Teaching Fellow Form

Hours

Negotiation of hours/duties (Section B)

Academic freedom

Cancellation of TFship


Hours

The TFF Section A is different for one key reason. While the TAF specifies the total amount of hours to be worked in the contract, this form only specifies the number of scheduled teaching hours to be worked. For most contracts, this will amount to three hours a week.

In cases where you have more than three hours of scheduled teaching a week, you are entitled to a 10% bonus on your pay rate per extra weekly hour. A common example is when a TF is asked to lead a lab or tutorial for their class in addition to the three weekly lecture hours.


Negotiation of hours/duties (Section B)

This section is similar to that found on the TAF. The negotiation of these tasks will take place between the Teaching Fellow and the employment supervisor, who is usually the department chair or graduate coordinator; inquire with the department of employment to be sure. In some cases, TFs are not the lead instructor, but rather run tutorials and sections under the authority of a professor. In these cases, the employment supervisor may be the professor of the class.

The negotiation of these duties is important, but no hours are listed because TFs are paid a rate based on the entire course. The section B checklist will serve as a guideline that helps you and the supervisor determine the overall tasks for the class. In classes where you are the instructor, you will have control over how these tasks are completed. When you answer to a professor, you will still have to adhere to their general guidelines.


Academic freedom

The situation TFs face regarding academic freedom shares both similarities and differences with TAs. Like TAs, TFs can ask the employer to assign them different work in cases where their current assignment conflicts with personal, religious, or academic beliefs; the employer must make a reasonable effort to accommodate the request. The extent of TF academic freedom depends on if they have responsibility to develop the content and/or presentation of a course. Below are a few couple situations TFs face and how they relate to academic freedom:

  • If the TF is the lead instructor in a class, they have the widest level of academic freedom. While they must still respect the general regulations, guidelines, and policies of the university/department, and must complete tasks set out in their TFF, their level of freedom is at the same level as other teaching staff, including tenure-track professors.
  • There are some TFs who are responsible for sections of a given class, but are given the right to craft assignments, evaluation schemes, and other factors. An example could be a class where all students write the same final exam, and do the same readings, but the essay topics and guidelines are determined by each TF. In these cases, the TF would have a higher level of academic freedom on work they design and assign. The rest of the work would be handled in much the same way a TA does. Some of these TFs have a high degree of discretion and freedom, while others less so. If you have any questions speak to both the employment supervisor or the Chief Steward.


Cancellation of TFship

According to “Hours of Work” Article 16.10 (h), the employment supervisor or the TF can request that section B be revisited should there be issues. If a TFship is cancelled because the course itself is cancelled, you will be entitled to the following compensation models:

  • 15% of the contract salary if the class is cancelled within the first two weeks of the academic term.
  • An additional 7% for every full or partial week you teach after those first two weeks.