GA and TA Appointments - Guidelines for Departments

Winter term 2024 instructions for departments 

View also the Winter term 2024 GA/TA contract processing schedule

Ensure you use the CURRENT "Notice of appointment to assistantship" contract form - see instructiond for filling in the PDF contract form.

Available GA and TA positions must be posted on the AAU website before each term. A standard posting period is considered to be 5-7 days prior to the application deadline. 

To prepare their postings Departments are to follow the guidelines from the template for departmental GA posting or the template for departmental TA posting and email a copy of their draft posting to graduate studies for review before positions are posted on their website. A standardized application form is available to be used by departments.

Students interested in applying for a GA or TA position in a specific program/department should be encouraged to visit the departmental website where available positions are posted. 

The application deadline must be aligned with the anticipated position start date listed on the posting and the respective deadline for contract submission specified in the posted GA/TA contract submission schedule for that term.

Per the collective agreement the deadline to apply for assistantship positions should be at least 4 weeks before the term begins, noting that most departments would need to set an even earlier application deadline based on the targeted start of the position and in accordance with the posted GA/TA contract submission schedule for each term.

Departments are advised to follow the guidelines from the current template for departmental GA posting or the current template for departmental TA posting. The following should be included on all postings:

  • Assistants cannot commence their GA/TA duties until email confirmation of the approval of their contract is received from Human Resources.
  • GA and TA employees are expected to make themselves available to report for all assigned duties, both in-person/on-campus and remote/online duties. 

For details refer to the current template for departmental GA posting or the current template for departmental TA posting.

Departments should ensure to use the CURRENT "Notice of appointment to assistantship" contract form PDF. To be able to fill the contract form fields and/or insert an electronic signature, save the contract PDF form on your computer. You must open the PDF form in Adobe Acrobat Reader and not in your browser. If the PDF form is opened in a browser (e.g. Chrome or Edge) you will not be able to properly fill in the form fields or insert a digital signature. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer, the free version of Adobe Reader can be downloaded from Adobe. After you have installed Adobe Reader, open the form in Adobe Reader and fill in the information. If your form still opens in a browser, follow the instructions to open the file with Adobe Reader.

After contracts have been prepared and completed, all contracts are to be submitted by the AAU via the GA/TA workflow - review the detailed contract submission instructions for departments.

The following are the hourly rates to be used when preparing GA/TA contracts:

Winter term 2024 contracts:

GA rates (effective September 1, 2023):

  • M II – $41.62 per hour
  • PhD – $46.38 per hour

TA rates (effective September 1, 2023):

  • TA I (Years 1 and 2) – $21.55 per hour
  • TA II (Years 3 and 4) – $23.21 per hour
  • TA III – $30.46 per hour
  • M I – $30.46 per hour

Note that the above rates include 4% vacation pay. A TA/GA will receive 4% or 6% vacation pay based on their years of employment in accordance with the Employment Standards Act.

In addition to the GA or TA contract ("Notice of appointment"), Form 1 (description of duties and allocation of hours) must be completed for each GA or TA appointment prior to commencement of the duties (article 12:06 of the GA/TA Collective agreement) and kept on file in the department. 

Signatures on Form 1 will be applied digitally:

  1. Download the current version of "Form 1" updated in June 2023 (.pdf) 
  2. Complete the Form 1 and obtain required signatures (refer to the instructions for inserting a digital signature).

​Note the following:

  • The assistant must not commence work until they have received an email with the subject line of “Authorization to commence GA/TA duties". Instructors who have been provided with GA/TA support for their class(es) are to contact their AAU Head or program office for guidance regarding how to confirm the assistant has been authorized to work before they can start assigning duties to the assistant.
  • Before signing Form 1, GA/TA supervising instructors and AAU Heads should ensure that Form 1 is fully completed, with a detailed description of the duties and breakdown of the assigned hours.
  • The GA/TA supervising instructor must make arrangements for a meeting with the Assistant to discuss the duties in detail. The meeting must be held no later than 10 days after the commencement of the GA/TA employment (article 14:04). 
  • For training purposes, instructors can refer GAs and TAs to the teaching supports for GAs and TAs as well as resources for Brightspace, the University's new Learning Management System (effective Winter term 2023).
  • The format of Form 1 provides for a mid-course review and, where appropriate, revision of the initially assigned duties and distribution of hours. Any changes must be recorded on the same form with the date of the review meeting noted, and the form should be digitally signed again by assistant, supervisor, and AAU Head. If there are no changes only the date of the review and signatures should be recorded on the form.
  • An assistant must NOT work more hours than the total hours listed on their contract. If an assistant believes that they are likely to exceed the assigned hours in their contract, they must inform their supervisor in writing at least 20 hours prior to completion of the total hours in their contract (article 14:06). A notation to this effect appears also on Form 1. 

The completed and signed Form 1 for each assistant is to be kept on file in the department. 

Information about completion of required training for all new University employees, including new GAs and TAs, is available from the HR website under section “For Students: New Hire Package" under 'Required Employee Training & Employee Number''.

Returning assistants who have already taken the appropriate training in previous terms do NOT need to repeat the same training. Departments should establish their internal procedures and deadlines for verifying training completion.

Please ensure to include on Form 1 "Description of duties and allocation of hours" the hours for the required training - below are suggested guidelines provided by HR:

(1) for the Health and Safety modules:1.5 hours total - contact

(2) for the Accessible Customer Service Training & the AODA and Ontario Human Rights Code training: 2 hours total - contact Alternative Accessible Customer Service training options for TAs only may be available as detailed below:

  • (2a) TA appointments of 5 hours or more: the training should be completed through either the standard 90-minute online e-learning tool (same as GAs) or through arranging for a 60-minute training workshop with OHREA office (a minimum of 10 participants is required for the 60-minute training workshop) - for details contact the OHREA office (
  •  (2b) TA appointments of fewer than 5 hours:
    • if duties involve direct contact with students: the 90-minute online e-learning module and quiz must be completed.
    • if duties involve no direct contact with students: the training of such TAs can be completed through provision of brochures followed by a 30-minute online quiz - contact the OHREA office (

A variety of resources targeted to GAs and TAs in all departments are available summarized on the resources for GAs and TAs webpage.