CUPE 3906 Bargaining Bulletin #3 — Unit 3: Postdoctoral Fellows


HAMILTON, ON — The CUPE 3906 Unit 3 Bargaining Team met face-to-face with the Employer’s Bargaining Team for the first time this bargaining round on May 15, 16, and 17, 2019. The Employer’s Bargaining Team consists of Faculty, Administrators, and representatives from Employee/Labour Relations.

Both parties exchanged initial proposals, and over the course of the first three days, the parties made progress in several articles that address the daily function of labour/management relations, including employee information and orientations. Our team was pleased by the Employer’s receptivity to the Union’s concerns about the need to address domestic violence and its effects as a workplace issue and with the respectable improvements made to members’ protections against harassment and discrimination.

The Union presented a full package addressing all of the priorities that were passed at the April 18, 2019 Special General Membership Meeting, including increases to wages and benefits, the introduction of a pension plan, improvements to resources (such as access to office space and professional development support), and language that would provide guidelines and limitations on student mentorship workloads and expectations.

By the end of the third day of negotiations, the Employer chose not to respond to key financial issues (i.e., salary, pensions), instead focussing largely on smaller items, harassment and discrimination protections, and health and safety. Before the end of the day on Friday, May 17th, the Union’s Bargaining Team members spoke passionately about the importance and urgency of our key priorities. We expect the Employer to respond with a more fulsome package when we meet with them again at the table on June 4th, 2019.

We have two more days scheduled at the bargaining table—June 4th and June 5th. We are committed to working toward a contract settlement at the table that materially and sincerely considers the members’ key priorities. Our Bargaining Team is ready and willing to schedule more days at the table to achieve this goal.

Did you know: there are many ways that you can keep up-to-date with negotiations and support your Bargaining Team? Here are a few things you can do:

  • Download, print, and share the petition to McMaster President Patrick Deane in support of our bargaining demands.
  • Take a picture with the #BetterMac window sign and tag us on social media. Visit for a copy of the sign, or drop by the Union Office at Kenneth Taylor Hall, room B111 to participate!
  • Attend a bargaining support committee meeting and participate in bargaining support activities. Our Bargaining Team is only as strong as the members who support us, so show that support by getting involved in the committee and meeting your peers and colleagues at the University. The next meeting is on Wednesday, June 5 from 12:30-2:00pm in Kenneth Taylor Hall, room B111.

Unit 3 is CUPE 3906’s smallest unit with just over 170 members and consists of postdoctoral fellows working at McMaster University. The current collective agreement expires on August 31.