URGENT Message Regarding Potential SEIU Strike at McMaster

Nancy MacBainNews, Political Action

Sisters and Brothers,

Over the past few days it has become apparent that another union on Campus, SEIU, is likely to be forced out to the picket lines very soon.  Members of SEIU, Service Employees International Union, at McMaster perform several different tasks such as, custodial work, mail delivery, trades work, and more.

University administration has shocked SEIU by demanding a number of concessions relating to benefits, wages, vacation time, and reduction of staff.  SEIU members voted almost unanimously when asked to take part in a strike mandate vote.  Their membership is solidly behind the SEIU bargaining team.  Expect an update in the coming days regarding specific issues related to SEIU bargaining.

Given the stance that the University Administration has taken during these negotiations, as well as during recent negotiations with CUPE, your executive members voted unanimously to stand behind SEIU during their work stoppage.  CUPE 3906 support of the SEIU strike will include, but not be limited to, providing organizational support.  We are prepared to offer additional assistance depending on the needs of SEIU.

In the event of a strike or lockout, we would also like to remind all members of the contents of Article 9.03 of the Unit 1 Collective Agreement (8.03 for Unit 2) which states that members of CUPE cannot be expected to perform the work normally done by workers on the picket lines. These requests may come in subtle ways, so to be clear,  you cannot be expected to clean up in your classrooms or deliver mail between departments.  Your supervisors will have been informed of this fact.

As mentioned already, we will continue to provide you with updates regarding SEIU, on-going negotiations, the likely work-stoppage, and what you can do as a CUPE members to assist SEIU if you so choose.  Regardless of the direction that negotiations take over the coming days, CUPE 3906 has made the decision to stand behind our Sisters and Brothers at SEIU as they work toward a fair and equitable collective agreement for all of their members.

In solidarity,
Your CUPE 3906 Executive Committee

Welcome Party, Friday, Sept 24, 7-11pm @The Staircase Theater

Maria MustafaGeneral

Dear new and returning CUPE 3906 members,

Please join us this Friday from 7:00pm to 11:00pm at the Staircase Theater (1 block north of Dundurn and King) for an evening of Rock Band (XBOX), dancing, and live performances as we kick off the new academic year and celebrate the launch of the latest issue of our CUPE Quarterly magazine. The building is wheelchair accessible through the back entrance. There will be free snacks and a cash bar for drinks. Family members are welcome.

Please help us spread the word by telling your fellow office mates and co-workers.

Hope to see you this Friday,
CUPE 3906 Executive Committee

McMaster @ the G20

Nancy MacBainEvents, News, Political Action

‘McMaster Students For Social Justice’ invites you to take part in a public discussion forum regarding the events of the G-20 Toronto demonstrations. A presentation will discuss how the G-20 Toronto consensus relates to the University institution. McMaster students will provide testimonies of their participatory observation of the demonstrations which took place. A monitored debate will ensue under the following question:

‘In accordance to the events of the G-20 Toronto demonstrations; Is Canada aPolice-State?’

The debate is controversial, however we (McMaster Students for Social Justice) believe that it is necessary to discuss and debate such matters in order to revitalize student political engagement in the current era of severe student disengagement.

This is a peaceful assembly attempting to promote intellectual political debate and political engagement amongst students and the McMaster community. This is not an exclusive event. All wishing to attend are more than welcome.

Tuesday September 28th
7pm in Chester New Hall 104

Canada Out of Afghanistan

Nancy MacBainEvents, News, Political Action

A panel on the role Canada has played in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. We will bring to light topics such as Omar Khadr, detainee abuse and the recent Wikileaks scandal. We as Canadian students need to demand that our government base its foreign policy on respect for international law, peace, and justice. We invite all who are interested in coming to listen to our speakers and involve themselves in the discussions.

Yves Engler: is the author of The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy, amongst others.
Rick Salutin: is a playwright, novelist and regular columnist for the Globe and Mail.
Dave McKee: is the president of the Canadian Peace Congress.

When: September 30th 2010, 7 PM
Where: Health Science Centre (HSC) room 1A6, McMaster University

Click here for more information.

Endorsed by: Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, McMaster Gandhi Peace Festival, Solidarity House, and others.

URGENT – Grad Student Dental Plan Info

Nancy MacBainNews

Please note – This message is intended to clarify questions surrounding the CUPE and GSA Dental Plans. If you are a TA but not a registered grad student please disregard this message.

What GRAD STUDENTS are eligible for the  CUPE Dental Plan?
  • Those currently working a 130 hour TAship (or RA in lieu of a TAship)
  • Those with a guarantee of a 130 TAship (or RA in lieu) in the Winter or Summer 2011 terms.
  • Any questions about the CUPE plan should be directed to benefits@cupe3906.org.
Who is eligible for the GSA Dental Plan?
  • Everyone who is not eligible for the CUPE plan is enrolled in the GSA plan.
  • If you are eligible for the CUPE plan, you will be automatically opted-out of the GSA plan. Regardless of what is listed on your schedule of fees – YOU WILL NOT BE CHARGED for the GSA plan.
  • Due to the referendum that established the GSA plan, if you are eligible for the CUPE plan, you are NOT able to join the GSA plan.
  • Any questions about the GSA plan should be directed to gsapres@mcmaster.ca


All Graduate Students are covered under the GSA Health Plan for extended health benefits. For more information on this plan visit www.ihaveaplan.ca.

All CUPE members in Unit 1 (TAs and RAs in lieu) remain covered, at no cost, for Vision Care, Childcare and UHIP rebates. For more information on these plans visit the benefits section of www.cupe3906.org.

If you have any questions please contact the CUPE or GSA offices.

REMINDER – The final deadline to opt out of either plan is Sept 30, 2010.

General Membership Meeting

Nancy MacBainNews

Our first General Membership Meeting of the year will be taking place on:

Wednesday, September 15th
in MUMC in the Hospital
(1st floor, purple  elevators, Ewart Angus Area, next to Williams Cafe, follow the signs)

Agenda items include:

  • 2010/2011 budget
  • Unit 2 bargaining update
  • Update for all members about provincial wage freeze and fight back
  • Unit 1 Benefits Update
  • Winter term bookoffs
  • Elections: International Officer, Chief Steward Unit 2, Communications Officer, Bylaws & Grievances committees
  • Outstanding items from the summer (Sex Worker Solidarity Working Group, minutes)

LGBTQ & Straight Allies Workshop

Nancy MacBainEquity, Events, News

CUPE 3906’s Equity Action Committee welcomes you to McMaster!  In case you are wondering what we do as a union committee, let me tell you: we are a semi-autonomous activist committee that works to dismantle oppression targeting Equity Seeking Groups within our union and local community.  Our initiatives center around educating our membership about equity issues and advocating for people groups our union members represent and for groups we have become affiliated with.  If you are interested in joining us, contact us at equity@cupe3906.org.

To help kick off McMaster Ontario Public Interest Research Group’s (OPIRG) Alternative Welcome Week (Sept.13-Sept.17, for more details click this link), the Equity Action Committee has organized a Positive Space Workshop for unionized and non-unionized folks who identify as Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Trans/Queer (LGBTQ) or as straight allies.  This workshop will offer anti-oppression training, discussion on how to create positive spaces, and an opportunity for LGBTQ folks & straight allies across campus to meet one another, come together as a collective, and quite possibly in the future, organize as a CUPE 3906 working group.  There will also be a sign-up sheet for folks to join an email listserv.

Please join us for the Positive Space Workshop on Monday, Sept. 13, from 2:00-5:00, in McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC) 313/311.  The workshop will run for two hours, so if you cannot make it to the workshop, please come at 4:00 for the food and meet new folks!

Also, there will be a Saturday Night Social on Sept. 18 for LBGTQ folks and straight allies.  We will be hitting Embassy, on 54 King Street E.  If you are new to Hamilton, we could meet up beforehand and head over to Embassy together.  More details will be sent out to folks who sign up to be on the email listserv.

Calling All Creative Artists and Writers

Maria MustafaGeneral

CUPE 3906 is seeking to publish short pieces of nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and artwork in the upcoming fall issue of our print and online magazine. This issue will be directed at welcoming and introducing new and returning union members to our local by showcasing the creative talents of union members here at 3906. Prose submissions should range up to 750 words, and poetry submissions should range from 1-3 pages double-spaced. We also welcome bios and online links of union members with musical talents. We currently cannot pay artists and authors for their work, but they will be invited to read and perform their work at a CUPE 3906 magazine launch/welcome party in September.

Some possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the following…
-Labour Struggles
-The Life of Academia
-Travel Narratives and Field Research
-Social Activism
-Sci-fi, Lab Rats, Mad Scientists
-Why You Should Read This Book!
-What is Canadian?
-Mathematics and the Everyday

Submissions should be emailed to Malissa Phung at equity@cupe3906.org no later than August 24, 2010. We also strongly encourage union members who are also from equity seeking groups (Indigenous peoples, people of colour, LGBTQ communities, people with disabilities) to submit their work.

Stop the Special Diet Cut – Raise Welfare/ODSP Rates Now!

Nancy MacBainNews, Political Action

Meal, Rally & Action
Wed. July 21st at noon
Ministry of Community & Social Services, 900 Bay St (at Wellesley)

There will be a bus leaving from Hamilton
Meeting at Gore Park (James St & King)
Leaving 10:30am – Returning around 3:30pm

On June 26th the G20 met in Toronto with the government spending over $1 billion on the summit. This money funded the militarization of our city, security fees, promotional stunts involving a fake lake, lavish dinners and hotels for world leaders and their entourages. That weekend, in response to the G20 meeting, tens of thousands of people demonstrated on the streets of Toronto despite police violence and extreme intimidation. We know all too well that these attempts to criminalize and brutalize will continue in the daily violence that poor communities, people of colour, and First Nations communities face.Read More