Many of you are being asked whether you prefer to teach in-person or remotely this fall.
For those who prefer to teach in person, there is a risk of having to switch mid-stream to remote teaching or perhaps a combination of in-person and remote. The time spent on assigned teaching (including preparation for various delivery modes in case of COVID-19 disruptions) should be appropriate when your full range of duties is considered. Planning for and creating content in order to switch to remote or some hybrid of remote and face-to-face delivery may not be a sustainable workload without other duties being reduced.
Currently, there is no clear direction from the Employer about what you will need to do if your in-person course is disrupted by COVID-19, except to follow public health orders and Saskatchewan Health Authority guidelines. We have been assured by the Employer that the response to students being unable to attend class because of a COVID-19 diagnosis or a requirement to self-isolate is up to the instructor. Information being circulated about creating contingency plans for in-person class disruptions seems to imply there is no flexibility, but an acceptable approach to absences from lectures also could be that students get notes from others who are able to attend, or request that the university provide a note taker. Information being circulated about creating a contingency plan for in-person class disruptions contains suggestions, not expectations or requirements. We are seeking advice on the Employer’s expectations should the instructor need to self-isolate.
There will be no physical distancing for in-person classes. Masks are mandatory; vaccines are not.
For those who prefer to teach remotely, this choice should not mean that class size is demonstrably larger than it has been in the past, or than it is for the same class being taught in-person. While limitations based on physical space do not exist for remotely delivered classes, the Collective Agreement still requires duties to be assigned fairly and equitably. A class of 120 students versus a class of 400 is only fair and equitable in certain circumstances.