ULFA would like to respond to the University’s messaging about a ‘significant return to campus’ in Fall 2021, and the legitimate concerns members have raised with ULFA about this proposed return. ULFA affirms that our members are not to be coerced concerning how they offer instruction. Our members are responsible for pedagogy in their classroom, whether that be in a face-to-face or online environment. Safety in the classroom for our members and students is something we take very seriously. ULFA will defend any of our members who feel a return to in-person learning is a danger to themselves or others, and will uphold members’ full participation in their roles as instructors by whatever means they deem appropriate.
We point out that the way members deliver lectures is a pedagogical freedom. Our members are required to allow students access to the classroom environment and to hold classes at certain prescribed times. If it is our members’ judgement to hold the class a certain way for safety, it is their pedagogical right and ethical responsibility to do so.
ULFA is asking our members to plan for a pedagogy in what is, in their opinion, the most effective way to safely teach the material. ULFA also recognizes that what may seem to be the safe now, may not be the same in Fall 2021. We are all hoping the vaccine rollout goes smoothly, but the impact of new variants and the rate of voluntary vaccination in our community remains to be seen. ULFA reserves the right to co-manage the collective agreement, including provisions around safety, the equitable treatment of our members, and academic freedom.
The ULFA Executive