As the fall term approaches, and with the continued uncertainty about the impact on University’s operations due to the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, we wish to provide some clarity to members about the York University Faculty Association’s position with respect to the rights of members over the mode of delivery of courses, as well as the rights of members to seek health and/or family status accommodations for the fall and winter of 2021-22.
The Association’s positions include the following:
1. Faculty Members Teaching In-Person Classes in the Fall Cannot be Compelled to Convert their Course into Hybrid mode (e.g. Remote/Online/Blended modes of delivery) unless warranted by Public Health restrictions
Under the collective agreement, faculty members are not required to convert their in-person course in whole or in part, to online, blended, and/or remote formats unless a faculty member agrees to do so, or unless compelled by Public Health Restrictions.
2. Faculty Members with Year-long Courses Designated with Alternate Mode of Delivery Cannot be Compelled to Switch to In-Person in the Winter
Under the collective agreement, faculty members are not required to convert or change the alternate mode of delivery of a course to in-person delivery without their agreement. While Public Health regulations may change such that more in-person learning is deemed safer in the Winter semester, faculty members with full year courses designated with an “alternate” mode of delivery at the beginning of the academic year are not required to convert their mode of delivery to in-person halfway through the year. Blended courses cannot be imposed on members without their consent.
3. Accommodations for Faculty Members with Health Risks, or with Family Members with Health Risks or who have Extraordinary Caregiver Duties
It is YUFA’s position that members who have serious health risks due to the COVID 19 pandemic, or who have family members with serious health risks due to the COVID 19 pandemic, and/or whose family members require extraordinary caregiving during the COVID-19 pandemic, should not be unreasonably denied medical or family status accommodations from the University.
Members are also not legally obligated to disclose their own specific medical diagnosis or that of their family member(s) to the Dean’s Office and/or the Employee Well-Being Office.
YUFA members requiring medical accommodations should contact the Employee Well-Being (EWB) Office at [email protected].
Currently, faculty requests for family status accommodations are to be submitted to the Dean or Associate Dean’s Office, although in the long term, family status accommodations will be made through EWB as described in the Employer communication entitled “Wellness Wednesday” sent to York faculty and staff on June 23, 2021.
YUFA encourages members to exercise their entitlements to seek YUFA assistance and support in requesting accommodations by contacting us at [email protected].
Ventilation and Water System Improvements at York
Currently, we continue to request more detailed information from Faculty Relations about what specific Health and Safety measures have been taken regarding ventilation and building water systems improvements as the University prepares for a partial re-opening in the fall in the context of the existing COVID-19 pandemic.
We will continue to update members with the University response to our continued questions and concerns in relation to COVID planning for the fall and winter.
YUFA Chief Steward