Frequently Asked Questions


How do I know if I’m a member?

You are member of our Local if you have worked as a Teaching Assistant, Graduate Service Assistant-1, or Sessional Lecturer at any time in the past 12 months. Your membership in the Union lasts for 12 months after your last contract ended. For example: if you were a Teaching Assistant, Graduate Service Assistant-1, or Sessional Lecturer for the Winter 2017 semester and your contract ended on April 20, 2017, you are a member of CUPE 3913 until April 20, 2018.

What does my membership entitle me to?

Your membership entitles you to protection under our Collective Agreement and the rights and benefits therein (including access to supplementary health benefits). In order to access claim forms for supplementary health benefits you must log in to this website.

Login & Password

What is my login and password?

Your login is your Employee Number. Your password was emailed to you. If you don’t remember your password, or have lost it, please see the answer to the next question.

What do I do if I don’t remember or have lost my password?

If you don’t remember the password that was emailed to you, you can reset your password. Simply attempt to login with your Employee Number. A new screen will appear. Click on the “Lost your password?” link. Enter the Employee Number associated with your account and you should receive an email shortly thereafter.

I haven’t received an email from CUPE Local 3913 and my Employee Number doesn’t work or allow me reset my password. What’s going on?

This may be happening because you are either not currently a member or because we have not received an updated version of our membership list from the Employer. We receive bargaining unit lists on the first and second pay dates of each academic semester. We update the membership list after we receive both and send out emails shortly thereafter. If you still haven’t received an email from us after the second pay period of the current semester please contact us by emailing

Benefits – Submitting a Claim

Where can I find the claim forms?

You can only see the claim forms once you’ve logged in. They will appear under the Benefits tab.

What benefits am I eligible to receive?

Eligibility is determined by the bargaining unit of which you’re a member. Members of Unit 1(TAs and GSA-1s) are eligible to claim vision care expenses only up to $300 per academic year (September to August) for themselves, their spouses or partners, and their dependants. Members of Unit 2(SLs) are eligible to claim any expenses under the Income Tax Act 118.2(2) up to $1000 per academic year (September to August) for themselves, their spouses or partners, and their dependants. The most commonly claimed eligible expenses are dental, prescription drugs, vision care, physiotherapy, massage therapy, and chiropractic. For more information, visit the Benefits tab above.

How do I notify CUPE Local 3913 of the names of my spouse/dependants?

This is done through the claim process itself. We do not currently have a system in place which allows members to register or identify their spouses/dependants outside of the claims process.

What is a “primary coverage provider”?

A primary coverage provider is an insurance company, benefits plan, or other means of reimbursement that you use first (and before you seek reimbursement from CUPE Local 3913). Your primary coverage provider is likely different depending on the bargaining unit of which you’re a member. Members of Unit 1 likely use the GSA or CSA as their primary coverage provider. All members of Unit 1 have a primary coverage provider unless you are a part-time student in which case you must submit documentation with your claim confirming your part-time status in the current academic semester. You must submit supporting documents that verify that you have exhausted other providers before your claim will be assessed. Members of Unit 2 may have primary coverage through parents, spouses or partners, from the University of Guelph, or another employer. It is just as likely that members of Unit 2 will not have primary coverage from another source. In a situation where CUPE Local 3913 is the only coverage provider for a Unit 2 member no supporting documents are required. Note: Benefits through CUPE Local 3913 are not “secondary” but “supplemental”. This means that any number of other coverage providers must be exhausted before expenses are submitted to the Local for reimbursement.

What additional supporting documents am I required to submit if I am a part-time student?

If you are a part-time student you must submit documentation with your claim confirming your part-time status in the current academic semester. We apologize for this inconvenience but the lists that we currently receive from the Employer do not contain this information and we have no other way of verifying it.

How do I attach supporting documents to my claim if I don’t have a scanner, smart phone, or other similar device?

Make an appointment with the Finance Committee by emailing

How can I have someone assist me with scanning my supporting documents if I’m at Guelph-Humber?

Mail your supporting documents to our office with a short note of explanation, including your email address. We will scan your documents and email them to you so that you can complete your claim.

Benefits – General

Can I pick up my reimbursement cheque in person?

No. Reimbursement cheques are mailed out shortly after claims are processed (1-2 business days). Your cheque will be mailed to the address you include on your claim form.

What is the current level of the benefits pool?

For up to date information about the Local’s benefits pool please visit the Benefits Pool page of our website (you must log in to access this page located under the Benefits tab).

What can I do if I still have claims from the previous academic year?

Claims from the previous academic year can be submitted up to and including September 15 of the current academic year (if the benefits pool has not been exhausted).

When should I expect to receive a response to my claim submission?

The Finance Committee processes claims on a weekly basis. This means that most reimbursement cheques will be mailed within 2 weeks of the claim submission. Claims which contain errors, missing information, or other issues may take longer to process. Claims will not be processed when the office is closed for holidays (usually from mid-December to the beginning of January).

Who do I contact if I have any other questions about benefits?

Contact our Finance Committee directly at

Pension Eligibility for Unit 2 Members

What criteria do I have to meet to access the pension plan?

You must have earned 35% of the Yearly Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) in each of the two consecutive calendar years just prior to joining the plan. The YMPE changes every year and is set by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This year (2017), the YMPE is $55,300. This means you must make $19,355 in each of the two years directly before joining the plan, which means that at the wage rates outlined in Article 14.01 of the current Collective Agreement, you would have to teach 3 courses at Step 1 for each of the 2 calendar years prior to joining the plan to be eligible.
You need to have taught 3 courses in each of the two consecutive calendar years prior to joining the plan
No matter whether option 1 or 2 applies, you have to have been employed at the University of Guelph (or Guelph-Humber) for at least 24 continuous months prior to joining the plan. An unpaid period of less than 8 moths is still counted as continuous, so if you don’t teach during the summer, that’s okay.

Will the university let me know if I’m eligible for the pension plan?

The university should let you know if you’re eligible for the pension plan, but you should still keep track yourself to make sure there aren’t any mistakes. If you think there’s been an error, and you should be in the pension plan but aren’t currently, you should contact the HR Service Associate for your department. If you do not know who the Service Associate for your department is, contact HR Reception at ext. 53374 to inquire.

What are the contribution rates for the pension plan?

Your rates of contribution for the pension plan are as follows:
If you make below the YMPE, it’s 7.30% this year, and 7.55% as of Sept. 1st, 2018
If you make above the YMPE, it’s 9% this year, and 9.25% as of Sept. 1st, 2018
Pension contributions can continue during unpaid periods (such as during the summer), but you have to pay double the normal employee pension contributions based on your pensionable earnings rate.