Let’s Talk about Mental Health Support for CUPE members

Brad WalchukUncategorized

This seems like a good day to remind you that, as a member of CUPE 3906, you have access to McMaster’s Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP). This program is FREE and CONFIDENTIAL, and external from the university. The program offers FREE professional counselling on depression, stress, bereavement, relationships and more, as well as counselling for careers, work-life balance, and health.
More details, for members of all three of our units (TAs/Sessionals/Postdocs) can be found here: https://cupe3906.org/tas-unit-1/employee-family-assistance-program/

Access to this service was won through collective bargaining, and TAs and Postdocs will be at the bargaining table again this summer looking to make additional gains.

Dental Information for New Unit 2 Members (Sessionals)

Brad WalchukUncategorized

If you are a Sessional Faculty Member teaching for the first this academic year in the Winter 2019 term, this information applies to you.

New Sessional Faculty Members who are beginning their teaching for the 2018-2019 academic year in January, 2019are able to make changes to their CUPE 3906 dental coverage until January 31, 2019.

Please note: change of status (including family coverage enrollment and opt-outs) expires for all members on August 31, 2019.  To maintain your coverage status (or opt-out) next academic year (if you are returning as a Sessional Faculty member), you must complete this change of coverage process again in September.

For more general information on dental coverage or dental change of coverage, please visit https://cupe3906.org/sessionals-unit-2/unit-2-dental-coverage/ or contact administrator@cupe3906.org.

OSAP Gutted- Time to Resist

Brad WalchukUncategorized

A number of student groups are coming together for a rally on Friday, February 1st at Gore Park in Hamilton (corner of James and King). There will be various speakers from 12 to 1, followed by a downtown march from 1 to 1:30.

Why do Ford’s reckless changes matter? How will they adversely impact students?

  • dependency on family income in determining OSAP funding has been extended from 4 to 6 years
  • interest on debt begins accumulating immediately after graduation
  • increase of loan-to-grant ratio: higher loans, lower grants
  • services and student unions face an existential threat by funding restructuring. Valuable services, including student-run newspapers, may be lost as a result
  • OSAP cuts are part of a larger attack on social services

More information about these changes and their impacts can be found in this release by our friends at CFS Ontario.

Increased Entitlement to Postdoc Professional Development Fund

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We’re pleased to announce that your benefits committee has just voted to increase the Unit 3 (Postdoc) Professional Development Fund entitlement from $150 per academic year to $300 per academic year. The fund remains limited to conference participation, professional association fees, and academic books. More information about the fund is available by clicking here. The application deadline is rolling, so you can submit an application whenever you wish. All currently submitted applications have already factored in this increase. While we cannot retroactively add to previously approved submissions, Postdocs will still have $300 per academic year and can use the remainder of this balance to make another submission.
We also wanted to remind you that your benefits committee had previously increased the Health Care Spending Account 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. More information about this fund, including the application form, are available by clicking here.

Free Credential Training Program for Sessional Faculty

Brad WalchukUncategorized

In our last round of bargaining, we secured access to a free, credentialed training program from McMaster’s MacPherson Institute. This program can help develop your teaching portfolio. Enrollment for courses being offered this upcoming semester is open now and available hereRegistration is required. More information about the process for certification is available here. Many sessionals have already taken advantage of this great opportunity and we hope that many others will.

We’re Hiring- Administrative Coordinator

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We are looking for someone willing to commit to a democratic union culture, work with our diverse membership while working under the direction of, and in close collaboration with, an annually elected Executive Committee in the position of the Administrative Coordinator. This is a temporary position to back-fill a leave of absence.

The Administrative Coordinator will work with the Executive Committee. The primary role will be the
administration and processing of benefits. This includes processing claims, answering member
inquiries, and preparing annual reports on benefits. They will also be responsible for Job Postings
administration, including checking over all postings that come in from the University to ensure they are
in line with the Collective Agreements.

The job posting, which closes on February 1st, is available by clicking Here

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