Unit 2 Membership


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.

Your Collective Agreement

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.

The Unit 2 Collective Agreement is effective September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2024. The updated Collective Agreement has not been completed. The previous Collective Agreement and the Memorandum of Settlement describing all of the changes to the current Collective Agreement can be downloaded below.

Your Rights, Benefits, and other important information…

As a Unit 2 member, you have many rights and benefits. We’ve collected some of the most important ones below, however for a full look at your rights and benefits please review your collective agreement.

Professional Development

Although CUPE 3908 Unit 2 members are not required to engage in research and scholarship as part of their employment responsibilities under the Collective Agreement, eligible employees may submit professional and academic development applications for assistance from the fund to a maximum per employee of not more than $500 per year.

PD/EA application deadlines are November 15, March 15, and July 15.


All full-time Graduate Teaching Assistants (working appointments totalling 120 hrs for the year) may submit applications for PDEA reimbursement. Receipts for professional development must be from the year you apply.

The fund covers: Conferences and research (i.e., fees, travel, and accommodation); and Professional Skills Development (ie. Costs for conducting research, purchasing research materials, and professional development fees).

To find out if a particular expense is eligible for CUPE-2 PD funding, please email us.


Should you receive PDEA funding, please be sure to acknowledge the support of CUPE Local 3908 and Trent University in conference programs and publications. Refer to forms for application procedures.

The PDEA fund form may be downloaded here.

What is UHIP and why do I need it?

UHIP is an insurance plan that provides medical coverage for international employees who are not eligible for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), or for those who are in the 3 month waiting period for OHIP.

If you’re an international employee are you are required to enrol yourself and your immediate family in UHIP.

Where can I learn more about UHIP?

Visit https://www.trentu.ca/currentstudents/international/health-insurance to learn more about what coverage you have with UHIP, and how to submit your claims.

Is there a reimbursement?

Recognizing that CUPE members coming from abroad pay much more for UHIP, international members who demonstrate the need for financial assistance may apply for assistance with UHIP premium costs, up to a maximum per member of $200.00 per year.

Whoʼs eligible?

All full-time Graduate Teaching Assistants (working appointments totalling 120 hrs for the year) without OHIP coverage may submit applications for reimbursement.

How do I apply for reimbursement?

To apply for UHIP reimbursement fill out the UHIP form located here.

You will need to provide a description of your financial situation that demonstrates need for the reimbursement. Remember to keep any documents you have that will support your application.

Members can submit applications three times per year:

  • Fall: November 15
  • Winter: March 15
  • Summer: July 15

diverse group of 5 people from the knees up, laughing and smiling with a rainbow behind them

The Gender Affirmation Fund is an annual fund of $5000 created specifically to celebrate and support our transgender membership. This fund will reset at the start of each Fall semester.

The details of this fund will be finalized at a special Joint Committee meeting within the next 2 to 3 months. 

This page will be updated once details are finalized.

The CUPE 3908 Comfort fund celebrates and recognizes important moments in the lives of our members through a $50 gift card from the local. These moments may include but are not limited to: a birth, a marriage, an illness, a passing of a loved one.

Please make all submissions no later than two months after the date of the event.

To submit a request, please click here and fill out our online form: https://goo.gl/forms/qPCaqzr1unH6N7MA3

For most of our members it is quite clear if they are a Unit 1 member or a Unit 2 member. All Unit 2 members are also students at Trent University. For our Unit 2 members who are working a Unit 1 position, it may not be so clear.

There are two situations where a Unit 2 member can hold a Unit 1 position:

  1. A Student may be appointed to a Unit 1 position (as per Article 5.09 of the Unit 1 Collective Agreement).
  2. A Student may apply for a Unit 1 position via the normal posting procedures outlined in the Unit 1 CA. This simple means that a member has been hired via competition, and not through an appointment.

In situation 2, where a student is the successful candidate through competition, for the duration of their contract, they will be subject to all rights, responsibilities, and privileges under the Unit 1 CA. Please note that a course instructor approval form is required.

This means that our Unit 2 Members who hold Unit 1 Course Instructor positions are eligible to earn Right of First Refusal (RFR) for their courses. To learn more about RFR, please visit the Unit 1 page, read the RFR infographic, or view the RFR slideshow

We encourage all Unit 2 members who are subject to the Unit 1 CA to familiarize themselves with the Unit 1 CA.

Lead Steward Unit 2


Sebastian Johnston-Lindsay

Sebastian Johnston-Lindsay

He/Him | Lead Steward Unit 2 | steward2@cupe3908.org

Vice President Unit 2


Ali Fraser

Ali Fraser

They/Them | Vice President Unit 2 | vp2@cupe3908.org