator (here). To get involved/support, the TSWG can be reached at tswg@cupe3906.org. You can also follow their Instagram @10BayTenants.  

Solidarity,

CUPE 3906 Executive

End of Semester Update- Unit 1

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Here are a few useful updates and reminders from your Union:


i. Congratulations – you’re done!

Congratulations!! You’ve reached the end of the semester and the end of your fall term TAship. While you will be getting one additional pay cheque (December 29th), your work obligations are over as of Saturday December 23rd, regardless of whether you have any hours remaining from the Hours of Work form. 

This means that you are officially on vacation and cannot be compelled to perform TA work or other employment tasks for McMaster. Article 20.03 of the Collective Agreement states that: “All hours of work assigned to the TA for the fall term, including those allocated for marking exams and associated duties, shall be completed as assigned but no later than the close of business on December 24.   

It goes on, however, to recognize one exception as follows: “If a TA is requested to perform duties after December 24th, additional hours may be assigned and completed over the period up to and including December 31st. For each such hour worked, a stipend of half the regular hourly wage rate will be paid on the second regular pay date in January.

This means that if you are asked to perform work stemming from the fall term after December 24th – regardless of what is left on your Hours of Work form – and you agree to perform that work you are paid additionally over and above what was on your contract. If you have concerns about working past December 24th, please do not hesitate to contact staff@cupe3906.org

ii. End of Term means end of work

Once the term ends, you no longer need to perform any TA/RA work. Your collective agreement states the following: “Employees will not be required to grade deferred term work or deferred exams submitted after the end of the academic term in which an employee holds an assignment. It is understood that such work is the responsibility of the course instructor. However, if an employee agrees to grade deferred term work or deferred exams submitted after the end of the academic term in which an employee holds an assignment, the employee will be paid at the rate specified in Schedule “A,” based on the employee’s status at the time of grading.” (here

iii. Winter office closure/re-opening

The CUPE 3906 Office in KTH B111 will be closed over the winter break, starting Wednesday, December 20th at 12:00 pm. The executive and staff will be out of office and responses to emails will be delayed. The office will re-open January 8th, 2024. 

We hope you have a safe and restful holiday, thank you all for the solidarity in 2023, see you in the new year!

  

iv. All-Unions Social – December 20th, 7 pm – 12 am

Join us with friends from other unions on campus – including SEIU Local 2, UNIFOR 5555, IOUE Local 772, and McMaster University Academic Librarians’ Association (MUALA) – for an All-Unions karaoke social, Wednesday December 20th from 7 pm. We’ll be meeting at Backstreet Bar and Grill, 94 Macnab St N. Email president@cupe3906.org if you want to join the CUPE 3906 contingent and celebrate the end of term!

v. Dental Coverage Through August 31st

If you have dental coverage through CUPE, it will continue through until August 31st, 2024, even if your TA position has come to an end and you do not have work in the winter semester. More information about the dental plan is available here: https://cupe3906.org/tas-unit-1/dental-plan/

The same is true about your Health Care Spending Account (HCSA). You can make a claim until August 31st, 2024 so long as you have worked for at least one semester in the 2023-24 academic year: https://cupe3906.org/tas-unit-1/unit-1-benefits/

vi.  International Student of the Year Award Program (2023-2024)

Are you a McMaster international student? Then you’re welcome to apply to the “International Student of the Year Award” Program for the year (2023-2024) supported by CUPE 3906! More information about the award and the application can be found here. Two awards are available, each worth $300. Apply here by January 31st, 2024

Questions? Contact the International Officer at international@cupe3906.org

vii.  Tenant Solidarity Working Group (TWSG) – organizing at 10 Bay St N

At our November GMM, we ratified our newest working group, the Tenant Solidarity Working Group (TWSG). Since that date, members have been hard at work drawing attention to the living conditions at the 10 Bay Graduate Residence. This struggle is important, for one, because the vast majority of the 168 tenants at 10 Bay are our members, and secondly, because employers like McMaster have made the move to provide housing to our members and their failure to deliver upon dignified and honest housing standards will invariably affect our members.

Tenants have been busy organizing to draw media attention to water contamination; bug infestations; unexpected unit entry; privacy and secure concerns; electrical outages; and more. Tenants have already secured an additional 25% rent reduction for November and December due to their collective pressure, following a 50% reduction in September and 25% reduction in October. All that is to say – collective organizing gets the good. Check out coverage in CBC Hamilton (here, and here); Global News (here), and front page of the Hamilton Spectator (here). To get involved/support, the TSWG can be reached at tswg@cupe3906.org. You can also follow their Instagram @10BayTenants.  

 

Solidarity,

CUPE 3906 Executive

The International Student of the Year Award Program (2023-2024)

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Overview:

The International Student of the Year Award Program is supported by CUPE 3906 and shall be given to international students who made notable, outstanding efforts to build the McMaster community.

Value

Two awards are available, each worth $300.

Eligibility:

Any international student. This award is won only once.

Application package

The application consists of three documents (in pdf format):

1-    Up to 500-700-word personal statement addressing the three points mentioned in the evaluation criteria below.

2-    A one-page nomination letter from a McMaster student, faculty or employer. The letter must be signed and includes the contact details of the nominator.

3-    A one-page reference letter from a McMaster faculty or employer. The letter must be signed and includes the contact details of the referee.

Note: Please make sure that each of the three files is named as follows: name of the document_your last name, (e.g., Personal Statement_Adam)

Evaluation criteria:

The applications will be assessed and given scores based on three elements:

  1. Impactfulness,
  2. Initiative for the betterment,
  3. Spirit generosity.

Review process:

Applications are reviewed by the Award Review Committee that mainly comprises non-applicant members from the International Committee and may include external reviewers from other organizations on campus. The International Officer oversees the review process, yet is not a reviewer to minimize bias.

Deadline:

Applications open on December 18th, 2023, and close on January 31st, 2024.

Results:

Results are expected to be announced on March 15th, 2024.

Submission portal

Please submit your application here (https://forms.office.com/r/HBEE5quh7C)  

General guidelines:

1. Please note that the failure to comply to the above format will lead to the exclusion of your application.

2. Please note that the disclosure of any incorrect or misleading information will lead to the denial of your application and may affect your ability to apply to any similar award programs.

For any question:

Please contact the International Officer at international@cupe3906.org

Winter office closure – December 20th

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The CUPE 3906 Office in KTH B111 will be closed over the winter break, starting Wednesday, December 20th at 12:00 pm. The re-opening date will be communicated in the next mailer. The executive and staff will be out of office and responses to emails will be delayed. Please submit all Prosure (HCSA, GAF, Childcare etc.) benefits before Monday, December 18 at 4 pm. **We cannot guarantee that anything received after will be sent prior to the holiday closure.**

We hope you have a safe and restful holiday, thank you all for the solidarity in 2023, see you in the new year!

General Membership Meeting (GMM), in-person/virtual hybrid – December 13, 2 pm

presidentUncategorized

Join us for our last monthly General Membership Meeting of the 2023 Fall term on Wednesday, December 13 at 2 pm to ring in the end of the year! Join us in-person or virtually on Zoom this coming Wednesday, November 15th from 2 pm. If you have not already, we ask that you fill out the Member-in-Good-Standing form. As always, pre-registration will be required to attend this meeting. These meetings usually run 2+ hours; we ask that you attend if you can, or drop by in-part otherwise.

Please remember: You must register with your McMaster email address no later than 10 AM on the day of the GMM. Using your Mac address is needed for us to confirm your union membership prior to the meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.  Any members wishing to present pre-written motions should provide theirs via email to president@cupe3906.org by Monday, November 13.

Register in advance for our GMM here. You will receive a Zoom link after registration, and the room number if you indicate in-person attendance: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwtdO2tqDIvHNEKiTh3Ij3FXWpiRyNRl3CY 

Study for Solidarity – A CUPE 3906 Co-Marking & Co-Studying Session

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We are thrilled to invite you and your club to our upcoming event, “Study for Solidarity,” hosted by CUPE 3906. 

Date: WednesdayNovember 22

Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Location: please email undergrads@cupe3906.org 
We are excited to introduce this event, which provides a fantastic opportunity for undergraduate TAs to come together and make the most of their marking and homework assignments. Here’s what you can expect:

Collaborative Study: Bring your marking or homework and join your fellow undergraduate TAs in a productive and collaborative study environment. This is a fantastic chance to tackle those assignments and exams with the support of your peers.

Refreshments: We’ve got you covered with a selection of snacks and drinks to keep your energy levels up throughout the evening.

Exciting Draw: To make things even more exciting, show us your tracked TAing hours, and you’ll be entered into a draw for a chance to win a Food Basics/Fortino’s gift card. Don’t miss your opportunity to win!

We’d love for you to be part of this event and to help us create an inspiring atmosphere for everyone involved. Feel free to spread the word and encourage your members to join us for a night of productivity and camaraderie.

If you have any suggestions or ideas to make this event even more exciting, please don’t hesitate to share them with us. We are always open to making this event the best it can be.

Thank you for your support, and we look forward to seeing you at “Study for Solidarity.” Let’s come together and make this event a resounding success! If you have any questions or need further information, please do not hesitate to email me.

In Solidarity,

Adi Gelb

Undergraduate Officer
CUPE 3906

Unit 3 (Postdoc) Training Opportunities

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We have a full listing for the month of November. Please review and if you have questions, please contact postdoc@mcmaster.ca or reaching out directly to the host department/organization.
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Planning Your Postdoc – (in-person) November 14, 10:30am-11:30am
Whether you want to pursue a career in academia, research, or beyond, you will want to use your time on campus wisely to leverage your training opportunities and experience. This interactive 60-minute workshop will help you to consider your professional goals for your postdoc, and begin planning for your next steps.
This workshop will be delivered in person. Registration required. Please reach out to Catherine Maybrey, Coordinator Postdoctoral Affairs and Research Training, at postdoc@mcmaster.ca with any questions.
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Reimagining Mindsets for the Future – November 16, 4:30pm-6:30pm Registration required
In this interactive workshop, mindsets that are known to support future thinking in a world that is less known to us – such as multiple identities and paradoxical thinking – will be explored. With the use of visual arts along with group coaching techniques, you will gain a deeper appreciation and become more self-aware of your own mindset. We also focus on unpacking multiple identities and its impact on creative thinking and problem solving within an uncertain future. You will have the opportunity to learn tools to shift your mindset, thinking and mood to reimagine and apply next steps for your future within the context of work, academia and beyond. This workshop will include refreshments and a behind-the-scenes look at relevant artworks in the M(M)A collection. Please reach out to Catherine Maybrey, Coordinator Postdoctoral Affairs and Research Training, at postdoc@mcmaster.ca with any questions.
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Teaching & Learning Workshop – Exclusively for Postdoctoral Scholars November 21, 2:15pm-3:15pm
Join Kim Dej (Vice-Provost, Teaching & Learning) and Erin Allard (Lead Educational Developer, MacPherson Institute). Learn about the teaching and learning supports, resources and opportunities available to you at McMaster and explore how you can refine and experiment with your own teaching and leadership practice.  No experience required, and you do not need to be currently teaching to attend.
This event will be delivered in person and is available exclusively for postdoctoral researchers. Please reach out to Catherine Maybrey, Coordinator Postdoctoral Affairs and Research Training, at postdoc@mcmaster.ca with any questions.
Registration is required and space is limited.
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Industry Partnerships in Research – November 23, 2:30pm-3:30pm. Registration is required.
Join our guest speaker, Ross Huyskamp, from the McMaster Industry Liaison Office (MILO) in this presentation on graduate student involvement in industry-partnered research projects, including considerations for professionalism, IP, confidentiality, and publication. If you are working with an industry partner, or are considering it, this session will help you to identify your next steps and the resources you have available to assist you.
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ROADS (Research Office) Info Session for Postdoctoral Researchers – November 29, 2pm-3pm
Postdoctoral Researchers at McMaster are required to apply for funding, and they can also hold their own research accounts. Before you start your applications, you’ll want to attend this info session. Amanda Graveline, Senior Advisor, Development from McMaster’s Research Office for Administration, Development and Support (ROADS) will share insights, expertise, and best practices on applications, grant management, and things you should know as an early career researcher. This session will touch on all disciplines and the Tri-Agencies (SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR). You can submit your questions in advance of the info session. If you have any questions about this event, please email Catherine Maybrey at postdoc@mcmaster.caRegister on Zoom
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Teaching & Learning Certificates of Completion Program Winter 2024 Registration Opens Friday, December 1st at 8:30am
Register by emailing Emily Hynes (hynese@mcmaster.ca).
Please note: Registration is first come, first served. Space is limited and fills quickly. There is no waiting list. See attached email for details.
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Fundamentals of IP Online Course now available from MILO
Fundamental knowledge of both Intellectual Property (IP) and commercialization will enhance the impact and value of your ideas and innovations.
The McMaster Industry Liaison Office (MILO) is proud to announce our new online course: “Fundamentals of IP at McMaster,” which explores the core principles of IP and commercialization. The course is now available for free to students, staff, and faculty through Mosaic.
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Next Gen Pregnancy Initiative now accepting applications. – Dec 5, 2023 Deadline
We invite you to be a part of this initiative aimed at advancing research and innovation in the field of maternal and fetal health.
Grant Amount: $500,000 over four years
Eligibility: Researchers, scientists, and institutions dedicated to maternal and fetal health research
To learn more about the Next Gen Pregnancy Initiative and the application process, please visit Burroughs Wellcome.