Hardware for Home Delivery of Courses
I hope this message finds you and yours well and coping with the current situation.
The Union is hearing from increasing numbers of faculty members who are concerned about the use of their homes and home resources for the delivery of courses. Specifically, we are hearing from numbers of faculty who feel they need to make hardware purchases for this purpose.
I am going to highlight below some requests for information from faculty members who are experiencing difficulties around this.
The Union is currently engaged with the Employer in negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that covers the unusual circumstances we are currently experiencing, including use of home and home services and equipment. We hope to have that completed and out to you as soon as possible.
However, the terms of our current Collective Agreement remain in place, including Article 12.09 Distributed Learning. That article includes provisions around the definition of distributed learning, includes provisions on support of faculty, and includes provisions under 12.09 (i) that specify when faculty members are assigned such courses, that “(…) the employer shall provide the appropriate technology (…)” for these faculty members.
We have heard from faculty members who have not been successful in asking for costs to be covered for equipment purchases or for loans of equipment. If you are in this situation, please contact me and forward me the denial from an administrator.
We also have heard from faculty members who have received suggestions from administrators that they should use our PD funds to cover these expenses. Our PD funds are for the professional development of faculty members. If the guidelines of a PD division allow for it, and if the hardware in question is actually for the professional development of the member and not primarily to meet the need to have equipment in order to deliver courses, then it is up to the PD committees to approve or not to approve such purchases.
However, if the equipment is needed primarily in order to be able to successfully deliver courses given the elimination of face-to-face instruction, then the employer should be providing the equipment, as per Article 12.09 (i).
If you have had a suggestion from an administrator to use PD funds to purchase hardware, please forward that to me.
I hope this is helpful information.