COVID-19 LOU – Background
For the past year, COVID-19 has shaped and defined both our work and personal lives. The move to remote teaching and the constantly changing public health directives and restrictions have presented challenges to all Faculty. The concurrent closure of day cares and schools placed an additional burden on Faculty with caregiving responsibilities, posing a real threat to the mental health and well-being of those Members. Concerns have also been raised about the impact of the pandemic on the ability of Members to meet the research, teaching and service criteria necessary to ensure success in future personnel processes.
These issues were both anticipated, raised and addressed by QUFA early in the pandemic. An expedited process was negotiated to address requests for family status accommodation in a timely and effective way. Additional teaching and technical supports were made available to all Members. Evaluations of teaching performance by students in the Winter of 2020 were suspended, and faculty were assured that no Member would be penalized or prejudiced in future personnel processes for the absence of any student data. Other considerations were negotiated with a view toward ensuring flexibility and consideration of the impact of COVID 19 in any future personnel processes, to ensure that no Member would be penalized with respect to factors outside of their control. (The full text of the COVID LOU signed May, 2020, can be accessed below. INSERT Link to full TEXT OF SCHEDULE “D”
Know Your Rights: Deferral to Tenure
As the pandemic continues, the real costs on the emotional and professional well-being of Faculty are slowly presenting themselves. As we look ahead with hope and optimism to a return to stability in the 2021-2022 Academic year, I encourage you to make an honest assessment of your own health and the impact if any that COVID-19 has had on your teaching, research and or service obligations.
QUFA has negotiated options to mitigate some of the impact of COVID-19 for pre-tenure Faculty. In particular, pre-tenure Members may ask for a one-year deferral due to the impact of the pandemic on their work. The deadline for submitting the request is April 15 and QUFA is holding a workshop on this topic on March 2 (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the zoom link).
It is important to know that if you don’t exercise the option to defer, QUFA will not be able to make submissions on your behalf on the impact of COVID-19 as a mitigating factor later on should your application for renewal or tenure be denied. For more information, I encourage you to attend the March 2nd workshop.
GRIEVANCE UPDATE – FEBRUARY 17, 2021 – REPORT ON MERIT WORKSHOP GRIEVANCE
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL HEADS WHO ATTENDED THE MERIT WORKSHOPS HELD ON JANUARY 13 AND 14, 2021.
Following the Merit Workshops held on January 13 and 14th, the Association filed a grievance, alleging that some of the guidance provided to the Heads was in violation of the Collective Agreement. The parties met on January 16th and were able to resolve the matter with the assistance of an appointed Mediator. Please note the following key points:
(1) a voluntary workshop will be held on Friday February 19, 2021. The purpose of the workshop is to provide clear communication about the Merit Process and the role of Heads;
(2) if you cannot attend the February 19 meeting, you will receive an email from Vice-Dean Gordon Smith reminding you of the relevant provisions of the Collective Agreement to be applied in the process.
NEW INFORMATION FOR MEMBERS BEING ASSESSED FOR MERIT AWARD
The parties have agreed to the following new step in the assessment process.
“If the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science adjusts a member’s merit score in any of teaching, research, and service, the Faculty of Arts and Science will record such changes in the member’s Official File, and it will instruct the unit Head to inform the member of the change and the rationale for the change. If the Member elects, they may write a response to the changed scores, which will be appended to the signed appraisal form for inclusion in the Official File.”
Note that the right to comment is optional, and that the comments do not constitute a right of appeal, but rather, a right for you to put your comments on the record for future reference if needed.
As always, please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or comments.
QUFA Grievance Officer