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Know your Collective Agreement - Bulletin #2

In this bulletin, we will attempt to enumerate and explain the different types of leaves available to members as provided by articles 26, 27, 28 and 29 of the Collective Agreement. The topics include:
  • Academic Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Vacation leave, Holidays and Absences
  • Maternity and Birth of a Child Leaves
  • Personal Emergency and Compassionate Care Leaves
  • Leave of absence (with or without pay)
We hope that you will find this bulletin informative. If you require any additional information, please read the collective agreement visit the APUO website or contact us by email or by phone at (613) 230-3659.

Academic Leave

The academic leave provision is detailed in article 26 of the Collective Agreement for academic staff, article 31.2 for librarians and 29.4 for language teachers. You can also find this information on the APUO website and on the University of Ottawa website

If you are planning to apply for an academic leave, please look over the appropriate article in its entirety. If you have any questions, you can also contact us by email or by phone at (613) 230-3659.

Academic staff: Academic leave is an investment toward increasing the quality of research and programs of study at the University of Ottawa by allowing an eligible member:
  1. to devote more time to scholarly activities as stipulated in 20.3.1 such as, for example, writing a book, research work, or similar endeavors; or
  2. to acquire relevant expertise or experience in areas related to her specialization, with the objective of enabling her to make her teaching more complete and more appropriate to the needs of her department or other unit to which she is attached.
The newly ratified 2012-2016 Collective Agreement significantly modifies the approval procedure. Starting September 2013, if the DTPC, the FTPC and the Dean recommend the academic leave, the application will be considered successful and will therefore not be presented to the Joint Committee. 

Years of credited service: Credited service is accumulated during applicable periods of service with the employer. Years of service are not credited when a member has 8 or more accumulated credited years, except when additional service results from an administrative deferral as set out in 26.4 or with the permission of the employer. Members accumulate credited service while on regular appointment, replacement appointments, maternity and parental leaves and during sick leave. Members don't accumulate credited service when on academic leave during more than half of the semester (unless confirmed by the employer at the time the leave was granted 26.3.3.4 (a)), during a leave of absence or under other special circumstances.

Example #1: A professor was hired in July 2008 at the rank of assistant professor. Since this is her first academic leave, she can request a full year academic leave at 100% salary in return for six or seven years of credited service. Prior to October 2014 and concurrently to her application for tenure and promotion, she can apply for a full-year academic leave starting in July 2015.

Example #2: A professor hired in July 1996 depleted her credited service for a first academic leave in the 2002-2003 academic year. She took a maternity leave during the entire 2006-07 academic year and a leave of absence from July to December 2007. In October 2011, she applied for a full year academic leave using her 7.5 years of credited service (the maternity leave counts towards her credited service but the leave of absence does not). Her Dean, citing administrative reasons, deferred her academic leave for 2 years. In this circumstance, her credited service continued to accumulate to a total of 9.5 years. When she finally does take her full year academic leave in July 2014, her total credited service will be reduced by 8 years (for 100% salary) and she will be left with 1.5 years of credited service. 

Librarians: Academic leave (formally known as professional leave) is an investment in the development of the University by allowing a member to undertake one or more of the following activities:
  1. devote herself to scholarly work, professional development activities or service to the university community as defined in 20.5.3.2, 20.5.3.4, and 20.5.4;
  2. acquire practical experience in an area related to her responsibilities or her specialization;
  3. pursue advanced, full-time studies in library science or university-level studies leading to an honours bachelor's degree or a master's degree in another discipline;
  4. undergo development or retraining in anticipation of taking on new duties;
  5. accept a position as visiting librarian at another institution.
The newly ratified 2012-2016 Collective Agreement significantly modifies the application and approval procedures by mirroring the academic leave procedures for academic staff. The annual budget for financing the costs of academic leaves for librarians is increased to 200% of the maximum of the rank of librarian III (242,174$ for 2014).

The member must submit an official application to the University Librarian before 1 October of the year preceding the academic year during which she proposes to be on leave. If the immediate supervisor, the LPC and the University Librarian recommend an academic leave, and funding is available, the application will be considered successful.

Language Teacher:  Professional leave for language teachers is a privilege, and is considered an investment towards the development of the University by giving a member the opportunity to engage in one or several of the following activities:
  1. to undertake a research program in linguistics, applied linguistics, language didactics, or in education or psychology in a field related to the teaching of English or French as a second language, to be carried out at a recognized institution of higher learning;
  2. to acquire additional or special training in one of the disciplines referred to in (a) above, that will be of benefit to the member and the employer;
  3. to engage in training or advanced studies related to the profession of language teaching;
  4. to retrain or undertake other relevant activities for the purpose of enabling the member to take on new duties.
Apart from exceptional cases, a professional leave shall be for a period not exceeding 8 consecutive months. The annual budget available for financing supplementary costs arising from professional leaves of language teachers shall be $19,685 for the life of this agreement. To be granted a professional leave, a language teacher must submit an official request to the Dean at least 6 months before the proposed beginning of the leave.
 

Sick Leave

The sick leave provision is detailed in article 27 of the Collective Agreement, the APUO website and on the University of Ottawa website.

A member is eligible for sick leave benefits, and is considered to be on sick leave, whenever she is, by reason of accident or illness, unable to perform her regular workload duties. It is important to specify that being on sick leave shall not diminish a member’s right of access to services normally provided by the employer nor the right to apply for, receive, and manage research and similar grants, to the extent that the exercise of such rights is compatible with the member’s medical condition.

A member who is on sick leave is entitled to receive 100% of regular salary for a period of 119 calendar days, for each separate accident or illness. As soon as possible after the commencement of each period of disability, the member or her delegate must inform the member’s chair of the estimated duration of absence.

A sick leave form must be presented by the member or her delegate to the Dean or her delegate before the 30th day of disability-caused absence. After approving the form, the Dean or delegate shall forward it to the Health, Wellness and Leave Sector of Human Resources Service.

Upon request by the Dean or her delegate, a medical certificate must be submitted to the Health, Wellness and Leave Sector of Human Resources Service:
  1. for any sick leave period which exceeds 10 consecutive working days; or
  2. if, on the basis of the member’s sick leave record, the Dean has serious doubt as to the validity of the claim for sick leave benefits, even if the sick leave period is shorter than 10 consecutive working days.
Where the sick leave exceeds 10 consecutive working days, the member must notify the Dean of her intention to return to work. Should the medical certificate specify a return date and should the member wish to return to work prior to that date then a second medical certificate may be required by the employer.

At any time during a member’s sick leave, a representative from the Health, Wellness and Leave Sector of Human Resources Service may, in order to determine if the member is eligible for sick leave benefits or is able to return to work, require that this member be examined by one or more physicians appointed and paid by the employer. The employer shall make reasonable efforts to consult with the member or her delegate before appointing such physician or physicians in an effort to identify physicians acceptable to the employer and the member.

Vacation Leave, Holidays and Authorized Absences

The vacation leave, holidays and authorized absences provision is detailed in article 28 of the Collective Agreement, the APUO website and the University of Ottawa website (vacationholidays).

Vacation leave: A member employed for a full academic year is entitled to 1 month (22 working days) of vacation leave; a member employed for less than a full academic year is entitled to a proportionally shorter vacation leave.

For academic staff and language teachers, any unused vacation leave shall be forfeited 6 months after the end of the academic year in which it is earned. A member may take vacation leave at any time(s) provided: (a) she notifies her Dean in advance of each vacation period; (b) the vacation will not interfere with the member’s assigned duties as included in the member’s workload pursuant to article 22.

For librarians, a member may carry over to the following year a maximum of 10 working days of leave, provided that she uses up those days before the end of the following year.

Holidays: Members are considered on holiday on the following days: (a) Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and (b) all days declared to be statutory holidays by Federal authority or by authority of the Province of Ontario. They are also on holidays during the winter holiday recess.

Absences (article 28.4.3): A member who is not on academic leave or other leave is required to be present on campus:
  1. when her presence is necessary for the performance of scheduled or teaching duties which are included in her workload pursuant to 22.1.2.2(a) (see below) or for the guidance of graduate students whose work she supervises; and
  2. for a reasonable number of regularly scheduled office hours pursuant to 21.1.3(b); and
  3. to assume a fair share of academic service activities required for the proper functioning of her academic unit and of the University of Ottawa;
  4. when her Dean or chair gives her reasonable notice that, for good and valid reasons, her presence on campus is required.
A member is not required to be present on campus to fulfill her workload obligations, whenever another location is more appropriate for that purpose and her absence from campus does not interfere with the application of 28.4.3 (see above). Please click here to view an April 2013 APUO communication on the subject.
 

Maternity, Birth of a Child, Personal Emergency and Compassionate Care Leaves

These leaves are detailed in article 29 of the Collective Agreement, the APUO website and on the University of Ottawa website.

Maternity leave: Maternity leave shall be for a period of up to 17 consecutive weeks. The period may commence as early as 17 weeks preceding the anticipated date of delivery and as late as the day of delivery. Subject to the provisions of this clause, the member shall decide when she will take a maternity leave.

If a member requires a maternity leave, she shall notify her chair and Dean of the fact, in writing, during the term preceding the term in which the leave is expected to commence or, in the case of a librarian member, 2 months before the anticipated commencement of the leave. The member shall, no later than 10 working days prior to the commencement of the maternity leave, notify her chair and Dean, in writing, of the date on which the leave is to commence. However, the member shall not be required to provide such notice where a physician declares in writing that the member is not or was not able to provide the notice. In such a case, the member shall give the notice as soon as is reasonably possible.

To qualify for the allowance (see below), the member shall provide HR with evidence that she has applied for and will be in receipt of maternity leave benefits under the EI Act, including the amount of that benefit.

Allowance: Remuneration during maternity leave shall be computed on the member's regular salary. However, should the member's regular salary be reduced by reason of complications anticipated or arising directly or indirectly from pregnancy, remuneration for the purposes of the maternity leave shall be computed on the member's regular salary prior to such reduction. The member shall receive 95% of her salary for the initial 10 working days of the leave. For up to a maximum of 15 weeks following the initial 10 working days mentioned in 29.2.1.3(a) above, the Employer shall pay the difference between (i) 95% of the member's salary, and (ii) the maximum level of employment insurance (EI) benefits available to any person whose salary corresponds to the member's salary.

Other articles refer to impacts on non-tenured members, vacation and to the possibility for reduced workload arrangements or leave of absences without pay following the maternity leave.

Parental leave (article 29.2.3): Any member may take a parental leave following: (1) the birth of a child, or (2) the coming of the child into the custody and care of the parent for the first time. Parental leave may begin no more than 52 weeks after the day the child is born or comes into the custody and care of the parent for the first time. Parental leave ends 35 weeks after it began, if the employee also took pregnancy leave and 37 weeks after it began, otherwise, or on an earlier day if the member gives her chair and Dean at least 4 weeks written notice of that day.

The member's chair and Dean shall be notified, in writing, of the date of commencement of parental leave as soon as possible after the member becomes aware of that date. To qualify for the allowance as per 29.2.1.3.a) and b), the member shall provide HR with evidence that she has applied for and will be in receipt of parental leave benefits under the EI Act, including the amount of that benefit. 

Allowance: Remuneration during parental leave shall be as follow and shall be as follows.
  1. The member shall receive 95% of regular salary for the initial 10 working days of the leave except when 29.2.3.6 applies and (2) below will be offered for 18 weeks. 
  2. For the period of up to 16 weeks following the initial 10 working days mentioned in (1), and no later than 52 weeks after the child is born or comes into the custody and care of the parent for the first time, the employer shall pay the difference between 95% of the member's regular salary and the maximum level of EI benefits available to any person whose salary corresponds to the member's salary. 
Birth of a child: A member shall be entitled to 2 days of paid leave during the 30 days following the birth or adoption of the child. This leave is distinct from the parental leave provided under 29.2.3. A member shall inform her chair in writing of her intention to take such leave as soon as reasonably possible.

Personal emergency: Personal emergency leave is unpaid time off work for up to ten (10) days per calendar year. This leave may be taken for personal illness, injury or medical emergency or for the death, illness, injury, medical emergency or urgent matter relating to: spouse, a parent, step-parent, foster parent, child, step-child, foster child, grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild or step-grandchild or the member and their spouse, the spouse of a child, a brother or sister, a relative who is dependent on the member for care or assistance. A member shall inform her chair in writing of such leave before it begins, or as soon as possible. 

Compassionate care: A member shall be granted an unpaid compassionate care leave as prescribed under the Ontario Employment Standards Act.
 

Leave of Absence (with or without pay)

Academic staff and language teachers: The leave of absence program is detailed in article 29.3 of the Collective Agreement, the APUO website and on the University of Ottawa website

A leave of absence with or without pay may be granted by the employer to a member for any of the following reasons:
  1. to provide the member with a period in which to pursue studies, undertake retraining, or otherwise expand or improve her qualifications as a scholar, teacher, or professional;
  2. to allow the member to assist, or provide services to, a learned or professional society, an organization such as CAUT, AUCC, OCGS, or the like, or to a municipal, provincial, national, or international agency, or the like;
  3. to allow the member to provide a community, regional, national or international group or project with services relevant to the member’s academic discipline or profession;
  4. to attend as witness or juror, in accordance with 29.3.7;
  5. to campaign for or hold public office, in accordance with 29.3.8;
  6. to care for a person defined in 40.1.4 or a spouse or a parent (hereinafter referred to as a special family leave).
Leaves of type (1), (2), (3), and (6) shall not normally exceed 2 consecutive years.

To apply for a leave of absence, you must submit a completed application form and any relevant documentation to your Dean at least six months before your requested start date. Your application will be considered by the Joint Committee and a decision will be made no later than three months following the date of your application. Granting of a leave of absence of normal duration shall not be unreasonably denied.

Librarians: Librarian members may apply for leave without pay pursuant to article 31.3 of the collective agreement and may, in circumstances not dealt with this section, apply for leave of absence pursuant to the provisions of 29.3 (Leave of absence for Academic staff). More information is provided on the APUO website and on the University of Ottawa website. Librarian members may request a leave without pay for up to six months. 

To request leave without pay, librarian members must complete a leave form and submit it to the unit head and the University Librarian at least 30 days before the anticipated start of the leave. The request must include the date and duration of the leave, and the reasons for the leave. The University Librarian shall, no later than 10 working days prior to the requested starting date, forward the decision and written reasons therefor to the member.

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