My InfoUnionized student staff with teaching or research functions

Article 31 : assignment and workload


  • When a Student is hired, individual contracts will not exceed one hundred and seventy (170) hours. This does not exclude the possibility of an Employee being offered more than one (1) contract, as long as the provisions of this Agreement are respected.
  • In the case of full-time graduate Students, the total number of contracted hours of work will not exceed a maximum of one hundred and seventy (170) hours per session as required by the University academic regulations for full-time status. Exceptions to the one hundred and seventy (170) hour limit may be granted provided no other qualified Employee is available for the contract and the Academic Unit can demonstrate that the Employee will continue to make the regular academic progress required by their program of studies.
  • Except in exceptional circumstances, no Employee shall be required to work more than twenty-five (25) hours in a single week, and no Employee shall be required to work more than a total of forty (40) hours in any period of two (2) consecutive weeks.
  • In the case of research assistantships, hours of work may exceed more than twenty-five (25) hours per week up to a maximum of forty (40) hours per week for four (4) consecutive weeks at the request of the Employee and with the agreement of the Supervisor, it being understood that there can only be one such contract in a session.
  • The Employer will notify the Union of any exceptions granted under this article.

31.2 All duties of the Employee shall be included in the calculation of the time involved in the assignment. These duties may include but are not limited to: preparation, teaching, attending lectures, demonstrating, leading discussions, laboratory supervision, marking, Student consultation, invigilating, holding office hours, setting up experiments, supervision of field trips, researching, preparing reports, writing papers, conferring with the Supervisor in charge as required by the assignment, and provision of other academic support and assistance. When possible, the Employer will endeavour to inform the Employees of the Employee’s schedule or changes to it by giving reasonable notice. Time allocated to assigned duties will be within reasonable limits, given the demands of the job and the employing Unit. The size of the class or seminar and the amount and complexity of their assignments shall be taken into consideration when making these allocations, and such allocations shall reflect and not unreasonably exceed the allocations of the previous three (3) years.

31.3 Once the Employee has been assigned to a Supervisor:

  • If the offer of employment includes a proposed detailed list of tasks and time assigned to each task, the offer of employment shall reference the fact that the Employee may request to meet with their Supervisor to discuss any potential modification to the tasks assigned;
  • If the offer of employment does not include a detailed list of tasks as per 31.3 a), the Supervisor shall complete the Description of Duties and Allocation of Hours Form (i.e., Appendix B), in accordance with the Job Description Guidelines (i.e., Appendix C), which will include a detailed list of tasks and indicate the approximate time to be spent on each task and its preparation. The Employee may request to discuss with their Supervisor any potential modification to the tasks assigned;
  • In cases where an Employee is employed for the first time in a course or with a different Supervisor, the Supervisor shall ensure that a meeting occurs in person within the first month of the contract to discuss scheduling and the list of tasks as per Article 31.3 (a) or the Description of Duties and Allocation of Hours Form (Appendix B), as described in 31.3 b). In cases where it is not the first time an Employee is employed in a course, the Unit shall ensure that the list of tasks or the Description of Duties and Allocation of Hours Form (Appendix B) is shared with the Employee by email within the first month of the contract.

It is understood that if a Supervisor requires an Employee to be present before the time set for an examination, such time will be included in the hours worked; the same will apply for time to be spent after the examination session is ended.

31.4 Supervisors shall be responsible for meeting at least once individually with each Employee at or about the mid-point of their appointments, for the purpose of conducting a review of each Employee’s job description, ensuring that Employee’s hours of work as set out in their job description continue to be appropriate, and to discuss the informal evaluation (Appendix F) pursuant to 16.5 which must have been received by the Employee at least two (2) days prior to the meeting.

Following this meeting, the Supervisor, with approval of the Chair, shall inform the Employee of any revisions to the Employee’s Description of Duties and Allocation of Hours form, and shall issue a revised copy of Appendix B or a revised list of tasks as per 31.3 a), to the Employee. Provision for attendance at meetings shall be included in the hours allotted on each Employee’s job description.

31.5 Where an Employee has any reason to believe that they may be unable to perform the duties specified in the job description within the hours specified thereon (either the total hours or the hours applicable to a section thereof):

  • the Employee shall deliver a Workload Review Form (Appendix E) to the Employee’s Supervisor without delay from the point at which they ought to have reasonably known about the problem.
  • the Supervisor will meet with the Employee within four (4) Working Days to discuss the problem and determine how the work remaining will be handled within the remaining hours of the appointment and without increasing the number of hours of the contract by reducing the remaining assigned duties.

This will be confirmed in writing by the Supervisor within four (4) Working Days of the meeting.

31.6 In cases where the Supervisor determines, with the Employee’s agreement, that additional hours must be added to the appointment in order to complete the duties assigned, consent must be obtained in writing from the Unit before the additional hours are worked by the Employee.

In cases where the Supervisor or Employer fails to follow the procedures outlined in Articles 31.3, 31.4 and 31.5, and where the Employee has complied with Article 31.5, the Employee shall not be required to work beyond the end-date of the contract, nor work additional hours to those stipulated in the contract. Any additional hours consented to by the Supervisor, the Chair and the Employee shall be remunerated as part of a new contract.

An Employee may be accompanied by a Union representative at any meeting held pursuant to article 31.

31.7 An Employee can submit the Workload Review Form (Appendix E) without prejudice.

31.8 For workload duties where the choice of approach is not specified in sufficient detail by the Supervisor, no Employee shall be penalized or prejudiced in any way for their choice of approach, as long as the instructions given were followed in good faith.

31.9 No Employee shall be required to do work of a personal nature for any other person employed by the University.

31.10 Paragraph 31.2 shall not be read to mean that the Employer cannot require an Employee to work the full number of hours set out in the contract. Further, paragraph 31.2 shall not be read to mean that the Employer can use the previous allocations to require an Employee to work more than the hours of the contract.

31.11 Pursuant to Article 31.6, additional hours up to ten (10) percent of the initial contract shall not reduce future or remaining entitlements.

31.12 Subject to operational requirements, the Employer shall endeavour to minimize excessive fluctuations in the hours of work of a position, in accordance with 31.1. Anticipated excessive fluctuations shall be clearly identified at the time of appointment in the Description of Duties and Allocation of Hours Form (Appendix B).