POSTED ON September 15, 2017
You Asked, Union Answered: Work Hours Limits

If you are a full-time graduate student, you probably know there are something like rules for your non-academic work. One of our members wanted to know the facts.

Ready? Let’s go

Why are we limited to working 10 hours a week? Are there written consequences for going over 10h/week or 170/semester?

uOttawa’s Academic Regulations : 170h/semester

As par of the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies bylaws, the University of Ottawa limits the number of hours you can work per semester in paid employment that is not directly related to your studies — both on and off campus.

This limit is part of the University’s Academic Regulations (see section, and applies to full-time graduate students.

Oftentimes referred to as the “10-hour rule”, section of the Academic Regulations indicates that a full-time graduate student can only work a maximum of 170h per semester.

You can request an exception to the 10-hour rule, if you plan to work for more than 170h during a given semester. This rule and the consequences and the consequences associated with it were discussed in this 2016 Fulcrum article.

For any questions related to your graduate student status, contact the GSAÉD.

Your rights as a student workers: workload limits to avoid overwork

There is a second set of rules applying to teaching and research assistants, markers, proctors, lab demonstrators. As per our Collective Agreement, your supervisor cannot ask you to work more than twenty-five (25) hours per week. Moreover, you cannot be required to work more than forty (40) hours for a period of two consecutive weeks (see article 31.1(d) of our Collective Agreement). You are not required to work more hours than the total stipulated in your contract.

These rule exist to make sure your workload as a student workers does not get in the way of your academic work.

We recommend that you that you use a tally sheet (such as this one) to keep track of your hours in order to avoid overwork.

If you think you’ll exceed the hours stipulated in your contract, and you still have tasks to accomplish, we recommend that you fill out the Workload Review Form as soon as possible and submit it to your supervisor. Your contract might be extended.