Posted In: Bargaining Updates

Agreement on Measures in Response to COVID-19

The parties agree to the following modifications to the provisions of the Collective Agreement during the period of the COVID-19 emergency:

1. Sabbatical and Administrative Leaves for the 2019–2020 academic year

Disruptions due to COVID-19 emergency measures may require employees to make modifications to approved sabbatical plans. Employees shall notify the Dean of changes to the original plan. A description of circumstances under which an employee was not able to fully complete a sabbatical leave project in the academic year 2019–2020 due to COVID-19 disruptions shall be included in the sabbatical leave report, and these disruptions shall not draw adverse inferences in subsequent sabbatical leave considerations.

2. Voluntary Cancellation of Sabbatical or Administrative Leaves for 2020– 2021

Employees may voluntarily cancel an approved 2020–21 sabbatical leave by June 12, 2020 (for leaves commencing July 1, 2020); or by November 1, 2020 (for leaves commencing January 1, 2021). Those employees who cancel their leave and resubmit their sabbatical application form or administrative leave plan of activities in fall 2020 shall have first claim on the leaves allocated by the Executive of Faculty Council. There shall be no postponement of the sabbatical by more than 24 months for those who have cancelled their sabbatical due to COVID-19, or for those who have previously had their sabbatical postponed.

The 2020–21 academic year shall count as a year of qualifying service for the employee’s next
sabbatical leave. If the employee is unable to resubmit an application in the fall for a leave in 2021-22, the issue shall be referred to the Consultation Committee for resolution.

3. Extension of Probationary Period

All employees who currently hold a probationary appointment or who are appointed prior to November 1, 2020, shall be granted an automatic one-year extension to their probationary period. Renewal of the probationary period may be deferred for one extra year at the employee’s request. For all probationary faculty under the terms of this agreement, all other available extensions to the probationary period continue to apply.

4. Teaching Evaluations

For renewal of probation, tenure, and promotions decisions, student and peer feedback on teaching in the Winter or Spring and Summer terms shall be included in case files for consideration only at the request of the candidate.

5. Professional Development Accounts (PDA)

Employees who are retiring on June 30, 2020 may use their 2019-20 PDA until the end of December 2020 if they can demonstrate (through, for example, paper work relating to cancelled conferences, workshops, and summer schools, submitted proposals, cancelled airline tickets, etc.) that their plans in 2019-20 were disrupted by COVID-19.

The parties recognize that, for active STM employees, the principle of flexibility applies to timelines for the use of PDAs, research grants, and other employee financial accounts whose use may have been disrupted by the Covid-19 crisis. The parties agree to negotiate extending these provisions as necessary.

Dated this 3 of June, 2020

Signed on Behalf of St. Thomas More College (STM) (Dr.  Carl Still, President) and Signed on Behalf of St. Thomas More Faculty Union (STMFU) (Dr. Bryan Wiebe, President).

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