Clarification on Year 6 and Funding Extensions

It has been brought to our attention that the funding emails that were sent on Monday July 11 were not sent to PhD students in their sixth year. Similarly, these emails do not clarify what happens to funding extensions for students with disabilities and executive service.

Year 6 Funding

The Unit 1 collective agreement, article 12.03.1 (i), states:

[The Priority Pool] entitles a qualified full-time Ph.D. student to a maximum of one full teaching assistantship (subject to availability) in each of up to six years while a full-time Ph.D. student, provided that the student is successful in obtaining an initial teaching assistantship. Any teaching assistantship(s) held while a Masters student will not reduce the priority while a Ph.D. student.

What this language means is that PhD students in year 6, as long as they have held a teaching assistantship, would get funding for the Fall/Winter in the form of a TA assignment, but not the summer assistance. This is still true, as the employer does not have the ability to unilaterally change the collective agreement. We have received reports that the employer acknowledges this, but would not send out communications to year 6 students because they did not know “how to frame it”.

Funding Extensions

There are two kinds of funding extensions, both for up to 12 months: one for students with disabilities and the other for members who have served on the executive committee or bargaining team. These extensions are also guaranteed under the collective agreements, and must be respected.

For students with disabilities who find themselves outside the collective agreements because of the employer’s union-busting tactics, we have heard from the York University Graduate Student Association (YUGSA) that FGS is considering giving extensions to non-unionized students with disabilities. We maintain a healthy skepticism of any promises made by the employer that are not enshrined in our collective agreements or a memorandum of settlement. Nonetheless, their implicit acknowledgement that this is a problem is a signal for us to push them to maintain extensions for all students with disabilities, regardless of whether they are protected by the union.