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December Bulletin

Table of Contents

  • Workload – Unconventional Methods of Teaching
  • Final Report of the APUO Ad Hoc Committee on Fighting Anti-Semitism and on Creating a Safer and More Inclusive Campus for Jewish Members of the University
  • Ontario Government’s Wage Cap Legislation Declared Unconstitutional
  • The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) 6th Equity Conference, February 10-11, 2023
  • CAUT Survey – State of the Post-Secondary Academic Profession
  • APUO Office Closure for Winter Break

1) Workload – Unconventional Methods of Teaching

Members may recall our Teaching in the Winter 2022 Term bulletin addressing the Employer’s refusal to sign any Letters of Understanding for the Winter 2022 Term, and which informed members about an association grievance filed by the APUO regarding the Employer’s violation of members’ right to consent to unconventional teaching methods as per Article 22 of the Collective Agreement (CA).

Our grievance was successful, with the Employer acknowledging that Article 22.2.3 of the CA establishes that a member’s consent must be obtained before courses requiring unconventional methods, including bimodal teaching formats, are included in their workload. Put simply, all members must give their individual consent for each course the Employer wishes them to teach using an unconventional method. Without proof of this consent, the Employer cannot require members to teach a course using an unconventional format. This includes distance, bimodal, and hybrid formats.

The Employer also agreed to send a reminder to the Deans of all Faculties to ensure they obtain consent from members prior to including courses that call for unconventional teaching methods in their workloads, and to suggest they identify the teaching modality (e.g., in person, hybrid, online or bimodal) of courses prior to members’ making their course selections.

With this in mind, and with the assignment of teaching workloads for 2023-2024 on the horizon, the APUO reminds members of their rights as per Article 22 of the Collective Agreement.

Article specifies:

“courses which:
are taught by correspondence or at off-campus locations, or
b. are videotaped, recorded, broadcast or televised, or
c. call for unconventional methods such as teleconference teaching,
d. delivered entirely or partially via the Internet,

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.”

It is equally important that you be aware of the other rights afforded by Article 22:

Distribution of teaching duties

Article states: “A Faculty Member’s scheduled teaching duties shall be distributed over two (2) of the three (3) terms of an academic year, it being understood that:

a) the above provisions may be set aside with the prior consent of the Member concerned;

d) where a Member’s Dean requests that the Member accept the spring/summer term as one of the two
(2) terms comprising scheduled teaching duties, the Member shall not unreasonably refuse.”

Furthermore, as per Article“As far as possible, the Employer shall not — unless the Member agrees otherwise — include in the Member’s workload more than one (1) course per term finishing after 7 p.m., it being understood that more than one (1) course will not be included without prior consultation with the Member, and unless justified by reasons related to the nature of the student clientele.”

Modifications to your workload assignment

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.”

Workload disputes and changes

If you wish to dispute your workload, you may activate the FWRC process detailed in Article This article specifies that: 

“When a disagreement exists concerning a Member’s workload assignment, the Member shall inform the Dean, within ten (10) working days of receipt of the assignment…, by sending a letter of disagreement.”

Student requests to have in-person sessions recorded and made available online

The APUO is aware of the growing number of demands from students to have in-person class sessions recorded and made available online. Please be advised that, with the exception of formal accommodation requests issued through SASS, the choice of what to make accessible, and how, is entirely at your discretion. 

If you are considering disputing your workload assignment or have questions about teaching obligations, do not hesitate to communicate with the APUO.

2) Final Report of the APUO Ad Hoc Committee on Fighting Anti-Semitism and on Creating a Safer and More Inclusive Campus for Jewish Members of the University

The APUO’s Ad Hoc Committee on Fighting Anti-Semitism and on Creating a Safer and More Inclusive Campus for Jewish Members of the University was created at a June 2021 special meeting of the Board of Directors. The Committee was tasked with:

  1. consulting Jewish members of the university community;
  2. conducting a scan of best practices at other Canadian postsecondary institutions; and
  3. preparing a report identifying key areas where the APUO can collaborate with other unions and campus associations, and the Central Administration to foster a more equitable and inclusive working and learning environment for Jewish students and university personnel.

The Ad Hoc Committee Final Report has been submitted to, and accepted by, the Executive Committee. Members can read the full report here.

3) Ontario Governement’s Wage Cap Legislation Declared Unconstitutional

Bill 124 – Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019, was sweeping legislation that imposed a wage cap on public sector workers thereby undermining collective bargaining rights. For APUO members, the Bill’s restricting of public sector salary increases to a 1% increase per year for three years was a clear constraint on the APUO’s bargaining powers during the negotiating of the current Collective Agreement (April 2021 to April 2024). 

Upon its enactment, a coalition of some 40 public sector unions and labour organizations, including the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) (a provincial labour organization of which the APUO is a member) and the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL), launched a coordinated Charter challenge to dispute the Bill’s legality. On November 29, 2022, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice declared Bill 124 unconstitutional. OCUFA’s full statement about this victory is available here.

The provincial government has 30 days to appeal the decision and has indicated it plans to do so. The Ontario Federation of Labour has launched a ‘Repeal, not Appeal’ online letter-writing campaign urging the government not to appeal the Court’s decision. For further information about, and to participate in, this campaign visit: (Please be advised that the OFL’s website is only available in English)

4) Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) 6th Equity Conference

The APUO supports the 6th Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Equity Conference that will take place in Ottawa, and online, February 10-11, 2023 and will cover the registration costs and expenses for up to eight APUO members who wish to attend. These conference participants will be expected to engage in both days of the conference, to subsequently meet with members of the APUO Executive to discuss ways to further the union’s equity-related initiatives, and to provide receipts for costs incurred.

For more information about the conference, interested members can consult the preliminary agenda here.

We invite those who wish to participate in the conference to send a 150 to 200-word statement of motivation to no later than January 25, 2023. 

5) CAUT Survey – State of the Post-Secondary Academic Profession

CAUT is launching an inaugural State of the Post-Secondary Academic Profession Survey. This online survey, which requires less than 10 minutes to complete, is collecting information about the issues facing, and needs of, post-secondary academic staff across Canada.

The survey focuses on:

  • attitudes towards the PSE sector;
  • attitudes towards PSE workplaces;
  • employment conditions; and
  • work activities.

The data gathered from this exercise will assist CAUT and its member associations in their advocacy to protect the quality and accessibility of post-secondary education across the country. 

As a CAUT member association, the APUO encourages members to complete the survey. The deadline for completion is January 16th, 2023.

6) APUO Office Closure for Holidays

The APUO office will be closed from Thursday, December 22, to Tuesday, January 3, inclusive. The office will reopen with our regular 8:30 am to 4:30 pm hours on Wednesday, January 4, 2023. 

The APUO Executive and staff wish all members a happy and safe Winter Break and holiday season!