Graduate Student Assistantships

Under Section 58.4(1)(c) of the Labour Relations Code, the GSA is "the bargaining agent for academically-employed graduate students" and is to act with "exclusive authority" in representing graduate student workers in negotiating a Collective Agreement. The process is outlined in GSA Bylaw and Policy, Section Q: Collective Bargaining.

The GSA bargains with Board of Governors' representatives, primarily the Provost and Vice-President (Academic), to negotiate out changes to salaries, benefits, and working conditions for Academically-Employed Graduate Students (AEGSs) (Graduate Teaching Assistants, Graduate Research Assistants, and Graduate Research Assistant Fellowship holders).

Pursuant to a vote of members of the bargaining unit in April 2021, the GSA collects a union due. Starting 1 September 2021, 1.0% of the salary portion of all AEGSs' stipends will be collected and “held in a restricted GSA Labour Union Fund and used solely to support the GSA’s activities pursuant to the Labour Relations Code on behalf of academically-employed graduated students, including collective bargaining and representation of academically-employed graduate students” (GSA Bylaw and Policy, Section BYL.Q.4.3).

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Who is covered under the Graduate Student Assistantship Collective Agreement (CA)?

  1. All graduate students holding assistantships:
    • Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) (including Principal Instructors)
    • Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs)
    • Graduate Research Assistant Fellowship holders (GRAFs)
  2. Academically-Related Employment other than Assistantships (ARE):
    • Casual Academically-Related Employment

Note: Students who are funded through scholarships are NOT covered under the CA.

Note: GRAFs provide funding to graduate students to pursue their own research and are not defined in the CA as being an employment relationship. While included in the CA, GRAF stipends consist of solely an award component (not an award and salary component) and are not subject to the deduction of either income tax or union dues.


Visit the Archive tab for past CAs.