The relationship between a Teaching Assistant (TA) and their instructor and a Research Assistant (RA) and their supervisor is based on collegiality and mutual respect. This memo sets out the means to address disputes, misunderstandings and disagreements.
As it is in the best interests of all parties to address concerns informally and in a timely manner, a TA/RA is encouraged to communicate with their instructor/supervisor when a question arises about a decision or action affecting them. This communication can be either in person or in writing and must be done within one month of the decision/action. If the supervisor/instructor requires it, the TA/RA shall put the communication in writing. Within 10 working days of receipt of the communication the instructor/supervisor shall respond. If the TA/RA is satisfied with the response, the matter is at an end.
If a TA/RA is not satisfied with the result, they may seek a resolution by taking the issue to the department graduate officer/associate chair within 10 days of the instructor’s/supervisor’s response.
If a TA/RA is not satisfied with the result, they may take the matter to the Associate Vice-President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, who will consult with the relevant Associate Dean, Graduate Studies within the Faculty, within 10 days of the graduate officer’s/associate chair’s response. The decision of the Associate Vice-President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs is final.
The TA/RA and instructor/supervisor are entitled to be accompanied by a University of Waterloo colleague of their choosing as a support person at any meeting.
Note: Sexual harassment, discrimination and abuse of supervisory authority are covered by Policy 33 - Ethical Behaviour.