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					                                                                                                                                                                   insufficient enrollment or course cancellation, you shall receive 2/15 of the offered appointment's salary. When the position is withdrawn for any other
WHAT IS A T.A.?                                                                                                                                                    reason, you shall receive 2/5 of the offered appointment's salary.

A Teaching Assistant, or TA, is a Graduate Student employed by the University to assist a Course Supervisor with the instruction and/or evaluation of              NOW THAT YOU'VE GOT THE JOB
students in a course.
                                                                                                                                                                   1 - Workload Forms
HOW TO GET A T.A. JOB                                                                                                                                              It is essential that the Course Supervisor and TAs agree on the type and amount of work to be done. For example, there should be a consensus that
                                                                                                                                                                   marking 15 five page essays will take five hours, and not fifteen minutes. As such, at the start of the appointment, the TAs and Course Supervisor must
1. Applying for a Job                                                                                                                                              assign and discuss the duties, responsibilities and anticipated work schedule. The duties, responsibilities and time allocation must be confirmed in writing on
Look for Job Postings on the AGSEM bulletin board in your Department. Each Job Posting should include all you need to know about the position: course              a Workload Form. It is important that the total hours of work described in the Letter of Offer is not exceeded.
title and number, estimated number of available positions, total number of hours of work per term, effective dates of appointment, summary of required
                                                                                                                                                                   Please note: If it appears that the work is going to take more time than allocated, you should discuss the matter with the Course Supervisor ASAP. Usually
duties, salary, required qualifications, and the application deadline.
                                                                                                                                                                   an amicable solution can be found (e.g. by increasing the number of hours of the appointment or by redistribution of workload).
Job Postings for the Fall 2004 Term should appear by March 15, 2004.
                                                                                                                                                                   If you do not notify the Course Supervisor, you may not be eligible for reimbursement for any extra hours of work.
Job Postings for the Winter 2005 Term should appear by October 15, 2004.

If you are interested in any of the Job Postings, and qualified for the position, then fill out an Application Form. These Forms are attached to the AGSEM
                                                                                                                                                                   2 - Performance Evaluations
bulletin board or are available from the administration in your department. Each Form has space to apply for three positions. If you wish to be considered for
other positions, indicate this on the Form.

To be eligible for a position, you must submit the completed Application Form before the Application Deadline! !                                                   It is always useful to get some feedback about your performance. After all, it can help you to develop your skills and ensure that you know by standard of
                                                                                                                                                                   acceptable conduct you will be judged.
2. Deciding Who Gets Hired
The Category or Priority Pool system divides TAs into three groups.
                                                                                                                                                                   Once per term, the Course Supervisor may conduct a formal, written performance evaluation. Within thirty days of the evaluation, the written evaluation
Category 1 = PhD 1 to 4, Masters 1 to 2 who have not been TAs before (i.e. new TAs)                                                                                must be discussed with you. You must then sign the written evaluation to confirm that it took place. Criteria for the formal performance evaluations must be
                                                                                                                                                                   submitted to you, in writing, at the beginning of the term.
Category 2 = PhD 1 to 4, Masters 1 to 2 who have taught at least once (i.e. experienced 'Priority Pool' TAs)
                                                                                                                                                                   Please note: An informal performance evaluation may take place whenever the Course Supervisor feels it necessary to bring comments or concerns to the
Category 3 = PhD 5+, Masters 3+ who have taught before (Le. older students - and any graduating students - who are said to have left the Priority Pool)            attention of a TA.

When hiring, preference is given to the most qualified and senior Category 2 TAs. If the number of qualified applicants is greater than the number of              IF YOU HAVE PROBLEMS
positions, then appointments are granted, in decreasing order of priority, to Category 2 TAs registered as PhD 4 then PhD 3, PhD 2, MSc 2, PhD 1, down to
MSc 1.                                                                                                                                                             It is an unfortunate fact of life that problems sometimes arise.

If there is a tie between individuals of equal priority, then the TA who has worked the greatest number of hours shall be appointed. If the TAs have worked        Perhaps a job was given to someone with less priority or experience than you. Perhaps you are working more hours than you agreed to.
the same number of hours, then the choice is made by random draw.
                                                                                                                                                                   Perhaps your working conditions are unsafe or unhealthy.
If you have never been a TA before, don't worry!
                                                                                                                                                                   If you are having a problem, bring the issue to the attention of the appropriate supervisor as soon as possible. It also helps to document any pertinent
There are spaces reserved for Category 1 TAs. This helps to ensure that some new TAs get a chance to develop their abilities. The number of positions              incidents or information.
reserved for Category 1 TAs is equal to the number of Category 2 TAs who have, since the last term, left the Priority pool. So, if four Category 2 TAs leave
the Priority Pool during the Winter and Summer terms, then in the Fall term, four positions will be reserved for Category 1 TAs. If these positions are not        If you need help or advice, please contact AGSEM.
filled by Category 1 TAs, then they should be filled by Category 2 TAs. If the positions are still not filled, then they may be filled by Category 3 TAs.
                                                                                                                                                                   Please note: It is important to file a grievance early on. In fact, if you do not file within 6 (six) months of the time which an incident occurs, the grievance can
Please note: Graduate students who have an authorized leave of absence can request that their position in the Priority Pool be deferred for up to one year.        not be pursued.
So, if you are away during your PhD 4 year to complete field work, or for a medical reason, you may request that your Category 2 status be maintained
when you are in PhD 5.                                                                                                                                             The first step in resolving any problem is the informal problem-solving or Complaint stage. This involves an informal discussion between you and the
                                                                                                                                                                   appropriate supervisor.
3 - Accepting the Offer of a Position                                                                                                                              If you so desire, a representative from AGSEM may also be present.
If you are selected, you should receive written notice within fifteen working days of the application deadline. You will also receive two copies of a Letter of    Most problems are simply the result of a misunderstanding or poor communication and can be resolved informally. Chances are best if you address a
Offer, and a membership form. The Letter of Offer should outline the title, number of hours, and salary for the position.    .                                     problem early, before it gets out of hand!
Please note: you may not be offered your most preferred course.                                                                                                    However, if this informal procedure fails, then you may engage AGSEM to file a formal grievance. This begins by writing a letter which describes the
                                                                                                                                                                   problem, to the departmental unit responsible for hiring TAs. If the problem remains unresolved, it will go to the Dean of the faculty and finally, in extreme
To accept the position, you have five days to sign and return one copy of the Letter of Offer with your filled-out membership form.                                cases, to an independent arbitrator. It is your right to pursue a problem until it is resolved to your satisfaction.
Please note: in the event that your position is withdrawn after you have signed and returned the Letter of Offer, you are entitled to another available position   Although AGSEM encourages you to fight for your rights, it is not the policy of the union to file a grievance without your consent.
of at least equivalent remuneration. If no other position is available, you are still entitled to some compensation. When the position is withdrawn due to
The coordinating committee oversees the daily operation of the union. Members of the Coordinating
Committee are elected annually at the spring General Assembly. All members are welcome to attend
and have voting privileges at the General Assembly. All members are also welcome to attend quarterly
Union Council meetings, but only one member per department (usually the departmental delegate) is
eligible to vote at these meetings.
                                                                                                         The Association of
The coordinating committee (CC)
Coordinator: Lilian Radovac (PhDX, Art History & Communication Science)
Grievance officers: Kyle Spyksma (PhD3, Atmospheric & Oceanic Science)
                    Oriane Landry (PhD4, Educational & Counselling Psychology)
                                                                                                         Graduate Students
Treasurer: Jessica Wurster (PhDX, Art History & Communication Science)
Communications officer: Christina Ponte (MSc3, Earth & Planetary Science)

                          The dates of this year’s General Assemblies will be
                                                                                                         Employed at McGill
                                   Thursday, September 23, 2004

Departmental Delegates
                                    Wednesday, March 23, 2005
                                   6pm, Thomson House Ballroom                                               (AGSEM)
Delegates are elected by the members in their department to represent their interests at union council
meetings as well as to serve as the liaison between members, administrators, & the CC. If you do not
know who is your delegate, please check the AGSEM web page, or contact AGSEM.

                                   How to Contact AGSEM
                                        Phone: 398-2582                                                         presents
                             Web page:
                                     Or drop by our office:
                                    3479 Peel St., 3rd Floor
                                                                                                         A Guide for Teaching

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Description: orientation handout