COVID-19 Updates: January 25th, 2021

COVID-19 Updates: January 25th, 2021

Message from the Association President

Dear Colleagues,

 Summer teaching

I wrote last week regarding summer teaching, and I just wanted to let you know that on Friday, Michele Parkin (AVP Faculty Relations), sent the information below to Chairs and Deans regarding instructor health concerns related to face-to-face teaching:


In relation to health and safety, we know from the province’s plans thus far that broad vaccination of post-secondary campuses will not likely be in place for Summer 2021, although it is expected to be in progress. Individuals will have different risk tolerances in relation to returning to our campus, based on their personal context and access to the vaccination. Should units decide to move toward offering more face-to-face courses in summer term, we ask that due consideration be given to the individual circumstances of instructors in the assignment of work and work location. Some instructors may prefer to teach on-campus during the summer while others may be concerned about personal health risks. Please do what you can to accommodate these concerns. 


In our communication with the administration, we are reassured that this email clarifies that the administration is not expecting faculty members to teach face-to-face over the summer if they are not comfortable doing so. As the health and vaccination situation for the fall becomes clearer, we will be in further conversation with the administration about these issues for the fall term.


Given the email from Michele Parkin recently sent to Deans and Chairs, I think it is very unlikely that any of you will be pressured to teach face to face courses over the summer if you would be uncomfortable doing so. However, if this does occur, I would encourage you to contact us about this matter. You can email me, or our membership services officers, Ben Johnson and Reuben Kellen.


Salary Evaluation for periods that include COVID-impacted years

After analyzing the results of the survey our members completed at the end of last term, the Association’s leadership discussed various options for addressing the impact of COVID-19 on salary evaluation. At the beginning of last week, we sent proposals to the administration regarding the impact of COVID-19 on salary evaluations that include the 2020 and 2021 years. We have not yet heard back from the administration regarding these proposals, but we hope to soon.


We are aware that members in Engineering, HSD, Social Science, Fine Arts and the Library are currently preparing their salary materials for the 2017-2020 period, and that in most cases, such materials are due by the end of January. If our proposals are accepted in some form, they could have an impact on the nature of the material some of you submit.  We therefore thought we should let you know this and encourage you to wait a few days before submitting the material to determine whether these proposals will be accepted. 


In addition, I want to remind you that there are two things that you might want to consider doing regarding salary evaluation that are already possible: 


(1)   We have negotiated an agreement with the administration that waives the six month notice if you wish to change your salary evaluation ratios for any period of the time in which you will be evaluated. If you would prefer, for example, to change your salary evaluation ratio for the 2020 year, so that research is counted less (so for research stream faculty, for example, changing the ratio from 40-40-20 to 20-60-20, with research to be weighted less and teaching more) you can submit a request to your Chair to make this change.


(2)   I would also encourage you to use your teaching dossiers or salary evaluation forms to describe the additional work you undertook to develop and teach online courses in a new LMS. The additional time involved in such work should also be noted. 


Again, since we are aware that salary evaluation materials in several Faculties will be due shortly, we hope that you can, if possible, wait a few days to hear if there has been any agreement about the Association’s proposals before submitting your material. I have asked the administration, if they are unable to respond to us in the next day or two, to ask the Deans to grant members in the relevant faculties an additional week in which to submit their materials.


I would also like to remind you that unless you are judged to “not meet expectations” in salary evaluation, you will continue to receive CPI increments.  The “drop offs” for such increments only begin in July of 2022, following the end of this Collective Agreement.  By July of 2022 we hope to have completed the bargaining of a new Collective Agreement. 


In this salary round if you are judged to not meet expectations you will receive .5 CPI in the first year of salary evaluation. You will be re-assessed in the second year, and if you are now meeting expectations you will receive a CPI, and if not, you will get no CPI in the second year. If you wish to do so, you can grieve a rating of “does not meet expectations,” by contacting the Association.


I hope to have more information for you regarding the administration’s response to our salary evaluation proposals very soon, and in the meantime would be pleased to respond to your questions on this matter.


All the best,


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