COVID-19 Update #5 - March 26, 2020

Are you looking for information about Employment Insurance, Sick Leave, help because you are caring for someone, or other types of financial assistance?  Find information in this file

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COVID-19 update #5, March 26th, 2020

Hello CUPE 4600 Members, 

Below you will find some important updates regarding COVD-19 related issues. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at info@cupe4600.ca.

Employment Insurance & New COVID-19 Supports

There are a number of legislative changes being made at the provincial and federal levels aimed at addressing COVID-19's impact on workers.

These include changes to Employment Insurance and the creation of a new Canada Emergency Response Benefit. 

A good collection of resources outlining these changes can be found at this link.  

 

Unit 1 - TAs, SAs, and internally-funded RAs

 

Changes to hours or duties

If your supervisor or Department makes any changes to your hours or duties, they are required to notify CUPE 4600 in writing. So far, your Union has received written confirmation that only a handful of TAs have had their duties changed.

If you have had your duties or hours changed by your Department or Supervisor and have any questions about your rights, please contact us at info@cupe4600.ca.

 

Maximum Hours & Overtime

All TAs are reminded that you cannot be required to work more than 15 hours in any one calendar week.

Additionally, a TA cannot be required to work more hours than what they were originally hired for without the consent of the TA and written approval from the Dean.

Unit 2 - Contract Instructors

Update on Additional Financial Support for Training or Extra Hours

Several Unit 2 members have contacted CUPE 4600 with details on how Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa are providing additional financial support to sessional staff to help them cope with the current situation. Your Union is investigating to gather further information.

Thus far, Carleton management is not offering any additional financial supports to Unit 2 members to account for the increased workload, time spent training on new software, or equipment purchases needed in order to work from home. 

Update on Letter from Dean in lieu of Teaching Evaluations

Further to our previous updates regarding management's decision to no conduct teaching evaluations this term, they have now indicated that any CI who requests it will receive a letter from their Dean in lieu of a student evaluation.

 

You Union has asked for clarification on the specifics of this letter. Management indicated that the letter:

  • must be requested by the CI;

  • will state that due to COVID-19 no teaching evaluations took place this term;

  • will not comment on the performance or teaching ability of the CI requesting the letter; and

  • will be issued along the same relative time frame as evaluation scores are released to CIs.

 

Despite your Union communicating clearly that CIs wanted evaluations to take place, but that the scores not be used for any hiring or disqualification decisions, Carleton management has refused. Management cited complications arising from how full-time faculty members administer their teaching evaluations as the reason CI teaching evaluations could not occur.

On a related note, the Unit 2 Bargaining continues to assert that Carleton develop a separate evaluation system appropriate to the realities of sessional teaching, and one that is not tied to the full-time faculty collective agreement. 

 

Update on T2200 Tax Form

CUPE 4600 continues to push management to reverse their current policy of refusing to approve T2200 tax forms submitted by CIs.

The T22000 tax form allows workers to claim some home office costs on their taxes. CBC News published an article on the T2200 today, highlighting it's value to individuals who are required to work from home. 

 

Professional Development Fund Claims

We are working to resolve several COVID-19 related logistical hurdles regarding the Professional Development Fund in order to get claims approved as soon as possible. We will update applicants on the status of their claim as soon as possible.