Seniority is accrued by Sessional Faculty and Hourly-Rated Sessional Music Faculty at McMaster who apply to competitive postings or who have accrued a First Consideration Appointment. If you have not previously taught at McMaster as a sessional, you do not have any seniority.

Current Seniority is course specific. It is calculated as the number of times that you have previously taught the course you are applying for, so long as you have taught that course at least once in the past 36 months.

Aggregate Seniority is your overall seniority as a Sessional at McMaster. It is calculated as the total number of units of any course that you have taught at McMaster; however, you must hold current seniority in at least one course in order to have aggregate seniority. As long as you have current seniority in at least one class (any class), your aggregate seniority includes all classes taught, even if they were not within the past 36 months.

For example, if you have taught Labour Studies 1A03 once (in the past 36 months), you would have 3 units of current seniority in that course.  If you also had previously taught Labour Studies 3W03 (3 units x 1 time teaching it), you would have 6 units of aggregate seniority (3 units in 1A03 + 3 units in 3W03).

Seniority is one of the criteria that the Employer must take into consideration when making hiring decisions.  Furthermore, seniority serves as a tie-breaker when candidates have similar qualifications.

Please note that seniority is not accrued for courses associated with an Article 12.12 appointment, known more commonly as a graduate teaching fellowship. These positions are not filed through the normal competitive posting process, so seniority does not accrue. That said, you can list those positions as teaching experience on your cover letter/CV.

If you feel you have been denied an appointment on the basis of seniority, or have further questions about seniority, please contact us at or call 905-525-9140 x24056 and we will assist you.

Seniority matters! Fairness for Sackville municipal employees | Canadian Union of Public Employees

**please note that there is not an overall seniority listed created by McMaster, and sessionals are responsible for calculating their seniority to the best of their ability**

First Consideration Appointments

One major question we get related to seniority relates to job security. Sessionals have job security in the form of First Consideration Appointments. These function in the same way as a right of first refusal. First Consideration Appointments are a form of job security that occurs when you are appointed to a course without having to apply to it through a competitive application process.

You become eligible for a Standard First Consideration Appointment when you have taught the course for two
consecutive appointments after applying to teach it in two open competitions. With First Consideration, you are entitled to be appointed to that course, without it being posted or you needing to apply for it, the next three times that it is offered to Sessional Faculty.

Members who have completed a Standard First Consideration Appointment are then eligible for an Enhanced First
Consideration Appointment. When the course is posted again and you are hired in an open competition, you are then entitled to be appointed to that course, without needing to apply for it, the next four times that the course is offered to Sessionals.

Once you have secured a Standard or Enhanced First Consideration, the department can extend your appointment and continue to appoint you directly.

The chart below provides a helpful visualization of the process.