COVID-19 Impact on Course Development and Delivery LOU renewal

Dear members,
 
We are pleased to inform you that yesterday, following a day of mediation with the Central Administration, the APUO was successful in renewing an amended version of the Letter of Understanding (LOU) COVID-19 Impact on Course Development and Delivery
 
We thank the Central Administration and Mediator William Kaplan for their participation in helping us reach this agreement. 
 
In this bulletin, we summarize the provisions of this LOU and highlight changes, as well as important and fast-approaching deadlines.
 
This LOU confirms that teaching for the Winter 2021 term will be remote or online, except for individual courses that necessitate in-person teaching. With this in mind, this LOU:

  • provides members with options: if a member believes that they are unable to carry out their teaching workload, or a portion thereof, due to the exceptional circumstances, the member shall inform their Dean in writing no later than November 16, at 5pm, and may request one of the following:
    • the member’s assigned Winter 2021 course credits will be reassigned in a regular term within the next three academic years; or
    • the member will be approved for a workload reduction, as referred to in Article 30 of the Collective Agreement, for the entire Winter 2021 term equivalent to 10% per three credit course they were scheduled to teach in the Winter 2021 term; or
    • the member will be approved for a leave of absence without pay, as referred to in Article 29.3 of the Collective Agreement, for the entire Winter 2021 term; or
    • any other exceptional measures deemed suitable and feasible by both the Dean and the member; 
  • provides members with the option of applying for help from a Teaching Assistant (TA) – up to a maximum of 32 hours – to support the development and delivery of online or remote teaching for the Winter 2021 term, no later than November 16, at 5 pm.
  • ensures that the APUO will be consulted on any changes that may affect members working conditions before a partial or full return to in-person teaching;
  • protects members’ academic freedom in choosing the most appropriate way of teaching remotely;
  • confirms that once again, members will be provided with support from the Teaching and Learning Support Service (TLSS) and from faculty personnel;
  • allows members who deliver a course online or remotely during the Winter 2021 term to decide if they will continue to exclusively teach remotely or online should the Central Administration decide that students may return to campus;
  • protects members ownership (copyright) of all materials developed for remote or online teaching;
  • provides members with the option of requesting a Canada Revenue Agency T2200 Form to support claims regarding expenses incurred to fulfill their duties remotely.

Unlike the LOU COVID-19 Impact on Course Development and Delivery in effect for the Fall 2020 semester, this renewal does not include an additional one-time lump sum of $1000 in members Professional Expenses Reimbursement (PER) funds.
 
Members can view the LOU in full here
 
For members opting for a workload reduction, we invite you to consult the following interpretation document which discusses impacts on members’ salary, and on progress-through-the-ranks (PTR). 
 
Here are other considerations to keep in mind should you choose to apply for a workload reduction:

  • Pension: As explained in article 30.4.2 of the APUO Collective Agreement, members who avail themselves of the course reduction option may choose to contribute to their pension on the basis of their regular salary and receive prorated credits for years of service. Alternatively, members may choose to contribute to their pension on the basis of their nominal salary and offset the difference in pension contribution for the workload reduction percentage for both the Employer and themselves, thereby reducing their net (take home) salary.
  • Academic leave: As stated in article 30.4.3(a) of the Collective Agreement, academic leave credits for a period of reduced workload shall be computed by the Dean, rounded to the nearest half (0.5) year. Members requesting one (1) or two (2) course reductions during the Winter 2021 term will still receive full academic leave credits. Your Dean should specify the exact number of academic leave credits you will gain in your reduced workload agreement. If you are unsure of the calculation, please feel free to contact the APUO

We are also taking this opportunity to remind all APUO members that they should be comfortable requesting any of the four options of workload reduction listed above without fear of reprisal. Both pre-tenured and tenured members have a right to fair and equitable working conditions that accommodate the challenges with which one must contend. It is important to note that neither your colleagues nor representatives of the Employer (including Deans) need to be made aware of the individual and private circumstances surrounding your request. If members have concerns regarding their request for a workload reduction, we encourage them to communicate with the APUO.

Support Staff Strike Updates

Dear members,
 
Since Monday, the Support Staff of the University of Ottawa (SSUO) have been striking against wage and benefit cuts, an orphan clause in their collective agreement, and continued vacancies in their bargaining unit. Contrary to what the Central Administration has been reporting, it has not proposed any compromises to the SSUO to facilitate ending the strike. The best way to pressure the Central Administration to propose a fair and equitable deal for the SSUO is to mobilize our University community’s support for our striking colleagues and friends. 
 
Here are some actions you can take to support their efforts:
 

  • We invite members to self-organize solidarity pickets with the SSUO. And, if you do arrange a solidarity picket, please let us know so that the APUO can relay the message to the SSUO and follow up with a list of picket locations. We also encourage you to take photos of your picket that the APUO can share on its social media platforms. Please note that, in accord with public health guidelines, picket lines are limited to a maximum of 25 people. If you have or are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, we ask that you not participate in a picket. If you have any doubts, we invite you to use the COVID-19 self-assessment tool
     
  • Because support staff are currently locked out of their university email accounts, we invite our members to send us short statements of support and solidarity for the SSUO. We will pass on your statements to the SSUO to be shared with our picketing colleagues to let them know we stand with them in their fight for a fair and equitable deal, and that we highly value them and their work.
     
  • We also invite members to express their support for the SSUO on social media by using the hashtags #FairDealNow4SSUO, #uOttawa, #Respect. There also are Facebook profile picture frames that you can find by typing “SSUO” in the Facebook frame search bar. 
     
  • Students are also having to contend with the consequences of the SSUO strike. We encourage members to take the time to explain to students how the SSUO strike may affect them, to discuss with them the immense contribution of our support staff to our University, and why a strike is necessary. Student support for the SSUO is crucial at this time. We’ve created short point-form notes to assist in informing your discussions with students.  
     
  • We cannot overemphasize the importance of members exercising their right to refuse to take on tasks usually undertaken by support staff during this strike. When APUO members undertake SSUO tasks, it diminishes the impact of the strike and eases the pressure on the Central Administration to give up its uncompromising position. The sooner this strike impacts the functioning of our institution, the more likely we are to see it end quickly. As a reminder, we invite you to consult the following bulletin for a description of support staff responsibilities that may directly impact your work or that you may be asked to take on.
     
  • If there are unfulfilled tasks usually completed by support staff that impact upon your ability to do your work, we encourage you to write to your Dean and to Jacques Frémont at president@uottawa.ca

 
Our continued solidarity and support for the SSUO are essential to quickly put an end to this strike. 

APUO Statement

Dear members, 
 
The APUO unequivocally apologizes for the communication sent to members last Friday. We should have consulted with our members broadly and, in particular, members of the BIPOC caucus who are directly affected by systemic racism on a regular basis. In neglecting to do so, we sent a communication that failed to acknowledge the complex relationship between academic freedom and the realities of systemic racism and, especially, the ways in which the former can contribute to the latter. We should have recognized this, particularly in the context of the global Black Lives Matter movement and the many incidents of racism on and off campus. This directly influences our working, pedagogical, and personal relationships here at the University of Ottawa. We are firmly committed to moving forward on this issue and doing the hard work to be better allies to BIPOC communities.
 
We condemn in the strongest possible terms the bullying, cyber-bullying, doxxing, discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and threats to which members of our community have been subjected. These actions have absolutely no place at our University. They serve only to steer us away from one another and from our common objective of establishing a safe environment in which to exchange and share knowledge. Any member finding themselves in such a situation can count on the APUO’s full support. At a time in which our community is under immense pressure having to contend with the Covid-19 pandemic, the SSUO strike, and a series of racist incidents on campus,[1] we must not lose sight of the fact we are all part of this university community. The APUO asks for respect and support among members, our students, our SSUO colleagues, and every member of the uOttawa community. 
 
The APUO will continue to vigorously defend the rights of all of its members as outlined in our collective agreement, including academic freedom. This said, in the defence of one principle, like academic freedom, we cannot abandon our objective of addressing systemic racism and ensuring a respectful, safe, and equitable university community for all. It is incumbent on all of us to examine the structures that contribute to systemic racism. We hope to work with all of you in addressing the current challenges we are facing as professors and librarians.
 
As your Union Executive, we can and must do better. The APUO will follow up on this message.
 

 
[1] The APUO is very troubled to have learned through a statement issued Monday night by our University that another racist incident has taken place on our campus this week. This incident is but one of many brought to the attention of members within the last year by the APUO.

Support Staff Strike on Monday

Dear members,
 
Yesterday, we provided an update on the state of collective bargaining between the Support Staff of the University of Ottawa (SSUO) and the Central Administration. Both parties participated in a mediation which, unfortunately, did not result in a tentative agreement.  Our fellow 1,300 support staff friends and colleagues will be going out on strike as of the morning of Monday, October 19 unless a settlement is reached between now and then.  At this time, however, no new negotiation dates are scheduled between the two parties. Put simply, APUO members should be prepared for work disruptions next week. 
 
President Frémont, vice-president Bourgeois, and Provost and vice-president Scott’s disrespect of the SSUO’s massive strike vote last fall, and of the support staff’s equally overwhelming rejection of the Final Offer they tabled last June is set to have grave consequences on the quality of the student experience as of next week. Like APUO members, our support staff friends and colleagues have gone above and beyond in fending off the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Central Administration’s attempts to capitalize on an already difficult context to bully support staff into accepting wage and benefit cuts, an orphan clause, and continued vacancies in their bargaining unit marks a low point in our University’s history. 
 
The Central Administration’s uncompromising stance does not bode well for the APUO’s upcoming collective bargaining which is set to begin in a few months. Inter-union solidarity has seldom been more important than this year. 
 
In the event of a work disturbance, the Central Administration may call upon you to take on tasks usually conducted by the Support Staff. In solidarity with our SSUO colleagues, we urge APUO members to exercise their right to refuse taking on any support staff tasks during any work disturbance. We also encourage you to pass on any work requests usually undertaken by support staff to your Dean’s Office, and to the President and Vice-Presidents’ Offices.  
 
As a reminder, here are some activities for which support staff are responsible:

  • supervising and managing the affairs and committees of academic units;
  • at the undergraduate level, support staff provide support to numerous academic activities, for example, by posting and confirming grades, scheduling courses and exams, fulfilling professors’ work-related requests, following up on student appeals, overseeing course evaluations, sending exams to print, and working VENTUS;
  • at the graduate level, support staff assist professors with the administrative aspects of admissions files, registrations, graduate supervision, thesis defences, and the distribution of internal and external scholarships;
  • at the Library, support staff ensure e-journals and research databases are functioning properly;
  • support staff also act as laboratory coordinators in some faculties, running laboratory components, delivering lectures, overseeing procurement, and serving on committees;
  • support staff assist APUO members in pedagogical design for curriculum for online courses;
  • for our University’s finances, support staff review, process, and approve all University invoices, journal entries, and therefore control the release of payments for APUO members’ expenses. 

The APUO is in close communication with the SSUO. We will continue to keep you informed of developments and the support that can be provided to our support staff colleagues.

Update on SSUO Collective Bargaining

Dear members,
 
We write today with an update regarding the ongoing negotiations between the Support Staff of the University of Ottawa (SSUO) and the Central Administration. As reported in our September 14 bulletin, the last time the two parties met, very little progress was made toward reaching an agreement that is fair and equitable for support staff. The Central Administration returned to the table with an offer that was “virtually indistinguishable” from the final offer 80% of SSUO members voted to reject in June. 
 
On October 15, the SSUO will participate in a mediation session with the Central Administration. Given that the Ontario Labour Board has already issued a “no board report,” the parties are in a legal strike / lock out position. As such, APUO members need to be prepared for the real possibility of a work disturbance that would directly impact APUO members and, potentially, bring many of our institution’s activities to a halt.
 
In the event of a work disturbance, the Central Administration may call upon you to take on tasks usually conducted by the Support Staff. In solidarity with our SSUO colleagues, we urge APUO members to exercise their right to refuse taking on any support staff tasks during any work disturbance.
 
Here are some activities for which support staff are responsible:
 

  • supervising and managing the affairs and committees of academic units;
  • at the undergraduate level, support staff provide support to numerous academic activities, for example, by posting and confirming grades, scheduling courses and exams, fulfilling professors’ work-related requests, following up on student appeals, overseeing course evaluations, sending exams to print, and working VENTUS;
  • at the graduate level, support staff assist professors with the administrative aspects of admissions files, registrations, graduate supervision, thesis defences, and the distribution of internal and external scholarships;
  • at the Library, support staff ensure e-journals and research databases are functioning properly;
  • support staff also act as laboratory coordinators in some faculties, running laboratory components, delivering lectures, overseeing procurement, and serving on committees;
  • support staff assist APUO members in pedagogical design for curriculum for online courses;
  • for our University’s finances, support staff review, process, and approve all University invoices, journal entries, and therefore control the release of payments for APUO members’ expenses. 

 
In addition to the above tasks, support staff also oversee many other operational facets of our University that directly impact upon student experience.
 
To date, the Central Administration’s approach to collective bargaining with the SSUO has been uncompromising. As noted in our December 2019 bulletin, the record-breaking 2018-2019 financial surplus of $91.8 million is equivalent to the total salary mass of SSUO members. On October 6, President Frémont announced that the University is reporting a surplus amounting to $36 million for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.  In fact, during the last thirteen years the University has accumulated more than half a billion dollars of cumulative surplus ($ 557.26 million dollars precisely), which in part represents services not rendered to the university community. 
 
The Central Administration’s refusal to deliver a fair and equitable deal points to a notable undervaluing of the contributions of SSUO members to the success of our University. Furthermore, APUO member workloads grow in tandem with the Central Administration’s position and its continued delays in filling the more than one hundred vacant support staff positions. As such, we invite APUO members to make it clear to their Deans that they will not take on support staff members’ tasks should there be a work action or lock out. 
 
The APUO will provide more updates regarding a potential strike or lock-out in the coming days. 
 

Update COVID-19 LOUs and SSUO bargaining update

Dear members,
 
As this most unusual academic year gets underway, we share in everyone’s hope that the return of classes proceeds as smoothly as possible in the face of the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
During the last two weeks, several issues have arisen regarding the interpretation and the renewal of some of the Letters of Understanding (LOU) signed between April and June. In this communication, we provide a brief update about these issues and about the Support Staff’s (SSUO) ongoing negotiations with the Central Administration.
 
Letters of Understanding
 
Student Evaluations of Teaching
 
In April, the APUO and the Central Administration signed a LOU on student evaluations of teaching specifically addressing the use of A-reports in career recommendations and decisions. Recognizing the exceptional circumstances under which teaching had to be delivered in the 2020 Winter and Spring/Summer terms, both parties agreed that for this particular period, “the Employer will not produce an A-report (as referred to in Article 24.3.2. 1 (a) of the Collective Agreement) but shall provide to Members only a report containing the results of the student responses to all of the questions in the questionnaire and the student comments (known as the “P-report”).” Put simply, members have the option of including in their tenure and promotion applications data from their P-reports for these two terms (which includes the students’ responses to the three questions usually found in A-reports). However, members are under no obligation to do so.
 
As of late August, the Central Administration has declined the APUO’s request to renew the student evaluations of teaching LOU for the Fall semester. We will be meeting with the Central Administration in the coming days to discuss this refusal and its heightened equity implications within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.[1] We will keep you informed as soon as there are new developments.  
 
The use of PER funds to hire a Research Assistant
 
Following confirmation from a representative of the Central Administration, in July, the APUO informed members that under the terms of the COVID-19 Impact on Course Development and Delivery LOU they had the option of hiring a Research Assistant (RA) using their Professional Expenses Reimbursement (PER) fund. Recently, the Central Administration informed us there had been a misunderstanding in our exchanges, and that their interpretation of the LOU does not allow members to hire RAs to support the development and delivery of online or remote teaching. The APUO disagrees with this interpretation and has filed an association grievance. We will keep you informed of any developments.
 
Academic and Professional Leaves
 
In May, the APUO informed members that it had signed a LOU for members on or who were about to begin an academic or professional leave. Shortly after this LOU was signed, several members communicated with the APUO about significant discrepancies in its interpretation and application across Faculties. This approach is contrary to our efforts to create fair and equitable working conditions for all members and highlights the importance of establishing a collective operational framework for our work amid the pandemic. We have filed an association grievance regarding this matter as well. We have also asked for mediation with William Kaplan, who helped the parties to reach agreement on and sign two letters of understanding on June 30.
 
We thank members for their continued support throughout the negotiating of seven LOUs since March. We remain committed both to protecting your interests and rights, and to ensuring this academic year is as enriching as possible for our students. 
 
Should you require assistance or have any questions, please do not hesitate to communicate with the APUO. 
 
Support Staff (SSUO) Collective Bargaining
 
In June, we informed members that our support staff colleagues massively rejected the Central Administration’s final offer in a one-time vote conducted by the Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development. 
 
On August 31, following a request from the SSUO, the Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development issued a No Board Report putting our support staff colleagues in a legal strike position, and the Central Administration in a position to impose a lock-out as of September 17.
 
Last Friday, the SSUO and the Central Administration participated in their first negotiation meeting since the June final offer vote. According to an update sent by the SSUO this morning, the offer presented by the Central Administration was “virtually indistinguishable” from the final offer rejected by support staff in June. The two parties will meet again today. 
 
The APUO stands in solidarity with the SSUO and its members, and we wish them success in reaching a fair deal. We call on the Central Administration to respect the support staff members, as well as the decisive mandate with which the SSUO is bargaining.  
 
For a summary of the outstanding issues between the SSUO and the Central Administration, we invite you to read our June 8 bulletin

 
[1] Please see our December 2018 bulletin Student Evaluation of Teaching: the Kaplan Arbitration Ruling for more information about the limits of Student Evaluations of Teaching and the inequities they perpetuate. 

Scholar Strike

Dear members,
 
The APUO joins the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) and other faculty associations across Ontario and the rest of Turtle Island who condemn institutional racism and police brutality, and who are participating in the Scholar Strike for racial justice on September 9 and 10. 
 
While APUO members are not in a position to legally strike, where possible, we encourage members to join the public digital teach-ins offered in the context of this action and to advertise the #ScholarStrike to students and colleagues. Please consult the programme schedule for more information. We also call on the Central Administration not to penalize campus workers and students who choose to participate in this important action. 
 
In the context of the #ScholarStrike, we also invite members to read the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee’s (EDIC) 2020 Report: Hiring and Retention of Black Faculty at the University of Ottawa: Recommendations for Change, and to discuss it with colleagues and students. The APUO fully supports the five recommendations it sets out. These recommendations constitute an important first step in creating a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive university community, and we are fully committed to seeing them implemented. To this end, as we review our Collective Agreement in the coming months, we will be working to identify additional means to further advance the report’s objectives.
 
The APUO remains steadfast in its condemnation of the institutionalized and systemic racism present on our campus. We once again urge the Central Administration to implement the ten demands of the APUO BIPOC Caucus in response to the racial profiling, carding, and harassment of Black students on campus. The Central Administration’s delay in implementing these demands has, among other things, served to embolden some Protection Services Officers to promote the “Blue Lives Matter” campaign, thereby further poisoning the climate of our campus for Black, Indigenous and racialized students and workers. Our University community has a responsibility to reflect upon, and deconstruct, structures that uphold systemic racism and prevent our campus from being a safe and inclusive environment for Black, Indigenous, and racialized workers and students. We urge the Central Administration to break its silence by standing with the APUO in publicly condemning any and all actions that perpetuate anti-Black racism and all forms of racial discrimination. 

July 31 Bulletin

Dear members, 
 
As per the recently signed letter of understanding (LOU) COVID-19 Impact on Course Development and Delivery, an additional one-time lump sum of $1,000 should have been deposited in members’ Professional Expenses Reimbursement (PER) account by July 31, 2020, to facilitate the acquisition of equipment and services necessary for preparing and delivering remote and online teaching in the 2020 Fall term. 
 
This email message serves as a friendly reminder that you may use this funding to hire a Research Assistant in accordance with the procedures set out in Articles 18 and 32 of the CUPE 2626 Collective Agreement and that this opportunity also applies to members conducting research during their academic leave. To this end, please note that the same procedures used to hire Research Assistants in any other circumstance apply when doing so within the context of the LOU COVID-19 Impact on Course Development and Delivery. We therefore encourage members to communicate with their respective academic units to inquire about the steps to follow to create a job posting for a Research Assistant position. 
 
Inter-union campaign against larger class sizes
 
Several APUO and APTPUO members have noted a significant increase in the enrollment numbers of their assigned courses for the Fall term. In response to the Central Administration’s decision to increase class sizes in tandem with the shift to the remote and online delivery of courses in the Fall term, the Inter-union Coalition of the University of Ottawa recently sent a letter to President Jacques Frémont outlining its concerns with this decision. You can view the letter here.
 
Under the terms of the APTPUO’s Collective Agreement, there is no provision regarding workload assignments that prevent significant increases in class sizes for our part-time colleagues. As contractual employees, part-time professors must contend with the stark choice of either accepting courses (often on short notice) with increased enrollments or forfeiting work. 

Update: COVID-19 Impact on Course Development and Delivery

Dear members,
 
Soon after signing the Letter of Understanding (LOU) COVID-19 Impact on Course Development and Delivery, the Central Administration and the APUO identified differences in how each party was interpreting Section 8 (Workload Reduction) of this document. As a result, the parties agreed to meet and, with the assistance again of Mediator William Kaplan, resolved these issues.

The APUO thanks Mediator Kaplan and the Central Administration for making themselves available and helping to resolve the issues. 

The purpose of this communication is to update you about the clarifications brought to the application of Section 8 of the LOU, and the possibility of using Professional Expenses Reimbursements (PER) funds to hire a research assistant to help with the preparation and delivery of distance or online courses.    

This LOU confirms, among other things, that teaching for the Fall 2020 term will be done remotely or online, with the exception of a few courses that necessitate in-person teaching. 

The deadline for Members to apply for a workload reduction using Section 8 of the LOU is July 31, 2020. 
  
Section 8 of the LOU (Workload Reduction)
 
As per Section 8 of the LOU:

If a Member does not consent to teaching remotely or online by reason of being unable to carry out their teaching workload, or a portion thereof, due to the exceptional circumstances, the Member shall inform their Dean in writing within twenty (20) working days (by July 31) following the effective date of this Letter of Understanding and may request that the Dean apply one (1) of the following four options:

a. Members can request that some or all of their courses for the Fall 2020 term be reassigned to a regular term in the next three academic years. Clarification: The fact that the LOU ends on April 29, 2021 does not invalidate this option. Members may request that some or all of their assigned courses be reassigned to a later term at any point within the next three academic years. To this end, we suggest clearly specifying to which future term(s) you would like the course(s) to be reassigned in your request to your Dean.
b. Members will be approved for a workload reduction as referred to in Article 30 of the Collective Agreementfor the Fall 2020 term, equivalent to 10% of their annual salary per three (3) credit course they were scheduled to teach in that semester. Clarification: A member may request a workload reduction for as many courses as are assigned in the Fall 2020 term (1 course = 10% workload reduction; 2 courses = 20% workload reduction; etc.).
c. Members may request and be approved for a leave of absence without pay, as referred to in Article 29.3 of the Collective Agreement, for the entire Fall 2020 term.  
d. Any other exceptional measure deemed suitable and feasible by both the Dean and the Member.  

For those electing for the above option ‘b’, some additional considerations to inform your decision include:

  • Salary: the first impact of option ‘b’ is a proportional reduction in annual salary. If you choose a 10% workload reduction (i.e., 1 course), your gross (prior to taxes and deductions) annual salary will be reduced by 10% for an entire year, from September 1, 2020, to August 31, 2021. Aside from the obvious impact on your net (take home) salary, you also should consider the impact on your pension.
  • Pension: As explained in article 30.4.2 of the APUO Collective Agreement, members who avail themselves of the course reduction option may choose to contribute to their pension on the basis of their regular salary and receive prorated credits for years of service. Alternatively, members may choose to contribute to their pension on the basis of their nominal salary and offset the difference in pension contribution for the workload reduction percentage for both the Employer and themselves, thereby reducing their net (take home) salary.
  • Academic leave: As stated in article 30.4.3(a) of the Collective Agreement, academic leave credits for a period of reduced workload shall be computed by the Dean, rounded to the nearest half (0.5) year. Members requesting one (1) or two (2) course reductions during the 2020 Fall term will still receive full academic leave credits. Your Dean should specify the exact number of academic leave credits you will gain in your reduced workload agreement. If you are unsure of the calculation, please feel free to contact the APUO
  • Progress-Thru-the-Ranks (PTR): As stated in article 30.4.3(b) of the Collective Agreement, each year of service during the reduced workload shall be considered as a portion of a year of university-level experience equal to the portion of a full workload. Given that the salary reduction partially overlaps over two (2) academic years, you should ask your Dean to specify the exact impact on your next two (2) PTR increases. Again, if you are unsure of the calculation, please feel free to contact the APUO.

We are also taking this opportunity to remind all APUO members that they should be comfortable requesting any of the four options listed above without fear of reprisal. Both pre-tenured and tenured members have a right to fair and equitable working conditions that accommodate the challenges with which one must contend. It is important to note that neither your colleagues nor representatives of the Employer (including Deans) need to be made aware of the individual and private circumstances surrounding your request. If Members have concerns regarding their request for a workload reduction, we encourage them to communicate with the APUO

Professional Expenses Reimbursement and Research Assistants

As per the LOU, members will receive an additional one-time lump sum of $1,000 to their Professional Expenses Reimbursement (PER) account to facilitate the acquisition of equipment and services necessary for the preparation and delivery of online or remote teaching in the 2020 Fall term. This includes hiring a research assistant in accord with the procedures set out in  Article 18 and Article 32 of the CUPE 2626 Collective Agreement. This additional PER and the possibility of hiring a Research Assistant also applies to members conducting research during their academic leave.

Update: Letters of Understanding – COVID-19

Dear members,
 
We are pleased to inform you that on June 30, following an intensive day of mediation with the Central Administration, the parties agreed to two more letters of understanding (LOUs): COVID-19 Performance Assessment of Members and COVID-19 Impact on Course Development and Delivery.
 
Firstly, we must express our sincere gratitude to you, our Members, for your continued support and especially the support you provided during the negotiation of these LOUs. Our success is directly linked to your ongoing mobilization, your participation in the various surveys we sent over the last few weeks, and your vocal support of your Association.  
 
We also want to thank the Central Administration. Successful negotiations require work from both parties. The APUO will continue to work with the Central Administration to identify creative solutions to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on members’ work and to preserve the quality of education. 
 
Here is a summary of the LOUs: 
 
COVID-19 Performance Assessment of Members
 
The Employer must consider information included by Members in their annual reports, contract renewal applications, promotion, tenure, and continuing appointment applications, and academic and professional leaves applications indicating how the exceptional circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic detrimentally impacted their teaching/professional activities, scholarly activities and/or academic/administrative service activities. “This information will not unreasonably affect the outcome of performance evaluations and career recommendations and decision processes under the collective agreement.” 
 
Members can view the LOU in full here
 
COVID-19 Impact on Course Development and Delivery
 
This LOU confirms that teaching for the Fall 2020 semester will be remote or online, except for individual courses that the University believes necessitate in-person teaching. With this in mind, this LOU:
 

  • ensures that the APUO will be consulted on any changes that may affect members’ working conditions before a partial or full return to in-person teaching;
  • protects Members’ academic freedom in choosing the most appropriate way of teaching remotely;
  • confirms that Members will be provided with support from the Teaching and Learning Support Service (TLSS) and from faculty personnel;
  • allows Members who start to deliver a distance learning course to decide if they continue to deliver it exclusively in a distance learning mode even if the Central Administration decides that students may return to campus;
  • protects members’ ownership (copyright) of all materials developed for remote or online teaching;
  • provides Members with options; if a Member believes that they are unable to carry out their teaching workload, or a portion thereof, due to the exceptional circumstances, the Member shall inform their Dean in writing twenty (20) working days following the effective date of this Letter of Understanding and may request that the Dean apply one (1) of the following:  
    • the Member’s assigned 2020 Fall term course credits will be reassigned in a regular term within the next three (3) academic years; or
    • the Member will be approved for a workload reduction, as referred to in Article 30 of the Collective Agreement, for the entire 2020 Fall term equivalent to 10% per three (3) credit course they were scheduled to teach in the 2020 Fall term; or
    • the Member will be approved for a leave of absence without pay, as referred to in Article 29.3 of the Collective Agreement, for the entire 2020 Fall term; or
    • any other exceptional measure deemed suitable and feasible by both the Dean and the Member.
  • increases Professional Expenses Reimbursement (PER) funds with a one-time lump sum of one thousand dollars ($1,000) to facilitate the acquisition of equipment and services necessary for course development and delivery;
  • provides Members with the option of requesting a Canada Revenue Agency T2200 Form to support claims regarding expenses incurred to fulfill their duties remotely. 

 
Members can view the LOU in full here
 
These, and the LOUs that we have previously signed, can be renewed should the exceptional circumstances surrounding the pandemic continue beyond the Fall semester. Should you have any questions regarding these LOUs, or require assistance in exercising your rights, do not hesitate to contact the APUO. In particular, should you believe that you are unable to carry out part or all of your teaching workload, we strongly suggest reaching out to the APUO.