The FSA office often receives questions from members regarding the Month Free of Teaching (MFOT) provisions contained in the Collective Agreement. Article 8.6.1 gives teaching Faculty one month “…free of teaching and student evaluation (examination, marking and marks review) duties”. Here are some of the more frequently asked questions regarding this topic.
What am I required to do during this month?
The Collective Agreement does not list any specific activities or deliverables for the MFOT. Responsibility for assigning duties to be undertaken during this month resides with the members of your Department (all of the FSA employees plus the related manager, each with a single voice and single vote). These duties relate to the “…effective operation of the Department”. Scheduling of these duties must be “…consistent with the fair treatment for each Employee in the Department“. For Departments that face low enrolments, the Department my assign “…activities designed to create a more satisfactory enrolment situation”.
Most Faculty use their MFOT to update their course material and to prepare for the next term. Many Faculty also use this time to complete professional development.
Does this month have to be in June?
No – While many Faculty use all or part of June as their MFOT, there is nothing in the Collective Agreement which requires that the MFOT be taken in June.
Does this month have to be a continuous block of time?
No – Subject the requirements of your Department, the MFOT can be scheduled in segments. We are aware of some Faculty who spread their month over the entire summer, while other Faculty take half of their MFOT in June and the other half in August.
Does this month count against my annual vacation or other break periods?
No – Article 8.6.5 specifically states that the MFOT “…is not included as part of the Employee’s Annual Vacation or of Term, Spring and Christmas break periods”.
Do I have to be on campus during this month?
No – Subject to the duties assigned to you by your Department, you are not required to be in attendance at the Institute during your MFOT. If you are not on campus during this month, you are considered to “on-duty, off campus”.