Several kinds of leaves are available to CUPE 3903 members.

You may take a leave if you need time off for conferences, injuries or disabilities, jury duty, bereavement, care-giving, emergencies, sickness, transgender transition, and the birth or adoption of a child. In addition, Unit 2 members can take leaves for research.

Some leaves are straightforward, while others may require that you meet certain thresholds or provide particular documentation. We recommend that if you wish to take or think you may be eligible for a leave, you contact a 3903 Staff member to assist you.

The procedures for Collective Agreement based leaves and Academic leaves can be found at their respective links. Union staff are always available to assist you in this process. It is important to note that collective agreement leaves and academic leaves are not linked. Members who are graduate students will have to take leave from both their employment and their studies separately.

Where possible, members of all units should sign contracts for the term in which they are requesting leave before submitting a collective agreement leave request. This is important to ensure that you receive pay (in the case of paid leave) and retain your health benefits coverage for the duration of your leave.

Paid-Leave Calculations

Collective Agreement (CA) leaves can be found under Article 17 of the Unit 1 and Unit 2 and Article 16 of the Unit 3 and Unit 4 collective agreements. Members will note that those articles provide for a fractional amount of paid leave. This fraction is based on a standard of a 35-week September to April year. Taking sick leave as an example, there is a CA entitlement to 6/35 of the value of a member’s contract(s) in paid leave. If the contract(s) runs from September to April, 6 weeks in time = 6 weeks in pay. If the contract(s) run from September to December, 6 weeks time = 3 weeks pay.

Types of Leaves

Paid sick leave of up to six weeks for a Fall-Winter contract.  Members must inform their immediate supervisor, keep that person apprised of their expected return date, and provide a doctor’s note if requested. The supervisor must maintain confidentiality.

Paid Maternity Leave of up to 17 weeks.  Members must inform the Chair/Dean/Director in writing that they will be taking this leave, ideally as soon as practicable but with at least a month’s notice.

Paid Caregiver Leave of up to 12 weeks for a Fall-Winter contract, for someone who will be caring for a newborn infant, upon written request.

Unpaid Caregiver Leave of up to 35 weeks for a Fall-Winter contract, for the natural mother of a child, or 20 weeks for any other primary caregiver.

Paid Adoption Leave of up to 12 weeks per household for a Fall-Winter contract, for a member or members adopting a child under five years of age.  The request should be made in writing to the department head, and should list the expected date of adoption.

Academic Caregiver Leave in the form of a twelve-month academic extension for full- and part-time students caring for a newborn child.  Members can apply for this leave in the form of a petition to their Graduate Program Director and FGS, with the assurance that their request will not be unreasonably denied. For more information see our page on Academic leaves procedures.

Paid Compassionate Leave of up to 4 weeks for a Fall-Winter contract, to care for an ill member of the member’s immediate family.  If the illness is terminal or life-threatening, this time is extended to 6 weeks, with the option of a further 2 weeks of unpaid leave.

Paid Bereavement Leave of up to 4 weeks for a Fall-Winter contract in the case of a death in the member’s immediate family or equivalent.

Paid Conference Leave of up to 2 weeks for a Fall-Winter contract to present at an academic conference, if the member submits a request in writing along with a copy of the invitation to present. Unit 2 members can also take a week for professional development conferences. In both cases, though, the university prefers “an authorized exchange of service agreeable to the employee.”

Paid Jury Leave–less the pay given for jury duty–for as long as said duty conflicts with a member’s work schedule.  On completion of jury duty, the member should submit a written record of hours spent, signed off by a member of the court.

Paid Transgender Transition Leave of up to 8 weeks for a Fall-Winter contract for members who undergo sex reassignment or gender reassignment surgery, if a certificate from a medical practitioner is presented beforehand.

Union Leave of up to 17 weeks for a Fall-Winter contract, for members who are conducting union business for CUPE National or CUPE Ontario.  Members must provide a written request and a copy of an invitation from CUPE National or CUPE Ontario, with at least two months’ notice.

Research Leave for some Unit 2 members. You can find more details on our Benefits and Funds page.

Paid Emergency Leave of up to 2 weeks for a Fall-Winter contract in circumstances not described above.