IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE

We are now accepting applications electronically for Professional development funds until further notice. Please e-mail your application in one document to your benefits officer at benefits@cupe3906.org

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Professional Development Fund Application Period and Deadlines

WINTER 2021 DEADLINE: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14, 2021

Unit 2 members (Sessional Faculty and Sessional Music Faculty) can apply to the Professional Development Fund (PDF) administered by the Union.

The FALL 2020 deadline for PDF applications has closed.  We will not assess any application until the end of the winter semester in April, though you may submit your application at any point.  If you have questions about how to submit your application, please contact benefits@cupe3906.org and/or administrator@cupe3906.org.

Eligible and Ineligible Professional Development Items

This fund is intended to assist with expenses related to professional development linked to your teaching that fall into the following  categories:

  • Conference Presentations/Participation;
  • Certification or Association Fees;
  • Books/Subscriptions

As a general rule, technological expenses are ineligible (with the exception of stylus pens and clickers, which were made a special general membership meeting on the fund)

CLICK HERE for a list of commonly submitted ineligible expense claims under the CUPE Unit 2 Professional Development Fund. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and represents some, but not all, of the ineligible items. It is designed to provide some guidance, but in the event that an item is not listed it does not automatically mean that the item is eligible and will be reimbursed. To reiterate, as a general rule, all technology items are ineligible- this includes, but is not limited to, computers, tablets/iPads, webcams, microphones, printers, and software.

U of T Censure Update **May 6, 2021**

In solidarity with Professor Azarova and in support of CAUT’s imposing censure on the University of Toronto, any requests for funds or reimbursements for speaking engagements, activities, or conference participation for any events at or affiliated with the University of Toronto are no longer eligible expenses for reimbursement under CUPE Local 3906’s Professional Development Funds for both Sessional Faculty and Post Doctoral Fellows. This policy will remain in place until CAUT’s call for censure has been resolved to their satisfaction.

Further, we strongly encourage members of all three of our bargaining units to respect the call for censure and refrain from attending or participating in events being held at the U of T.

Technological Items and Office Materials- Ineligible Expenses

You guys really don’t approve technological items? Yes, that’s right. The fund is not designed to cover these items and lacks sufficient funding to do so.

Article 13.01(a) of your Collective Agreement ensures that “office and instructional materials related to the employee’s instructional responsibilities will be available on the same basis as faculty members in the academic unit.” If you need it to teach, the Employer has an obligation to provide it to you. If it’s convenient, but not needed, the fund does not have enough money to cover these items as hundreds of sessionals are eligible each year.

The Employer has policies in place to consider employee’s working expenses.  During the COVID-19 University closure, there is an enhanced process to help Employees obtain the resources they need to do their jobs (please see below).

COVID-19 Working from Home Employment Expense Reimbursement

We would like to remind members of the Employer’s policy for reimbursing work-related expenses during the pandemic. This policy assists employees who are working from home due to the pandemic closure, and contemplates a number of expenses such as long distance and internet overages, printer ink, etc.

Members can contact their employment supervisors and/or Department or Area Chairs for more information about how to submit expenses.

You can find more details about the policy at the following links:
https://covid19.mcmaster.ca/new-reimbursements-for-working-remotely-help-for-academically-stranded-students/

https://cupe3906.org/2020/08/30/reimbursement-of-employment-expenses/H

If the employer does not reimburse you for the cost (and there is a good chance they won’t), they should either be covered by a T2200 form (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/forms/t2200.html) or a new $400 tax credit introduced by the federal government (https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/how-canadians-can-get-a-400-tax-credit-no-questions-asked-for-working-from-home-during-covid-19)

We are in discussion with McMaster about how they’ll be proceeding with the T2200 forms, and we’re all awaiting word from the federal government on the implications and criteria of this tax credit. We’ll communicate with members as soon as we have an update.The Committee does not reconsider ineligible applications.

Entitlement Amounts under the Professional Development Fund (PDF)

Sessional Faculty are eligible for $200 per 3 unit course to a maximum of $1000 per academic year.  As of Winter 2015, subsequent sections of individual courses taught by Sessional Faculty will be eligible for a Professional Development award of $100 for the first additional section taught and $50 for each subsequent section taught (up to the maximum yearly entitlement).

Hourly Rated Music Faculty (HRSMF) eligibility will be calculated according to the unit calculations in Article 20.02 of the Unit 2 Collective Agreement (i.e., 1 student = 1 unit, or 1 Special Studies in Chamber Music = 1 unit). (For every 3 units taught, HRSMF will receive $200; subsequent units/students will be prorated.)

*Please Note: Awards are subject to the availability of funds.

Application Process

To apply, please fill out and sign the APPLICATION FORM (below) and attach original receipts. For conferences and travel, we require verification of attendance (ie/ boarding pass and/or conference receipt).

Applications are due on the last day of classes each term and will be reviewed by the Benefits Committee shortly thereafter. These dates can be found here: http://registrar.mcmaster.ca/sessional-dates/

*Please note: PDF applications will be adjudicated and/or paid out at the end of the academic term in which you apply.*

You are able to claim all of your entitlement for a given academic year at once, or throughout the course of the academic year. For example, if you teach one 3 unit course in the fall and one 3 unit course in the winter, you may claim your $400 entitlement in the spring/summer session, if you prefer. (Please note that PDF benefits are adjudicated and paid out only at the end of a given term. See above.)

We recommend that you submit your claim in the same term you incur the cost, if possible. You cannot claim costs incurred in prior eligibility periods during the current eligibility period (e.g., claim something in December 2018 for an expense you incurred prior to September 1st, 2018).

CLICK HERE for the most recent version of the application form.

If you have any questions, please e-mail benefits@cupe3906.org