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What is the difference between CUPE 2626 and the Graduate Student Association (GSAÉD)?

CUPE 2626 represents you as a worker holding a contract position, the GSAÉD represents you as a graduate student. If you have a workplace issue or question (i.e. tax returns for your TA position, unpaid hours of work) contact CUPE 2626. If you have a question or issue related to being a graduate student at the University of Ottawa you should contact the GSAÉD. If you have questions concerning your role as a worker, talk to us!

How do I become an Executive Committee member?

If there are positions open on the Executive Committee, you may be:
1. nominated by any member (including yourself) at any of the General Assemblies and elected by the members to fill the open position;
2. nominated by another Executive Committee member and elected by the Executive Committee. In this case, you would be appointed by interim. The position becomes vacant again at the following General Assembly, where you can run for the position.

How do I join a committee?

There are a number of committees active in our Union. Contact us for more information.

How do I become a steward?

Contact one of the Chief Stewards, Rosemary Dineen and Maxime Vallée.

What is a collective agreement?

A Collective Agreement is an agreement in writing between an employer and a trade union. The Collective Agreement contains provisions on the conditions of employment and the rights, privileges or duties of the Employer, the Union and the employees.

To access our current Collective Agreement, click here.

What is a grievance?

When a member and/or the Union feel that their rights have been violated, the member and/or the Union may, if the matter cannot be resolved informally, file a grievance with the Employer. The Chief Stewards are mandated to assist in filing of a grievance.

To learn more about grievances in general and what we can do to help you, click here.

Is it possible to solve a problem without filing a grievance?

There are multiple ways to address a work related issue (both formally and informally) depending on the preferences of a member as well as the severity of the issue at hand. Filing a formal grievance is only one of the tools at our disposition. depending on the severity of the incident as well as your preference, we can try informal processes such as discussion and mediation with a representative of the University. This is an opportunity for both parties to work together towards an answer. And trying to resolve a problem through informal means does not take away our capacity to file a formal grievance.

I am being asked to complete tasks not outlined in my contract, is this all right?

The professor you’re working for can ask you to perform new tasks not explicitly mentioned in their contract, as long as they are still relevant to the work (i.e.supervise a re-take exam). You cannot be asked to do tasks which are not connected to your contract (i.e. personal work for the Supervisor or tasks of a research assistant while working a teaching assistant contract and vice versa).

Furthermore, any additional tasks must be factored into the remaining hours of your contract. If you are confused as to whether or a specific task falls into your contract feel free to contact us!

I think I will finish the hours in my contract before I finish all the tasks or before the end date of the contract, what should I do?

If you suspect that you will finish your allotted hours before the end date of your contract or before the completion of your assigned tasks you must first fill out a Workload Review Form (Appendix E) and present it to the professor you work with. You can find this form on our website. The professor must then meet with you within four business days of receiving the form to discuss how best to finish your tasks within your remaining hours.

It is possible to receive additional hours to complete your contractual tasks, if deemed necessary by the professor and you agree to do them. In such circumstances, approval must be given in writing by the Chair of the relevant department.

If there is an error in the corrections I have made, does correcting it count in my hours?

Yes. All functions you perform as an employee are counted in the hours you work. This includes reading assigned texts, meeting with the professor you’re working with, and showing up for class. Even if an assigned task takes longer than expected, you should count the hours which you actually worked.


CUPE 2626

85 University Pr.
University Centre, suite 303
Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5

T 613.562.5345

Office hours
Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.