Unit 1 Benefits & Funds

See the links below for information about Unit 1 benefits:

Overview of Leave Provisions

2016 Unit 1 Benefits & Funds


Health Benefits – More Details

NB:  To opt-in your dependents to your primary plan (in order for them to have access to the Top-up Plan), you must opt them in annually, at the beginning of the term you are first registered in.   For graduate students, visit www.studentcare.ca to opt-in online during the periods below.  Members with primary coverage from APUS, SCSU, and UTSU should refer to their respective website for similar deadlines.

Fall 2016: September 1 – September 30, 2016

Winter 2017: January 1 – January 30, 2017

To purchase a 12 Month Extension after Graduation please visit www.studentcare.ca.

U of T’s Page on Unit 1 Health Benefits

Top-up Healthcare Plan Details Pamphlet

Top-up Healthcare Plan FAQ

2015-16 Table of Maximum Category Amounts for GSU ~ Top-up Healthcare Plan

The following table includes 2016/17 increases to the benefits, and new coverage amounts: 

2016-17 Table of Maximum Category Amounts for GSU ~ Top-up Healthcare Plan

NB:  The Healthcare Spending Account (HCSA) for those with a spouse and/or children enrolled in their base plan will increase from $400 to $500 per year effective September 1, 2016. 


Summer Financial Assistance Funds 2017

Applications for the International Health Plan Assistance Fund (IHPAF), the UofT Family Plan Assistance Fund (UFPAF), the Childcare Financial Assistance Fund (CFAF), the Unfunded Students Assistance Fund (USAF) and the Research Assistants Defense Fund (RADF) are now being accepted.

Please see the FAQ (https://goo.gl/B9mf6x) for:

  • The up-to-date eligibility criteria for all three funds;
  • Links to the application forms; and
  • Answers to questions you might have about the funds.

The deadline for applications to all five funds (IHPAF, UFPAF, CFAF, USAF, and RADF) is 31 May 2017 at 11:59PM EST. The forms will close automatically at this time and applications will not be accepted after this deadline for any reason.  More information about the funds can be found here: http://cupe3902.org/unit-1/unit-1-benefits/

**Note** All PhD students in years 7+ are now eligible to apply to the USAF, as the result of a motion passed at a Unit 1 meeting in January.

There is an online quiz (https://goo.gl/KXWO62) to help members determine which funds they may be eligible for. 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 may not capture every possible eligibility, so please do not use the quiz as a substitute for reading about the funds themselves!


Tuition Assistance Fund (TAF)

The University has now contacted all members it believes are eligible for the 2015-16 Tuition Assistance Fund (TAF). Therefore, if you meet the eligibility requirements (listed below), you should have received an email from the University on 23 September 2016 entitled “CUPE Local 3902, Unit 1 – Tuition Assistance Fund (TAF)” to your UofT email account letting you know how much you’re receiving. Below we outline how to proceed if you believe you were eligible for more from the 2015-16 Tuition Assistance Fund (TAF) than you were told by the University. 

TAF overview
The TAF reduces the amount of tuition each eligible member pays out of pocket to 50% of domestic tuition, once all funding (excluding wages) is taken into account. This fund requires no application, and is paid out automatically by the University in each September following the eligible academic year. The current round of TAF disbursements was sent out in September 2016 and pertains to the 2015-16 academic year.

In order to be eligible for this fund you must be beyond the “funded cohort” and paying tuition in the 5th or 6th year of your PhD (research stream) or 2nd year of your Masters (research stream) in the 2015-16 academic year.  You also must have done at least 1 hour of Unit 1 (TA, CI, CPO, etc.) work between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016.

Disbursement Calculation:
Disbursements are based on the amount you were charged for tuition and the amount you received in funding between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016.

Conceptually, the fund brings down the amount of tuition any eligible member pays “out of pocket” to 50% the domestic tuition rate. Mathematically, that’s most easily expressed as: tuition minus funding minus 50% domestic tuition. For the 2015-16 academic year, domestic tuition for the year was $7,060 and international was $19,550, so a domestic student’s disbursement is $3,530 minus funding and an international student’s is $16,020 minus funding.

For the purposes of the TAF, funding includes: all supervisor stipends, internal and external grants and awards (DCA, OGS, SSHRC, etc), any T4A RAships (all RAships in the Life and Physical Sciences and Engineering departments and some RAships in other departments), OSAP and other financial aid grants, 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, conference/travel/research grants, OSAP loans or other financial aid loans, BSWDs, or SGS emergency grants.

Next steps:
If you believe you are eligible for the TAF (Tuition Assistance Fund), but have either received no correspondence from the University OR received correspondence from the University saying you are eligible for less than you believe you are eligible for, please fill out this form.

The following notes are relevant to members who were in certain situations in the 2015-16 academic year:
— Members who received certain grants are much more likely to have their disbursements miscalculated by the University.  Please check your disbursement amount carefully if you received any of the following between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016: conference, research, or travel grant; BSWD (Bursary for Students With Disabilities); SGS emergency grant.
— Members in the Social Sciences and Humanities who did RA or casual work that was paid as T4A rather than T4 income are much more likely to have their disbursements miscalculated by the University, so please check your disbursement amount carefully and fill out the form if you think there may be an error.
— SJD students who were in year 4 or Direct Entry PhD students who were in year 7, please fill out the form if your tuition and funding were such that you would be eligible for a disbursement were you in year 5 or 6.
— Members who were not enrolled as a student for the full year (due to leaves, early graduation, late start, etc.) can have a difficult time calculating pro-rated eligibility, so if you think you might be eligible, we encourage you to fill out the form.
— Members who were in partially funded years, please see this document to help you calculate your potential eligibility.
— Members who have already been in touch with someone from CUPE 3902 about their TAF situation must still fill out a form to ensure the collection of all relevant information.

Please submit your form as soon as possible so that there is time for it to be processed, for any subsequent follow-up and/or grievance to be filed, as necessary, within the requisite timeline as designated in our Collective Agreement. You will receive a confirmation e-mail when you submit the form and we’ll be in touch within 2 weeks about your situation.

If you have any questions, please see the TAF FAQ here.  Please note that the FAQ will be continuously updated as we receive more questions.


Graduate Student Bursary Fund (GSBF)

The Graduate Student Bursary Fund (GSBF) tops up funding for each academic year to $17,000 + tuition and fees for anyone who had Unit 1 work (TA, CI, CPO, etc.) during that year. Because many departments/faculties have raised their minimum funding packages, we are now able to increase the level that the fund is topping up members’ funding to somewhere between $17,000 and $17,500 + tuition and fees. The exact amount for each year will be determined in January 2017, once we have received and processed all the forms for both years.

2014-15 academic year: Most claims forms are now closed.  If you have received an email with an extended deadline due to delays on our end, please follow the instructions in that email.  We anticipate that cheques will be mailed at the end of January.

2015-16 academic year: Most claims forms are now closed.  If you have received an email with an extended deadline due to delays on our end, please follow the instructions in that email.  We anticipate that cheques will be mailed at the end of January.

If you have any questions about the GSBF, please see the FAQ here: https://goo.gl/IUVFHh.  The FAQ will be continuously updated as we receive more questions.