KFA Update on the Fall Return to Campus
KFA Update on the Fall Return to Campus
Dear KFA Members,
Many questions are arising as we emerge from the pandemic and plan for a fall return to campus, and the KFA and the Employer continue to discuss these matters at the LMRC COVID-19 sub-committee.
We know this is a challenging time, particularly as we await the specifics of the fall return in the forthcoming “Return-to-Campus Guidelines” section of the Go-Forward Guidelines for BC’s Post-Secondary Sector. We hope the following collection of information in this email will be helpful to you.
Please also see the Collective Agreement and the KPU-KFA FAQs Regarding Teaching in a Remote Learning Environment. One of the essential provisions of the FAQs is the ability for faculty members to carry forward up to 20 vacation days and up to 10 PD days if faculty have had to use that time preparing for remote delivery.
Relevant Collective Agreement Provisions
Article 12.06 Course Preparations
Article 12.06 states, “no instructor shall be assigned more than three different course preparations within their workload in any semester without their consent.” The KFA position is that remote delivery, hybrid, and face-to-face may constitute different course preparations. Given the pandemic context, it may be necessary for faculty to teach more than three course preparations. If you find yourself in this situation, we encourage you to request a carry-forward of your vacation and/or PD as per the FAQs above and/or scale back your other accountable time activities such as meeting attendance and committee work to ensure a fair and reasonable work assignment as per Article 12.01.
12.09 Distributed Learning
Many faculty members wonder how the number of remote, hybrid, and face-to-face courses has been determined. Article 12.09 (b) states, “the Employer will plan in collaboration with the department or functional area and the employee(s) who will develop and/or deliver the program or course.” What this means is that administrators should be reaching out to areas to collaborate on these decisions.
It is also important for faculty to know that they are not required to “provide technical support to students taking distributed learning courses” as per Article 12.09 (g). Distributed learning includes online or web-based instruction, hybrid, or mixed-mode courses.
Article 20 Health and Safety
Article 20.03 states that all faculty members have the right to refuse to carry out work they have “reasonable cause to believe… would create an undue hazard to the health or safety of any person,” including themselves. If you identify hazardous work conditions, you have the right to bring these conditions to the attention of the Employer and to request an investigation. If you are unsatisfied with the result, or have any questions, please contact the KFA office for advice.
Faculty members who require a medical accommodation or who require an accommodation because they are caring for a family member who is immunocompromised should make the request as soon as possible. Requests for medical accommodations can be made directly to HR. All other accommodation requests can be made to your dean or director. A KFA representative can help you through this process and attend meetings with you.
Provincial Information about the Fall Return
- A letter to post-secondary institution presidents was issued by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on March 8, 2021, stating, “Given the expected timelines for immunization it is essential that we plan for a full return to in-person activities on-campus in September 2021, including in-person instruction, with faculty and staff returning to campus sooner.”
- The Return to Campus Primer was issued on April 30, 2021, as “a planning tool intended to provide high-level guidance to support planning for the safe return of students, faculty and staff throughout the summer, and the updating of campus safety plans in anticipation of a full return to face-to-face instruction.”
- The Government of B.C.’s information page for post-secondary studies during COVID-19 can be found here.
- A Post-Secondary Virtual Town Hall Meeting was hosted by Thompson Rivers University on May 10, 2021, with Dr. Bonnie Henry and other representatives from the office of the Provincial Health Office answering questions posed by representatives from public post-secondary institutions and post-secondary unions. Presidents of FPSE locals, including your KFA president, contributed several questions. FPSE also contributed to a joint response with other post-secondary unions after the Town Hall.
- A Virtual Town Hall for Post-Secondary Student Leaders was hosted by Thompson Rivers University on May 28, 2021, with Dr. Bonnie Henry.
- Return-to-Campus Guidelines We understand “The COVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines for B.C.’s Post-Secondary Sector are being updated…. Updated guidelines, referred to as the Return-to-Campus Guidelines, will reflect predicted COVID-19 conditions for the fall along with updated infection prevention and control measures appropriate for those conditions.” We have been told to expect these guidelines at some point in June.
Mental Health Resources
Please feel free to be in touch with questions or concerns about the fall return. We will communicate further when we have more information to share.
Gillian Dearle on behalf of the KFA Table Officers:
Gillian Dearle, President
Diane Walsh, VP Grievances
Mark Diotte, VP Negotiations
Romy Kozak, Secretary Treasurer
Betty Cunnin, Member-at-Large
Rachelle Hollaway, Member-at-Large