General Membership Meeting- Monday September 16th

Brad WalchukUncategorized

12 PM – 2 PM
Open to all Members!
Lunch provided (vegan and Halal options available)
Childcare reimbursement available
Draw for a grocery gift card!





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Dental Plan Opt-Out and Dental Plan Family Enrollment

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Unit 1 (TAs and RAs in lieu)

If you hold an undergraduate degree and hold a contract to work as a CUPE 3906 Unit 1 member (TA or RA in lieu of TA) this academic year, you qualify for CUPE 3906 Dental coverage.
Please see the important dental coverage information letter on our website for important notices about the dental coverage.  The letter is available here:

To opt-out of CUPE 3906 dental coverage, please read the information letter above, prepare the appropriate supporting documentation (see:below), and submit the opt-out form available here no later than September 27, 2019

To enroll in CUPE 3906 family dental coverage, please read the information letter above, and submit the family enrollment form available here no later than September 27, 2019
Please note that all CUPE 3906 Change of Coverage forms for Unit 1 members working in the fall 2019 term are due on September 27th, 2019 at the CUPE 3906 Office (KTH B111).
If you have questions about the CUPE 3906 dental coverage after reading the letter, please contact or

Unit 2 (Sessionals)

If you hold a contract to work as a CUPE 3906 Unit 2 member (Sessional Faculty or Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty) this academic year, you qualify for CUPE 3906 Dental coverage.
Please see the important dental coverage information letter on our website for important notices about the dental coverage

To opt-out of CUPE 3906 dental coverage, please read the information letter above, prepare the appropriate supporting documentation (see:below), and submit the opt-out form available here by October 1st, 2019

To enroll in CUPE 3906 family dental coverage, please read the information letter above, and submit the family enrollment form available here by October 1st, 2019
Change of coverage forms must be completed at the start of the new academic year to maintain your opt-out or family enrollment status.
Please note that all CUPE 3906 Change of Coverage forms for Unit 2 members working in the fall 2019 term are due on October 1st, 2019 at the CUPE 3906 Office (KTH B111).
If you have questions about the CUPE 3906 dental coverage after reading the letter, please contact or
*****Important note about proof of alternate coverage for opting out of the CUPE 3906 dental plan: our insurance company will not process dental opt-out requests without appropriate proof of alternate dental coverage.  Proof of alternate dental coverage must have your name listed on the official document (i.e., not just your parent or spouse’s name) and will not be processed if your name does not appear on the official document.  Proof of alternate coverage may be: a letter from your parent or spouse’s insurance company listing you as eligible under their dental coverage; a benefits card with your name listed as a spouse or dependent; a copy of a recent paid claim for you under your parent or spouse’s dental plan; or a screen shot from your parent’s or spouse’s insurance company website listing you as a dependent on their plan.  Please note that student dental coverage (e.g., through the GSA) does not count as eligible proof of alternate coverage to opt-out of this employee plan.

Bargaining Update- Unit 1 Files for Conciliation

Brad WalchukUncategorized

September 4, 2019
HAMILTON, ON — As many of our Unit 1 Members (TAs and RAs in-lieu) are already aware, the Union and the Employer recently arrived at an impasse. Non-monetary items aside, the Employer has continued to bargain within the parameters of a bill that is not yet law but, if passed, would have disastrous effects on public sector workers across Ontario: Doug Ford’s Bill 124.

Even when we made it known we would consider accepting the 1% wage cap contained in Bill 124 in exchange for significant and meaningful movement on minimum 65-hour contracts, 5th year TA guarantees, tuition freezes, paid pedagogical and anti-oppression training, and closing the Class A and B wage gaps, the Employer did not hesitate to make their lack of interest in genuine negotiations exceedingly clear.

In addition to this refusal, and in the final hours of our most recent day at the bargaining table, the Employer informed us that they no longer intend to bargain with us unless we settle an outstanding grievance. Because the grievance process is a labour relations issue and not a collective bargaining issue,  this effectively signals that we are at an impasse.

Since both sides are evidently so far apart at the bargaining table, we have now officially filed for conciliation: a process wherein a neutral third party from the Ministry of Labour comes to assist with negotiations. We remain steadfast in representing YOUR interests and are optimistic that a negotiated settlement can be reached.

One of the best ways to maximize our effectiveness during conciliation is by holding a strike vote. With this, you might ask, Would a positive strike vote mean we have to go on strike? The answer to this question is NO. A positive strike vote from our Members would authorize the Bargaining Team to call a strike if, through the conciliation process, the Employer remains unwilling to give us a fair deal that reflects the priorities of our membership. By contrast, failing to authorize a strike would signal to the University that our Members are willing to accept whatever crumbs we are given, including the 1% wage caps and none of the previously discussed gains that could offset the harms of Bill 124 and our already devastating precarity as TAs and RAs in-lieu at McMaster.

In solidarity,
The Unit 1 Bargaining Team

For More Information:
Kenneth Taylor Hall, B111          905-525-9140 x24003                     Facebook: CUPE3906                    Twitter: cupe_3906




How you can Help:


Unit 3 (Postdocs) Bargaining Update #5

Brad WalchukUncategorized

 — After a summer away from the bargaining table, the CUPE 3906 Unit 3 Bargaining Team met face-to-face with the Employer’s Bargaining Team on August 20th. We have continued to make progress on non-monetary items, and are beginning to see some movement on issues such as the base salary.

We secured modest gains on items such as the grievance process, employee evaluations, health and safety, and workplace accommodation. Under the workload article, we have secured protections from overwork involving the mentoring of junior colleagues, and under the resources article we have prevented the Employer from charging a key deposit and have secured better access to storage space. We have also gained a seat on the adjudication committee of the Postdoctoral Support Fund to ensure that postdocs have a voice in the process, and are now determining an expanded criteria and increased total benefit level to this fund.

Despite these gains, there are still many hurdles. The Employer continues to insist on language that we feel would adversely affect your right to vacation entitlement by creating a process by which vacation accrues monthly, and therefore making it harder to secure enough days for a sustained vacation. We are continuing to push back against this.

The employer continues to insist that they can only bargain within the limitations of Bill 124 (which is not law and therefore has no limitations), tabled by the provincial government. This bill seeks to limit total compensation increases to 1% per year over three years.


As this bill is not law, we do not believe that the employer is mandated to limit compensation increases to an amount that is well below the rise the cost of living, and we continue to pushback against what would amount to a wage cut after considering inflation.

The employer has agreed to our salary floor, which will see the minimum salary rise for postdocs increase from $31,717.41 to $35,200.00 by September 1, 2020. Although this represents a meaningful increase to the lowest paid postdocs, the employer is still proposing a limited 1% pay increase on postdocs earning above this amount.
The employer’s proposals on benefits and the professional development fund fall well-below the amount needed to ensure the sustainability of these funds, and we are continuing to push for increases here. The employer also withdrew their proposal on pregnancy and parental leave, which would have increased the entitlement period from 19 weeks to 30 weeks. We remain committed to ensuring increases for those needing to access these leaves.

We want to be clear – your Bargaining Team takes its direction from you and is accountable to you, the members, NOT to Doug Ford! To be clear, the government has simply tabled a bill, and has not passed a law. As such, we are looking to secure additional bargaining dates with the Employer and will continue to push hard for the gains that you have identified as being important.

For More Information:

Kenneth Taylor Hall, B111
905-525-9140 x24003

Welcome Back Event- September 3rd at 5:30

Brad WalchukUncategorized

As in past years, CUPE 3906’s International Committee has organized a Welcome Event for existing and new Unit 1 members (TAs and RAs in-lieu). This year’s event will take place on Tuesday, September 3, at 5:30 PM in ABB 273.
While the main goal of the Welcome Event is to have fun with fellow members over some dinner, it is also an opportunity to learn about what your Union does to serve YOU. The event poster is attached to this email. Any related questions can be sent to Avijit Mallick, our International Officer, at
We hope to see you there!

Unit 1- Bargaining Bulletin #2

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Bargaining Bulletin #2

CUPE 3906 Unit 1: TAs and RAs in-lieu


After a summer away from the bargaining table, your Union met with employer representatives from McMaster on August 21 and 22. While we made progress on some smaller issues, often involving day-to-day labour relations issues, no progress was made on larger items that you identified as priorities. These include extended guaranteed TAships for graduate students, meaningful wage increases, equal pay for all TAs, protection against tuition increases, a higher minimum number of hours on a contract, and access to paid training.

Unfortunately, the Employer’s proposals have remained the same since June – a ‘no’ to all proposals. McMaster will only negotiate within what it sees as the framework of Bill 124, a bill (which is not yet law) that would limit wage and benefits increases to 1% per year. At the same time, they have also proposed concessions that would see the erosion of graduate students’ guaranteed TAships and have tabled language that would see the elimination of a minimum number of hours per contract (currently set at a minimum of 32 hours). Finally, rather than establish paid anti-oppression and pedagogical training for TAs, McMaster has proposed a committee to determine if TA training is even ‘feasible.’ In a large and diverse university, we fail to see how TA training could possibly be unfeasible.


  • Standard 5-year TA guarantee for PhD students
  • Standard 2-year TA guarantee for Masters’ students
  • No extension of guaranteed funding period
  • No minimum number of hours per contract
  • 5% increases per year for all members in recognition of increases to the cost of living & historical wage stagnation.
  • Equal pay for undergraduate and graduate TA/RAs.
  • 1% per year for all members, following what they believe Bill 124 will require of them if it becomes law.
  • Additional 0.35% per year for all members if Bill 124 does not pass
  • Optional paid training for professional development and anti-oppression practices
  • No paid training for professional development or anti-oppression
  • Option to strike a committee to discuss the “feasibility” of additional training (paid or unpaid)
  • Tuition reimbursements freezing the cost of tuition at the 2018-2019 domestic student rate for all members
  • No tuition waiver/reimbursement
  • Employer to pay 50% of UHIP costs
  • General increases to Benefits Funds that respond adequately to rising insurance rates and service costs
  • $10,000 gender-affirmation fund
  • No increase to benefits funds over 2-years
  • Committee to discuss supports for gender-affirmation

Where does CUPE stand?

Despite the fact that Bill 124 is not a law (and, as such, our feeling that we do not need to negotiate within its limitations), your Union explored all options to secure the best possible deal for TAs and RAs in lieu. In fact, we offered to consider a mere 1% wage increase, contingent on meaningful and substantial movement from the Employer on the following key issues, each of which can still be bargained within McMaster’s self-imposed limitations of Bill 124:

·         Minimum 65-hour contracts
·         5th year guaranteed TAships
·         Tuition Freeze
·         Paid Training (Pedagogical & Anti-Oppression)
·         Closing the Class A and B wage gaps

These five items speak to several of the priorities our members made clear to us through our Bargaining Survey. Unfortunately, McMaster signaled that it has no interest in moving forward on these terms, leaving us with virtually no way of moving forward while representing the interests of our members.

McMaster’s Position 

On August 22nd your Union was shocked to hear that, in addition to rejecting our proposed framework, McMaster University was signalling an impasse by effectively walking away from the bargaining table. This decision was ostensibly made in light of a policy grievance CUPE had filed weeks ago, alleging that some employees who should be covered by the Collective Agreement were not (and, as such, were denied benefits and wages). For obvious reasons, we find ourselves questioning the Employer’s last-minute decision not to resume negotiations pending an arbitration ruling on this specific grievance.

Essentially, after we had presented a framework through which CUPE would consider a 1% wage increase in exchange for meaningful movement on a higher minimum number of hours, expanded graduate guarantees, protection from tuition increases, paid TA training, and equitable wages for all TAs, McMaster University signaled that it had zero interest in moving forward on such terms. This is completely unnecessary and could undoubtedly cause major delays in the bargaining process.

What do we go from here? 

CUPE remains committed to continuing to bargain in good faith. Not only have we proposed a framework to move forward with securing a fair collective agreement, we believe that the parties can and should continue to bargain in good faith for the benefit of our members regardless of the status of ongoing grievances.

CUPE is ready to continue to bargain a fair and meaningful deal for its members and that one that works for all parties. We are no longer confident that McMaster shares this goal.

We will continue to reach to members and move forward with the hopes of moving past this impasse that we feel McMaster has created.

For More Information:

Kenneth Taylor Hall, B111         905-525-9140 x24003                       cupe3906                      cupe_3906

How you can Help:

Join us on Labour Day

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Please join us on Monday, September 2nd for the Hamilton Labour Day Parade and Picnic. We will be meeting on Stuart St, outside the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre at 10:00 AM, and will be marching through Hamilton to Bay Front Park for a picnic and socializing. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be available for purchase , and the Workers’ Arts and Heritage Centre has generously organized a kids’ zone consisting of a bouncy castle and other fun activities. Beer will also be available for purchase in a designated licensed area.
This Labour Day we celebrate the contributions made by workers in Hamilton and beyond. We will also be joining the Hamilton and District Labour Council to unite against racism, oppression and austerity. At CUPE 3906  we understand the urgency of securing and protecting not only workers’ rights, but also social justice and economic dignity for all.
We look forward to seeing you there.
In solidarity,
CUPE 3906

Join our Stewards Committee!


We are excited to initiate a renewed process for joining the Stewards Committee! In the interest of making the process more accessible, equitable, and democratic, the executive has approved the following forms through which you become a departmental steward.

The forms include information about the nature of the role, its responsibilities, and the newly approved honourarium for stewards to be set in our yearly budgets.

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us! (

Steward Nomination Form – UNIT 1 (TAs/RAs in lieu)

Steward Nomination Form UNITS 2 & 3 (Sessional Instructors & Post-Doctoral Fellows)


Unit 2 job notifications

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The CBA has secured access to automatic job notifications (ie/ of posted available positions). This needs to be set-up via MOSAIC. We have been informed by members that the notifications are not currently working. We have approached HR about the situation and they are looking into things on their end.

Unit 2 PDF update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The Benefits Committee will be meeting on September 5th to review Professional Development Fund applications from the spring/summer semester. An update on the adjudication process will be sent out to all applicants shortly thereafter.

The committee will also discuss any recent Unit 3 Professional Development Fund proposals.