Weekly Update – October 22, 2021

October 22, 2021

Weekly Update – October 22, 2021

COVID-19 Campus Update

Yesterday, CUASA met with the University at the Joint Committee for the Administration of the Agreement (JCAA). The parties discussed the recommendations from the Carleton University Scenario Planning (CUSP) Working Group for the Winter 2022 term. The Association was informed that there may be a modest increase to capacity limits, depending on recommendations from provincial and municipal public health authorities, but that there will not be any drastic changes for the Winter term from the protocols currently in place for the Fall.

CUASA has asked that any planned changes for the Winter 2022 term also be brought to the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) for discussion. At the same time, the Association inquired about the meeting schedule for the JHSC to discuss this and other important topics, but the University was unable to provide us with that information at yesterday’s meeting.

As mentioned in previous updates, CUASA has been trying to get a full picture of the COVID-19 situation on campus, including the current active and historic cumulative case count numbers. The current cases on campus webpage shows active cases and updates daily at 2pm. However, it does not show historic data on cumulative active and recovered cases.

Carleton has agreed to update the webpage to include cumulative cases. CUASA has been informed of the anticipated timeframe to expect the change and we encourage members to help keep themselves informed by using this new tool and access to case information when that day comes. The Association was told that, to date, there has been a total of 10 confirmed cases reported, but that there has not been any confirmed on-campus transmission of the virus.

CUASA inquired about whether the campus clinic will be making rapid tests available, following reports from members that they have been told they were not eligible for these tests. The University informed CUASA that its policy is to not provide rapid tests for fully vaccinated individuals, that they are available only for those with vaccine exemptions, or those who are not yet fully vaccinated. The Association raised concerns with this approach, given that individuals who are fully vaccinated can still catch, carry, and transmit COVID-19. The provincial government is also providing rapid antigen tests free of charge for organizations, so CUASA is unclear why the University is insisting on this policy of not providing a rapid test to anyone who would like one.

The parties discussed the University’s vaccination policy and the requirement to upload a vaccination certificate to cuScreen. The Ontario government has indicated that the choice to use the enhanced vaccination certificates remains with an individual and businesses are to accept either the original confirmation form or the newly enhanced one. CUASA has asked if its members will have the right to make that choice now and be able to reload their attestations with the new enhanced certificate. As we know, the decision to use the original documents from the Ministry of Health came before this new right of Ontarians. Since Carleton is retaining these records in cuScreen for a longer period than what the government’s Verify Ontario app allows, CUASA’s position is that the choice of which document is retained on record should remain with the employee and not the Employer.

Members should also be aware that CUASA had previously filed a grievance related to the University’s vaccination policy and the threats of disciplinary action that some members received for not providing proof of vaccination by certain deadlines. The first complaint meeting on this policy has taken place, but CUASA has still not been provided any clarifications regarding issues raised with this policy.

Of particular concern are the mixed messages and disconnects between the actual policy, the University’s website, and emails that CUASA members have reported receiving. The Association has received an overwhelming number of emails from members reporting policy compliance notices they have received from the University.

A recent email that the Association has seen states that all employees are required to submit their vaccination attestation in cuScreen by no later than October 29, 2021, even if they are not planning or required to be on campus or to participate in in-person activities at this time. However, the University’s Vaccination Attestation webpage states that all members of the Carleton University community are encouraged to complete the vaccination attestation form and submit their documents as soon as possible, even if they are not planning to participate in in-person activities at this time. Finally, the actual COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy also only mentions requirements for attestation for those participating in in-person activities.

Until the University provides clarity on these issues, CUASA members should be aware that they are only required to comply with the policy as written. If members are not on campus, you are encouraged to provide your attestation by October 29. Members themselves know if they are in compliance with the policy or not.

If you have any questions on any of the information provided here, or feel you require individual advice from CUASA on any of these issues, please contact cuasa@cuasa.ca.


CUASA Business

Vacant Steering Positions

We are still seeking volunteers for the following Steering positions (click on the title below to see the position description):

* The Steering committee has allocated a 0.5 course release for the Vice President position.

Information on the nominations process can be found on our How to Volunteer page.

Remember that our Association is only as strong as its membership, so we count on the time and commitment of our members to achieve our goals. If you are interested in one of these positions and would like some information, or wish to nominate yourself or a colleague, please contact Marylynn Steckley, at nominations@cuasa.ca.


Call for Volunteer: JCEEDI

CUASA is looking for a member to volunteer for the Joint Committee for Employment Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JCEEDI). This Committee provides advice to the JCAA on the advancement of equity, diversity, and inclusion in recruitment, hiring, career advancement, training, and related projects. If you are interested in this position, please contact Marylynn Steckley, at nominations@cuasa.ca.


Academic Community Updates

CUASA Member wins OCUFA Teaching Award

CUASA extends sincere congratulations to Melanie Adrian, Associate Professor in the Department of Law and Legal Studies, on receiving a 2020-2021 OCUFA Teaching Award.

The OCUFA Teaching Awards recognize individuals with outstanding contributions to the quality of higher education at Ontario’s universities.

You can read OCUFA’s announcement of Melanie’s award here, and Carleton’s announcement here.

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