Dear OSD Invigilators,
Your labour union, the Association of Graduate Students Employed at McGill (AGSEM) was recently approached by McGill Human Resources and the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) to find solutions for the persistent problem with OSD invigilators cancelling their shifts for non-emergency reasons.
After gathering your feedback on a proposed Letter of Agreement (LoA) between the union and McGill University for the OSD, and meeting with exam managers from the OSD to discuss the implementation of the new policy, union representatives signed the Letter of Agreement, effective 17 January 2020 until 31 December 2020. The union, representatives from OSD, and McGill Labour Relations will meet at the end of the Winter 2020 and Fall 2020 semesters to review the efficacy of the policy.
The text of the new policy for OSD invigilators reads as follows:
1) An employee who, without valid reason, is absent or fails to notify her immediate supervisor of her absence no later than noon on the business day prior to the examination shift, on two (2) occasions in An Academic Term, is deemed to have resigned and loses all hiring priority as per article 13.01.01.
2) Not Notwithstanding article 9.08a), an Employee who, without a valid reason, is absent or fails to notify her immediate supervisor of her absence no later than noon on the business day prior to the examination shift, on three (3) occasions in an Academic Year, is deemed to have resigned and loses all hiring priority as per article 13.01.01.
For the purposes of this policy, a business day is defined as Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. This means, for instance, if you were to cancel a shift for Monday for a non-emergency related reason, you would have to notify your supervisor by noon (12:00pm) the Friday before.
Please note the following:
The definition of “emergency” is deliberately broad, but please note that McGill Human Resources does not consider academic conflicts, such as a meeting with an academic supervisor that runs long, an emergency. It is the employee’s responsibility to ensure that they are able to arrive at a shift that they are scheduled to work.
It is still possible to cancel a shift 2 hours before you are scheduled to work for an emergency, such as bereavement and sickness. If your supervisors notice a pattern of behaviour of cancelling shifts using this right and you are not able to substantiate the emergency, there may be disciplinary action.
The union advocated for more transparency regarding expectations and potential disciplinary action for the implementation of this policy, as well as regarding how the OSD manages its invigilators more generally. The OSD agreed to introduce stages of warnings, including verbal and written warnings so that OSD invigilators have an opportunity to modify their behaviour before a disciplinary meeting is convened. If you have any concerns about how discipline is managed at the OSD, you can always reach out to us at AGSEM.
This policy applies to the OSD exam centre only; if you work as an invigilator in another hiring unit on campus (ie. Enrolment Services, Law, Medicine, Psychology, etc.), the normal deadlines for cancelling a shift would still apply.
The proposed change is for 1 year only, or until a new Collective Agreement is signed. The Invigilator Collective Agreement will expire on 30 April 2020, and we will likely be heading into bargaining with McGill HR soon thereafter.
Any future Letters of Agreement or the signing of a new Collective Agreement may supercede and/or nullify this pilot project. You have the opportunity to provide us feedback, vote on any bargaining proposals, and vote to ratify the new Collective Agreement at Invigilator assemblies. The Invigilator Bargaining Proposal ratification vote will be held on 22 April 2020 at 6:00pm in Arts W-215. We hope to see you there.
Any further questions or concerns about the proposed system for cancellation may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.