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Graduate Student Employment Variations

What is the difference between a Teaching Assistant (TA), Graduate Assistant (GA) and Research Assistant (RA)?

Teaching Assistantship (TA)

  • Classified as Unit 1 (CUPE 3903)
  • Any work related to teaching, marking demonstrating, and/or tutoring
  • Has time restrictions (maximum 135 hours per term)
  • Additional Employer paid health & vacation benefits
  • Income is taxable

Graduate Assistantship (GA)

  • Classified as Unit 3 (CUPE 3903)
  • Any work related to administrative, clerical and research work
  • Has time restrictions (maximum 135 hours per term)
  • Additional Employer paid health & vacation benefits
  • Income is taxable

Research Assistantship (RA)

  • Non-unionized
  • Similar to GA work, but must be directly related to student’s research focus
  • No set hourly wages or time limits
  • No health & vacation benefits
  • (but covered under YUGSA health plan)
  • Non-taxable income for FT students

*RAs are graduate students registered as full-time who receive financial assistance from or through York University for research or academic activities which are predominantly for the purposes of advancing the students’ progress towards fulfilment of their program and degree requirements. They are not affiliated with CUPE 3903.