We are happy to announce that we’ve come to an agreement on a new Letter of Understanding (LOU) related to the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on our working conditions at OCAD University. You can view the new letter by clicking here.

This LOU replaces the original COVID LOU, the Memorandum of Understanding on Sessional Training for Remote Delivery, and the Fall 2020 Workload Memorandum of Settlement (see point 3); all of which had expired.

Highlights of the new agreement include:

  • Teaching and Mode of Delivery: recognition of remote and/or alternative delivery models as an extraordinary measure and affirmation that the Administration has no intention to offer “dual delivery” courses and will consult with OCADFA prior to any change;
  • Training for Sessionals: sessionals hired to teach remotely in the 2021/22 academic year are eligible to receive $650 to complete the FCDC course: Teaching Art & Design Online. You are eligible to receive this $650 even if you already took up this opportunity last year. This three-week course begins December 1, and ends Dec. 21. You can enroll by clicking here;
  • Workload: Deans will explore rebalancing individual workload responsibilities, including reducing service; increased workloads associated with teaching in certain formats or through service will be considered and may be addressed by providing additional teaching supports such as increased TA hours;
  • Course Evaluations, Reviews and Assessments: faculty may opt delay performance reviews to 2022/23; student feedback for the 2021/22 academic year with not be used for performance evaluation or career review, including tenure review; and for those up for tenure you will have the option to extend your probationary period for one year;
  • Extraordinary Expenses: Sessionals who incur expenses as a result of teaching either remotely or through an alternative delivery model may request up to $100 in reimbursements from an Emergency Fund administered by the Office of the VPAP; for all faculty undertaking remote teaching the Administration will support individual claims in accordance with Revenue Canada standards for the 2021 tax year;
  • Vaccination and Accommodations: all OCADFA members are encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccine and will be permitted to take paid time away from work to obtain their vaccination; faculty unable to teach in the course mode of delivery assigned to them because of a need based on a protected ground under the Human Rights Code are encouraged to identify that need as soon as possible (OCADFA can support you in that process, contact me for guidance).

We recognize that this does not address many of the concerns members have come forward with regarding the Winter 2022 semester and the return to in-person teaching for many OCADFA members. This LOU is the result of several months of discussion between the parties and much of it was agreed-to prior to any announced changes in regards to the Winter 2022 semester. However, we can announce that we have filed a policy grievance on those changes and the related concerns over Health & Safety, workload, and collegial governance. We will be meeting with the Administration soon to discuss that grievance and we will keep the membership informed of any developments as soon as we can.

We will also be hosting at least one drop-in session with our representatives on the Joint Health & Safety Committee in December, so you will have the opportunity to ask and hear responses on any health and safety issues you may have concerning the winter semester. Please stay tuned for an invitation to that.