Invigilators are an integral part of final exams at McGill. All Invigilators are protected by a Collective Agreement, even if you only invigilate one exam. The Collective Agreement is a contract between AGSEM and McGill that outlines your terms of employment. These hard-fought rights include fair and transparent hiring practices, a standard wage that increases with inflation, paid and unpaid breaks, leaves of absence, and training.
When you receive your offer of employment, you should also receive an AGSEM membership form and, if you receive your offer by email, an electronic copy of the Invigilator Collective Agreement. If you did not receive either of these documents, or if you feel that your rights are not being respected, contact the Invigilator Grievance Officer.
Remember to sign your AGSEM membership form for full membership rights. You must sign your membership form every time you start a new contract as an Invigilator. You can submit your signed form to your Hiring Unit (employer), email the form to us, or drop it off at our office at 515 ave des Pins, second floor (Please note that our office is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible).
A Brief History
Invigilators at McGill were accredited as a union in March 2010, after a successful vote (94%) in favour of unionizing. We signed our first collective agreement on October 7, 2013. AGSEM Unit 2 is the Union of Invigilators at McGill University.
In March 2013 Invigilators decided to join the Executive Committee structure, Budget and Delegate Council with those of AGSEM Unit 1 (Teaching Assistants). The highest decision-making body of our Unit is our Unit General Assembly where every invigilator has a vote and a voice. All decisions related to bargaining are made at the Invigilator General Assembly, which is why it is so important for all members to come out and join in the discussion.
Know Your Rights
Here you will find a summary of many of the rights and protections available to you under the Invigilator Collective Agreement. We encourage you to take the time to read through this summary to make sure that your rights are protected at work.
This information is available here as a PDF booklet.
Applying for a Job
You can apply for final exam postings for 7 days after they are posted. All invigilation positions must be publicly posted on a centralized website, www.mcgill.ca/careers/invigilators.
Previous invigilation experience at McGill gives you hiring priority. Top hiring priority is given to those who have passed their probation period in the Hiring Unit by being continuously employed for more than 2 terms. Next, priority is given to those with any previous experience in the Hiring Unit, then to those with experience invigilating elsewhere at McGill. If your application is rejected in favour of someone with a lower hiring priority, the decision can be contested.
An employee who, without valid reason, is absent or fails to notify her immediate supervisor of her absence as soon as possible but no later than (2) hours prior to the beginning of a confirmed assigned examination shift, on two (2) occasions in an Academic Term, is deemed to have resigned and loses all hiring priority.
You should return your AGSEM membership form to the Hiring Unit after training or before your first shift. Alternatively, you can return your form directly to us at our office at 515 ave. des Pins or scan the form and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every invigilator is entitled to paid training before they begin their first appointment in that Hiring Unit. Invigilators will be compensated at the standard rate for the length of the training session.
Invigilator duties and responsibilities will be clearly stated during the training sessions organized by the Hiring Unit. Any additional instructions specific to a given exam will be provided at the beginning of a given shift.
Shift Length and Breaks
All invigilation shifts need to be at least one hour longer than the length of the exam (eg. at least 4 hours for a 3-hour final exam—most invigilation shifts are 4.25 hours). If you have not received training before your first shift, you must also be given time before the start of your shift for training.
Unless unusual circumstances make it impossible to do so, you must be given a 15-minute paid break for every consecutive four hours you work, in addition to a 30-minute unpaid lunch break for every 8 hours you work within a single day.
If you are scheduled for a shift, you cannot be asked to give it up because too many people have been scheduled. If you are unable to make your scheduled shift, make sure to inform your supervisor as soon as possible. Failure to do so may result in termination and loss of priority.
The minimum rate of pay for invigilators is $13.25 per hour, including 4% vacation pay, effective May 1st 2018. This rate increases to $13.88 per hour on May 1st 2019.
You are entitled to be paid for every hour you work. You cannot be asked to arrive early for a scheduled shift, or to stay late, without being paid. However, you should not expect to be paid extra if you arrive at work before your supervisor told you to show up, or if you continue to work beyond the end of your shift. If you find that you do not have enough time to complete all tasks required, clarify with your supervisor whether or not you will continue to be paid for any extra time.
The University must pay you an overtime premium of 50% if you cumulatively work more than 40 hours in a week at all jobs at McGill, including invigilation. Because of this, you are required to list any other job appointments you hold at McGill on your application form.
Leaves of Absence
All invigilators are entitled to a number of unpaid leaves (as well as paid bereavement leaves). Unpaid leave is available in cases of illness, as well as to attend an academic conference if requested by your supervisor at McGill, provided that you give notice before the beginning of your shift. Unpaid leave means that you cannot be penalized for missing work, and will be allowed to accumulate hiring priority.
Protecting your Rights
As a union we have a number of tools to protect your rights. The Collective Agreement describes a grievance procedure for resolving disputes in cases where you feel your rights are not being respected. As a union we are here to help you at every point in this process and can accompany you for any disciplinary meetings.
All members should be aware of the deadlines for grievances. To be able to ensure that we can protect you, we need to be able to prepare a grievance file within 30 days of learning about any incident where you believe your rights have been violated. Any potential grievance involving harassment must be filed within 90 days.
Contact the Invigilator Bargaining Committee
If you have any comments, suggestions, or concerns about any part of the Invigilator Bargaining process, feel free to contact the Invigilator pre-Bargaining Chair in the form below.
Other ways to Get Involved
AGSEM is only strong and effective when its members participate in its operations and events. Keep in mind that you are not merely a member of a labour union, you are the Union. Below are some ways you can stay informed and become active in AGSEM.