Update on Study Leaves

Dear Colleagues,

The Faculty Association and the Provosts received several questions related to our agreement on options for study leave deferrals. This message provides details about the agreement that has been reached between the parties and corrects an error that was brought to our attention regarding the accrual period towards the next leave for individuals who defer.

Members who wish to defer a study leave that commenced on January 1, 2020 or is scheduled to commence on May 1, 2020 or July 1, 2020 must advise their head by April 15, 2020 if they intend to defer their leaves. The accrual time towards their next leave will commence as normal at the date the member was originally intended to return.  Accrual will continue while on the deferred study leave. If the deferred study leave is rescheduled, it must be taken before the faculty member is eligible for the next study leave. They must return to work for a year upon return from the deferred study leave. This also precludes back-to-back study leaves.

Members who started a leave on July 1 or September 1, 2019 may also request a deferral of a portion of their study leave. If you began your leave on July 1, 2019 and your proposed activities have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, you are eligible to defer 4 months. The accrual time towards your next sabbatical begins as of June 30, 2020.  If you began a leave on September 1, 2019, you may request a deferral of 6 months due to impacts on your ability to complete the work that was contemplated for the period. The accrual for the next study leave will begin as of August 31, 2020.

We expect members to consider whether the deferral is necessary and caused by significant disruptions to research, educational leadership, or other professional development activities owing to the coronavirus pandemic, which reflects the spirit and intent of the parties when we agreed to these extraordinary measures. Members who have not experienced significant disruptions should not request a deferral as all our members have experienced some form of disruption to their work.

The deadline of April 15, 2020 is required so that the head can immediately assign teaching, service, or other departmental responsibilities to assist in handling the COVID-19 crisis. Work assignments may include re-assignment of courses where other faculty are teaching multiple courses online or assisting other faculty, including sessionals, in preparing their courses on-line instruction or other assistance. If there is no work that is available to be reassigned at this time, the Head may assign you additional courses to teach in the future (the number of courses that you would have taught had you not been on study leave) to ensure equity between faculty members.

For those Members currently on study leave and who are planning to defer the remainder, your compensation will return to full pay on the start of the pay period following the date of your notification.

Rescheduling of a deferred study leave will be subject to the operational needs of the Department.  

We trust that this further clarification and additional information regarding our agreement will clear up any confusion. If you have already informed your Head of your intent to defer your study leave, and with the additional information provided in this bulletin wish to continue on the leave instead, you can withdraw your deferral but must do so before April 15.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Bronwen Sprout