Rants and Raves – a social mixer and open house

Political Action CommitteeGeneral, Political Action

Interested in kicking back to kick off your reading week? Meeting fellow members of the flying squad, or mingling with other politically minded folks?

The Political Action Committee invites everyone to join us for a fabulous and free evening of live music, dub poetry, local art, and a potluck dinner!

Wednesday, February 16th, Wentworth Lounge (next to the Phoenix), doors open at 6:30pm

Performances will include “BaNanny Republic”, a new spoken word piece by Joyne Lavides and Roberto Lavidez,

and music by “The Human Race”

Food provided, but everyone welcome to bring a dish they want to share.  Cash bar available at the Phoenix.

Need to know: The Wentworth Lounge is not accessible.  We appologize for maintaining this barrier, and we invite you to let us know if you have any concerns.

Meetings Rescheduled After Snow

Nancy MacBainNews

The General Membership Meeting and Stewards’ Council Meeting have been rescheduled after the school closure yesterday. The new dates are as follows:

General Membership Meeting
February 9th, 2011
Location MUMC 1A5 (Hospital, 1st floor, by the Williams)

Stewards’ Council Meeting
March 2nd, 2011
Wentworth Lounge (beside The Phoenix)

GMM Postponed

Nancy MacBainNews

Tonight’s General Membership Meeting has been postponed as a result of McMaster’s closure due to the snowstorm.

We will reschedule the GMM as soon as possible. In the meantime, we hope that everyone keeps safe.

General Membership Meeting – Feb 2nd – 5:30

Nancy MacBainNews, Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3

Our next General Membership Meeting will take place:
February 2, 2011
MUMC 1A5 (hospital, 1st floor, by the William’s)

Agenda items will include:
-Bylaw Amendments (carried forward from the last meeting) Articles 3b, 4 & 5.
-Elections – Vice President, Chief Steward Unit 2, Equity Officer, Health & Safety Reps (all faculties)

Food will be available. Childcare reimbursement also available.

Call for Testimonies: Forum on Graduate and Undergraduate Dis/ability Supports at McMaster

Maria MustafaEquity, General

Members of CUPE 3906’s Equity Action Committee (EAC) have identified a campus-wide need to engage in a conversation about gaps in dis/ability support at McMaster. We are using the term ‘dis/ability’ in order to disrupt the more common, pathologizing understanding of ‘disability.’ Our use of this term is also intended to be as open as possible, so as to explicitly encourage and welcome conversations about both visible and (in)visible dis/abilities.

In order to begin this conversation with as many participants as possible, the EAC invites the submission of brief testimonies (2-5 minutes in length, maximum 500 words, in any format) to be shared at a forum on questions around dis/ability support at McMaster. There will also be time for an open mic, if anyone decides they would like to share something during the meeting. We imagine the event as one in which people can share their experiences and begin to develop a community in which concerns can be raised and, ideally, that may lead in many directions, from social events, to a range of creative venues to spread awareness about dis/ability issues, to creating a report on policy recommendations for the union and the university. Because of time constraints, we will, unfortunately, have to limit the number of submissions that are shared, but the success of the event is absolutely dependent upon the participation of as many people as possible, so do please attend even if your submission isn’t chosen or if you do not intend to submit a testimony—just being there is plenty!

Because of the very real impact of the stigma around dis/ability, we are limiting our invitee list to only graduate and undergraduate students, with the hope that more people may be welcome someday as we break down barriers. We also encourage submissions from people who may not be comfortable attending for any reason or who may have commitments that make it impossible to attend, who may not want to share their submission publicly and/or who are not comfortable doing so themselves (in which case we would be happy to have someone share it in their place), or who would prefer to remain anonymous. This call for testimonies, in short, is intended to encourage everyone to participate in this event to the degree that they feel safe and comfortable, and the EAC will do everything in its power to support and accommodate these needs and choices. Upon request, we will look into acquiring ASL interpreters and audio support.  Please also let us know if there are other supports that we can put in place, and please also get in touch with us if you see any omissions here.

Possible questions/topics include:

-How has your experience at McMaster with regard to dis/ability support been?

-Dis/ability in the classroom

-TAing or RAing with a dis/ability

-The supervisor/thesis committee and supervisee relationship

-Peer support


-Interlocking oppressions


-Ally support

The forum will take place on Wednesday, February 9, 2011 from 3:30-5:30 in MUSC 224.  Light refreshments will be available.

Please submit your paper/response to us at equity@cupe3906.org by Wednesday, February 2, 2011.  We look forward to your submissions. Please contact us at equity@cupe3906.org if you have any questions.

Steward’s Council – February 8th

Nancy MacBainGeneral, News, Unit 1

Greetings fellow stewards. As the current Unit 1 contract expires in a few months, this seems a good time to think about how we as stewards can contribute to the collective bargaining process. To that end, we are calling a Stewards Council meeting for

February 8th
Wentworth Lounge (right beside the Phoenix)

Right now we envision a three-point agenda for the meeting: Dave Hauch will briefly outline the bargaining process; following this we will talk about some of the major concerns in our respective departments; finally we will discuss ways that we can begin to raise awareness of the various issues among our colleagues. I would appreciate it greatly if you could attend. Food will be provided. Note, also, that if you know any one interested in becoming a steward, they are also welcome to attend.

Thanks, all.
Jonathan Bernier
Chief Steward – Unit 1

The People vs US Steel – Hamilton Day of Action

Nancy MacBainNews, Political Action

January 29th
Hamilton City Hall (71 Main St W)

Be a part of history!
Your Community needs you!


  • This is not a strike. The United Steelworkers 1005 have been locked out of their own factory, but not laid off. They are being denied the right to work and have not been paid by their employer since NOVEMBER! If you don’t want this kind of tactic to be used in the future elsewhere in Canada, we need to rise up and stop it from happening here and now!
  • This is struggle is BIG. The Canadian Provincial and Federal governments are getting involved. The outcome of this struggle between a rich foreign monopoly and the local 1005 union will set a precedent for future negotiations in all job markets – not just the manufacturing sector. Support 1005 now to secure better negotiating precedents in the job markets students will enter after graduation. This struggle will also impact faculty and staff working conditions, as more universities adapt consumer-business administration models.
  • Mac is often criticized for being disconnected from the rest of Hamilton. This is a chance to show our city that we care. Over the years, 1005 has supported various causes and unions at McMaster, and it is time to return the favour!
  • You definitely won’t be alone! Several groups from McMaster are supporting this rally, including CUPE 3906, the Political Action Committee, Students Resisting War and Occupation, The Dept. of Labour Studies Student Association, Students for Social Justice, and Independent Jewish Voices.  So, what can you do? It’s simple, just show up! Bring your friends, your cameras, and your love!

Take any of the following buses from McMaster or Westdale to this event: 1A, 5A, 5B, 5C, 10, 5E, 51, 52

CUPE 3906 members will be meeting at 12:45pm on the corner of Main St and Bay St on Saturday – come out and join us!

Introducing…The Ally

Nancy MacBainCUPE Quarterly

The new version of the CUPE Magazine is out, and it’s now called The Ally.

Click here to download the latest issue.

This issue features:

  • The People vs US Steel – the USW 1005 Lockout and the Hamilton Day of Action
  • Unit 1 Benefit Changes
  • Upcoming Rounds of Bargaining
  • Big Susie’s Sex Worker Advocacy Group
  • Local Labour Struggles and the G20
  • The Challenges of Wentworth House
  • And more!

Support Sessional Faculty at Trent

Nancy MacBainNews, Unit 2

CUPE 3908 includes more than 600 workers who work as contract faculty, part-time course instructors, workshop leaders, and markers. Contract faculty already earn less than half the average hourly rate of their similarly qualified full-time colleagues and the gap has widened over the past decade. Because of the difficulties in organizing this part-time, insecure labour force, universities have been able to keep wages low and resist demands for benefits.

Contract faculty are excluded from the University’s pension and health benefits plans, their wages don’t increase with experience, and their jobs can disappear at any time. In fact, they aren’t even eligible for the discount on parking passes offered to other groups at Trent!

Contract faculty already provide a massive subsidy to the university through their lower compensation and lack of job security. Requiring them to increase this subsidy through a wage freeze is unfair.

Please help contract faculty at Trent University reach a fair collective agreement settlement that does not include a wage freeze.

Mac’s Priorities Need to be Changed

Nancy MacBainNews

An opinion piece from The Silhouette by Blake McCall

There is something rotten at McMaster University. For those of you who are not counting I think it is important to take note of what has been happing for the last 18 months on this campus.

September 2009: CAW local 555 representing administrators all across campus nearly go on strike as the University tries to claw back hard fought for pensions and job security.

November 2009: CUPE local 3906 goes on strike as the university refuses to address benefit shortfalls, job security, and quality of education such as classroom maximums.

March 2010: McMaster Sunshine list is released showing that despite the university’s cries of poverty they still managed to give wage increase and bonuses to the top level administrators.

May 2010: the board of governors again increase tuition to the legal maximum four per cent.

July 2010: President Peter George finally retires to the lovely Pension of $99,999 per year for the next 15 years.

October 2010: SEIU Facility Services very nearly went out on strike after the administration tries to take wage, benefit, and job security provisions from some of the most marginalized employees on campus.

Click here to read the rest of the article.