Frequently asked questions

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 you are a member, your membership continues 12 months after your last pay cheque. If you have a R&D position, you are represented by the United Steelworkers.

I’m a TA at the University of Toronto and I’m an OISE student. Do you represent me?
No. Local 3907 only represents Graduate Assistants at OISE/UT. TEPAs, TAs, sessional instructors, invigilators and some other job classifications at the University of Toronto are represented by CUPE Local 3902. 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 our recent round of bargaining (February 2016) the CUPE 3907 Bargaining Committee was able to negotiate a Health Plan for all 3907 members. This plan is the same plan that CUPE 3902 has, and will come into effect September 2016. We will be hosting work shops and information sessions for members in the fall.

How do I apply for a GAship?

If you are a funded graduate student at OISE you will be guaranteed a GAship through your funding package. If you are unfunded, or have run out of guaranteed funding, you may be eligible to apply for a Fall/Winter and Summer GA. Please see information here.

What is the deadline for applying for GAships?
If you are currently in the funded cohort, you are guaranteed a GA position. You will apply for specific jobs in August for a position in the fall, you may not get your top choice, but you will be matched with a position.

For Summer GAships, the deadline is usually in mid January for the summer of the same calendar year. Summer GA positions are not a part of guaranteed funding. All summer GAships are open to competition, with a certain number reserved for unfunded students. Information available here.

For unfunded students, you have access to a limited number of Fall-Winter GAships. You must first apply to be considered in the hiring pool for these jobs. The deadline for this application is usually the fall a year before. Please click here for deadlines and specifics of this hiring process.

How come I didn’t get a fall/winter GAship?
As you will see on the hiring criteria form, students are assess on their Ability to Assist, Seniority and also Recruitment points. You are ranked competitively against all students applying for GAships in your academic department. 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, only 30 Summer GA positions become 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?
For GAs, it can be especially difficult if you are experiencing conflict with your work supervisor when that person is also your academic supervisor. If you are experiencing difficulties around negotiating your hours of work, obtaining a safe workplace, including issues of harrassment, 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?
For financial support please fill out the donation request form, available here, and send to the Recording Secretary. We review donation requests at our General Members Meetings, and give members advance notice of the donation request.

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