14. PROTECTION OF EMPLOYEES
14.1 DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT
The University and the Association recognize the right of employees to work in, and students to study in, an atmosphere free from discrimination and harassment. All employees and students have the right to employment and equal treatment without discrimination or harassment because of the race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify or expression, or age of that person or because that person has been convicted of a criminal or summary conviction offence that is unrelated to the employment or to the intended employment of that person, or membership or activity in the Faculty Association.
14.2.1 Statement of Commitment
The University promotes teaching, scholarship and research and the free and critical discussion of ideas.
Unions and employers are committed to providing a working and learning environment that allows for full and free participation of all members of the institutional community. Harassment undermines these objectives and violates the fundamental rights, personal dignity and integrity of individuals or groups of individuals. Harassment is a serious offence that may be cause for disciplinary sanctions including, where appropriate, dismissal or expulsion.
The University has a responsibility under the BC’s Human Rights Code and the Workers’ Compensation Act to prevent harassment and to provide procedures to handle complaints, to resolve problems and to remedy situations where harassment and bullying occurs.
The employer will offer educational and training programs designed to prevent harassment and to support the administration of the institutional policies and to ensure that all members of the institutional community are aware of their responsibility with respect to the policies. The union and employer agree that attendance is required and will take place during compensated work time.
14.2.3 Personal Harassment is defined in the VIU Personal Harassment Policy as:
a) Behaviour that generally involves a course of conduct directed towards a specific person or persons which serves no legitimate educational or work related purpose; and,
b) is known, or ought reasonably to be known, to have the effect of creating an intimidating, humiliating, offensive or hostile educational or work environment.
A single incident, when sufficiently serious, may be considered personal harassment.
The performance of assigned job responsibilities, including evaluation or supervision, exercised in a fair and reasonable manner shall not constitute personal harassment.
14.2.4 Sexual harassment is defined in the VIU Sexual Misconduct Policy as vexatious comments and/or conduct that is sexual in nature, offensive, intimidating, or humiliating, and is known or ought to be known to be unwelcome. Sexual harassment also includes a reprisal or a threat of reprisal for the rejection of a sexual solicitation or advance.
126.96.36.199 VIU Informal Processes
Where the parties are mutually agreeable, they may first attempt to use VIU policies or processes to resolve complaints of harassment and sexual harassment prior to accessing the following procedures in Article 188.8.131.52 Mediation and 184.108.40.206 Investigation.
220.127.116.11 Right to Legal Counsel
The union is the exclusive bargaining agent for the bargaining unit employee and as such has the exclusive right to represent the employee in all matters pertaining to their terms and conditions of employment, including matters that may lead to discipline by the employer. An individual bargaining unit employee has no right to be represented by legal counsel during an Article 14.2 investigation involving an allegation of harassment.
When a complaint is received by the employer involving an individual covered by this collective agreement, the parties may initiate a mediation procedure at the bargaining unit level.
Consensual mediation will require the agreement of the complainant and the alleged harasser to use the following process:
a) the parties will discuss the nature of the complaint and agree upon who will conduct the mediation;
b) the mediation process and resolution will be kept strictly confidential by all participants;
c) where a resolution is reached, the complainant and the alleged harasser must agree in writing to the resolution and the matter will then be considered concluded;
d) there will be no record of the mediation except the written agreed resolution.
Complaints by VUIFA employees that do not proceed through a local policy, should be filed in writing with the Director, Diversity, Equity and Human Rights, normally within twenty (20) working days of the most recent incident of personal harassment or of failure to resolve the issue through the informal resolution process. The Director, Diversity, Equity and Human Rights or Administrator will provide the respondent with a copy of the written complaint.
If the complaint is not resolved at the mediation stage, then it will be referred to an agreed upon investigator.
An investigator will be appointed within ten (10) working days of referral.
The referral will, where possible, include a copy of the complaint and any written response. The referral should be assembled by the Institution and forwarded to the Investigator with a copy sent to the union(s).
The appointment of an investigator does not preclude an investigator from recommending mediating the dispute where possible up to the time of submission of the Investigator’s report to the local parties pursuant to Article 18.104.22.168(a) below.
Any complaint of harassment will be kept confidential except as is necessary to investigate and resolve the issue. Investigators will stress the confidentiality of the investigation with the person(s) interviewed.
22.214.171.124 Terms of Reference of the Investigator
a) The primary purpose of the investigator will be to make findings of
b) All persons quoted in the investigation will be named by initials.
c) The complete report of the Investigator will be given, in confidence, to the union(s) and the employer. It is the responsibility of the employer to forward a copy of the report to the complainant and the respondent. The employer will state, in a covering letter, that the report is confidential. The report should refer to individuals involved by initials only. However, a key will be provided to the employer and the union(s) for internal use. This practice should be repeated at any subsequent arbitral proceeding. Upon consultation with the union, the employer may redact information from the forwarded report if the release of that information would violate the personal privacy of individuals.
d) The investigator will conclude their work within twenty (20) days of appointment and will render a report within a further ten (10) days. These timelines may be extended if deemed appropriate by the local If requested by the investigator, the employer will provide meeting space and contact information about persons to be interviewed.
e) The investigator should, as part of their report, make findings in relation to possible breaches of VIU policies.
f) The investigator’s report will not be placed on an employee’s file.
126.96.36.199 The employer will make a written determination based upon the findings of the investigation within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the Investigator’s report. If necessary, this timeline may be extended by mutual agreement between the local parties.
14.2.7 Rights of the Parties
Should a complainant file a complaint under the provisions of the Human Rights Code, it is understood that the Human Rights Code, section 25 of the Human Rights Code will apply.
14.2.8 The above noted procedure does not restrict:
(a) The employer’s right to take disciplinary action;
(b) The union’s right to grieve such disciplinary action or to grieve an alleged violation of this Article.
14.2.9 False Complaints, Breaches of Confidentiality and Retaliatory Action
Frivolous, vexatious or malicious complaints of harassment or breaches of the confidentiality provisions of this clause or retaliation in respect of a complaint may result in discipline. Should retaliation be alleged following the filing of a complaint, an Investigator may deal with that allegation and make a finding.
14.2.10 Joint Discussion
The parties will meet as necessary to facilitate the administration and other aspects of the application of this Article including issues arising under Article 14.2.11 below.
14.2.11 Relation to Other Agreements
Where a complaint under Article 14.2 involves individuals who are covered by another collective agreement the local parties will meet to clarify and agree upon a procedure.
14.5 TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
The parties agree to apply the provisions of Section 54 of the 1992 Labour Relations Code except that a significant number of employees shall be defined as one or more regular or non-regular employees. Copies of this legislation are available from the Chief Personnel Steward or Human Resources.
14.6 DISTRIBUTED LEARNING
14.6.1 Distributed learning includes, but is not limited to, print based education courses, online or web-based instruction, video-conferencing, teleconferencing, instructional video and audio tapes, hybrid or mixed-mode programs and courses.
14.6.2 In developing and offering distributed learning programs and courses, the employer will plan in collaboration with the department or functional area and the employee(s) who will develop and/or deliver the program or course.
For the purposes of this Article departments or functional areas are defined as the operational or administrative sub-division of an institution within which an employee is appointed and assigned workload and may include geographical limitations.
14.6.3 Subject to mutual agreement, the local parties may develop criteria for the determination of the appropriate release time for the development, delivery and revisions of distributed learning programs or courses. To the extent that they contain provisions that address release time and workload for the development, delivery and revisions of distributed learning programs or courses, local letters of understanding shall apply.
14.6.4 The Employer will provide the necessary technological and human resources for employees assigned to develop and deliver the program and courses.
14.6.5 The Employer will provide the necessary and appropriate training in the use of relevant educational technology for employees assigned to deliver distributed learning programs and courses.
14.6.6 Employees delivering distributed learning programs/courses shall not be required to provide technical support to students taking distributed learning courses.
14.6.7 Employees shall not be required to deliver distributed learning programs/courses from their home. Employees delivering or developing distributed learning courses shall be provided with office space and the appropriate technology to support them in their work.
14.6.8 Where an employee has been assigned an online course and agrees to the employer’s request to teach all or part of that course from home, the employer shall provide the appropriate technology and pay for the reasonable and approved costs of delivering those courses from home.
14.6.9 No regular employee will be laid off as a direct result of the introduction of distributed learning.
14.8.1 Copyright Ownership
The copyright or patent for any work product, including creative work, instructional strategies or curriculum/instructional material, software or any other material or technology that may be copyrighted or patented:
188.8.131.52 Belongs to the employee(s) where the work product has been prepared or created as part of assigned duties, other than the duties listed in Article 184.108.40.206 below, and the copyright to all copyrightable material shall be the sole property of the employee(s) and shall be retained throughout their lifetime and upon their death by their heirs or assigns; and,
220.127.116.11 belongs to the institution where one or more employees:
(a) have been hired or agrees to create and produce copyrightable work product for the institution, or
(b) are given release time from usual duties to create and produce copyrightable work product, or
(c) are paid, in addition to their regular rate of pay, for their time in an appointment to produce copyrightable work product.
14.8.2 Employer Rights to Materials Copyrighted by Employee(s)
Where the employee holds the copyright pursuant to Article 18.104.22.168, the institution shall have a right to use their copyrighted material for the duration of the employee’s employment with the institution, for institutional purposes. The institution may amend and update the copyrighted material with the approval of the employee(s) holding the copyright to the material. Such approval will not be unreasonably withheld.
14.8.3 Employee Rights to Materials Copyrighted by the Employer
Where the institution holds the copyright pursuant to Article 22.214.171.124 above, the employee(s) shall have the right to use in perpetuity, free of charge, such copyrighted material. The employee may amend and update the copyrighted material with the approval of the institution holding the copyright to the material. Such approval will not be unreasonably withheld.
14.8.4 Joint Review
JADRC, may, at the request of either party, review issues arising from the application of Article 14.8.
14.10 LEGAL INDEMNIFICATION
14.10.1 Vancouver Island University shall maintain:
a) The University’s Self‑Insured Comprehensive General Liability Coverage under the University, College, and Institute Protection Program, including the extension of general liability coverage thereunder to faculty to the extent liability arises from activities in connection with the University; or
b) similar general liability insurance, no less effective than the above program as of December 1, 1995.
14.10.2 To the extent that such coverage is available, the University shall:
a) exempt and save harmless each current and former faculty member from any liability action arising from the proper performance of duties for the University, and
b) assume all costs, legal fees and other expenses arising from any such action.
14.10.3 Providing the Employer requests the use of tools, reference texts and instruments, and the declared value is recorded in writing with the Dean of Instruction at the time the items are brought on campus, coverage is provided for:
All risks of direct physical loss or damage consistent with policy provisions.
14.14 ACADEMIC FREEDOM
Society benefits from the search for knowledge and its free exposition. Academic freedom is essential to both these purposes in the teaching function of the University as well as in its scholarship and research. There shall be no infringement or abridgement of the academic freedom of any faculty member. Faculty members are entitled, regardless of prescribed doctrine, to freedom in carrying out research and in publishing the results thereof, freedom to produce and perform creative works, freedom of teaching and of discussion, freedom to criticize the University and freedom from institutional censorship. Academic freedom does not require neutrality on the part of the individual. Rather, academic freedom makes commitment possible. Academic freedom carries with it the duty to use that freedom in a fair manner consistent with the scholarly obligation to base research, criticism, and teaching on an honest search for knowledge.
14.22 TEACHING ASSIGNMENTS TO UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATORS
University administrators, who are given a teaching assignment as part of their regular workload, and receive no extra remuneration for doing so, shall retain their excluded status so long as their teaching load does not exceed one section in a semester (with associated seminars and labs) and a maximum of one Directed Studies student in a semester. Said administrators shall be required to meet the educational background required of Professors/Instructors who teach similar courses in the division.