Professional Development Fund

WLUSA/OSSTF and the University recognize the organizational and individual benefits to be gained through staff development. A Professional Development fund has been created to allow Members opportunities to enhance their skills and career development. The fund will be jointly administered by WLUSA/OSSTF and the University to ensure fairness and equity in the application of employee professional development opportunities. These opportunities could be in the form of seminars, workshops, courses, and/or conferences.

The WLUSA/OSSTF Professional Development Fund is not intended to replace professional development opportunities that would typically be provided by the Member’s department. It is intended to supplement these opportunities when the departmental budget does not have sufficient funding to cover the full cost or when the development opportunity is not related to the Member’s current role.

The fund is governed by a joint WLUSA/OSSTF-University committee consisting of two WLUSA/OSSTF members (selected by WLUSA/OSSTF Executive) and two members from management (selected by Human Resources). The committee is chaired by the WLUSA/OSSTF President (non-voting) and is responsible for reviewing and approving applications to the fund. Administrative support is provided by the WLUSA/OSSTF Administrative Assistant.

The committee will meet monthly to review applications as required. Employees will be notified of the status of their application in writing by the WLUSA/OSSTF Administrative Assistant with cc to their manager.

Annually, on July 1st, the University shall transfer $35,000 to WLUSA/OSSTF for the sole purpose of providing benefits under the Professional Development Fund. A detailed annual report of expenditures and applications will be provided by WLUSA/OSSTF to Human Resources for review by June 1st each year.  The report shall also be provided upon request throughout the year and funds for the following year will not be released until the report has been submitted and reviewed by Human Resources.

Employees submitting applications to the fund must seek approval from their manager prior to submitting the application.

Employees receiving funds are required to submit all receipts and proof of participation and successful completion of the funded program within a month of completing the professional development to the WLUSA/OSSTF Administrative Assistant.

Allocation of Funds
A maximum of $500 per member per fiscal year will be available and can be split over multiple applications. Funds are limited, and therefore applications will be prioritized for funding as outlined in this document.

If the fund is not fully depleted in the first year of the program, the remaining funds will carry forward for the second year and the Parties will re-examine the individual maximum entitlement to determine whether it should be increased.

After the second year of the program, any funds remaining as of June 30th, 2019 will be returned to the university or deducted from the next year’s fund allocation.

Professional Development Funding Criteria
The committee shall prioritize applications in order of the following options, with Option 1 receiving first priority, followed by Option 2. Annually, those who did not receive funding the prior year will be reviewed and prioritized first.

Option 1:
The opportunity is geared towards career development and is directly related to the Member’s current position. In such instances, pending availability of departmental funds, the department will be responsible for the remaining registration fees and, if applicable, travel and meal expenses in accordance with the Expense Reimbursement Handbook and Article 22.1.8.

If the opportunity falls within the Member’s normal hours of work, the Member will be released from their position without loss of compensation or benefits. If it falls outside of the normal hours of work, the Member will not be compensated for additional hours.

For opportunities funded through Option 1, funds will be transferred to the Member’s department through an internal transfer upon receipt of required documentation.

Option 2:
The opportunity is geared towards career development, is not directly related to the Member’s current position, but is directly related to another position at the University. In such instances, the department will not be expected to cover any costs.

It is expected that development opportunities will be scheduled outside of the Member’s normal hours of work. However, where such opportunities are offered only during the Member’s normal hours of work, the Member may make up lost time through a flexible working arrangement, banked overtime and/or vacation entitlement with prior management approval.

For opportunities funded through Option 2, the Member will be responsible for making all payments and WLUSA/OSSTF will facilitate payment reimbursement to the Member upon receipt of required documentation.

Applications will not be accepted to pay for academic courses and associated fees as outlined by Article 22.2 in the Collective Agreement.

Applications will not be accepted to pay for internal training opportunities that are provided by departments like ICT, Human Resources, etc. These opportunities should be fully funded by the Member’s department.

Applications for membership fees to websites that provide resources will not be accepted at this time. These resources should be fully funded by the Member’s department.

Applications for personal development (non-career) will not be accepted.

Ready to fill out an application? Apply now for Professional Development Funding.

More Information
Please check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information or contact the WLUSA Office.


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