Unit 2 (Sessional) Bargaining Update #1

Here is a detailed update after the first two meetings with the University’s negotiating team last week. As you will see, the two sides have found some agreement on a number of smaller, procedural (or “housekeeping”) issues but remain far apart with respect to the priorities that our members have identified.

We are in a recess right now and will be back at the table by mid-August.

In the meantime, we’d like to hear from you! Please take a moment to check you e-mail and fill out our first of several Quick Bargaining Surveys. These surveys will be just a few questions long and will help to clarify where our members stand on various employment issues.

To encourage good participation in this endeavor, we’re offering a bit of an incentive: $20-, $30- and $50-valued prizes for 3 lucky respondents!

In solidarity for a #BetterMac
Graham Baker, President, CUPE 3906
on behalf of the Unit 2 Bargaining Team


This is it! Bargaining began this week! Your duly-elected Bargaining Team has been working hard over the last several weeks to put together a package of proposals that reflects your priorities as a membership. On Wednesday and Thursday of this past week, we had our first chance to present those proposals in person to the university’s negotiators.

You’re going to continue to hear from us – in person, via email, and through our direct mailers – as this process unfolds. If we’re going to win the Collective Agreement that Sessional Faculty at this university deserve, we all need to be pulling together, and that begins with making sure that all our members have up-to-date, accurate information about what’s going on at the bargaining table.

We also need to keep hearing from you. To that end, we will be inviting you all to participate in a few Quick Bargaining Surveys. These surveys will be just a few questions long and will help to clarify where our members stand on various employment issues.


We would first like to thank the Sessional Faculty who attended the Unit 2 Bargaining Support Luncheon yesterday – it was a chance to discuss the role of Bargaining Support as presented by the President, Graham Baker, and to meet the Bargaining Team, including the two Staff Reps, who graciously took time away from their busy bargaining schedule and joined us for lunch.

We now have a Bargaining Support Team (and are still looking for others to join as things progress), and we would like to congratulate Frances Lasowski for being acclaimed the Bargaining Support Chair – Thank you Fran and congratulations!

Once again, a big THANK YOU! to the new members of the Bargaining Support Team for their commitment to this round of negotiations with the employer.

If you’re interested in joining the bargaining support team (with a time commitment that is flexible to your schedule and responsibilities that you’re comfortable with), don’t hesitate to contact our Unit 2 Bargaining Mobilizer, Amarjeet.


Dear Unit 2 (Sessional Faculty and Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty),


We would like to extend an invitation to you for a Special (Free) Union Luncheon on Tuesday, July 11th at Noon at the Phoenix so as to set up the Bargaining Support Committee for this round of Unit 2 negotiations. At this luncheon meeting, two co-chairs of the Bargaining Support Committee will be elected as per our By-Laws.

We are addressing this to all our Unit 2 members, including those members who were at the Special General Membership Meeting (SGMM) and those of you with whom we have met in person over the past weeks who have indicated an interest in chatting about the possibility of being a member of the Bargaining Support Committee. The Bargaining Support Committee is an integral and fundamental part of the Union’s Bargaining Process and, among other things, provides support as needed to the Bargaining Team.

 So please join us (even if you’re not sure if you want to commit to joining the committee) and please do RSVP to Amarjeet Chhabra, our member mobilizer at akc@cupe3906.org by the end of the week so we can reserve enough room. Looking forward to meeting you!

Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining is a process by which your union (CUPE 3906) and the Employer (McMaster University) negotiate a collective agreement. A collective agreement is a written contract of employment covering a group of employees who are represented by a trade union, in this case Sessional Faculty, MELD Faculty, and Hourly-Rated Music Sessional Faculty. This agreement contains provisions governing the terms and conditions of employment, such as wages, job security, benefits, course evaluations, etc.

The current Collective Agreement expires this August 2017 (but will continue to be in force until a new Agreement is negotiated and ratified by the members). We are now in negotiations with the employer, McMaster University.

Your elected bargaining team, consisting of four sessionals and union support staff, have secured the following dates to meet with the Employer: July 19, July 20th, and eight days over the middle two weeks in August.

Relevant bargaining information and updates will be posted here, as well as sent via e-mail to sessionals.

In the meantime, as promised in our email, and in the package we mailed to your home (hopefully you have all received it by now – if you haven’t please let us know!), we’re trying to set up a 10-15 minute meeting with as many of you as possible during this round of negotiations.

While the Bargaining Survey is an important tool for soliciting your feedback on workplace issues, it is also imperative that you, our member, get a chance to informally discuss those aspects of your working life here at the university that you feel may need to be improved upon as well as any positive experiences from your time at Mac that you believe can be used to inform best practices in other Departments.

There are a number of ways we could facilitate this conversation (and you’ll have seen these options already if you’ve gotten our mailout):

  1. Individual meeting on campus; (if you tell us when you’re on campus to teach or for office hours, I can meet you at a time and place convenient to you – we’ll even spring for the coffee!)
  2. Small group meeting on campus; (if you tell us when you’re here to teach or for office hours, we can try to fix a time common to more than one of you (but no more that 5 at a time), and meet you at a time and place convenient to the small group – again, we’ll provide the coffee!)
  3. Skype/Phone call; (this could be at your convenience if you feel comfortable with this method of communication)
  4.     Skype/Phone Conference call; (same principle as 2 above, but now at your convenience, if you feel comfortable with that)

We would appreciate it if you could respond by contacting Amarjeet Chhabra, our bargaining mobilizer, at akc@cupe3906.org.

Really looking forward to hearing from you!