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Agreement: "Floater TAs" in Nursing

AGSEM has reached an agreement with McGill Human Resources to help facilitate teaching support for several courses in Nursing. This agreement addresses the possibility that a Teaching Assistant who is performing in-person work may fall sick or have to self-isolate due to COVID-19. While the TA collective agreement is clear that when someone is hired to work as a TA, they are hired to a specific course, one TA hired by the Ingram School of Nursing for the Fall 2020 semester and Winter 2021 semester can be assigned to tasks for multiple courses to be able to fill in for work as needed. The full text of the Letter of Agreement is below.

While this is an exceptional Letter of Agreement that applies only to Nursing (see points 7 and 8 below), it is worth noting that the union is not opposed to reaching agreements like this that modify certain provisions in the Collective Agreement on a case-by-case basis to meet the needs of hiring units.

Letter of Agreement

WHEREAS the worldwide COVID-19 virus pandemic has impacted the day to day operations of the University;

WHEREAS the Employer has taken measures to protect the health and safety of employees by limiting presence in the workplace and encouraging telecommuting when feasible;

WHEREAS under article 11.01 of the collective agreement, a Teaching Assistant is appointed to a course and works under the guidance and supervision of a Course Supervisor to assist the Course Supervisor with the instruction and evaluation of students in a course;

WHEREAS the Employer wishes to exceptionally post a “Floater Teaching Assistant position”, in order to allow students to continue to receive their education in the event of a Teaching Assistant’s absence primarily due to COVID-19;

WHEREAS the current COVID-19 situation represents exceptional and unprecedented circumstances.

The Parties agree to the following:

1. A “Floater Teaching Assistant” position is defined as an appointment in which a Teaching Assistant is assigned tasks in accordance with Appendix II of the collective agreement, across multiple courses;

2. The Parties agree to allow ISoN to post one (1) Floater Teaching Assistant position for the Fall 2020 semester and one (1) Floater Teaching Assistant position for the Winter 2021 semester as needed, to support Course Coordinators with the instruction and evaluation of students in the following courses:

  • NUR1 331

  • NUR1 234

  • NUR2 609

  • NUR2 513

3. The Floater Teaching Assistant may be required to work at multiple instruction sites and clinical partnered institution sites during the appointment;

4. The Floater Teaching Assistant will report to the Associate Director of the ISoN , who will determine with Course Coordinators, the distribution of tasks among the assigned courses;

5. All the provisions of the collective agreement will apply to Teaching Assistants selected for the appointment unless otherwise specified in this Agreement;

6. The Union hereby acknowledges that, before having signed the present Agreement, it has had sufficient time to revise the terms and conditions contained therein;

7. The Parties acknowledge that this Agreement shall not constitute or be invoked as a precedent of any kind;

8. The Parties acknowledge that the terms of this Agreement shall not be used as a basis to seek or justify similar terms in any subsequent situation;

9. The Parties have expressly required that the present Agreement be drafted in the English language. Les parties ont expressément exigé que la présente Entente soit rédigée en anglais.


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