Message from the Association President
I hope you are managing as well as possible, and having at least a bit of time to enjoy the sunshine and blossoms. It is hard to believe that, just a year ago this Friday, we were told that we would need to immediately pivot to online teaching. And now there is good news on the horizon.
As you are aware, earlier this week President Kevin Hall announced that UVic is planning a full return to face-to-face teaching this September. This announcement follows BC government directives. Dr. Bonnie Henry has assured British Columbians that everyone who wishes to receive a vaccination will have had their first vaccination by the end of July, making a full return to campus possible. She also assures us that a return to campus will include all necessary safety protocols. Safety plans for a full return to campus will be developed over the next few months.
I know that while many of you will be pleased to be returning to face to face teaching, others will have legitimate concerns about your health and safety and that of your families and communities. The Association is therefore encouraging you to take five minutes to fill out our survey so that we can determine your perspective about a full return to campus this fall, and about what conditions might be needed to make you feel safe and comfortable about such a return. A robust response rate on this survey will ensure that the Association can advocate on your behalf regarding the nature and extent of the return to campus.
While the assumption at this time is of a full return to face-to-face teaching, it is our understanding that decisions about whether larger classes may remain online will be made by the beginning of May. We hope that such decisions will not need to be revisited, to reduce any extra workload in preparing for fall teaching. We also trust that there will be some autonomy at the departmental level about the nature and extent of online and face-to-face offerings.
The Association will advocate strongly for your safety and interests as the university moves to face-to-face teaching, and we very much hope to hear from you through this survey to strengthen our ability to advocate for you.
This survey will remain open until Friday, March 26th, at 4 pm. I am well aware that everyone is very busy at this time, but I encourage you to take five minutes to complete this survey so that we can support you on these crucial issues.
I have very much enjoyed attending (at least virtually) a number of department meetings thus far to hear about your concerns and hopes for improvement in our next round of bargaining. I look forward to seeing many more of you at your department meetings over the next two months.
Thanks and all the very best,