Unit 2 (Sessional Faculty) Dental Plan Information

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The following information is for members of CUPE 3906 Unit 2 (Sessional Faculty and Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty not employed in the Health Sciences Faculty).
Sessional Faculty and Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty not employed in the Health Sciences Faculty are automatically enrolled in CUPE Local 3906’s employee dental plan with single coverage for the entire 2021-2022 academic year.
For more information about the plan, please visit https://cupe3906.org/sessionals-unit-2/unit-2-dental-coverage/  We recommend that all Sessional Faculty and Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty (not employed in Health Sciences) read this important letter about dental coverage: https://cupe3906.org/files/2021/08/2021-2022-Dental-Letter-U2-Members.pdf
  • If you are working as a Sessional Faculty or Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty member in the fall term and would like to enroll in family dental coverage, you may do so until October 1st, 2021, by filling out a family coverage enrollment form available under the “Important Information” and “Forms” heading of our Unit 2 dental website:  https://cupe3906.org/sessionals-unit-2/unit-2-dental-coverage/  (Please note that you must re-enroll in family dental coverage every academic year if you would like to keep your family coverage active.  Members automatically default to single coverage every year due to McMaster’s payroll system.)
  • If you are working as a Sessional Faculty or Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty member in the fall term and already have dental coverage through a parent or spouse and would like to opt-out of the plan, you may do so until October 1st, 2021, by filling out an opt-out form and providing appropriate proof of alternate coverage.  Instructions on opting out, regulations around adequate proof of alternate coverage, and opt-out forms are available under the “Important Information” and “Forms” heading of our Unit 2 dental website: https://cupe3906.org/sessionals-unit-2/unit-2-dental-coverage/   (Please note that you must opt-out every academic year if you have other, non-student, coverage and do not wish to keep the CUPE 3906 coverage.  Members automatically default to single coverage every year due to McMaster’s payroll system.)
Thank you for your attention to these matters.

Inspiring International Student of the Year Award

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Are you a McMaster international student? Then you’re welcome to apply to the “Inspiring International Student of the Year Award” Program that has just been launched and supported by CUPE 3906! Two awards are available, each worth $300. You can find more about the award and the application by clicking here. Applications open on July 29th and close on August 31st, 2021 (6pm EST). Submit your application here.

Questions? Contact your International Officer, Sarah.


Sign our Petition for a Safe and Equitable Return to Campus!

Brad WalchukUncategorized

You might have seen the email from McMaster alerting us that a person who tested positive for COVID-19 had been on campus previously and that the university is taking measures to address the health risks posed by this case. Cases like these are why our local is continuing to advocate for a safe return to campus and why it is frustrating that McMaster has refused to adopt all of our return to campus priorities. If they truly want to stop the risk of outbreaks from happening in the future we need smaller class sizes, we need social distancing measures in small classrooms, we need a clear procedure for what to do if a student refuses to wear a mask. 

If you haven’t done it yet, please take a minute to sign our petition for a safe and fair return to campus for all TAshttps://www.change.org/p/mcmaster-university-cupe-3906-unit-1-return-to-campus-priorities

Update on Vaccinations at McMaster

Brad WalchukUncategorized

As you’re likely aware by now, McMaster has mandated vaccinations for all those coming onto campus, effective September 7th (except those with a bona fide medical exemption). You can find more here. This is a decision that we support given the obvious health and safety concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present. Some folks on your Union’s leadership team met with representatives from HR on Tuesday to discuss the impacts of this. In particular, we stressed that paid leave for those getting vaccinated or recovering from the side effects of vaccination was vital.

If you cannot get vaccinated due to a protected human rights ground (e.g., you are immunocompromised, or your religion does not permit vaccination), we are happy to help secure you an accommodation for this fall and winter. Continuing to work remotely is one such option. If you require accommodation, we urge you to contact us and your department as soon as possible.

We’ve been informed until people are double-vaccinated, they’ll need to test negative twice weekly. We’re trying to determine the impacts of this on Sessionals, Hourly Rated Sessional Musical Faculty, and TAs who may only be on campus once per week for their work assignment. We’ll provide more details as we get them.

The provincial government currently is providing paid leave for those getting vaccinated. McMaster needs to honour this, but it remains unclear what will happen once this provincial directive ends.

Should you need to quarantine during this semester, please let us know as soon as possible and we’ll work to secure an accomodation. There are also various leave sections in the collective agreements which may apply.

General Membership Meeting- August 21 at noon

Brad WalchukUncategorized

CUPE 3906’s next General Membership Meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 31, from 12 PM to 2 PM Eastern Time. Any members wishing to present pre-written motions should provide theirs via email to president@cupe3906.org by Tuesday, July 27.

As with recent virtual GMMs, pre-registration will be required in order to attend this meeting. Please note that you must register with your McMaster email address no later than 10 AM the day of the GMM. This is the only way we can confirm your membership prior to the meeting. Any registration requests made from non-McMaster email addresses will be denied.

Register in advance for the GMM HERE. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

McMaster Fun and Comfy Zone Update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We warmly congratulate Anand, Amirhossein Rakhsha, Mina Naeini, Raghd Elgamal, Nicolas Randazzo & Lindsey Johnson on winning in the “Walk Around the World” theme contest for McMaster Fun & Comfy Zone- CONGRATULATIONS! Curious to know August’s theme for McMaster Fun & Comfy Zone? Here we go, it’s “Summer Vacation Inspirations”! Submit here for a chance to win one of 6 PRIZES for winners every month! If you have not already, join our zone on Facebook & Instagram.

Unit 2 Bargaining Update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

HAMILTON, ON — August 19, 2021

CUPE 3906’s Unit 2 Bargaining Team met with their counterparts from the McMaster University Administration on three days this past week to begin this year’s round of bargaining.

The Union’s team presented a package that reflects the bargaining priorities that members approved earlier this summer. These priorities include: 1) Respect, Equity, and Inclusion; 2) Compensation3) Job Security; 4) Health and Wellbeing; 5) Workload; and 6) Professional Supports and Paid Training.

The Union’s package reflects and addresses the needs identified by the membership in survey taken earlier this year.  The existence of Bill 124, a piece of legislation passed by the Ford government that restricts wages and compensation to a maximum of 1% will present a challenge to the bargaining team, though at this point the Employer is not even offering union members a 1% total increase to compensation.

A number of unions, including CUPE Ontario, are challenging the legislation, which we believe is a violation of workers’ collective rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Over the first three days of bargaining, the parties were able to secure agreement on some smaller changes that will provide some benefit to the members, including improvements in the No Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Harassment article, as well as in the Health and Safety article.

McMaster did not address many additional proposals, including those reflecting the membership’s main priorities, in a meaningful way. “It was frustrating, to say the least,” explained Sharoni Mitra, the president of CUPE 3906, adding that “McMaster seems content with the status quo, which sees precarious workers struggling for job security and left without many of the benefits and entitlements – such as access to a workplace pension – that virtually all of the members of the Employer’s bargaining team enjoy.”

“We hope that the Employer will find a way to meet us on our proposals,” continued Mitra. “We expect the Employer to take seriously our proposals to improve both monetary and non-monetary language in the Collective Agreement. This round of bargaining is a chance for the Employer to demonstrate its concern and respect for its highly precarious workers.”

Sessional Faculty work is notoriously precarious, with instructors often working at two or more postsecondary institutions to make ends meet. This precarity, along with the Employer’s reliance on legislation that we believe is unconstitutional to supress wages and deny well-deserved gains, will be a consistent challenge the Union will confront at the bargaining table.

“Our proposals reflect the pivotal work performed by Sessionals,” said chief negotiator Brad Walchuk. “There’s something fundamentally wrong with an institution that refuses to improve job security and provide basic entitlements for a group of highly-educated workers. We refuse to take ‘that’s not something we’re prepare to agree to’ from the Employer as its default answer to any proposal that will provide a meaningful gain”

The next bargaining dates with the Employer are scheduled for August 23rd, 25th, and 27th. For more information on how you can help with the bargaining support team, email bargainingsupport@cupe3906.org

Sessional Faculty, Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty, and MELD Sessional Faculty working at McMaster University comprise CUPE 3906’s Unit 2. The current collective agreement expires on August 31.

A PDF copy is available by clicking here.

Dental Opt-Out Forms and Family Enrollment Forms Now Available Online for Units 1 and 2 Members

Mary Ellen CampbellUncategorized

The Unit 1 (TA and RA in lieu) and Unit 2 (Sessional Faculty and Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty) 2021-2022 dental information letters and change of coverage forms are now available on our website.

There are important deadlines regarding dental change of coverage that you need to be aware of if you plan on opting out of dental coverage or enrolling in family dental coverage.


PLEASE SEE the following important links for change of coverage deadlines and more information about the dental coverage.

UNIT 1 (Classification “A” TAs and RAs in lieu of TAS): 2021-2022-Dental-Letter-U1-Members.pdf (cupe3906.org)

UNIT 2 (Sessional Faculty): 2021-2022-Dental-Letter-U2-Members.pdf (cupe3906.org)


PLEASE SEE the following important links to obtain change of coverage (i.e., opt-out or family enrollment) forms.

UNIT 1 (Classification “A” TAs and RAs in lieu of TAS): Dental Plan | CUPE 3906

UNIT 2 (Sessional Faculty): Unit 2 Dental Coverage | CUPE 3906



UNIT 1: 27th September, 2021

UNIT 2: 1st October, 2021

Please email completed forms and supporting documentation to: administrator@cupe3906.org.

Gardening for Wellness

Brad WalchukUncategorized

CUPE 3906 and the GSA are pleased to launch the “Gardening for Wellness” Program in partnership with Hamilton Victory Gardens to support the well-being of students.

All students are welcome to apply to have an enjoyable time full of exciting gardening activities in any of the three sites of Hamilton Victory Gardens:
1) Venture Centre
2) St Helen’s
3) Jones Road

Please visit the website for more information about the locations.

This program runs from mid-April to Oct. and provides students with the opportunity to:
–Engage with nature for a meditating time
–Participate in various exciting gardening activities (no prior experience required)
–Socialize with other students and community members (while following public health guidelines)
–Plant, grow, and harvest fruits and vegetables; students experiencing food insecurity may discuss with the coordinator about bringing home seasonal produce

How to register:
Interested students are welcome to fill out the application form here. There is a section in the application form asking you to upload a filled/signed waiver. Please find the waiver form here.

General guidelines:
1. Hamilton Victory Gardens will reach out to applicants regarding their application and next steps.
2. Acceptance into this program depends on submitting a complete application with all required information. Students will be based on a first-come, first-serve basis.
3. CUPE 3906 and the GSA do not provide shuttle buses to the garden sites. It is the responsibility of successful applicants to provide their own transportation.

Questions? Please contact (volunteer@hamiltonvictorygardens.org) OR reach out to Sarah.