Working hours

Full-time ISAs are expected to work an average of 35 hours/week for the entire four month work term. ISAs have some control over setting their hours (e.g marking time and office hours). Due to the nature of the tutoring position, ISAs may be asked to work some evenings or weekends.

IAs/TAs are expected to work an average of five hours/week for 16 weeks (per TA unit). The period of employment is from the first day of classes until the grades for the course have been submitted .

"Average time" expectations

Some weeks require more time (e.g. the weeks containing the midterm and final exams) and other weeks require less (e.g the first week of the term when there are no assignments to mark). Pay is based on an average work week. If you feel that you consistently have too much to do in your allotted time, please discuss the matter with your IS Coordinator before your work begins to suffer. Similarly, if you feel that you have too little to do, please approach the IS Coordinator.

Non-lecture days vs. holidays

Staff members are not normally expected to work on official University holidays (e.g Christmas, Thanksgiving, Canada Day, etc.). However, people often confuse University holidays with non-lecture days. Frosh Week, Study Week, and the days in between lectures and examinations are non-lecture days, but they are not University holidays. Thus, ISAs, IAs and TAs can expect to work on these days unless explicitly told otherwise. Neither ISAs nor IAs/TAs should make end-of-term travel plans without first contacting their supervisor.

Taking courses

Many ISAs take advantage of their flexible hours and working on campus to take one university course during the work term. Normally this is not a problem; however, the ISAs must keep in mind that their primary responsibility is to their tutoring job. Permission to take a course must be obtained from the IS Coordinator of the course you are tutoring. Permission will not be granted where the lecture times and/or the course load interfere with the tutoring duties. ISAs, particularly first-time ISAs, are advised to carefully consider the amount of time and effort involved before electing to study while they are tutoring.

With respect to outside activities such as part-time work or sporting activities, ISAs should check with their IS Coordinator to ensure that these responsibilities do not interfere with their performance.


ISA evaluation

The ISA's work performance is evaluated near the end of term by the IS Coordinator of the course. Evaluation forms are issued by the Department of Coordination and Placement for all co-op students employed as ISAs. ISAs are evaluated on the criteria on the Evaluation form.

The IS Coordinator will consult with others to complete the ISA's evaluation to ensure they have a balanced view. People typically consulted include students, fellow ISAs, IAs and TAs, and instructors. As part of the evaluation process, ISAs are asked to complete an ISA Activity Form on Waterloo LEARN (D2L) prior to their end of term evaluation. The Activity Form summarizes accomplishments, challenges, and goals for the term. The purpose of the Activity Form is to ensure that the person completing the ISA's evaluation is aware of all the activities being performed, and is aware of the challenges faced during the term.

IA/TA evaluation

The IA/TA's work performance is evaluated near the end of term by the IS Coordinator of the course using the IA/TA Evaluation Form (PDF).


As full-time, temporary employees, ISAs are entitled to two days sick leave with pay per four month work term. Beyond this time, ISAs may be granted unpaid leave. Extended periods of absence must be discussed with your IS coordinator and a doctor's certificate may be requested. ISAs are also paid 4% holiday pay on their final cheque. More information on payment policies is available on the secretariat website.  



Whether you are a new or returning ISA, you are to report to the CS Undergraduate Studies Administrative Coordinator, with regards to processing your pay information. Your S.I.N. number and OHIP information will be needed to fill in your Ontario Personal Tax Credit forms as well as a blank voided cheque with your bank information will be required to arrange automatic deposit of your salary at month-end.


For new TAs please contact the CS Graduate Coordinator regarding payroll sign-up and Social Insurance Number applications. Returning IAs/TAs who were on payroll the previous term do not need to sign up again. IA/TA salaries conform to Faculty of Math standards.

Pay day

Pay is deposited automatically in your bank account on the last Friday of each month. You can check your pay online. If IAs/TAs experience difficulty getting paid, contact the CS Graduate Coordinator. If ISAs are experiencing difficulty, contact the CS Undergraduate Studies Administrative Coordinator.