Weekly Update – September 17, 2021

September 17, 2021

Weekly Update – September 17, 2021

CUASA Queries: Sanitizer, Masks, and Elevators

CUASA President Angelo Mingarelli has written to Deputy Provost Lorraine Dyke to ask a series of queries related to various on-campus items that could affect CUASA members.

First, Dr. Mingarelli asked about the placement of hand sanitizer stations across campus. Dr. Dyke responded that there are a number of factors that affect the placement of hand sanitizing stations, one of which is the availability of washrooms for handwashing.

CUASA also inquired about the University’s mask policy, and whether the use of face shields is allowed under it. Dr. Dyke responded that the use of a face shield does not replace the need for a well-fitting mask. She said that Public Health has reaffirmed this, and that masks are required for on-campus activities, including while teaching.

Under the University’s policy, “Mask” means: a cloth (non-medical) Mask, medical Mask or other face coverings, (e.g., bandana, a scarf or cloth), for filtering respiratory droplets that securely covers the nose, mouth, and chin and is in contact with the surrounding face without gapping. The need for full covering and contact is why a face shield does not meet the requirement. The policy stipulates that if there are specific medical or physical limitations that could prevent individuals from wearing a mask, appropriate accommodations will be discussed and implemented. These could include a face shield in rare cases.

Finally, Dr. Mingarelli asked about the removal of previously posted elevator capacity limits on campus. Dr. Dyke responded that the absence of capacity numbers is deliberate, saying the capacity numbers that were originally in place have been removed as the risk from travelling together in an elevator is much reduced given these considerations:

  • Everyone is required to be masked;
  • Only healthy individuals are to be present on campus;
  • Every is required to be vaccinated, or have been rapid tested, to be allowed on campus;
  • An elevator ride is under 2 minutes of contact time; and
  • Public Health guidelines do not consider this as close contact with the above in place.

As always, CUASA will continue to seek clarification from the administration on any points of concern raised by our members.


Video: Is it safe enough to return to campus? What do public health scientists say?

On September 9, the Toronto Inter-University Coalition, which is comprised of faculty associations and unions from Toronto’s four universities, sponsored an expert panel titled “Is it safe enough to return to campus? What do public health scientists say?” Panelists answered representative questions received from attendees ahead of time and via Zoom Q&A.

To view the video of the event, click here.


Psychology Mental Health Day – October 7

In recognition of World Mental Health Day, this year, the Department of Psychology at Carleton will partner with the Mental Health and Well-being Research and Training Hub (MeWeRTH) to host, “Psychology Mental Health Day, 2021” virtually on Thurs. Oct. 7th from 2:30pm – 4:00pm.

The Lived Experience speaker will be Elizabeth Manley, former Olympic skater. Her talk is entitled, “Resiliency…getting through uncertain times”.

The Keynote speaker will be Dr. Lara Aknin, from Simon Fraser University. Her talk is entitled, “Mental health and well-being during the first year of covid-19”.

The event will be virtual. All are welcome. To register, click here.


CUASA Business

CUASA Council

Members should know that the first meeting of CUASA Council for the 2021-2022 academic year will be next Friday, September 24. You can see a list of Council members, as well as current vacancies, by clicking here. If you’re interested in becoming a Council representative for your unit, please contact CUASA’s Chair, Nominations and Elections, Marylynn Steckley, at nominations@cuasa.ca.


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

We are seeking a CUASA volunteer to be a Trustee for the CAUT Defence Fund. If you are interested, please contact Marylynn Steckley at nominations@cuasa.ca.


Academic Community Updates

OCUFA releases summary of CUASA’s new agreement, including notable equity gains

Last week, details of CUASA’s new collective agreement were featured in the OCUFA Report. You can read it here.


Faculty associations ask federal candidates to protect public institutions from private-sector restructuring

Ontario faculty associations are sending letters to federal candidates running in their regions and asking those seeking a seat in Parliament to exempt public institutions from private-sector restructuring under the federal Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA). It was under the CCAA that, earlier this year, Laurentian University acted to cut more than 60 programs and hundreds of jobs, throwing away decades of important research and longstanding commitments to Francophone and Indigenous programming.

To keep reading, click here.


Toronto Star publishes article by OCUFA President about the threat federal insolvency legislation pose to public universities

Earlier this week, The Toronto Star published a contribution from OCUFA President Sue Wurtele that highlights the need for the next federal government to pass changes to federal insolvency and bankruptcy legislation to exempt public institutions, including universities.

You can read the article here.


CAUT calling for ‘pause’ on U of T censure after U of T reverses course on Dr. Azarova case

CAUT is calling for its members and allies within the University of Toronto, across the country and the world to suspend actions related to the censure against the U of T.

This decision is in response to the U of T’s decision to reverse course and re-offer Dr. Valentina Azarova the position of Director of the International Human Rights Program in the Faculty of Law.

To keep reading, click here.


Labour Community Updates

Canada’s unions united with nurses in demanding urgent government action

As the pandemic strains Canada’s public health care systems, nurses are sounding the alarm that urgent action is needed by all levels of government to fix Canada’s nursing crisis.

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions and provincial nurses’ unions across Canada are holding a National Day of Action today, making sure our health care system is top of mind when voters go to vote on Monday.

To keep reading, click here.

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