International Members’ FAQ

Communication OfficerGeneral, International

1. What is a union?

Perhaps you have heard the story of “the bundle of sticks” or the phrase “united we stand, divided we fall”. That’s basically, what union means. Union (or more precisely trade union), copying from Wikipedia, is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. You might also be familiar with the term ‘syndicate’ in some other languages.

The idea is that employers (intentionally or unintentionally) do not consider the best possible conditions for the workers. Therefore, workers form a union so that each individual does not have to deal with the employer directly, they can go to their union and work with others to achieve a better result; then, they will have the help of other workers and professionals working in the union to solve their issues.

2. Then, what is CUPE 3906?

CUPE stands for Canadian Union of Public Employees. CUPE is a general union of employees across all Canada, and actually the largest one in Canada. Similar to any other organizational structure, there are different levels and the lowest level includes the ‘locals’. CUPE 3906 is the local that we are part of, which includes TAs (Teaching Assistants), Sessional Faculties (the faculty members that are usually not permanent), and postdoctoral students. CUPE 3902 is for example for TAs of University of Toronto.

3. Who is a member of CUPE again?

Read More

CUPE 999 prepares for bargaining again


Each of your news updates goes on the news page as a separate post.  If you do a lot of news updates, you may want to set up the site so that they go right on the home page, or the headlines show up on the side of each page.  Contact CUPE communications if you need help setting that up.

National Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women

Nancy MacBainEquity, Events, News, Political Action

December 6th marks the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, a day set aside to commemorate the 14 women who were murdered in the 1989 massacre at L’École Polytechnique in Montreal, as well as the over 582 Aboriginal women who have gone missing or been murdered in Canada.

A ceremony has been organized by Anti-Violence Network at McMaster, please join us
Tuesday, December 6th
JHE Annex Rm 102 

For more information, or for accessibility requirements, please contact Vilma at 905-525-9140 x24235.

For more information on the Day of Action, click here.

Stewards’ Council + Wage Theft Workshop = One Awesome Evening!

Nancy MacBainEvents, General, News, Political Action, Stewards'

There will be two events on Monday December 5th:

Stewards’ Council:

There will be a Council meeting for all Departmental Stewards – there will be a Q&A about the new Unit 1 Collective Agreement as well as department updates. The meeting will take place
Monday, December 5th
MUSC 230

Wage Theft Workshop:

Steel City Solidarity and the Workers Action Centre present a workshop and discussion on how to stand up and organize around the pressing issue of wage theft. The event will be taking place
Monday, December 5th
Jamesville Community Centre
Click here for more info

General Membership Meeting

Nancy MacBainNews

There will be a regular monthly General Membership Meeting on
Wednesday, November 30th
at 5:30pm
in MDCL 2232

Free food will be served at 5:00pm and there will be an orientation session for members attending their first meeting also at 5:00pm. Childcare is reimbursed on request.

The agenda includes:
Bargaining Updates
Elections/NominationsRead More

Membership ratifies tentative agreement

Nancy MacBainNews, Unit 1, Unit 1 Bargaining

The Unit 1 membership has voted to ratify the tentative agreement reached in negotiations with McMaster for a new Unit 1 Collective Agreement.

Thanks to everyone for your hard work and support throughout the bargaining process, we wouldn’t have been able to reach this deal without the support of members from across campus.

Ratification Vote Times and Locations

Nancy MacBainNews, Unit 1, Unit 1 Bargaining

We have reached a tentative agreement in the round of negotiations for a new contract between Unit 1 (TAs and RAs-in-lieu) and McMaster. Both sides are recommending ratification.

Details of the deal will be released at a Special General Membership Meeting open to all Unit 1 members. This meeting will take place
Monday, November 21
at 5:30pm
in BSB 137

Voting on ratification of the deal will commence at the end of the meeting.
Free food will be available at 5:00pm. Childcare is reimbursed on request.

Voting will continue
Tuesday, November 22
from 10:00am-5:00pm
in MUSC (at the entrance across from Mills Library)
Wednesday, November 23
from 10:00am-5:00pm
in Mills Library Lobby

A bargaining bulletin outlining the main points of the deal will be released after the SGMM. Questions will be answered at info sessions

Tuesday, November 22 and Wednesday November 23
from Noon-1:30pm
in Wentworth Lounge (beside The Phoenix)

Who can vote?
To be able to vote you need to be:
• working as a TA or RA-in-lieu in this term
• have worked as a TA or RA-in-lieu in either the Winter or Summer terms
• have a contract-in-hand for a TA or RA-in-lieu position in the upcoming term


We have a deal!

Nancy MacBainNews, Unit 1, Unit 1 Bargaining

We have reached a tentative agreement with the Employer in Unit 1 bargaining. The agreement is being recommended for ratification by both sides.

The details of the agreement will be released at a Special General Membership Meeting on Monday evening, location to be announced ASAP.

The ratification vote will open at the end of the meeting and will continue over Monday and Tuesday (location TBA).

A Bargaining Bulletin outlining the details of the deal will be released after the SGMM, and we will also hold info sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday (location TBA) to answer members’ questions about the deal.

Thanks to all of you for your support throughout this process, we couldn’t have done this without you!