Unit 1 Tentative Agreement Ratified by CUPE Members

Mary Ellen CampbellUncategorized

Dear Unit 1 Members,

The ballots have been counted, and the Unit 1 (TA and RA in lieu) Tentative Agreement has been ratified by the majority of voting members.
The new Collective Agreement will come into effect upon ratification by the Employer at an upcoming Board of Governor’s meeting.

Summaries of the Tentative Agreement are available at the union office.

Thank you to all who supported the bargaining work throughout this process. While significant gains were made, there are still improvements that we will continue to strive for. We will build upon this Agreement, and will continue to work with you to ensure that your new rights are upheld. Unit 2 returns to bargaining in the new year, and Units 1 and 3 will be back at the table in just over two years time. The work continues, and it is only with your support and active participation that we will be able to achieve more of the priorities you identified throughout this process in the upcoming rounds.

In Solidarity,
Your CUPE 3906 Bargaining Team

Unit 1 Ratification Vote Information

Mary Ellen CampbellUncategorized

Unit 1 (TA and RA in lieu) Members: take part in the renegotiation of your Collective Agreement by participating in our Unit 1 ratification meeting and contract vote.

The presentation of the Tentative Agreement for TAs and RAs in lieu will be made at a Special General Membership Meeting (SGMM) immediately following the regularly-scheduled General Membership Meeting on Wednesday, December 7th, at 5:00 P.M. in MDCL 1102.

Voting on the Tentative Agreement will take place for 90 minutes immediately following the SGMM in MDCL 1102, and will follow on Thursday, December 8th and Friday, December 9th from 10:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. in the Mills and Thode Library Lobbies.

Only members of Unit 1 (TAs and RAs in lieu) may vote in the Unit 1 ratification vote.  Both Classification A members (i.e., members holding an undergraduate degree) and Classification B members (i.e., members not holding an undergraduate degree) may vote.  Also, the following members of Unit 1 may vote in a ratification vote:

  1. Members who are working as TAs or RAs (in lieu) this term;
  2. Members who hold a TA/RA (in lieu) funding guarantee or a contract to work as a TA/RA (in lieu) in the 2016-2017 academic year (i.e., “contract in hand”).

Please note that all members require photo ID to voteSome members (especially those members in category 2) may require proof of membership to vote.  [Proof of membership may be a letter of offer indicating your guaranteed funding period (with reference to a TAship/RAship in lieu); a letter of offer for a TAship or RAship (in lieu) for the current academic year; and/or a signed hours of work form from the Fall 2016 term.]

For more Frequently Asked Questions, please see our Ratification Vote FAQ.

Tentative Agreement Reached for Unit 1 (TAs and RAs in lieu)

Mary Ellen CampbellUncategorized

Dear Unit 1 (TA/RA in lieu) Members,

The Bargaining Team is pleased to announce that after two days of conciliation we have reached a tentative agreement with the Employer. The agreement substantively addresses many the key concerns you brought to us throughout the process, and along with our counterparts from the Employer’s bargaining team, we are recommending that it be ratified.

We will present details of the agreement at a Special General Membership Meeting, where a ratification vote will also begin. This SGMM will take place immediately following the General Membership Meeting called forDecember 7, 2016 in MDCL 1102 at 5:00pm. Following the meeting, ratification voting will take place the following two days, December 8-9, in Mills and Thode libraries with the voting booths opening at 10:00am and closing at5:00pm each day.

Thank you for your ongoing support and participation during this process. This deal would not have been possible to achieve without your engagement.

In solidarity,

Your CUPE 3906 Unit 1 Bargaining Team

Media Release: McMaster TAs and RAs negotiate to improve working conditions on campus

Mary Ellen CampbellUncategorized

HAMILTON, ON – 2500 Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Research Assistants (RAs) who do the bulk of the frontline instruction, grading, student consultation and research support at McMaster University, are working avoid a strike by negotiating with the university administration to addresses poverty wages, precarious work and outsourcing on campus.

The members of Local 3906 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 3906) have been without a contract since August 31. They are returning to the bargaining table on December 1 and 2 with the assistance of a provincially appointed conciliator in the hopes of reaching a deal.

“We are striving to reach a deal that addresses the financial hardships experienced by our members,” said President of CUPE 3906, Sarah Wahab. “Our members are precarious workers and many of them live under conditions of poverty. The goal for this round of bargaining is to not only address these issues, but to begin the long process of remedying them.”

A recent strike vote taken by the membership has given the local the approval to take strike action if the two sides cannot reach an agreement on these core issues.

“We are looking forward to getting back to the table with a focused package built around the most important remaining issues, as identified by our members,” Wahab said, “These are job security, working conditions, wages and outsourcing.” Students currently face unpredictable hiring practices that leave them unsure of their jobs every semester, workload issues based on the number of classes taught during a semester, reductions in the number of guaranteed hours and wage increases that get eaten away by inflation and the rising cost of tuition.

McMaster University was recently named a top employer in the Hamilton-Niagara Region but academic workers fail to see things that way. “What we are fighting for, job security, working conditions, living wages, these should not be issues at a top employer,” Wahab added. “Our hope is that through negotiations we can get the university to earn this reputation.”


For more information please contact:

Sarah Wahab, CUPE 3906 President, 905-525-9140 x 24003

Matthew Stella, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999

General Membership Meeting- December 7

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 on Wednesday, December 7th at 5:00 P.M. in MDCL 1102.

Agenda items include
: motion to destroy U1 strike vote ballots as per the Local’s by-laws; approval to send delegates to the Ontario University Workers’ Coordinating Committee’s (OUWCC) conference; approval for $300 honorarium for local Strike Support Committee Coordinators.

There will be free pizza and childcare costs to attend the meeting can be reimbursed.

In solidarity,
Your CUPE 3906 Executive Committee

Unit 2 Professional Development Fund Deadline- Dec 7, 2016

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The deadline for Fall 2016 applications to the Professional Development Fund is Wednesday, December 7th, 2016, at 4:30 P.M.  Please drop off applications for the fall 2016 term at our office, KTH B111 (basement of Kenneth Taylor Hall).  For information about eligibility and for the PDF application form, please visit http://cupe3906.org/sessionals-unit-2/professional-development-fund-unit-2/  No late submissions for the fall term will be accepted.

5th year PhDs…..

Brad WalchukUncategorized

McMaster administration thinks that 5th year funding could promote “bad beahvior”

Our members disagree and feel 5th year funding is necessary for a #BetterMac




Finishing a PhD in 4 years? Probably not

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We’re asking our members to #LetUsKnow why they haven’t completed their PhD in 4 years, or why they know they won’t be able to do so. Support and Employment for 5th year PhD students is a key part of a #BetterMac and reflects the reality of doctoral studies



Strike Vote Results

Mary Ellen CampbellUncategorized

Dear Unit 1 (TA/RA in lieu) Members,

We would like to thank you for coming out to our polling stations over the last few days and for giving us a clear strike vote mandate.

We are heartened by the support that a 72% ‘YES’ result represents. This shows a real commitment to fair wages, job security, better working conditions, and a stop to further outsourcing of Unit 1 work on campus. Having heard the collective voice of our membership, we feel empowered to bargain a fair Collective Agreement for a #BetterMac.

We are going to put your support into action at the bargaining table and we are committed to continuing to engage you, our members, throughout the process.

The next step is conciliation. Keep an eye out for our updates and we look forward to seeing you at our bargaining support initiatives and General Membership Meetings.

In solidarity,

Your CUPE 3906 Unit 1 Bargaining Team