We wanted to share this information about leaves of absence as it may be important during the return to campus. We have access to a variety of leaves you can use, they can be found in full under Article 19. The collective agreement is attached below, here are the important points:
19.01 (a) With the approval of the employment supervisor(s) concerned, an employee may arrange to exchange their duties, or for their substitution, with or by a qualified person, for periods not to exceed 10 days at a time and not to exceed 3 weeks per term. If the employee cannot find a suitable replacement, the employment supervisor, upon request, will assist in finding a suitable replacement. Examples of such an arrangement would be for the employee to attend an Academic Conference, a Union Convention, or to attend to an ill family member. Approval of the employment supervisor shall not be unreasonably withheld. (b) It is agreed that an employee may utilize 10 such substitution days for personal leave.
You are also entitled to sick leave yourself as a TA. Article 19.03 reads:
An employee will be credited with sick leave equivalent to 10 working hours per term in the academic year subject to the employee having a teaching assistantship (or a research assistantship in lieu thereof).
Finally, you are entitled to paid family medical leave under Article 19.04, which reads:
(a) An employee may take a leave of absence, without pay, to provide care or support to a seriously ill family member. Such leave shall be taken in accordance with the provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000, and arranged with their Supervisor.
(b) Supplementary Compassionate Care Benefits
An employee will be entitled to Supplementary Compassionate Care Benefits for up to 8 weeks. For each week of leave up to the 8th week, inclusive, the University will pay 95% of regular salary, less the maximum amount of weekly pay any individual is eligible to receive in accordance with the EIA (the “EI Max”), regardless of whether or not such amount is actually received by the Employee. If the Employee provides proof that their EIA entitlement is less than the EI Max, their weekly payment from the University will be 95% of regular salary less the amount of their EIA entitlement.
Please note that under the ESA, family medical leave may be taken to provide care or support to certain family members and people who consider the employee to be like a family member in respect of whom a qualified health practitioner has issued a certificate indicating that they have a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death occurring within a period of 26 weeks.
While we certainly hope that none of these are needed, please be aware of them and know that we are here to support and advocate for you should there be an issue arising from needing to access any of the leaves.