Welcome back everyone,
Hopefully you've had a good break and are ready to tackle the semester. I know there were some growing pains as Chang school completed hiring for the whole year (S/S 2024 still to be hired down the road). I hope this can give members peace of mind when it comes to expectations for the next couple semesters.
There are some important items I would like to highlight:
I've attached the list of religious holidays (thank you Unit 1 VP Kelly Train). I find this super helpful when planning some items that have flexibility. You don't need to plan your course around these dates, but sometimes it does help. That being said, technically, students need to submit their religious observance dates within the first two weeks of school. This is done through the online ACR system. If a student doesn't do this, it is up to your discretion if you want to accommodate. Usually students are good at communicating this in advance and I find most instructors are good at accommodating requests. More information can be found here: https://www.torontomu.ca/humanrights/religious-cultural-observances/
We have a health insurance plan through Sun Life that is different from the old health fund we used to have with Prosure, which isn't available anymore. A summary is below:
- The new plan is only available for members not covered by other health insurance plans from the university.
- Increase amount to $350 and also can be extended to spouses and dependents who have their own $350.
- Currently there is a limitation to only drug coverage, while we are aware of the frustrations this brings. We aim to increase coverage and amounts when I go into bargaining next year.
If you require more information or want to enroll, please see the following: https://www.torontomu.ca/human-resources/news/2022/12/new-benefit-plan-for-cupe-3904-unit-2-contract-lecturers-effecti/
Professional Expense Reimbursement Fund (PERF)
We've bargained to have a fund available to members for reimbursement of professional development and other related expenses, up to a maximum of $250. Every semester we have a PERF announcement to eligible members, in which everyone is eligible to claim this once per year. The mailing lists are continuously updated so if you hear from me in the future about this, that means you are eligible. I encourage everyone to apply as this shows the employer that we want and need these expenses.
Please reach out to me if you are concerned about anything related to contracts, benefits, or anything else that is a part of the collective agreement. We've fostered a respectful relationship with the employer. Coming to us doesn't need to be the last resort, sometimes there are misunderstandings that can be easily sorted out.
I wish everyone a successful semester!