Since section A is mostly biographical, and is filled out be the department of employment, we can skip to section B. In the right column we see various activities, a corresponding check-list, and the number of hours associated with a given task. In the left column, tasks can be briefly explained. Tasks are divided according to the nature of work, from direct contact with students, to evaluating their performance, to miscellaneous tasks. At the end of section B, the hours are added up, and that number must equal the number of hours you were assigned to work for the contract. The total number of hours is not usually negotiated, and is usually decided before you and the employment supervisor discuss the structure of your contract.
Before you go into your meeting to fill out the TAF, think about each category, and just how much time it would take to complete certain tasks. Below is a short list of categories that some TAs and supervisors often forget to include, which basically makes you work harder without extra compensation.
For TAs, the employment supervisor is usually the class professor, unless that person happens to be a Teaching Fellow. In those cases, it will be a member of the departmental administration, usually the chair, grad coordinator, or TA coordinator.
Even though the employment supervisor decides how you will assist them according to their needs and the particulars of the course (you may have to attend lectures, lead tutorials, handle student emails, or just mark) your input is valuable to both the professor and yourself. Not only will it help make sure you don’t work more hours than you are paid for, the employment supervisor can also better manage the valuable time and labour you supply them.
The spirit of 16.07 g is that sometimes changes are needed to the breakdown of hours on the TAF. This is often due to a certain task requiring more hours than expected; in such a case, your supervisor may ask you to cut back on that task so you will have sufficient time for projects later in the term. They may also lower hours on future tasks to ensure that you stay within the limits of the contract. 16.07 g also allows YOU to suggest changes to your contract along similar lines. Essentially, changes to section B of the TAF should be subject to open and equal dialogue between the TA and employment supervisor.
Basically, you and your employment supervisor should meet at around the mid-point of the term to make sure that the contract structure is working as intended. If changes need to be made, you and the supervisor can re-visit section B of the TAF and reallocate hours. to ensure that work gets done and that you don’t do extra hours. The tasks you are assigned should be able to be completed within the time listed on the TAF. You should not work more hours than what your contract stipulates.
Section 16.07 g does NOT allow the employer to change the total amount hours in the contract; If the employment supervisor wants to give you additional hours beyond those stipulated, they need to offer you a new Teaching Assistant Form as per “hours of work” 16.07 h. You do NOT have to accept these extra hours of work if you do not want them, although accepting them will result in additional pay. They cannot cut your hours either. If you have a 100 hour contract, and you only work 90 by the end of the term, you are still paid the full amount.
The employer can only cancel a TAship under stipulations in “Appointments” Article 12.06. In those cases, you will be paid for all the work you had done to that point, and will be first in line for any unanticipated TAships that arise in accordance with “Appointments” Article 12.07.
This section addresses two important issues. 12.03 (b) is relatively straightforward, as it accounts for situations where your scheduled work as a student (class/seminar times) conflicts with scheduled work as a teaching assistant. For example, if an employment supervisor wants you to attend lectures for the class you are TA’ing, and those lectures are at the same time as your own graduate seminar, they should make a reasonable effort to structure your work. They make give you more marking assignments to make up for your inability to attend lectures.
12.03 (a) deals with situations where a TA holds a fundamental disagreement with the work assigned based on a personal, academic, or religious belief. If you are assigned work that fits this description, you can notify your employment supervisor upon assignment and they must make reasonable efforts to accommodate you through work that does not conflict these beliefs.
Finally, and this is extremely important, the last paragraph on this second page outlines the basic ways in which a TA can and cannot exercise academic freedom. Because TAs generally lack the independence of most TFs, the extent of academic freedom is narrower.
Essentially, TA freedom gives you the right to complete your assigned work with reasonable discretion, as long as it is within the course objectives and guidelines set by the employment supervisor. Here are some of the limitations, unless explicitly permitted by your employment supervisor:
In the end, the class instructor has the right to determine the curriculum, readings, assignments, and evaluation guidelines. You have the right to teach and mark material as you see fit, as long as it respect their guidelines.