Last Monday was your Bargaining Team’s first day at the table, and they presented a full package of proposals to the employer. One week later on Monday January 22nd, your Bargaining Team met with the employer for the second time and motivated proposals related to sexual harassment, course instructor duties, the Employee Financial Assistance Fund, and subsequent appointments. The employer has chosen to reserve comments on nearly all of your proposals thus far. 

Here’s more detail on some key proposals that your Bargaining Team motivated at the table on January 22nd:

Sexual Violence and Harassment 

When you’re facing issues in the workplace, your Collective Agreement (CA) is the first place to consult about your rights, protections, and possible courses of action. Your proposed amendment to Article 4 of the Unit 1 CA includes explicit language to protect you and your coworkers from reprisals to grievances related to sexual violence and sexual harassment. 

Course Instructors

Currently, your CA does not outline Course Instructor duties. Your proposal sets clear definitions for what a Course Instructor position entails and borrows language from the Unit 3 CA, which explicitly lays out duties and expectations for Sessional Instructors. Your proposal, however, includes clearly designated limits for marking of up to 20 students in a course enrolment of 20 or fewer.  When course enrolment exceeds 20 students, the Course Instructor may either A) be paid the TA hourly wage for any grading beyond the 20 student threshold, or B) be assigned a TA to undertake grading additional work beyond the 20 student threshold. 

Employee Financial Assistance Fund (EFAF) 

Your current Collective Agreement designates $3.2 million to the Employee Financial Assistance Fund, which provides much needed support to your and your coworkers via several financial assistance and equity funds, such as: the Student Worker Assistance Fund (SWAF), the Childcare Financial Assistance Fund (CFAF), the International Health Plan Assistance Fund (IHPAF), the Black and Indigenous Workers Fund (BIWF), and the Trans Fund (TF). Your proposal for Article 25 increases the Employee Financial Assistance Fund by ~5.2% to $3.4 million in 2024, by 4% to $3.5 million in 2025, and by 4% to $3.65 million in 2026. 

Hiring Criteria, Subsequent Appointments and Hours of Work 

Your proposed amendments to Article 16 aim to clarify and improve expectations around hiring, subsequent appointments, and workload. These amendments include providing Master’s and Undergrad students with one subsequent appointment, setting Teaching Assistant workloads in increments of 35 hours of work, and requiring departments to standardize grading times (per assignment and overall turnaround) in DDAH forms. 

Our next days at the table are January 24th, 26th, 30th, and February 2nd (with another 8 days in February).


Your Bargaining Team’s strength in the negotiating room depends on your collective power as workers. There are many ways to stay in the loop and get more involved in your bargaining campaign:

  • Fill out our Get Involved form and let your Bargaining Support Committee know what you can contribute to our shared fight.  
  • Keep up with all of your Bargaining Team’s tabled proposals and your employer’s responses, using this Proposal Tracker.
  • Across U of T departments, your stewards and contract action teams are holding Bargaining and Strike Info Sessions. You can register here to attend one of the online sessions on offer this week:

    January 24th, 5-6pm – REGISTER

    January 26th, 12-1pm – REGISTER
  • Come to the Bargaining Drop-In at the GSU Pub this Friday, January 26th at 6pm. Meet your Bargaining Team, ask questions about the bargaining process, and get the latest updates from your second week at the table!


“Teaching Assistants and Course Instructors are the lifelines of the University of Toronto. We put in an equal amount of work as professors to uphold U of T’s academic standards. But, we are not treated with the respect we deserve. We should be paid well and have access to necessary health benefits. Unfortunately, many of us feel that we are being exploited by working extra hours above what we’re paid for. We constantly live with job insecurity, and international student-workers face an even worse situation. The lack of a support system in a new country and the skyrocketing cost of living in the city make us vulnerable to exploitation. The University’s first priority should be providing an adequate salary and benefits to sustain living in Toronto. TAs and CIs deserve a safe and secure work environment.”

Shibi Laxman Kumaraperumal
Teaching Assistant in the Department of History 
Bargaining Committee Member

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