Sessionals, as you know, there is a severe snowstorm outside in the Hamilton area which has made visibility and road conditions terrible. As of 4:00 pm, McMaster has not yet cancelled classes, and their twitter indicated that “a winter storm is expected to cause heavy snowfall” and that they “will continue to provide updates.” If they looked out the window, they would see that the winter storm has already caused heavy snowfall and has made commuting dangerous. If you feel that the roads are dangerous and you are uncomfortable with commuting to campus, please review the unplanned leave provisions from your collective agreement (below):
18.01 Unplanned Leave
(a)(i) In the event that an employee requires an unplanned leave it is the responsibility of the employee to both advise their Supervisor and to make up for any missed class and lost time that was missed. When making up the class(es) is a practical impossibility, an alternate arrangement, approved by the Supervisor, will be made. An unplanned leave is without loss of pay, subject to Articles 18.01 (b), (c), (d) and (e). Unplanned leaves may include, but are not limited to; sickness leave; bereavement leave; court leave; jury leave; family responsibility leave; domestic violence leave, and any exigent circumstances preventing access to classrooms.
A snowstorm such as today‘s is certainly something your union views as an exigent circumstance that prevents access to your classroom. If you believe the road conditions to be unsafe, you will need to inform your supervisor and you should let your class know as well. There are various ways to make up the time, but we encourage you to consider your safety (and that of your students) if you have class this evening.
Please let us know if you have any additional questions.