Real wage increase
We are bargaining for wage increase above inflation which is secured from any offset (clawback) from other sources of funding.
Why? Clawbacks and accelerated tuition fees increase resulted in that almost half of GTAs have net annual income less than $11,000, while based on SGPS website the cost of living in London, ON is $16,320 to $21,240.
University offered wage increase that over 3 years will be less than inflation forecast.
Better appointment criteria
We are bargaining to improve TAship appointment. Extend employment guarantees (5 years from PhDs and 2 years and one term for Masters), intput into TA assignment and independence from external scholarships.
Why? PhD students after 4th year and Master students after 2nd year (Year-X students) suffer from the lack of funding: departments don’t pay scholarships and don’t have to offer a TAship. In addition, students have to pay the tuition. This results in a huge financial and mental stresses.
Almost half of our members reported that they do not have a say on selecting the course they are TAing for. Many students are declined TAships if they hold an external scholarship.
University offered giving priority to year-X PhDs from a hiring department over applicants from other departments and Masters from the hiring department when distributing extra positions not filled by funded students. This does not provide any guarantees of employment and does not address the essence of our proposal. Input into TA assignment and independence from external scholarships were declined.
We are bargaining for tuition rebate to protect GTAs from the tuition increase.
Why? In 3 years tuition fees increased 6.5% while GTAs earnings has increased by 1% yearly from 2015 to 2017. Majority of GTAs report that increase in tuition and fees decreases their net income. This issue is more damaging for international students who must pay 2.3 times more fees than domestic students.
University declined this proposal.
We are bargaining for increase in extended health plan (EHP) and financial assistance, and UHIP subsidy.
Why? As many members’ income are well below poverty line, they depend on benefit programs. University used to contribute $150 for each GTAs for the EHP fund. Many members and their dependents rely on this health plan and also financial assistance program to cover their medical and emergency expenses. We have increasing number of members who apply for our food bank.
University offered a small increase in this funds.
An overtime process that works
We are bargaining for an efficient procedure to protect GTAs from overtime work and a system that guarantees members to receive their overtime payment.
We have already secured a straightforward process for overtime pay requests with feasible timelines and transparent guideline.