What is a grievance?

A grievance is a formal step taken by a union on behalf of a member to address a situation in which one or more of their rights under the collective agreement has been violated.  It is a formal process through which the union can directly address the problem with the employer.  All communication with the union is strictly confidential, and no action will be taken without your permission.

If you have a problem with your TAship, please contact your department representative and/or the union as soon as possible, so that we can help you.  Our business agent handles the majority of grievance situations, and can be reached at

Common grievances

The majority of grievances filed by our members relate to negotiating their re-hiring.  Hiring preference, as outlined in our collective agreement, allows for 5 years of preferred hiring for Doctoral students, and 2 years for Master’s students.

Another common grievance is overwork: we encourage all of our members to keep track of their working hours, and to talk with their supervisor as soon as possible if they think that they might exceed the number of hours for which they were hired.  Typically, your instructor should either be able to lessen your workload, or to arrange payment for extra hours worked.  Please contact us if you are unable to address such a situation with your supervisor.  For further details, refer to our collective agreement.

Additionally, you have the right to work in a safe and respectful environment.  If you feel that your work situation is unsafe or that you are being treated disrespectfully, the union may be able to resolve this situation.