Graduate Assistantship FAQs

How do I know if I am a member?
If you are a Graduate Assistant at OISE, you are a member.

If you held a GAship during the past 12 months, your membership continues 12 months from the date of last employment.

If you have a R&D position, you are represented by the United Steelworkers‘s Casual Unit.

I’m a TA at the University of Toronto and I’m an OISE student. Do you represent me?
No. CUPE Local 3902 represents TEPAs, TAs, sessional instructors, invigilators and some other job classifications at the University of Toronto. Local 3907 only represents Graduate Assistants at OISE/UT. However, it is possible to be a member of both Locals if you work both as a GA and as a TA.

Do I have health and dental benefits as a member of CUPE 3907?
In 2016, our CUPE 3907 Bargaining Committee was able to negotiate a new Top-Up Health and Dental Plan for all 3907 members. This plan is identical to the provisions of the CUPE 3902-Unit 1 Health Care Plan.

Each year, we host workshops and information sessions on the CUPE 3907 Top-Up Health and Dental Plans. Stay tuned!

How do I apply for a GAship?

If you are in Group A, then you will receive an email from the OISE Graduate Funding Office indicating your eligibility to apply for a Graduate Assistantship and with further instructions.

If you belong to group B, you may still be eligible to apply for a Fall/Winter and Summer GA. Check out OISE Student Employment page for opportunities.

For more information on “Group A” and “Group B” hiring processes, refer to the our page on graduate assistanships or consult the Collective Agreement directly.

If during the application and/or selection process you require accommodation due to a disability, please contact oise.gradfinasst@utoronto.ca.

What is the deadline for applying for GAships?

If you are in Group A, then you will receive an email from the OISE Graduate Funding Office in the Spring with information regarding the GA opportunities available. Graduate assistants may apply for and rank in order of preference up to 5 positions. The GA Online Job Posting system will match faculty and graduate assistants based on their indicated preference. You may not get your top choice, but you will be matched with a position.

If you are in Group B, you have access to a limited number of GAships during the Academic Fall/Winter session. GA positions available to students in Group B are posted in the Summer (mid-July). You will have to apply to be considered in the hiring pool for these jobs. You may apply for and rank in order of preference up to 5 positions. At the close of the job posting period faculty members will review all applicants to their positions and rank the applicants in order of preference. OISE matches Group B students to Fall/Winter positions in early August. Check out OISE Student Employment page for deadlines.

Summer GA positions are posted and available to students in Group A and B in the Spring (early March). The Employer is responsible for posting at least 24 appointments for the summer academics session and 50% are reserved for group B students. OISE matches Group A and B students to summer positions in early April. Check out OISE Student Employment page for upcoming opportunities and deadlines.

How come I didn’t get a fall/winter GAship?
You are ranked competitively against all students applying for GAships in your academic department. Applicants are assessed on their Ability to Assist, Seniority and also Recruitment points. If you would like to see your ranking position or contest your ranking, please get in touch with your department steward or our Chief Steward.

How come I didn’t get a summer GAship?
Each year, there is a limited number of Summer GA positions available. This means that the ranking for summer GAships is very competitive. Your local union believes that year-round employment is a critical issue for student workers at OISE, and this was an issue we pushed at the bargaining table.

Where can I turn if I am having difficulties with my employer/supervisor?

Graduate assistants at OISE sometimes have the same faculty member as both their academic and employment (Graduate Assistant) supervisor. As such, members can be wary of addressing workplace difficulties if it could affect their academic careers.

If you are experiencing difficulties around negotiating your hours of work, obtaining a safe workplace, including issues of harassment, discrimination or other issues, please get in touch with your department steward, or Chief Steward.

I have a cause/community event/campaign that I would like my Local to support. How can I get funds or other support?

Each year, CUPE 3907 donates to a number of charitable organizations, groups, causes, and campaigns. Each donation request will be carefully reviewed even if the Local has donated to a particular organization, group, cause, or campaign in the past. Please read carefully the Donation Guidelines in order to see if your request qualifies. All donation requests must be submitted to cupe3907@gmail.com using the Donation Request form.

Other forms of support we offer include distributing events listings to our membership; posting events on our website; writing letters of support and sending speakers and delegates to rallies and community events. Please send an email requesting these kinds of support to our Recording Secretary for inclusion on our next General Membership Meeting Agenda.

How are my union dues spent?
At each General Membership Meeting, the treasurer gives an update, either oral or written, on how funds are being distributed. During the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in April, the treasurer also provides an annual report on how the previous year’s funds were spent and a budget plan for the following year.

Our single largest expense is our union dues that are paid to CUPE National.  This goes to support our webpage development, legal assistance, collective bargaining and grievance assistance, executive and steward training, and participation in the largest public sector Union in the country with more than 630,000 members.

If you would like to see more in-depth funding reports, please attend an upcoming GMM or contact our treasurer.

I want to be more active in my union. How can I get involved?
We need your enthusiasm! Members can get involved many different ways, please get in touch and we can figure out how you might want to participate!

Where can I find my union office?
CUPE 3907 is located in Room 8-104. Our office hours are posted on the door. There are also designated CUPE bulletin boards on each floor of the OISE/UT building. Check these boards for notices of upcoming events, meetings, bargaining and general union news.