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Letters of Understanding COVID-19

Dear members,

In this communication, we provide a brief update on four Letters of Understanding (LOUs) relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Student Evaluation of Teaching During the COVID-19 Period:

The APUO and the Central Administration have agreed that for the Fall 2020 term, the Employer will not produce A-reports (as referred to in Article (a) of the Collective Agreement). Repeating the modified process that was agreed upon for the 2020 Winter and Spring/Summer terms, APUO members will be provided with a report containing the results of student responses to all the questions and comments from the questionnaire, known as “P-Report,” which can be used in promotion and tenure applications, should a member choose to do so. 

COVID-19 Promotion/Tenure, and Continuing Appointment Processes:

The COVID-19 Promotion/Tenure, and Continuing Appointment LOU remains in effect until April 29, 2021. The only change in the application of this LOU pertains to the Direct Peer Review of Teaching (DPRT). Recognizing that DPRTs will likely need to take place remotely for the coming months, the APUO and the Central Administration have agreed to discuss the possibility of deciding upon their use in promotion and tenure, and continuing appointment applications on a case-by-case basis. The APUO’s position on this matter is that any decision to conduct a DPRT remotely should be made with the consent of individual affected members.

We wish to advise members that this LOU and the Performance Assessment of Members LOU are designed, in part, to work together. This means, among other things, that pre-tenure members do not have to wait one extra year before applying for promotion and tenure. They are free to apply as per the timeline set out in their respective contracts. We remind pre-tenure members who apply for promotion and tenure that, as specified in the Performance Assessment of Members LOU, the Employer must consider the information that members make available in their application regarding how  the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected their performance. 

COVID-19 Performance Assessment of Members:

The COVID-19 Performance Assessment of Members LOU remains in effect until April 29, 2021. The APUO has proposed to the Central Administration that this LOU be revised to include clear assessment guidelines for its application by Teaching Personnel Committees when evaluating annual reports and applications for: contract renewal, promotion, tenure, continuing appointments, and academic and professional leaves. 

We encourage APUO members whose performance is being assessed to indicate how the exceptional circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted their teaching/professional, scholarly and/or academic/administrative service activities. As per the terms of this LOU such information “will not unreasonably affect the outcome of performance evaluations and career recommendations and decision processes under the collective agreement.”

COVID-19 Academic and Professional Leave:

The APUO and the Central Administration are still discussing the renewal of, and potential amendments to, the COVID-19 Academic and Professional Leave LOU. This LOU gave members the option of rescheduling an academic or professional leave, and/or to discuss other exceptional measures deemed suitable and feasible by themselves and their Dean, all-the-while preserving their credited years of service. An update on the status of this LOU will be provided once an agreement is reached. 

We encourage members with questions, comments, or concerns to contact the APUO.