Earlier today, the APUO, along with the Association of Part-Time Professors (APTPUO), the Support Staff (SSUO), Local 2626 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 2626), the University of Ottawa IT Professionals(UOITP), and the Graduate Student Association (GSAÉD) sent a joint letter to President Frémont, and Provost and vice-president academic Scott outlining our concerns with the Central Administration’s current plans for a partial return for the Fall 2021 semester.
In this letter we put forth three demands:
- Democratize the decision-making process for a partial and eventual full return to campus by establishing a joint committee, with representation from all members of the inter-union coalition.
- Cancel plans for introducing bimodal/hyflex/hybrid teaching on a large scale for the Fall 2021 semester. Instead, create smaller course sections to provide community members with the main options of in-person or remote learning, with the bimodal/hyflex/hybrid teaching format being limited to a maximum of 10% of course offerings in order to allow for experimentation and learning.
- Create a Special COVID-19 Recovery Mental Health Fund to support community members seeking the care they need to restore their overall wellbeing.
Along with the lack of consultation with university stakeholders regarding plans for the fall semester, we must note that efforts to introduce bimodal/hyflex/hybrid teaching for the Fall 2021 semester are being undertaken in tandem with the Central Administration’s bargaining proposal to amend Article 22 of the Collective Agreement. This is the article that requires Deans to obtain members’ consent prior to assigning courses that may be taught using unconventional formats. In its normative proposal, the Central Administration explicitly states that “at distance, bimodal, and other unconventional methods of course delivery are likely to expand in large numbers in the future” as justification for removing members’ right to refuse to teach in these formats.
Members can view the complete inter-union letter here.