17 April, 2020

Partial-load SWF Update

 

Hello Partial-Load Members

I hope that you and your family are well. This week the landscape around you continued to shift and change. By now you have heard from your Chair or read on the College’s COVID-19 information page that

"The grades submission deadline for the winter semester has been extended to May 8:"

The Union discussed the end of contracts with the College and recommended an extension due to the extension to the grade submission date, but the College did not have an appetite to do this. However, the College did state that they plan to issue some contract faculty contracts to do the curriculum development necessary for changing a course into an alternate/remote delivery. If these opportunities exist in your program and/or School, you will be approached by your Chair, in the next week or two.

I also heard from several PL members that their status had dropped to part-time or that they were expecting to have only part-time work for the spring semester. Before you assume that this is a fact, it is important to determine if your program and/or School has finished reviewing full-time spring/summer workloads (SWFs) to adjust them to the new dates for the beginning of the spring/summer semester and the new parameters for fulltime vacation, which must be completed no later than August 7, 2020. If this has not happened yet or if it is in process, it is not possible for the Chair to offer PL assignments, until the full-time workloads are completed.

In the event that you drop from a partial-load status to a part-time status because of a change in enrolment/sections, the Union recommends that you discuss this with the Chair and request that the Chair determine if there is another section/course that can be assigned to you to restore your partial-load status. The Chair will look at the remaining part-time sections/courses and if possible will offer another section/course to restore a partial-load of at least seven to nine hours. This is a past practice and the College confirmed with the Union that it is still a practice. A partial-load begins with seven hours and ranges to twelve hours. There is no guarantee in the Collective Agreement or past practice that ensures a partial–load at the maximum of twelve hours. Benefits for partial-load members are based on the status, not the number of teaching hours.

 

If you experience a drop in your income to not more than $1000 as a result of a change in your hours, it is important to note that the federal government has expanded the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which provides $2,000 a month for up to four months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. The CERB now applies to:

(i)            Contract faculty who do not qualify for EI

(ii)          Contract faculty who are still employed but aren’t receiving income over $1000.00 per month

To find out more about the Canada Emergency Response Benefit please refer to

https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

However, even with the new safety net, I am well aware that some of you may find yourself with less income because you no longer have a partial-load and you make more than the maximum $1,000.00 per month. One PL member who slipped just below a partial-load said she would make more on CERB if she did not have any work. And maybe she should not accept the assignment and hopefully the hours offered to her would be offered to someone else who would be able to return to a partial-load.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact your steward or me. You will also find some answers under the FAQs for partial-load members at www.local237.ca

 

In Solidarity,

Lana-Lee Hardacre

OPSEU Local 237 President

lhardacre237@gmail.com