Supervising Readers and Tutors - The Essentials


Academic student employees at the University of California are represented by the Association of Student Employees, a union affiliated with the United Auto Workers. At UCSC, the UAW represents Teaching Assistants, Associates-Ins, Teaching Fellows, Readers, and Tutors. The University is responsible for hiring and supervising Readers and Tutors in accordance with the union contract and UC policy.


Individuals hired as Readers and Tutors may be undergraduate students, graduate students, or non-students.

A Reader’s duties may include grading student work, including homework, papers, lab reports, and exams; attending lectures or labs; and meeting with the supervisor.  A Reader may not perform TA or Tutor duties.

A Tutor’s duties may include single student or group student tutoring sessions, attending lectures or labs, and meeting with the supervisor. Tutorial sessions may involve assisting students with understanding course concepts; exploring study strategies; developing writing and critical thinking skills through reviewing, commenting on and discussing homework and papers; and preparing for exams. A Tutor may not perform TA or Reader duties.

The union contract mandates specific procedures for appointment notification, including a written appointment letter and a description of required duties (see “Assignments” below). A range of hours is identified in this letter specifying a minimum and a maximum for the entire appointment.

NOTE:  If a graduate student appointed as a Reader or Tutor is hired at 25% time or more, or is assigned to work 110 hours or more in one quarter, in one or multiple appointments in academic student titles, eligibility for fee remission and health insurance premium remission is triggered. This eligibility does not extend to undergraduate students in Reader or Tutor titles, regardless of the hours assigned or their appointment percent time(s).


Readers and Tutors are compensated on an hourly basis. Readers and Tutors may not work more than 220 hours per quarter, more than 40 hours in any one week, or more than 8 hours in any one day. If a Reader or Tutor notifies you that they may exceed the maximum hours, you must discuss the work assignment in a timely manner and must modify the assignments or increase the maximum assigned hours. Modifying the assignment may include adjustments to expectations and/or mentoring/ advising on proper time management. Increasing the maximum hours must be discussed with your department as this involves additional budgetary resources; especially if the appointee is a graduate student – see NOTE above). Supervisors need to document steps taken to address workload concerns, complete a revised “Description of Duties” form (see below), if applicable, and inform the department of the workload issue.

Readers and tutors are paid for all assigned work, including required training or orientation sessions. Tutors are guaranteed pay for the entirety of any pre-scheduled tutoring session even if, for example, no students show up.


An important part of managing a Reader or Tutor’s workload is defining and discussing the expectations and the details of the job before the start of the appointment. A “Description of Duties” form may be attached to the appointment letter or provided by the department. This form details the assigned responsibilities of the job.  

Contact your department to obtain the “Description of Duties” form.


If a Reader or Tutor has accepted a formal written offer, and the position is no longer available, the individual must be transferred into an equivalent position or must be given equivalent compensation. Within the first 5 weeks of the quarter, a Reader or Tutor who becomes academically ineligible may be removed without pay from the appointment.  


Readers and Tutors may be eligible for paid and/or unpaid leaves of absences. Depending upon the type of leave, they may be required to submit documentation.

Refer leave requests and questions to your department or division.


Regular feedback and communication with your Readers and Tutors is encouraged. Supervisors may give employees a written assessment of their performance. Your academic division or department can advise you on the use of evaluations and can provide the proper template. Note: Readers and Tutors may be subject to disciplinary action or may be dismissed for just cause.  Please discuss any serious or ongoing performance or conduct problems with your department and/or with the Labor Relations Office, and contact the Labor Relations Office prior to imposing any discipline.


Labor Relations -

The Union Contract -

Academic Personnel Office -

University of California, Santa Cruz 2014-2015