Professional Development Fund Application Period and Deadlines

The final fall 2022 academic year deadline is December 9th 2022.

Unit 2 members (Sessional Faculty and Sessional Music Faculty) can apply to the Professional Development Fund (PDF) administered by the Union.

We are now accepting applications electronically for professional development funds until further notice. Please e-mail your application in one document to your benefits officer at benefits@cupe3906.org 

APPLICATION FORMS:

CLICK HERE  for a copy of the general PDF form.

CLICK HERE for a copy of the tech-item specific PDF form.

CLICK HERE for a list of commonly submitted ineligible expense claims under the CUPE Unit 2 Professional Development Fund.

If you have questions about how to submit your application, please contact benefits@cupe3906.org and/or administrator@cupe3906.org

Eligible and Ineligible Professional Development Items

This fund is intended to assist with expenses related to professional development linked to your teaching that fall into the following  categories:

  • Conference Presentations/Participation;
  • Certification or Association Fees;
  • Books/Subscriptions
  • Research and Training;
  • Some teaching Materials/Resources (excluding laptops, computer hardware and other items found here)
  • **new** some technological expenses, as of Fall 2022 (see criteria below)

Entitlement Amounts under the Professional Development Fund (PDF)

Sessional Faculty are eligible for $200 per 3 unit course to a maximum of $1000 per academic year.  As of Winter 2015, subsequent sections of individual courses taught by Sessional Faculty will be eligible for a Professional Development award of $100 for the first additional section taught and $50 for each subsequent section taught (up to the maximum yearly entitlement).

Hourly Rated Music Faculty (HRSMF) eligibility will be calculated according to the unit calculations in Article 20.02 of the Unit 2 Collective Agreement (i.e., 1 student = 1 unit, or 1 Special Studies in Chamber Music = 1 unit). (For every 3 units taught, HRSMF will receive $200; subsequent units/students will be prorated.)

*Please Note: Awards are subject to the availability of funds.

Application Process

To apply, please fill out and sign the APPLICATION FORM (below) and attach original receipts. For conferences and travel, we require verification of attendance (ie/ boarding pass and/or conference receipt).

Applications are due on the last day of classes each term and will be reviewed by the Benefits Committee shortly thereafter. These dates can be found here: http://registrar.mcmaster.ca/sessional-dates/

CLICK HERE for a list of commonly submitted ineligible expense claims under the CUPE Unit 2 Professional Development Fund. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and represents some, but not all, of the ineligible items. It is designed to provide some guidance, but in the event that an item is not listed it does not automatically mean that the item is eligible and will be reimbursed. To reiterate, as a general rule, all technology items are ineligible- this includes, but is not limited to, computers, tablets/iPads, webcams, microphones, printers, and software.

Strike and Censure- Ineligible Expenses

Based upon principles of solidarity, the Benefits Committee will not consider applications for the reimbursement of expenses incurred at Universities or other institutions that under censure (generally via the Canadian Association of University Teachers) or where there are ongoing strikes or lockouts of workers. A list of these institutions will be listed below, if there are any, and all members are strongly encouraged to consult the Union Webpage, Weekly E-blasts, and Social Media for regular updates. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Benefits@cupe3906.org

Technological Items 

Starting September 1st 2022, the committee began accepting PDF applications for software and limited tech items. These items will be considered on a case by case basis by the committee in order to ensure fair and equal access to the fund.
While we will consider each case individually on the merits of its own claim, and cannot consider hardware items such as laptops, items such as HDMI cables and stylus pens are an expense that has a reasonable chance to be approved. If you have questions about a specific claim, we would encourage you to reach out to our benefits officer prior to purchasing the item. In order to claim these items members will be required to:
a) Certify that they have first reached out to their respective departments requesting access to the required items. Members will be required to fill out the following form detailing the steps they took to access these resources. Failure to do so may result in a claim being rejected by the committee. (maybe insert here some language citing collective agreement for info purposes)
b) Provide a detailed explanation highlighting there relevance to their professional development. Failure to do so may result in a delay or refusal of an application.
Please note, certain Tech i.e. Laptops, tablets etc. and Software i.e. Grammarly etc. will remain ineligible at this time. The full list of ineligible items can be found here (https://cupe3906.org/files/2018/02/Ineligibility-PDF-Application-Updated-2018-1.pdf). Stylus pens, which have always been included, will remain items included under the fund.
Office Materials- Ineligible Expenses

You guys really don’t approve general office items? Yes, that’s right. The fund is not designed to cover these items and lacks sufficient funding to do so. As of Fall 2021, we no longer consider editing software such as “Grammarly” as eligible under the Professional Development Fund.

Article 13.01(a) of your Collective Agreement ensures that “office and instructional materials related to the employee’s instructional responsibilities will be available on the same basis as faculty members in the academic unit.” If you need it to teach, the Employer has an obligation to provide it to you. If it’s convenient, but not needed, the fund does not have enough money to cover these items as hundreds of sessionals are eligible each year.

COVID-19 Working from Home Employment Expense Reimbursement

We would like to remind members of the Employer’s policy for reimbursing work-related expenses during the pandemic. This policy assists employees who are working from home due to the pandemic closure, and contemplates a number of expenses such as long distance and internet overages, printer ink, etc.

Members can contact their employment supervisors and/or Department or Area Chairs for more information about how to submit expenses.

You can find more details about the policy at the following links:
https://covid19.mcmaster.ca/new-reimbursements-for-working-remotely-help-for-academically-stranded-students/

https://cupe3906.org/2020/08/30/reimbursement-of-employment-expenses/H

If the employer does not reimburse you for the cost (and there is a good chance they won’t), they should either be covered by a T2200 form (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/forms/t2200.html) or a new $400 tax credit introduced by the federal government (https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/how-canadians-can-get-a-400-tax-credit-no-questions-asked-for-working-from-home-during-covid-19)

We are in discussion with McMaster about how they’ll be proceeding with the T2200 forms, and we’re all awaiting word from the federal government on the implications and criteria of this tax credit. We’ll communicate with members as soon as we have an update.The Committee does not reconsider ineligible applications.

*Please note: PDF applications will be adjudicated and/or paid out at the end of the academic term in which you apply.*

You are able to claim all of your entitlement for a given academic year at once, or throughout the course of the academic year. For example, if you teach one 3 unit course in the fall and one 3 unit course in the winter, you may claim your $400 entitlement in the spring/summer session, if you prefer. (Please note that PDF benefits are adjudicated and paid out only at the end of a given term. See above.)

We recommend that you submit your claim in the same term you incur the cost, if possible. You cannot claim costs incurred in prior eligibility periods during the current eligibility period (e.g., claim something in December 2018 for an expense you incurred prior to September 1st, 2018).

CLICK HERE for the most recent version of the application form.

If you have any questions, please e-mail benefits@cupe3906.org