Unit 1 Benefits & Funds

See the links below for information about Unit 1 benefits:

Overview of Leave Provisions

Financial Assistance Funds and Overview of Health Benefits


Summer Unit 1 Financial Assistance Funds now open!

Applications for our Summer Unit 1 Financial Assistance Funds are now open. There are four funds available. Two of these are for all members: the Childcare Financial Assistance Fund (CFAF) and the International Health Plan Assistance Fund (IHPAF). Two are for members who are students: the Unfunded Student Assistance Fund (USAF) and the Research Assistants Defence Fund (RADF). See below for full descriptions, links to application forms, and eligibility criteria. The deadline for each of these funds is May 31st, 2016 at 11:59PM EST. The form will close automatically at this time and applications will not be accepted after this deadline for any reason.

We are testing out an online quiz to help members determine which funds they may be eligible for. You can take the quiz here. Throughout the quiz, it will tell you what funds you may be eligible for. At the end of the quiz, there is a link to a form to give us feedback about the quiz. Please note that this quiz is new, and may contain errors, so please do not use the quiz as a substitute for reading about the funds themselves!

If you have any questions about the funds or applications, please see the continually updating FAQ. If your question is not answered there, contact st@cupe3902.org.


International Health Plan Assistance Fund (IHPAF)


The International Health Plan Assistance Fund is for members who, because of their international status, must pay for their UHIP expenses, for themselves, their spouse or their dependent children. Note to all students in a funded cohort: your premiums are covered by your funding and thus you are not eligible for this fund*; however, if you have a spouse or dependent children for whom you have paid for the coverage you may submit their receipts regardless of whether you are a member of a funded cohort.

*There is one exception to this: funding does not cover UHIP fees for those students in the funded cohort who have received a Permanent Residency offer and are therefore paying domestic tuition but are still on UHIP, so members in that situation are eligible to claim their own UHIP premiums.


1) You must have been registered as a student or employed as a post-doctoral fellow during Fall 2015 and/or Winter 2016.

2) You must have performed at least 30 hours of Unit 1 work between September 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016.


Childcare Financial Assistance Fund (CFAF)


The Childcare Financial Assistance Fund supports those members who are also parents and incur expenses from paying a childcare provider for care of their child(ren) while a parent is at work or school. This fund partially reimburses eligible expenses for which receipts are provided, which were incurred between May 1, 2015 and April 30, 2016. Expenses can only be claimed for children born on or after May 2, 1999. Eligible expenses include: babysitters, nannies, daycare, preschool, summer camps, March break programs, after school programs, and sports/activities/lessons offered through local recreation centres or equivalent. Ineligible expenses include: tuition for private primary school, school lunches, medical expenses, toys, clothing, and food.


1) You must have been registered as a student or employed as a post-doctoral fellow during Fall 2015 and/or Winter 2016.

2) You must have performed at least 30 hours of Unit 1 work between May 1, 2015 and April 30, 2016.


Unfunded Student Assistance Fund (USAF)


The Unfunded Student Assistance Fund provides funds to members who are students in the following programs and funding situations:

  • all DMA students (note: a portion of this fund (the USAF) is earmarked for DMAs)
  • Undergraduate students who paid more in tuition and fees than received in funding*
  • Masters students who paid more in tuition and fees than received in funding*, except those who are currently in the second year of a masters program that provided tuition plus $15,000+ funding in its first year**
  • Ph.D. students who are enrolled on a flex-time basis

Additionally, as a bridging measure, the fund will be open for this year (2015-2016) to members in Year 8+ of a PhD.

*Funding here includes: all supervisor stipends, internal and external grants and awards, any graduate student RAships in Div 3 or 4 (the Life and Physical Sciences and Engineering departments), and any other funding provided by your supervisor, your department, the university, the Canadian or other government, or other funding bodies.  Funding does not include: wages or financial aid loans (e.g. OSAP).

**These students are instead eligible for the Tuition Assistance Fund, which will be disbursed automatically by the university for the current academic year in September 2016.

Please note: The Professional Masters Assistance Fund (PMAF) has been merged into the USAF to streamline the application process. Because the amount awarded for USAF now takes into account tuition and funding levels, any further tuition costs for Professional Masters students are reflected in the disbursement amounts.


1) You must have been registered as a student in an eligible program (see above) during Fall 2015 and/or Winter 2016.

2) You must have performed at least 30 hours of Unit 1 work between May 1, 2015 and April 30, 2016


Research Assistants Defence Fund (RADF)


The Research Assistants Defence Fund is to compensate members in divisions 1 and 2 (in Humanities and Social Sciences) who are forced to undertake T4 taxable RA work in order to receive the minimum guaranteed funding package. Please note that members in divisions 3 and 4 (in Engineering and the Physical Sciences or Life Sciences departments) are ineligible for this fund, because RAships in those departments are not T4 taxable income.


1) You must have been registered as a student, and a member of the funded cohort, during Fall 2015 and/or Winter 2016;

2) You must have performed at least 30 hours of Unit 1 work between May 1, 2015 and April 30, 2016; and

3) The total value of your TA and RA work constituted more of the funding package than the dollar value of 200 hours of TA work.


Health Benefits – More Details

U of T’s Page on Unit 1 Health Benefits

Top-up Healthcare Plan Details Pamphlet

Top-up Healthcare Plan FAQ

Table of Maximum Category Amounts for GSU ~ Top-up Healthcare Plan 

Most questions are answered in the above documents.  However, if you are now enrolled and have specific questions about claims, coverage, or online services, you can contact Green Shield Canada at 1-888-711-1119. If you have any questions about your eligibility or are not yet loaded into the Plan, please contact the U of T Benefits Department at benefits.help@utoronto.ca or 416-978-2598.

Please note that in order for plans to be properly coordinated it is vital that you register for your plan services with your name exactly as it appears in your student/PDF enrolment.


Graduate Student Bursary Fund (GSBF)

The Union filed an Unfair Labour Practice complaint at the Labour Board alleging that the Employer acted in bad faith during our last round of bargaining by giving us misleading data. As a result, the Graduate Student Bursary Fund is being held in abeyance until we resolve this issue. We will give updates as they are available.

The process to get the GSBF complaint resolved is long and involved. As such, it is imperative that we keep in touch with anyone who believes they are eligible for a GSBF payment. Please fill out this form if in the 2014-15 academic year you were a Unit 1 member and a graduate student in the funded cohort with funding at less than $17,500.

We also suggest that anyone who expects a payment from the GSBF keep any paperwork and records regarding tuition paid and funding and awards received for the relevant year.

We understand that the lack of anticipated GSBF money has had serious financial implications for some members.  While we can’t promise anything at this time, we’d like to hear from anyone who has found that the lack of this GSBF payment has left them in an urgent financial situation in order to explore options for the interim such as emergency interest-free loans.  If you are in such a situation, please email the Secretary Treasurer at st@cupe3902.org.

Media Press Release about our Unfair Labour Practice Complaint

Our Complaint Filed at the Labour Board.  The allegations contained in this complaint are at this stage allegations and have not been proved.