As you know, the President and Vice-Chancellor, Jacques Frémont, is imposing a return to campus from January 31st. Several faculties have sent directives to the effect that courses must be held according to the format indicated in the teaching contract.
Considering the precarity of the situation as the Omicron variant is highly contagious, the Association denounced the premature return to campus ordered to the university community
Since our public statement, we have heard nothing from the administration and no details on the health and safety measures that will be put in place in the classrooms. With less than a week to spare before a return, concerns are growing.
Given the silence and indifference of the administration, the Association has decided to circulate a petition in order to make our discontent felt to Mr. Frémont and ask him to reconsider this premature decision.
In the Event of a Forced Return to Campus
Survey your Students
We suggest that you first survey your students to find out their intentions. If the vast majority of your students refuse to come to class, you will probably want to approach your department/faculty and inform them that it would be better to continue your teaching virtually.
Unease at the Thought of Returning to the Campus.
If you are not comfortable coming back to campus, you can consult your department and faculty to see what options are available to you. It is clear that when you accepted your contract, the Omicron variant was not a consideration. Things have changed and we hope that faculties can understand our reality.
Accommodation Request for Medical or Family Reasons
As we prepare for an early return to campus, it is important to know your rights in terms of your health and safety at work. You have, as always, the right to request accommodations for medical or family reasons. For example, a member with co-morbid conditions with COVID-19, such as a compromised immune system, may be able to request a medical accommodation, while a member caring for a child too young to receive the vaccine or a caregiver may be eligible for an accommodation for family reasons.
Please note that each case is unique and that accommodations may be different depending on each individual’s situation.
Before beginning any accommodation request, it is highly recommended that you contact our labour relations experts in order to evaluate your situation and to provide you with the best possible support in this process. You can contact the Association at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the standard steps to follow for any request for accommodation:
Inform your department or school unit of your need for accommodation and that you will continue to teach remotely until your accommodation plan is in place. It is important that you do not send any medical information (doctor’s bill, medical report, etc.) to your department or unit.
Contact the University of Ottawa’s Health and Wellness sector by email (santerh@uOttawa.ca), to request an accommodation plan for teaching in the Winter 2022 Term. We suggest that you include the Association in copy of the request for support.
Inappropriate Classroom or Unsafe Working Conditions
Do you feel unsafe in your assigned classroom or do you feel that sanitary procedures are not being followed? You are entitled to exercise your right to refuse to work under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. For more information, here is a summary of the steps presented by the University of Ottawa’s Risk Management Office.
We strongly suggest that you contact the Association before initiating this process.
You Are Thinking of Leaving Your Contract
You have approached your department and faculty, but have found no flexibility. You are now thinking of giving up your teaching load. Do not hesitate to contact the Association’s Labour Relations team to ensure that arrangements are made properly.