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Important Information for the Winter 2022 Term

Table of Contents

  • LOUs for the Winter 2022 Term
  • Bimodal Teaching for the Winter 2022 Term
  • Reminder re: Article 28 – Vacation Leave, Holidays, Availability and Authorized Absences
  • Extra TA Hours for Fall 2021 Term
  • Memo to Student Employee Supervisors

Dear members,

As the Winter 2022 Term gets underway, the APUO would like to share some important information with you.

LOUs for the Winter 2022 Term

The Winter 2022 Term has been impacted by public health and safety measures implemented to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and its variants. As mentioned in our November 3, 2021 bulletin, Teaching in the Winter Term 2022, the Central Administration refused to sign any new letters of understanding, or renew any existing letters, for the winter term. The APUO has filed an association grievance about this matter, and we will keep members updated about related developments.

Please be advised that in the absence of any specific Letter of Understanding on course development and delivery for the Winter 2022 term, the following COVID-19 related LOUs nonetheless remain in effect:

  • Performance Assessment of Members
    Expires April 30, 2022
    As per the provisions of this LOU, in preparing their annual reports, contract renewal applications, promotion, tenure, and continuing appointment applications, and academic and professional leave applications all members are invited to outline how the COVID-19 pandemic and the exceptional circumstances it has fostered have impacted upon their teaching/professional activities, scholarly activities, and/or academic service activities. 
    Both parties have agreed the information provided by members cannot unreasonably affect the outcome of performance evaluations and/or career recommendations and decision processes set out in the Collective Agreement.
  1. From January 1, 2022 to April 30, 2022:
    a. The Employer will produce A‐reports (as referred to in Article of the Collective Agreement) for Members; however only Members will be provided with a copy of their A‐reports;
    b. For further clarity, all answers will be included in the production of the Summary document, the Faculty averages;
    c. Members will be provided a report containing the results of the student responses to all of the questions in the questionnaire and the student comments (known as the “P‐report”).
  2. From May 1, 2022, to the end of the Collective Agreement with a start date of May 1, 2021, the University may utilize the A‐reports in accord with Article 24 of the Collective Agreement.
  1.  non-tenured tenure-track members hired by the University of Ottawa between May 15, 2020, and March 30, 2021, will be granted an optional one-year extension to their current contract;
  2. Direct Peer Review of Teaching (DPRT) in relation to promotion and tenure applications will be delayed unless a member requests that they proceed regardless of the exceptional circumstance; and
  3. librarians on a preliminary appointment as referred to in Article of the Collective Agreement hired between May 15, 2020, and March 30, 2021, will receive a six-month extension to their contract.
  • Use of PER by Members who retire during the 2021-2022 Academic Year
    Expires June 30, 2022
    In accord with the provisions of this LOU, members with an effective date of retirement on or after March 16, 2020, or during the 2021-2022 academic year will be allowed a grace period extending to June 30, 2022 to use their Professional Expenses Reimbursements (PER) funds and remaining internal and general research funds for allowable expenditures as of the date of their retirement.

The APUO will communicate any updates about Letters of Understanding as and when they arise.

A full listing of non-COVID related LOUs that are in effect until the Collective Agreement expires in 2024 is available here

Bimodal Teaching for the Winter 2022 Term

In our November bulletin we also denounced the absence of a Letter of Understanding for the Winter 2022 semester pertaining to teaching formats, and confirmed the APUO has not given its requisite blanket consent to allow members to be assigned any course taught using a non-conventional teaching format without their prior individual consent. 

We wish to remind members of your right to file individual grievances if you have been required to teach bimodal courses without having given your prior consent.

Reminder re: Article 28 – Vacation Leave, Holidays, Availability and Authorized Absences

Following questions from some members, the APUO wishes to draw attention to  Article 28 of the Collective Agreement, which covers vacation leave for all Professors and language teachers (article 28.1), vacation leave for librarians (article 28.2), holidays (article 28.3) and availability and authorized absences (article 28.4). 

In actuality, article 28.4 covers a few different subjects: 

  • Article 28.4.1 specifies that a member’s residence must not be so far from uOttawa as to limit the carrying out of their workload duties. 
  • Article 28.4.3 specifies that a member who is not on academic leave or other leave is required to be present on campus:
    • when their presence is necessary for the performance of scheduled or teaching duties, which are included in their workload pursuant to article or for the guidance of graduate students whose work they supervise; and
    • for a reasonable number of regularly scheduled office hours in accordance with article 21.1.3(b); and
    • to assume a fair share of academic service activities required for the proper functioning of their academic unit and the University of Ottawa; and
    • when the Dean or Chair gives them reasonable notice that, for good and valid reasons, their presence on campus is required.
  • Article 28.4.4 specifies that a member is not required to be present on campus to fulfill their workload obligations, whenever another location is more appropriate for that purpose and when their absence from campus does not interfere with the application of article 28.4.3.
    • On this point, the APUO has been made aware that the University Librarian and Vice-Provost (Knowledge Systems) has been exploring a new telework pilot project for librarians with the potential to limit the existing rights of librarians. The APUO reminds the University Librarian and Vice-Provost (Knowledge Systems) that librarians are included in the application of article 28.4 (just like article 28.3 and other sections of article 28.4). 
    • The APUO encourages librarians who believe they have been put in a position that contradicts Article 28.4 to contact us directly or through your APUO Board Representatives.
  • Article 28.4.5 specifies that, except when on vacation, a Member shall ensure that her chair is aware of how and where the Member can be contacted without delay. 
  • Article 28.4.6 details the concept of an authorized absence. During an authorized absence, all rights, privileges, duties and responsibilities of Members remain unchanged except for the added right to be absent without being subject to recall to the campus. 

Extra TA Hours in Fall 2021

In June 2021, the APUO shared the Letter of Understanding COVID-19 │ Impact on 2021 Fall Course Development and Delivery signed between the union and the Central Administration. Item number 8 of this LOU outlines the option for members to request an additional 32 hours of teaching assistance, per course, for the preparation and delivery of bimodal courses for the Fall 2021 term:

8. For bimodal courses: The Employer will allocate a one-time “2021 Fall Bimodal Supernumerary Fund” to be used for the purpose of paying for thirty-two (32) hours of additional teaching assistant hours, per course, for assistance in the preparation and/or delivery of the Member’s bimodal course(s) during the 2021 Fall term (the “Purpose”).

  1. Such Member may submit an application in writing to the Dean by no later than July 7, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. and may request additional or new teaching assistant hours for the stated Purpose and that the funding be paid for from the 2021 Fall Bimodal Supernumerary Fund.
  2. If there are funds remaining in the 2021 Fall Bimodal Supernumerary Fund as of December 21, 2021, such remaining funds shall be returned to the Employer.
  3. The provisions of this Section are at all times subject to the availability of qualified teaching assistants and to the relevant provisions of the Collective Agreement between the Employer and CUPE 2626. 
  4. TLSS will endeavour to offer training to teaching assistants on bimodal teaching.

We are aware that a number of members faced problems requesting and accessing these additional 32 hours of teaching assistance for the Fall 2021 Term. Issues ranging from arbitrary deadlines for requests to a lack of available French-speaking TAs led to requests being denied. The APUO is asking members who taught bimodal courses during the Fall 2021 term and who requested the additional 32 hours of teaching assistance to please get in touch with us to share your experience. 

Please also be advised that the Central Administration has decided to continue the offer of these additional 32 hours of teaching assistance for the Winter 2022 Term. We encourage members to please get in touch with the APUO for any questions, concerns or difficulties requesting these hours.

Memo to Student Employee Supervisors

Our colleagues at CUPE 2626 have shared an updated Memo to Supervisors for APUO members who supervise student employees, who are members represented by CUPE 2626. 

This communication explains supervisors’ responsibilities and information relating to the CUPE 2626 Collective Agreement as it pertains to student employees.

The full memo is available here. Please do not hesitate to contact the APUO if you have any questions.