York-YUFA agreements re. COVID-19

Through regular consultations with the Employer, YUFA and the University have agreed to a number of actions with respect to the COVID-19-related disruption, on a without prejudice and without precedent basis. The agreements are as follows:

  1. That files for tenure and/or promotion must not be prejudiced by COVID-19. All efforts will be made to complete files on the normal timeline, but any files where a decision to grant tenure or promotion is delayed beyond June 30, 2020 will have the granting of tenure or promotion backdated to July 1, 2020.
  2. Student course evaluations for courses offered in Fall/Winter 2019-20, Winter 2020, or Summer 2020 will be completed, but only used if a faculty member so chooses.
  3. Probationary colleagues may elect a stop-out in the Tenure-and-Promotion process for up to one year (12 months) in relation to this COVID-19 disruption. Work completed during the stop-out may be included in the Tenure-and-Promotion files.
  4. There will be a blanket extension for Ph.D. completion of one year (12months) for colleagues who were hired between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 whose appointment is conditional on completion of a Ph.D. All new hires effective July 1, 2020 whose appointment is conditional on completion of a Ph.D. will have an additional year beyond the stipulated completion deadline to complete their Ph.D.
  5. New hires starting in 2020 will be expected to begin their appointments as scheduled in their letters of offer, but no new hire will be jeopardizing their appointment should they not be able to be physically on campus on their start date due to COVID-19 and related restrictions. Required new faculty orientation will be deferred or offered online/remotely if it cannot be held face-to-face.
  6. Faculty members should include accepted conferences or other cancelled opportunities as a result of COVID-19 on their C.V. and note that they were cancelled/postponed. APA and other style-guides provide information on how to do this.
  7. Librarians and Archivists will be given flexibility in the timeline for using any remaining vacation that was to be drawn down by October 2020. For clarity, the Dean of Libraries expectation is that she will respond to individual librarian and archivist requests to extend the timeline they will have to draw down their prior accrued vacation credit and that any such extension will be till no later than April 30, 2021. For context, the accrued vacation referenced here is the vacation accrued prior to the University ending the practice of librarian and archivists “tracking” their vacation.
  8. Requests to delay a sabbatical scheduled to commence on July 1, 2020 were reviewed and considered on a case-by-case basis. Factors considered included the specific reasons impeding the ability of the sabbatical to proceed and the feasibility of conducting the originally planned sabbatical work. Rescheduling of sabbaticals that are scheduled to end on June 30, 2020 was only granted for exceptional reasons where it was demonstrated the work critical to the sabbatical was irremediably lost.  Some cases are still under discussion between the colleague and their Dean, with YUFA’s assistance as required.

In addition to the above noted actions, during the course of our discussions, the University also affirmed the following York-YUFA Collective Agreement rights: 

  1. Delivery of in-person courses through remote/online means during the COVID-19 pandemic does not alter any existing intellectual property rights in the York-YUFA Collective Agreement found in Article 23 or elsewhere in the Collective Agreement or create any new rights in favour of the Employer.
  2. Delivery of in-person courses through remote/online means during the COVID-19 pandemic does not alter the academic freedom of members under Article 10, or elsewhere else in the Collective Agreement, including academic freedom in teaching.

For more information, please email yufa@yorku.ca.