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Academic Views

Administration Refuses Proposal to Consistently Round Up RSL Qualifying Service Time

Research and Scholarship Leaves (RSL; “sabbaticals”) are essential for the functioning of the University, giving academic staff members opportunities to do work they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do given normal workloads.

Under Article 16 of the Collective Agreement, continuing, contingent term, and limited term academic staff accrue service time towards RSL, which they can use after three (3) or six (6) years. Normally, eligible academic staff are hired with a July 1st start date, allowing them to take their RSL on the normal timeline without losing qualifying service time. However, there are times when academic staff are weeks or months shy of qualifying for RSL.

For example, if a new hire starts on September 1st rather than July 1st, they will need more qualifying service to take advantage of RSL at what would have been the normal time. This might mean that the member needs to wait a year to take RSL, which can result in losing some of their qualifying service as it generally can’t be carried forward to a future RSL.

We have proposed that if the time to qualify for an RSL is short by three months or less, the service would be rounded up for anyone in this position. The Administration has refused this solution. Instead, they wish to “cherry-pick” whom they think should get this benefit. The Faculty Association will not agree to such cherry-picking. We want you to be aware of this because, on the surface, it appears that the Faculty Associate is being obstinate. We are not. As stated above, we cannot support a system where the Administration can choose who can and cannot receive items of value provided to everyone in the Collective Agreement.

If the Faculty Association agrees to deviate from the Collective Agreement when the Administration requests (outside of cases involving mitigating circumstances such as illness or disability), we would be disadvantaging academic staff who didn’t apply because they were told by the Administration (and the CA) that they do not qualify for an RSL. We can’t do that.

Again, the Association has proposed an agreement to round up qualifying services when the time involved was three months or less, which would resolve most cases while providing a fair and transparent mechanism to help academic staff to make the most of their RSL qualifying service.

Members can contact the Faculty Association ([email protected]) if they have questions or concerns about RSL qualifying service.

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