Sabbatical Leave

Under Article 17 of the Collective Agreement, a Sabbatical Leave is defined as follows: ‘A period during which a member with tenure or permanence is relieved of normal teaching and administrative duties in order to pursue a program of independent study and research or creative activities.”

 Sabbatical leave has two (2) immediate purposes: to allow members to improve themselves academically or professionally; and to allow members to engage in research activities. A sabbatical leave serves the further objectives of improved teaching, excellence in research and scholarly and artistic or creative publications or activities, and more useful University service.

There are certain time frames that must be observed when applying for sabbatical leave:

  1.  If you have just received tenure:  You MUST have tenure in order to apply for sabbatical leave.  Normally tenure comes into effect July 1.  You can apply in August following the award of tenure, and technically the Sabbatical Reviw Committee should review your application before the following January 1, which would the earliest date  you can go on a 12 month sabbatical at 90% of your salary (if this is the first sabbatical you have ever taken, at any post secondary institution.)
  2. If you have been on sabbatical before:  If you are taking a sabbatical every 3 years, you can apply in August of your second year after the most recent sabbatical.  If you are planning a sabbatical every 6 years, you may  apply in August of your 5th year after your last sabbatical.  REMEMBER: The next sabbatical leave countdown ‘clock’ starts ticking the day you get back from your most recent sabbatical.
  3. If you elect to postpone your sabbatical after being granted sabbatical leave:  If you opt to postpone a sabbatical leave for a year, the year of postponement DOES NOT count towards your next sabbatical leave. If the reason is based on exceptional circumstances beyond your control and the sabbatical leave has not commenced, speak to the Dean and Dept Head.  It may be possible to get that year counted towards your next sabbatical leave.  REMEMBER: The next sabbatical leave countdown ‘clock’ starts ticking the day you get back from your most recent sabbatical.
  4. If Administration asks you to postpone your sabbatical for a year: You can elect to (a) have your nominal salary increased by 5% for that year, or (b) have the year counted towards your next sabbatical leave.

If a member has worked between three (3) and five (5) years, a sabbatical leave shall be for 6 months paid at 80% and 1/2 vacation.  If a member has worked continually for six or more years they can apply for a sabbatical leave of six or twelve months. (Note: in this case, six months is paid at 100% nominal salary and 2 weeks vacation IF the previous 6 years have been sabbatical-free. If not, the 6-month sabbatical is at 80% nominal salary. A twelve month sabbatical is paid at 80% normal salary and includes 1 month vacation.)  If it is a member's first sabbatical at any university or post-secondary institute, the sabbatical leave shall be for 12 months and paid at 90% salary with the inclusion of the annual 1 month vacation.

A member on sabbatical leave is entitled to 30 days notice of any pending decisions affecting workload, working conditions or his/her status at the University and the onus is on the member to keep the University informed of any address changes so such notices can be forwarded. [The onus is also on the member to leave a forwarding address with WUFA if they wish to continue receiving communications and information pertaining to voting for WUFA elections, WUFA annual general meetings, etc.]

Denial of sabbatical leave is subject to the grievance process. If the member is involved in a grievance at the time of sabbatical, the process can be suspended for the time of the sabbatical leave.

For further information on Sabbatical Leaves, please see Article 17,  and read the Sabbatical Handbook. If you have further questions, contact the Faculty Association at (519) 253-3000 ext. 3366 or