Several CUPE 3903 members have come forward to inform us that the Dean’s office of LA&PS has been sending unannounced representatives of the employer into classrooms, presumably to check if the classes are running in-person. These visits are being followed up with threatening emails sent to our members.
CUPE 3903 strongly condemns this practice of unannounced classroom visits by the employer’s representatives, which is a form of surveillance of members’ work, and illegal. Surely the employer has better uses for its resources during this busy time; this form of surveillance is a clear violation of the principle of academic freedom.
The only part of the collective agreement that contemplates the possibility of classroom visits is in the context of evaluations, which require 14 days notice, and are never a surprise. It is shameful for a university to resort to surveillance and ‘snitching’ rather than working with instructors to keep the community safe.
The union is considering what options can be taken to stop this practice. In the meantime, if members are sent a threatening letter or email requesting you to confirm if you have shown up to teach in-person or have experienced or witnessed an illegal class visit, please contact our Chairperson, Vanessa Lehan-Streisel, before replying.