Many Members are unaware that they have both a Human Resources file and an Official File.
The file held in Human Resources is your personnel file containing information about your employee benefits, salary calculations, and other things like that. Your Official File contains “[a]ll documents and materials in the possession of the University that relate to the employment status of or the evaluation of” a Member. There is a whole Collective Agreement article dedicated to the Official File, Article 34.
The Official File is located in the academic unit head’s office, which means both the dean and the head in departmentalized faculties. If it is in two offices, then the files might be identical or there might be some variation: the Official File is defined as the totality of the two files. Items that will be stored in the Official File should be formally copied to it but practice in this regard is uneven across campus. The File is confidential, so you may see a log of who has had access to it outside of those who routinely have access to it for reasons stated in Article 34.
You have access to your Official File and may review it during normal business hours. You may request a copy of all or some of it on a cost recovery basis. In the year you are preparing a Renewal, Tenure, Promotion, or Continuing application, however, you may request a complete copy free of charge.
It is worthwhile reviewing your Official File periodically to make sure it contains only those documents that are allowed per Article 34. I point you to a Grievance Corner by Leslie Jermyn in the July 2017 QUFA Voices about discipline-related letters in your Official File. There is a process for removing documents that should not be in the File, but you will not know they are there if you do not look. If you have looked and are unsure whether something ought to be in your File, please contact QUFA for guidance.
A new feature on the Grievance webpage (https://www.qufa.ca/member-services/main/grievances/), we are now posting Association grievances that involve a group or the whole bargaining unit. You will find these above the link for arbitrations.
January 24, 2018
Ramneek Pooni can be reached at email@example.com