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Tribune Explains: Getting a job on campus

How does one get a job on campus and what positions are available? 

McGill’s Human Resources job board, Workday, lists a plethora of job openings for students such as administrative and research positions. Another key job site is MyFuture, which includes both on-campus and off-campus opportunities for students from  research and tutoring positions to internships. 

The Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) also offers employment opportunities. Students can work as a barista or bartender at Gerts Bar and Cafe or as a SSMU commissioner or coordinator under the direction of a SSMU executive. Listings for all SSMU roles are posted on their SmartRecruiters page. Faculty student associations, such as the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS), also have paid positions that range from translator to AUS Speaker of the Council.

Students can also work as executives at SSMU, the Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS), or at McGill’s many undergraduate faculty associations, but these are elected positions. So, while executives are compensated for their work, they must run a campaign and be elected to the position by their student constituency first.

Students can consult the McGill Career Planning Service (CaPS) website for additional job opportunities on campus that are managed by the administration. The service has compiled several resources for job hunting, including a “CaPS Quick Guide to Building your Experience & Finding an On-Campus Job” that lists all the McGill departments that hire students and how to best contact them. 

What are the conditions for international students seeking jobs? 

If an international student wishes to work, they must have a valid study permit and a Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN). On campus, an international student is allowed to work an unlimited number of hours as long as they maintain their full-time status. Per Immigration Quebec, international students are only allowed to drop to part-time student status if they are in their final semester of studies. 

Off campus, international students are no longer capped at a 20-hour work week. From now until December 2023, all students who require a study permit can work an unlimited number of hours per week. The federal government removed the original 20-hour limit in response to the current labour shortage in Canada. There may be restrictions on the industries and sectors an international student is allowed to work in, and these are stipulated on their study permit. 

What are Work Study positions?

McGill’s Scholarships and Student Aid Office’s (SSAO) Work Study program has job openings for students based on financial need. To be eligible for the program, students must provide documentation that demonstrates financial need, be in satisfactory academic standing, and be receiving the maximum government aid for which they are eligible. Campus employers are incentivized to prioritize hiring Work Study students through a subsidy that the Quebec government helps fund.

International students are required to provide proof of sufficient financial means during the study permit application process, and thus are generally not eligible for Work Study at the start of their degree; newly admitted international undergraduate students who have been offered an Entrance Bursary by McGill are an exception. 

How much do on-campus jobs pay? 

Pay varies widely among campus jobs. If a position is unionized, the pay depends on the union’s collective agreement as established with McGill. Both the Association of McGill University Support Employees (AMUSE) and the Association of McGill University Research Employees (AMURE) pay above Quebec’s current minimum wage of $14.25 per hour.

What are the resources available to those who suspect that their labour rights are being violated?

The Legal Information Clinic at McGill (LICM), a student-run organization located in the University Centre, offers free legal information about employment and labour issues. Those looking to access the LICM services can fill out the form on their website. 

Some campus jobs, like Floor Fellow and Research Assistant positions, are unionized. In these cases, individuals can report to their union if they feel an employer is violating the standing collective agreement. 

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