Letters of Understanding & the Collective Agreements during COVID-19

UWOFA has proposed Letters of Understanding to form part of the Collective Agreement that address changes to the working environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some issues have been agreed with the Administration and are listed below. There are others that are still under discussion.

UWOFA will continue to engage the Administration to find solutions that work for our Members as the situation continues to evolve and new issues arise.

1.       General Timelines and Processes

UWOFA and the Administration have reviewed the timelines in the Faculty Collective Agreement and are reviewing those in the Librarians’ and Archivists’ Collective Agreement. Most can be maintained through remote working. Any changes to timelines will be mutually agreed upon and properly communicated to relevant parties.

2.       Annual Meetings with the Dean

UWOFA and the Administration have agreed that it might be necessary to extend the deadline of April 30, 2020 for Deans to hold Annual Meetings with Probationary Faculty Members. Each Faculty will conduct its own assessment as to any delay and notify Members and UWOFA.

If the delay means that the Annual Performance Evaluation appeals process is not complete in time for the July 1, 2020 payroll, any adjustments will be made retroactively.

3.       Sabbatical

UWOFA and the Administration have agreed that Members may ask for a deferral of approved sabbaticals scheduled to begin July 1, 2020. Interested Members should contact their Dean.

UWOFA has proposed that a Member on sabbatical who has been disrupted be able to defer three months or more of the current sabbatical leave.

UWOFA has proposed similar deferral arrangements for Librarians & Archivists on Education Leaves and Professional Leaves or with such leaves planned in the 2020 year.

4.       Recruitment to Limited Duties Appointments (May 1, 2020)

UWOFA and the Administration have agreed that if a qualified applicant has been selected, the offer will proceed. If the chosen applicant is not willing to teach the course online, then the course can be posted again as an unanticipated posting. There is no compensation should the chosen applicant withdraw from teaching the course.

5.       Student Questionnaires

The Student Questionnaires on Courses and Teaching (SQCTs) for the Winter term 2020 have been cancelled and a decision is pending for Intersession and Summer courses 2020.

UWOFA has proposed that no SQCTs from this time period will be used in performance assessments without the Member’s prior approval.

6.       Intellectual Property

Under the Collective Agreement, a Member is the sole holder of copyright in their own lectures and in all copyrightable material produced pursuant to their Academic Responsibilities regardless of the mode of delivery.     

Contact the uwofapro [at] uwo [dot] ca (UWOFA Professional Officer) if you have concerns about your rights.

Outstanding Issues

1.       Performance Assessments

It is UWOFA’s position that Members will not be negatively affected by the pandemic in any subsequent performance assessments.

2.       Promotion and Tenure

UWOFA has proposed a one-year extension for anyone whose Probationary Period includes 2019-20. Members can nevertheless elect to apply for Promotion and Tenure earlier date if they wish in accordance with Clause 16.7.1 in the Article Promotion, Tenure and Continuing Status.

UWOFA has proposed a similar extension and process for Librarians & Archivists whose Probationary Period includes 2019-20.

3.       Workload

The move to emergency remote teaching for the remainder of the Winter 2020 term and for Intersession and Summer 2020 courses has resulted in a changed workload for many Members. UWOFA is urging all members, both full- and part-time, to keep track of your workload and time.

•         Full-Time Faculty Members who have experienced significant increases in their workload are encouraged to request a review of their Workload in accordance with Clause 9 of the Article Workload.

•         For Part-Time Faculty Members, UWOFA has proposed to the Administration that appropriate compensation be provided for significant increases.

•         Librarians & Archivists are encouraged to make use of Clauses 3.1 through 4.3 and the Workload Review Committee in the Article Workload.