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Return to campus FAQ: January 2022

Listed below are UWOFA’s answers to common questions from Members concerning the return to in-person teaching on January 31.

Q1: I have COVID and/or I am sick. What should I do?

Log it with the Employer here. Inform your Unit head (Chair, Director, etc.) and you should stop your work as you are considered sick. You are not obligated to work remotely nor to provide an alternative, guest lecturer, etc. As per usual, you can work out how to handle the matters after you are well and return, e.g. schedule extra class, adjust assignments, etc.

Q2: I have to self-isolate for at least five days due to close contact, etc. What should I do?

Log it with the Employer here. Inform your Unit head (Chair, Director, etc.) and work out alternative arrangements to work remotely, such as Zoom lecture or asynchronous.

Q3: Do I get to choose whether I teach in-person?

No. Unfortunately, the Employer rejected our reasoned position that Members should have a voice to best decide which mode of delivery is most safe and effective. Many faculty have reached out to us about this (including polling their own classes), and we have reported a majority of respondents to our survey told us that giving faculty voice in that decision is important, but the position of faculty on this question has been disregarded.

Q4: Do I have to teach in multiple modes of delivery?

No. In-person lecturing, Zoom teaching, and asynchronous materials posts are different modes, so if you are teaching in-person that is all you are obligated to do. Students have been advised they should, as per usual practice, go through Counselling for approved accommodation or else get notes, etc., from class colleagues.

Q5: Will I get N95/KN95 non-fitted masks to teach in-person?

Yes. The Employer has advised that all Instructors (faculty, librarians, archivists, teaching assistants) will be able to obtain them through their Units, so please approach your Unit administrators for your N95 masks. For those with particular jobs needing N95 fitted masks, please see here.

Q6: Will my students get N95/KN95 non-fitted masks?

No. The Employer is providing ASTM3 masks to students.

Q7: Can I get a third booster shot on campus?

Yes. Book here.

Q8: Is Western requiring a third booster shot?

No. UWOFA’s position is that Western’s COVID vaccination policy should be updated to consider ‘fully vaccinated’ as 3 COVIID vaccinations.

Q9: Is Western providing updated ventilation information, CO2 monitors, HEPA filters, etc.?

We have continually asked for such information to be made available and transparent to the Western community but have received no update.

Q10: I have done significant additional work because of the shift to emergency remote teaching this semester and then back to in-person instruction. How do I request compensation (I’m a part-time member) or workload consideration (I’m a full-time member) for that additional work?

Please see the instructions posted on the website of the Office of Faculty Relations. UWOFA is advocating for fair and consistent considerations of such requests, so please get in touch with UWOFA if you are not satisfied with the Dean’s decision. See also UWOFA’s advice on Workload and Remote-Delivered Courses here.

Q11: This semester has been disrupted and I don’t want student questionnaire on courses and teaching (SQCT) used in the evaluation of my teaching performance.

UWOFA has requested that the terms negotiated in a letter of understanding making optional the inclusion of SQCTs in dossiers for Annual Performance Evaluation, Appointments, and Promotion, Tenure & Continuing Status be extended to include this semester. We are still awaiting the administration’s response. The Letter of Understanding can be found here.

Q12: If I am asked to cover/take over a colleague’s class, must I do so?

You are not obligated to do so, and you should assess the impact on your workload. You should negotiate a response to the request with your Unit head as you would do if it arose outside of these exceptional circumstances. If a reasonable, collegial solution does not appear to be available after discussion with your Unit head, please feel free to reach out to UWOFA for advice.

Q13: If I am asked to cover/take over a colleague’s class, am I entitled to compensation?

Significant extra work should be compensated, but the Employer has not committed to providing compensation or workload adjustment as a general principle for significant extra work arising in the context of the pandemic. Please see the information elsewhere in this FAQ on how you can submit a request to your Dean.