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Employment Status of Graduate Students as Academic Staff

CAUT Policy Statement

All teaching at post-secondary institutions is employment. Graduate students who are teaching should be considered members of the Contract Academic Staff bargaining unit and have the protection of a collective agreement1.

1. Graduate student enrolment should not be determined by undergraduate teaching needs.

2. Graduate student funding envelopes shall not be used to fill ongoing teaching requirements.

3. The teaching of any credit course on contract must be considered a per-course academic appointment, for which the instructor of record will be paid a pro-rated salary and will receive seniority credits according to the appropriate collective agreement.

4. The graduate student employee's status as a member of the bargaining unit is determined by workplace duties rather than the source of funding, title, or nominal supervision.

5. Appointments shall be subject to the employment equity provisions in the collective agreement.

6. Graduate student teaching shall be assigned in accordance with the seniority provisions of the collective agreement. Members should be entitled to exercise their right of first refusal for courses prior to the allocation of teaching of all or part of a course to graduate students.

Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2016.

Endnote
1 Graduate students working as teaching assistants have the rights stated in CAUT's Policy Statement on the Rights of Graduate Student Employees.