Graduate Teaching Assistants
This summary has been prepared by Human Resource Services to assist those Graduate Teaching Assistants (“GTAs”) seeking information regarding benefits that may be available to them during a pregnancy, parental or adoption leave. Please refer to Article 24 of the GTA Collective Agreement for full details.
- As employees, GTAs may be eligible for Pregnancy and Parental Leave in accordance with the Employment Standards Act.
- Only GTAs who have been employed as a GTA for at least one term prior to the commencement of the leave may be eligible for paid benefits in accordance with the GTA Collective Agreement.
- In order to be eligible for paid benefits, the GTA must be on a pregnancy, parental or adoption leave from an active GTA appointment. However, a GTA may be eligible to receive paid benefits where the expected date of delivery or adoption occurs after, but within eight (8) months of, the expiry of the GTA’s contract provided that upon the date of the leave, the GTA meets the department and program conditions for funding and progression.
- Pregnancy leave may be for a period of seventeen (17) weeks.
- Parental leave will be extended to any GTA who becomes a parent of a newborn or newly adopted child(ren). Parental leave, when taken by a female GTA who has also taken a pregnancy leave, must immediately follow the pregnancy leave and may be for a period up to thirty-five (35) weeks. Parental leave may be for a period of thirty-seven (37) weeks (must be a combined total of 37 weeks for a GTA couple). The leave cannot begin until the baby is born.
- Parental leave must conclude no later than fifty-two (52) weeks after the child is born or comes into the care and control of the parent for the first time.
- A GTA must inform the person designated by the Department, School or Faculty where the GTA works, in writing, of his or her plans for taking leave at least four (4) weeks in advance of the start of the leave.
- While on pregnancy or parental leave, a GTA must also be on leave from any other appointments held with the University, for example, an RA appointment.
- Eligible GTAs will receive the following paid benefits for up to seventeen (17) weeks – 100% of the employee’s weekly GTAship rate for the first two (2) weeks, and 55% of the employee’s weekly GTAship rate for the remaining period. Applicable one-time payments will also be made to GTAs on approved pregnancy/parental/adoption leaves.
- Note that receipt of these paid benefits may conflict with Tri-Council or similar benefits. It is the responsibility of the GTA to ensure he or she is in compliance with any external funding restrictions or requirements.
- To apply for the paid benefits, a GTA and the academic unit designate must complete the GTA Pregnancy/Parental/Adoption Leave Benefit application form.
- If the GTA meets all of the eligibility requirements, the paid benefits will be direct deposited on the regular monthly pay date.
For more information on leaves of absence including the student bursary please refer to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) or contact Teri Hern, SGPS.
If you have questions regarding the paid benefits please contact Human Resources at 519-661-2194 and ask to speak to a Benefits Consultant.
This website is provided for information and planning purposes for Western employees only. While every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, if any conflict exists between the information on this website and the provisions of the various collective agreements or applicable legislation, the collective agreements or legislation prevail.