Unit 2 (CI) Return to Campus FAQ

Prepared by CUPE 4600

Last Update: August 3, 2021

Below you will find answers to many of the common questions that Unit 2 (CI) members have about Carleton’s plans for a return to campus this fall. 

If you have additional questions or require further information, please be in touch via info@cupe4600.ca

Contents

  1. The news reported that Ontario universities have been told to prepare for a normal fall term. Does that mean Carleton will re-open entirely in September?
  2. What if I have been hired to teach an in-person course and I would prefer/need to teach online?
  3. What is an “accommodation request”?
  4. What do I do if a TA under my supervision makes an accommodation request or asks to not be assigned in-person work?
  5. Has Carleton management issued any specific guidelines on how to use classrooms and labs safely?
  6. The classroom/lab guidelines say that CIs can request their own lapel microphone. Where do I make this request?
  7. Will proof of vaccination be mandatory for anyone working or studying on campus this Fall?
  8. Will people on campus be required to wear a mask?
  9. What if, after I start work in-person, I see something that violates Carleton’s COVID-19 safety rules or I become concerned for my own health and safety?
 
The news reported that Ontario universities have been told to prepare for a normal fall term. Does that mean Carleton will re-open entirely in September? 

Probably not. Carleton management has indicated that their current plans for a partial re-opening remain in place. However, they continue to monitor the situation and further changes to the re-opening plan are possible. 

What if I have been hired to teach an in-person course and I would prefer/need to teach online? 

You should talk to your Department Head as soon as possible and make an accommodation request. If that isn’t possible or you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you should contact the Faculty Dean. We recommend you cc your union (info@cupe4600.ca) on all email communications with management on this topic so that we can assist you if necessary, and so that we are aware of how widespread the issue is. 

What is an “accommodation request”?

An accommodation request is a request made by an employee to management for a change in their working conditions, usually due to a medical condition. 

In the context of the return to campus, many CIs are inquring about making an accommodation request to be moved from in-person to online teaching, over concerns for the health and safety of themselves and their households. 

Unfortunately, Carleton management has not provided clear details on how return to campus accommodation requests will be handled, what documentation may or may not be required, or who is involved in making decisions on these requests. 

They have indicated that they will assess all accommodation requests on a case by case basis, and there is no blanket guarantee that any request to be moved to online work will be honoured. 

Accommodation requests are more likely to be successful if they are made based on a documented medical condition. For example, if you or a member of your household are immuno-compromised or in a category that is at higher risk of infection, that could be grounds for an accommodation, as could stress or anxiety disorders. 

Additionally, management has a legal obligation to accept accommodation requests of individuals protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code, provided such requests do not cause ‘undue hardship’ to the employer or its operations. 

If you would like support in making an accommodation request, please contact us at info@cupe4600.ca.

What do I do if a TA under my supervision makes an accommodation request or asks to not be assigned in-person work?

All requests of this kind should be forwarded to the Department Head. Contract Instructors are not expected to be involved in making decisions about accommodation requests from TAs. 

Has Carleton management issued any specific guidelines on how to use classrooms and labs safely?

Yes. Carleton management has prepared two sets of guidelines, one for classrooms and another for labs, laying out how these spaces should be used to ensure safety. 

You can find these guidelines at this link.

The classroom/lab guidelines say that CIs can request their own lapel microphone. Where do I make this request? 

It’s unclear. Carleton management has not yet provided details on where CIs can make this request. If you are teaching in-person and would like a lapel microphone, we recommend emailing a request to your Department Head as soon as possible. If they are unable to assist you, please let us know at info@cupe4600.ca.

The new classroom/lab guidelines say that I have to bring my own chalk, erasers, and markers. Will Carleton pay for these supplies? 

Yes. CIs who have purchased chalk, erasers, or markers should contact their Deparment Head and request a reimbursement. You may need to have a receipt to verify your purchase. 

Will proof of vaccination be mandatory for anyone working or studying on campus this Fall? 

At this time, no. Carleton does not currently have any plans to require vaccinations. Management indicated that requiring vaccines in the absence of a direct order from Public Health could put the university at risk of legal action. 

Some institutions in Ontario, notably Seneca College, University of Ottawa, and University of Toronto have stated vaccinations will be mandatory for some categories of students and staff. Carleton management, however, has said that without an order directing them to do so from either Ontario or Ottawa Public Health, they will not require staff or students to be vaccinated. 

Will people on campus be required to wear a mask?

Yes, as of the most recent information we have from management. Non-medical masks will be required for anyone on campus.

What if, after I start work in-person, I see something that violates Carleton’s COVID-19 safety rules or I become concerned for my own health and safety?

Your union will provide more information in the near future regarding Carleton management’s Fall term COVID-19 safety rules, how they will be enforced, and what union members working in-person should do if they have concerns. 

Where can I find Carleton management’s information about returning to campus? 

You can find Carleton’s Safe Return to Campus information at this link