EGS Update: October 2015

Here is a peek at what at what is going on this month!

EGS Update - OCT 2015

Engineering Graduate Representatives

As the new academic year begins, it is important to know where your voice is being heard among the various universities councils! One of the key roles of the EGS is to streamline communication both up to the relevant decision making bodies and back down to the graduate students who are affected by these decisions. In previous years, although we had many reps on these bodies, these reps did not have a forum by which they could effectively communicate between students and the university committees. Now, the EGS sends reps from each department to the graduate curriculum and policy committee and graduate council, where most of the decisions that affect graduate students are made. These reps then provide feedback at our EGS meetings and we disseminate this information to you! If you have some comments or ideas on changes that you think should be made, please let us know and we’ll discuss it. In addition to GCPC and GC, the Faculty of Engineering meet periodically and 3 graduate students sit in on these meetings. All changes eventually get approved at Senate and there is one engineering graduate student sitting on that committee. Some things, particularly topics related to finance or university planning, get approved by the Board of Governors. Only one graduate student sits on the board and they can be from any faculty. This year, one of the EGS council members applied for that position so we’ll see if he won the election very soon!

EGS Pumpkin Carving Social

The leaves are changing colour and it’s starting to get chilly. We will be having a pumpkin carving social in time for Hallowe’en. It will be in the newly renovated grad lounge, JHE 328 on Thursday, October 29th from 6-10pm. Come out to socialise, enjoy some snacks and decorate your pumpkin! We will be providing some carving tools, but you can your own and some other things to decorate your pumpkin and we’ll have a competition for the best pumpkin! At the moment, we’re thinking we might also be able to provide the pumpkins but we’re still planning it so it’s not confirmed. We’ll make an event post about it when everything is finalized. Hope to see many of you there!

Grad Payroll

So… lots of people still seem to be confused. We made a grad pay calculator to help you try to figure out what you are getting paid, why you are getting paid those amounts, if everything is ok and how much you should be budgeting for in different terms. http://egs.mcmaster.ca/2015/10/grad-pay-distribution-spreadsheet/
Our student life and international officer is available to go through it with you if you are confused. Contact Sarah at nanglesm@mcmaster.ca or Ext. 27046.
We are also meeting regularly with the GSA and SGS to keep abreast of the latest updates and are posting new information whenever we get it. The grad council payroll committee has also been established again this year. Tim & Sarah were on it last year and this year Donal is on it because he is the graduate council rep. Again if you’re worried about something you can always email askgrad@mcmaster.ca

Career Services for Graduate Students in Engineering

The faculty have hired Adam Pepler, a new Career Development and Relationship Manager for Graduate Students in Engineering. Adam has over 8 years experience in recruitment for science and engineering and he is also looking into developing a co-op program for engineering graduate students. He is located in JHE A408A, (905) 525-9140 Ext. 28011

Career Services that Adam provides for Engineering Graduate students

  • Resume/Cover Letter/LinkedIn profile critiques
  • Interview coaching
  • Building a professional network/personal brand
  • Job search strategies
  • Career planning

Book an appointment with Adam now pepleraj@mcmaster.ca

Student Services Fees

The GSA have a student services fees committee and are in the process of negotiating a new student services fees proposal to deal with the current budget deficit for those services. A new proposal will be available, hopefully next month, and we’ll make a post about it then. Any major changes to the student services fees are subject to vote at the GSA AGM.

CUPE Bargaining Year

All graduate students who have a TA or an RA-in-lieu-of-a-TA are part of the union, CUPE3906. We pay union dues and receive benefits as part of this union. They also host events and ‘bargain’ or negotiate our terms of employment with the university every few years. 2016 is bargaining year. A number of EGS reps were at the CUPE general meeting in September where they were electing members to the bargaining committee. This committee will meet numerous times throughout the year to learn about the process, get training and develop a strategy for bargaining next year. Lis Melo, a former MSE EGS rep, is on the bargaining committee this year. CUPE will be sending out a survey, likely around December or early in the new year to get feedback from us on what we would like to see bargained for, change in TA hours, how TA pay is distributed, change in hourly amounts, benefits etc. Keep an eye out for this email and we’ll make a post closer to the time.

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