A message from the 901 Executive about E-Contracts:
When you e-sign your individual e-contract, you’re signing a contractual agreement with the university that is subject to revision only with mutual agreement. As the summer term ends, and as many of us will sign new contracts in September, we’d like to emphasize the importance of keeping track of your e-contract, along with your TA and/or TF Form. Below, we outline a case where a department changed a 901 member’s e-contract without her acknowledgment, consent, or e-signature.
A department shortened a TA’s winter-term contract to exclude compensation for hours she was originally contracted to perform. Having signed an e-contract, which included hours from January to the end of April, the TA worked until the end of April only to discover after the semester was over that she was not to be paid for the work she performed in April. In May, and after no April payment, she approached her department wanting to know why there was a delay in pay. To her frustration, her department told her she would not be paid for the full hours she worked in April because of her new e-contract. Knowing she had signed only one e-contract at the beginning of the semester, she checked online and noticed she had a second contract. The new contract was issued in March – well into the semester. Without the TA’s consent, the terms and conditions of the new contract had – in the department’s perspective – superseded the original signed e-contract. Having not signed the second e-contract, the TA felt it unfair for her department to claim she would not be paid for hours she already worked. She was not seeking pay for the extra hours she worked to get her job done. Instead, she was only seeking pay for the actual hours outlined in the e-contract she had signed. Unsure of how to better approach her situation, she contacted local 901 for a union representative to attend a meeting she had set up with her department.
Union representatives went over the TA’s e-contract and noted the lack of her e-signature on her second e-contract. The second e-contract was signed by her department without her knowledge. With copies of her e-contracts and signature logs in-hand, and with union reps by her side, the TA was able to prove she hadn’t known about the second e-contract and that she was owed a month’s pay. By the end of the meeting, a representative from Human Resources assured everyone the TA’s issue would be looked into and resolved within twenty-four hours, and was confident the TA would get her money because the contractual agreement she signed at the beginning of the semester outlined the University’s contractual obligation to pay her for her hours worked in April. There was a resolution by the end of the day: the TA would be paid for the hours outlined in the e-contract she had mutually signed.
Members of 901 can help ensure the employer honours the contracts they have made by going through the following:How to Ensure You are Paid in Accordance with Your Contract:
In addition to keeping a personal copy of your signed e-contract, you can revisit the human resources site where you initially signed at the following URL:
After going to this page and clicking on the “student” tab near the top of the screen, your contracts should appear. Clicking on the “department” column will bring up additional info such as pay rate, start and end dates, as well as the amount of hours assigned. Finally, if you click on “action history”near the bottom of the screen, you can see the exact dates and times when contracts were signed/offered, as well as where these offers and signatures came from.
Accessing this data is important because a change in your contract will be noted here. In our aforementioned member’s case, she was able to look at the signature log pages, and prove she did NOT sign the second contract that lowered her total hours. This helped her resolve her issue and get owed money much faster. Diligence will prevent the same situation from happening. If you notice any changes to your e-contract after you’ve signed it, and without your approval, you should contact both your department, and your department’s 901 steward. If you don’t have a 901 steward in your department, contact our Chief Steward, Christo Aivalis, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or our Assistant Chief Steward, Doug Nesbitt, at email@example.com. The employer has no right to unilaterally change your contract without your consent and without notifying you. You, along with the help of your union, can ensure Teaching Assistants are paid, accordingly, for providing the quality services we do.