Hours and overtime
The overtime application procedure is unclear, complicated, requires lots of paperwork and seems to be designed to intimidate TAs. In fact there is no any procedure, there is just a number of requirements. Article 17.06 of the collective agreement states that the overtime should be approved in advance by the Supervisor and Director of Administration for the SGPS. In addition, the Duties Specification Agreement (DSA) requires a “discussion” at the Joint Labour Management Committee, which meets just few times a year on non-regular basis. Also, the DSA states that 10-hour rule is only a guideline. This contradicts article 17.02, which states that work over 10 hours a week shall be “agreed to at the beginning of the initial appointment.”
According to our survey*, overwork protections (e.g. payment for working overtime) and reasonable Student-to-TA ratios are among top 3 non-monetary demands.
Based our survey***, more than 50% of GTAs agree that they have worked over their hours. Out of these GTAs, more than 70% cited “unreasonable workload” as the main reason for overtime work, 63% cited unreal estimate of preparation time. The majority of GTAs who have worked overtime have decided not to approach their course supervisors/departments because they do not want to be (unjustly) blamed for “poor” performance, or because they do not think they can get the overtime payment. Of those who have approached their course supervisors/departments, 98% were not successful in getting overtime pay.