Return to Campus Update #5

Dear Members,

At this time the majority of staff should have been notified of the return to campus plan for the Winter 2020 term. We understand that many of you have questions about the return and we have been working, as we did last term, with the three other unions to address these concerns with the university. As it was last term we have not found the university’s response to be satisfactory and we continue to seek clarity. We want to share what information we have so far and to provide you with the steps that can be taken under the Collective Agreement where applicable.

Vaccine Mandate

The policy requiring staff, students, faculty and the broader community to be vaccinated remains in place. We continue to work with members who are concerned about the policy on a case by case basis. The current process for those who have yet to attest to their status as fully vaccinated does include disciplinary measures. If you have any questions or concerns about this policy please contact the union (Kella Loschiavo or Megan Herrington).

With regards to the implementation of this policy, specifically the disciplinary measures, we filed a policy grievance. At this time we are awaiting the written response from the university.

Health and Safety

There are a number of questions and concerns with regards to what measures will be put into place to ensure the spread of the virus is mitigated. What we can share with certainty is that the masking and social distancing remains in place (at this time) for the Winter term. We have been provided with updates on ventilation and cleaning protocols which have also been shared on the Ryerson website. Masks are being provided upon request; N95 masks have been made available to staff through FMD. Below we have provided links to commonly asked questions:

What happens when there is a confirmed case of COVID?

Are masks and distancing still required for Winter 2022?

Does Ryerson have a santiziation plan?

Has Ryerson tested ventilation and air flow?

Are we required to complete a health screening prior to going on campus even though we are vaccinated?

Despite the information that has been provided to the unions and published on the Ryerson website, no detailed or department specific plans have been shared and we have yet to get answers to questions around enforcement, details on office areas are scant as well. We are currently working on a document with the Union Coalition to share with the university as well as the Joint Health and Safety Committee. In the coming weeks we hope to meet with both parties to present our shared concerns and receive the answers we are seeking.

As we understand, at this time, as the return to campus plans are rolling out no discussions have been had with employees to provide information on what measures are being taken with respect to the health and safety protocols and how those protocols influence the scheduling of staff on campus. This particular issue is ongoing and we continue to pressure the university for a detailed response. Again, we will be meeting with the university’s representatives and demanding that such information be shared with staff prior to the actual return on January 7th.

Return to Campus

All staff will be required to return to campus in some capacity next term. While the hybrid model remains in effect it does not mean that all staff will be scheduled for a partial on campus work week. The hybrid model is subject to operational needs as determined by management under the guidance of Human Resources. Meaning some staff may continue remotely; others may have a mix of remote and on campus; and others may be on campus for the full week (and any other iterations). Decision makers were provided a guide by the university, with the assistance of HR Consultants, to determine schedules for the winter term. Factors in the decision making include Risk Assessment in conjunction with Environmental Health and Safety Office; service needs (for example in person interactions, access to equipment/facilities, peer engagement etc.); and the type and nature of work performed.

If you have concerns about the schedule due to childcare, eldercare or medically related issues you can request an accommodation please contact the union as soon as possible and we will guide you through the process.

If management has not notified you of your schedule for January please contact the union (either Kella Loschiavo or Megan Herrington) immediately.

If you have any questions or concerns about the return to campus plans please contact the union (either Kella Loschiavo or Megan Herrington) and we will address the questions as best as possible.

We are also asking that members take time to fill out the survey we’ve included in this message so we can have a broader picture of what is happening across the campus.

Return to Campus Survey

In solidarity,

Kella Loschiavo

Megan Harrington

Jason Naughton

Grace He