We write to you today to share a letter that the APUO President has sent to the Provost and Vice-President, Academic Affairs regarding the 2020-2021 workload Addendum sent to APUO members by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts. We understand that APUO members in other faculties have also received similar communications.
The APUO forcefully rejects this unilateral approach, especially as we have been making repeated attempts to cooperate with the Central Administration to identify the best course of action for the coming weeks and months in the form of letters of understandings (LOUs).
We know that the quality of teaching and the student experience are intimately linked to the working conditions of professors. Our working conditions have a direct impact on our students’ learning conditions. This is especially true in a context as difficult as the one we are facing. It is urgent and imperative that the Central Administration work with the APUO to determine an appropriate, fair, and effective general framework for the delivery of courses for the 2020-2021 academic year.
In the event that the Central Administration keeps delaying the signature of a formal agreement with the APUO, it is our responsibility to inform members of their rights regarding changes to their workload assignments after May 1.
Some key points we wish to highlight are:
- Deans must provide members with their official workload assignments prior to May 1.
- The addendum sent by the Dean of Arts – or any similar communication – does not officially modify your workload assignment. It is simply an announcement of possible changes to come.
- After May 1, Deans must consult members prior to modifying their workload assignments.
- Changing the teaching format of a course from in-class to a class taught via an unconventional method (remote, teleconference, online) qualifies as a modification to a workload assignment.
- Members should be provided with an opportunity to express their views regarding any suggested changes to their teaching load. Following this consultation process, the Dean may send an updated workload assignment to the member.
- Courses taught via unconventional methods may be included in a member’s workload only with their prior consent.
- The Employer must provide members with the necessary IT support and technological resources if a member agrees to teach a course using unconventional methods.
- If members disagree with their updated workload assignment, they have ten working days to file a letter of disagreement. Should you feel the need to file a letter of disagreement, we encourage you to do so in consultation with the APUO.
Should you have any other questions or concerns regarding your workload letters, do not hesitate to communicate with the APUO.