Message from the GSA President

Regarding Contract Delays for Graduate Students

16 September 2022

Updated at 4:48 PM: The following is a message from Anas Fassih, 2022-2023 GSA President: 

As you may be aware, there have been concerns regarding contract delays among many academically-employed graduate students at the start of this term. I have been working closely with the GSA Vice-President Labour, Hiren Kaklotar, to address these issues with the University to ensure they are resolved quickly and effectively. In my role as President, I have been in discussions with University Administration regarding this issue and have been assured it is being taken seriously and dealt with as quickly as possible. I will continue to communicate with FGSR, the Provost's Office, the University President, and the Board of Governors regarding this issue and the effects that restructuring is having on graduate students, which this seems to be a result of in terms of a lack of capacity during this time to effectively ensure the stability and security of graduate student workers.

The University has stated that a confirmation of appointment should have been received by all graduate student workers by 5 PM yesterday, 15 September, and those who have not received that should contact their employment supervisor directly. While the GSA has been assured by the University that everyone will be processed for payroll in time for the first pay period on 23 September and all formal appointment letters will be sent out by 30 September, if this is not the case for you or someone you know, I strongly urge you to contact Hiren Kaklotar, GSA Vice-President Labour to address these issues on an individual basis. Likewise, if you have been working without a contract, or have completed work without a contract and your received contract does not accurately reflect the work you have already done, please contact the Vice-President Labour.

The Vice-President Labour works closely with the Public Service Alliance of Canada, with whom we have a service agreement, to assist in filing grievances for academically-employed graduate students. We strongly encourage you to reach out if you have any questions or concerns regarding your contract - or lack thereof - and we will work with students to find resolution. Additionally, the GSA Labour Relations Committee, with support of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, will be submitting a letter to the Provost regarding the delay in contracts and the concerns we have as a union regarding this issue.

I also commend the grassroots efforts of many graduate student groups on campus who have been working on this issue within their own departments. As someone who holds a contract myself, I understand these concerns and the uncertainty and stress that this situation unnecessarily adds to the graduate student experience, and so will continue to work diligently to ensure that this is addressed.


Anas Fassih