This began with a geographical proximity clause attached to positions held by members of CUPE 3902 (TAs, Course Instructors, Invigilators etc.) in August, 2020.
Thanks to their swift action, the University has “clarified” (read: walked back) their confusing hiring policy that they flagged as unreasonable and potentially discriminatory.
This wording was later added to our contracts as Graduate Assistants at OISE. With clear push back from CUPE 3902 members, they came to CUPE 3907 with an updated and clearer policy regarding geographical proximity. The University has said that OISE GAs:
do not have to be in geographical proximity to U of T to perform remote work;
can perform remote work from anywhere in Canada; and
can perform remote work from outside of Canada should the “payroll, tax, and other laws of the jurisdiction” allow it.
With this being said, please make sure that you have a very honest conversation with your GA supervisor about your role and any geographical proximity requirements to fulfill your duties.
If you are outside of Canada, and have a SIN and Canadian bank account and your supervisor is aware and approves, you can continue your GA positions. Please also contact your department to make sure that they are aware and payroll can be processed.
If you are an international student trying to cross the border into Canada, please use this new updated contract at the border to support your entry into the country.
If you are outside of the province, please let your supervisor and department know.
International students and workers are a sizeable and important group at U of T, and we deserve better than casually-worded memos upending our shifting our conditions and financial certainty at the last minute.
Know that the University has not heard the last from us on this issue. Feel free to follow up with an executive member with any questions, concerns, or comments about this.
If you experience any push back from your department or supervisor around where you plan to be in the Winter, please contact Wales Wong, the Chief Steward at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will advocate for you (Anything you write to this address is strictly confidential and nothing moves forward without your consent).