KFA Updates from the Joint COVID Subcommittee

Dear KFA Colleagues,

The KFA representative have been advocating on your behalf in regard to the many concerns surrounding the January 24th return date, and we want to provide you an update on the following items you have brought to our attention:

Masks: KFA representatives advocated for access to N95 or equivalent masks for faculty members. The Employer shared with us that the procurement of N95 masks is extremely difficult; however, to support faculty in purchasing their own masks, they will be offering a one-time $50.00 per person reimbursement to faculty members for the purchase of their own mask(s). The $50.00 reimbursement would be for the current 2021 fiscal year. Further information can be found in the Employer’s communication.

Teaching Modes and Instructor Flexibility: KFA representatives brought forward faculty concerns about potentially having to simultaneously teach in different modes (eg. online, hybrid, face-to-face) due to student preference or absence. The Employer reassured the KFA that while faculty are encouraged to be flexible in addressing things such as student illness, there is no expectation that faculty members must teach their course simultaneously in different modes.

Student Absenteeism: KFA representatives brought forward faculty concerns about various scenarios involving student absenteeism. The Employer reassured the KFA that faculty have the discretion and autonomy to manage student absenteeism during COVID-19 in the same professional way that they would manage absenteeism pre-pandemic. In other words, decisions about class cancellations due to mass absenteeism, about how to help students catch up on work, and about other such matters are to be made on the same basis and with the same judgment would have occurred prior to the pandemic. Please contact your Dean, Director, or Supervisor with any questions on process.

Faculty Absenteeism: If you are sick, you have the right to take sick leave under Article 15.06 (Regular and Non-Regular Type 2) and Article 15.07 (Non-Regular Type 1) of the Collective Agreement. If you are too ill to work, we encourage you to take the leave you need to get well—this is as true for remote work situations as it is for face-to-face work.

Family Illness: Every faculty member has the right to “up to five (5) days per year without loss of pay or benefits for family illness” under Article 13.08 of the Collective Agreement. Additional leave may be granted by the Employer, and if you require such additional leave, please be in contact with your Dean, Director, or Supervisor.

Safety Plans: KFA representatives raised concerns from Faculty about individual, course, and Department safety plans. The Employer has assured the KFA that with the existing KPU-wide safety plans and protocols in place, there is no requirement or expectation for individual, course, or Department safety plans.

The KFA continues to represent and advocate for you on these issues in addition to many others during this challenging time.


Mark Diotte

KFA VP, Negotiations