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Clarifications on Teaching in 2021-2022

Dear members,

Following our June 18 update on bimodal teaching, several members have written to the APUO with questions and concerns. The purpose of this communication is to: 

  1. provide greater clarification regarding the COVID-19 Impact on 2021 Fall Course Development and Delivery Letter of Understanding (LOU); and 
  2. remind you of your rights as per the Collective Agreement regarding the assignment of teaching loads. 

Several members have informed the APUO that they had agreed to teach in-person courses, but their faculties have subsequently assigned them bimodal courses. Let there be no ambiguity, APUO members who opted to teach in-person did not consent to teaching in a bimodal format, and are under no obligation to provide such consent. The COVID-19 Impact on 2021 Fall Course Development and Delivery LOU confirms that while the Central Administration determines the mode of delivery of courses, those courses with a simultaneous combination of in-person and distance students within the same course component, or what the LOU labels ‘bimodal courses,’ require a member’s prior consent to be included in a Member’s workload. Put simply, your expressed willingness to teach in person does not equate to consenting to teach bimodally. APUO members who find themselves in this situation should inform both their Department Chair and Dean of this discrepancy as soon as possible to allow for the situation to be corrected.

No letter of understanding has yet been signed for the Winter 2022 session. Until such a letter is signed, article of the collective agreement applies. Article specifies that courses that are “taught in whole or in part over the Internet [which includes the bimodal format], may be included in a member’s teaching load only with the prior consent of the member and, if applicable, once any special arrangements that may be required have been agreed upon.

Furthermore, as per article, “a Member’s workload shall not be changed after May 1, unless the change is made clearly necessary by the circumstances. Such change is to be made as far in advance as possible and shall always be preceded by consultation with the Member concerned.”

To ensure the Collective Agreement and our COVID-19 Impact on 2021 Fall Course Development and Delivery LOU are respected, the APUO will be hosting a series of virtual Coffee Hours to answer members’ questions and to listen to your concerns regarding teaching in the Fall 2021 semester. Members will receive invitations to these coffee hours shortly.