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Unit 2

CUPE 3908 Unit 2 represents over 300 student academic workers. Most Unit 2 members are Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs), but many work as both graduate and undergraduate Student Markers, Academic Assistants, and Computer Lab Advisors. Unit 2 members have a particular relationship with Trent University, as the institution simultaneously acts as both their school and their employer.

As employees of Trent University, you have a number of particular rights outlined in the Ontario Employment Standards Act and the CUPE 3908 Unit 2 Collective Agreement. If you want to know anything about your work as a Unit 2 member, the Collective Agreement is the place to look. This is a legal document that outlines all the intricacies of your work such as:

Wages, Hours, Work Assignments, Grievance Procedures, Job Postings, Health & Safety, Discrimination & Harassment.

You can view the Collective Agreement by clicking on the "Contract" link on the sidebar. If you or any of your coworkers ever experience any problems on the job, your labour union has the necessary resources and representatives to help you. Feel free to contact the union executive anytime about any work related issues.

Professional Development & Employee Assistance Fund

A fund of $25,000 is available for members to access to help subsidize professional and academic development, up to $300 per member (see here). Also, international students who pay into UHIP and demonstrate financial need are eligible for a maximum $200 per year rebate (see here).

Job Posting Procedures

In accordance with new posting procedures in Article 18 of the Unit 2 Collective Agreement, a list of courses in which GTAs may be required to work is available here. Selecting from this list, members can then send a message to the designated contact person indicating their preferred work assignment. This does not guarantee that you will receive your preferred work assignment; however, the new procedures allow for a statement of preference.

Getting Involved

CUPE 3908 Executive

Every fall the union hold elections at its Annual General Meeting for the 8 executive positions. These positions carry a workload of anywhere from 5-12 hours/week and executive members receive a monthly stipend for their work. Stay tuned for the next Annual General Meeting date and time.


A Steward is a departmental representative who acts as a liaison between the union executive and the members in their program. Unit 2 has an active Stewards Network that meets regularly. This is a great initial way to get involved with the union. It is a volunteer position and does not carry the workload and responsibility of an executive position.Stewards can also take advantage of great opportunities to learn/upgrade union related skills at workshops offered by CUPE provincial and national divisions. Be sure to learn who your department Steward is.

There are also volunteer representative positions on Senate, Health & Safety and Human Rights committees at Trent that union members can fill.

Hours and Wages

Full GTA
120 hours per term (average of 10/week) + 30 extra hours of marking work.
Download a Work Log in the "Hours" link on the sidebar.

Half GTA

Graduate Academic Assistant

Graduate Marker

Undergraduate Worker
(Academic Assistants/Computer Lab Advisors/Student Markers)

Last modified: 16-Mar-18

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