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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.