Our Collective Agreement (CA) affords Full-time union members ten days of professional development (PD) per year. Furthermore, five of those ten days, at least, are to be consecutive.
For professors, counsellors, and librarians, the CA states,
- The College shall allow each teacher/Counsellor and Librarian at least ten working days of professional development in each academic year.
- Unless otherwise agreed between the teacher/Counsellor or Librarian and the supervisor, the allowance of ten days shall include one period of at least five consecutive working days for professional development.
- The arrangements for such professional development shall be made following discussion between the supervisor and the teacher/Counsellor or Librarian subject to agreement between the supervisor and the teacher, and such agreement shall not be unreasonably withheld. (Articles 11.01 H1-3 and Articles 11.04 B 1-3)
Who ensures you actually get to take advantage of this provision in the CA?
You, the member, are responsible for ensuring you have ten days of professional development.
If members typically do not teach in the spring semester, then scheduling those PD days is relatively simple. When your Standard Workload Form (SWF) is negotiated in the winter semester, remind your manager of your plans for PD days and ask that their hours be reflected in your SWF.
But what happens when every SWF is loaded with teaching hours?
What if there are either no weeks or only one week (between the semesters) without teaching?
The advice is the same. Arrange or apply for five days of PD somewhere in the spring semester plus five more days taken also in that semester and ask your manager to arrange your work schedule in consequence. Your workload should be lightened to accommodate the PD.
Does the college pay for your PD?
The CA states,
- The employee may be reimbursed for costs associated with such professional development, as approved by his/her supervisor or other body established by the College to deal with allocating resources made available for this purpose. (Article 11.01 H 4 and Article 11.04 B 4)
Reimbursement for PD activities is not guaranteed, and employees must apply for approval. Visit the college HR&OD site for more information.
I was approved for the time, but my manager keeps scheduling me for other tasks!
If you have been approved for PD, your manager must provide you with that time. You do not have to attend meetings or complete other tasks during your PD. If you are experiencing difficulty, politely remind your manager you are completing mutually agreed PD at that time. If the problem persists, reach out to your union steward.