2018 TA/RA Award Nominations- Now Open!

Brad WalchukUncategorized

***PLEASE NOTE: The nomination deadline has changed!!!****

Are you a great TA/RA? Of course you are!  Do you know someone else who is a great one as well? Of course you do!

The 2018 CUPE 3906 TA/RA awards are open to all CUPE 3906 Unit 1 members (Graduate and Undergraduate TAs and RAs in lieu). Members may be nominated by their students, employment supervisors (supervising Professor) or other TAs.

Successful candidates will receive a certificate recognizing their excellence, a letter of acknowledgement from the CUPE 3906 Executive Committee, and a cheque for $200.00.

There will be a total of six awards given, one for each faculty listed. Please fill out all applicable fields and deliver a completed TA2018 CUPE TA Award Nomination Form (<– click for attachment) in person to the CUPE 3906 office (B111 Kenneth Taylor Hall) or via email a saved copy to chiefsteward_tas@cupe3906.org before March 23, 2018. Awards will be given out during our Annual General Membership Meeting (March 28, 2018)!

PDF version of *new* Unit 2 Collective Agreement (2017 to 2020)

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Sessionals, the *new* collective agreement is now available online.

As a reminder, the new agreement secures wage increases that will increase the 3.0 course rate from $7050.00 (present) to $7191.00 effective January 1, 2018, $7407.00 effective September 1, 2018, and will be increased to $7555.00 in the last year of the agreement. Hourly-Rated Sessional Music Faculty – currently earning $62.25/hr – will see their wages increase to $63.50 effective January 1, 2018, $65.40 effective September 1, 2018, and will be increased to $66.70 in the last year of the agreement. This will also be the new hourly-rate for post-contract work for Sessional Faculty.

The bargaining team also secured gains to job security. The current model of First Consideration Appointments, which guarantees two automatic appointments following two consecutive successful applications, will expand immediately to guarantee three automatic appointments. Similarly, the current model of Enhanced First Consideration Appointments, which guarantees three automatic appointments following an additional successful application, will expand immediately to guarantee four automatic appointments.

The newly ratified agreement also provides funds to maintain the Health Care Spending Account, Dental Plan, and Professional Development Fund that the Union administers.

The new collective agreement also secures for members a pregnancy/parental leave of up to 90% for 19 weeks (an increase from the current 45%) and increases the course cancellation fee from $2000.00 to $4000.00 for course cancelled in the two weeks before class (effective September 1, 2018). Sessional Faculty and Hourly-Rated Sessional Music Faculty are now also entitled to paid domestic violence leave that will provide 100% of wages for up to the duration of contract. The Collective Agreement also includes a formal Aboriginal Land Recognition, increased transparency in course evaluations, the introduction of concept of ‘coaching’ to discipline and discharge procedure, and access to a credential training program through MacPherson Institute.

Next General Membership Meeting- March 1st at noon

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Based on what we’ve heard from members, we’re making an effort to provide more advanced notice of General Membership Meetings.
Our next GMM will take place on Thursday March 1st at noon. The location is still TBA at this point, and will be updated as soon as we can.
On the agenda will be elections for at least 5 delegates for the CUPE Ontario convention in May.

Paid Emergency Leave

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Under the amended Employment Standards Act in Ontario, all employees will be entitled to 10 Personal Emergency Leave days per year, including two paid Personal Emergency Leave days.

The two PAID days supersede any requirements in our collective agreements that would suggest otherwise (such as unpaid or a requirement to make up missed time).

Mike Skinner 2018 Award Nominations

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The Mike Skinner Activist Award is a member-mandated award offered by the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3906 on an annual basis. Its title honours long-time labour activist and former CUPE 3906 Staff Member Mike Skinner.

The value of this year’s award is $500 to one person (or committee), an award certificate and an inscription on the Mike Skinner Activist Award plaque. This award is open to all current members of CUPE 3906 (this includes all Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants in lieu, Sessional Faculty, Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellows), and anyone who has been a member of the local within the past 12 months.

The nomination period for this award is from February 8th, 2018 to March 9th, 2018.

Specifically, the recipient of the Mike Skinner Activist Award may have been involved in the following possible issues over the course of their stay at McMaster University:

  • Fighting for social justice issues (these issues are diverse and can include environmental justice, labour solidarity, gender equality, equity issues, and the advancement of peace);
  • Promoting the welfare of humanity and the environment and the elimination of pain and suffering through acts of community organizing, education and/or solidarity.

More information about the award is available here, and the Mike Skinner Award nomination form is available here.

Health and Safety and Stormy Weather

Mary Ellen CampbellUncategorized

Dear Members,

As you may know, McMaster University has a Storm Emergency Policy in the case of extreme weather:


The Employer recognizes in its Policy that “Weather conditions can sometimes be intimidating even though the University remains open” (especially if you live some distance from campus).

If you feel that the weather conditions are intimidating, you may make alternate arrangements with your department regarding regularly scheduled work.  You should not be penalized if you feel that your personal safety is at risk.
If you have questions about how to exercise your rights, please contact the Union at staff@cupe3906.org or x24003.
As Union members, Health and Safety articles in our Collective Agreements (Article 18 in Unit 1; Article 17 in Unit 2; Article 14 in Unit 3) protects your health and safety.
There is additional language in our Collective Agreements to protect members from loss of pay in the event of an Emergency Storm Closure (Article 20.06 in Unit 1; Letters of Understanding entitled “Policies Affecting Terms and Conditions of Employment” in Unit 2 and Unit 3). Both the Employer and the Union agree that members shouldn’t risk their personal safety in the line of work.
CUPE 3906 Staff and Executive

General Membership Meeting- Jan 31

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Dear Members,
The Union’s most significant decisions are made by Union members at General Membership Meetings (GMMs).

All CUPE 3906 members of all 3 units (TAs and RAs in lieu, Sessional Faculty, Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellows) can attend regular GMMs and get involved in the Union’s decision making processes.

Our next GMM will be held next week on Wednesday, January 31st at 12 (noon) in ITB 139.
Agenda items will include elections of the following executive committee positions:
  • President
  • Recording Secretary
  • Benefits Officer
  • Health and Safety Officer
  • Undergraduate Officer

as well as elections for

  • Health and Safety Committee Seats
  • Ontario University Workers’ Coordinating Committee (OUWCC) Campus Rep
  • OUWCC delegates
As usual, there will be a free lunch and childcare costs to attend the meeting can be reimbursed.
Have questions? Email staff@cupe3906.org

Important message regarding dental coverage change of coverage periods for brand new TAs and RAs in lieu beginning academic programmes in January 2018

Mary Ellen CampbellUncategorized

Dear New Members,

If you (i) hold an undergraduate degree, (ii) are just starting a TAship or RAship (in lieu of TAship) this winter 2018 term, and (iii) are just starting a new academic programme this winter 2018 term, this message applies to you.

New members who meet all three of the above-mentioned criteria are able to make changes to their CUPE 3906 dental coverage until January 31, 2018.

Please note: change of status (including family coverage enrollment and opt-outs) expires for all members on August 31, 2018.  To maintain your status next academic year (if you are still working as a TA or RA in lieu), you must complete this process again in September.
For more general information on dental coverage or dental change of coverage, please visit https://cupe3906.org/tas-unit-1/dental-plan/ or contact administrator@cupe3906.org.

Thanks Graham!

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We’re saddened to announce the resignation of our President, Graham Baker. Graham is long-serving 3906 member (and a veteran of the 2010 strike) and a former Unit 1 Chief Steward. After becoming president, he led the local through two rounds of bargaining (TAs and Sessionals) that led to important gains for our members. Our loss is the gain of the Grant MacEwan University Faculty Association, where Graham has taken up a staff representative position. He also returns to his home province of Alberta.

Thanks Graham for your years of service to the local and the labour movement in Hamilton.