COVID-19 Expense Reimbursement Fund (CERF)

To:   Principals & Deans
Cc:CAOs, HR Managers & Directors, Academic HR Leads
From:   Heather Boon, Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life
Date:   March 4, 2022
Re:   COVID-19 Expense Reimbursement Fund (CERF) Extension

Further to the memo below, we wanted to provide you with details related to recent changes to the COVID-19 Expense Reimbursement Fund (CERF). On February 24, 2022, the University and University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) reached an agreement regarding extending certain provisions of the COVID-19 specific Letter of Understanding (COVID LOU)  for faculty and librarians, including the CERF.

The parties have agreed that:

“The relevant period referenced in Section 7.2.3. during which expenses must be incurred in order to be eligible for reimbursement from the CERF will be extended from December 31, 2021 to March 31, 2022. The deadline for submitting these claims for reimbursement will remain March 31, 2022. Faculty members and librarians who take up their positions on or after January 1, 2022 will be eligible to submit claims under the terms of section 7.0 for eligible expenses incurred between January 1 and March 31, 2022.”

Implementation:

Funds Transfers for New Hires

$750 for each eligible faculty member and librarian who has taken up a new appointment since January 1, 2022 will be transferred from a designated Faculty fund centre to individual faculty and librarian PI accounts using the commitment item – EXP-CERF.

Eligibility

The COVID LOU provided for eligible expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021. The new agreement has extended the period during which CERF-eligible expenses can be incurred to March 31, 2022, including for those new faculty and librarians who have started their appointments since January 1, 2022.

All transaction must still be posted by April 22, 2022 at 5pm, after which time any unused funds will be centrally transferred back to the original Faculty fund centre.

To:   Principals & Deans
Cc:CAOs, HR Managers & Directors, Academic HR Leads
From:   Heather Boon, Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life
Date:   Ocyober 1, 2021
Re:   COVID-19 Expense Reimbursement Fund (CERF) Update

In August 2021, the University and UTFA reached an agreement on a COVID-19 specific Letter of Understanding (COVID LOU) that included a provision for the CERF. This fund is intended to reimburse faculty members and librarians for expenses incurred by them related to the performance of undergraduate and graduate teaching and, in the case of librarians, professional practice remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I am writing you today to update you on how this fund will be administered. Faculties will be responsible for funding the CERF and central finance will set up the necessary transfers between Faculty accounts and eligible faculty and librarian accounts. Individual units will process the reimbursements.

Funds Transfers

On October 8, 2021, $750 for each eligible faculty member and librarian will be centrally transferred from a designated Faculty fund centre to individual faculty and librarian PI accounts using a newly created commitment item – EXP-CERF.

The same Faculty fund centre that is currently used for PERA will be used for these transfers.

ACTION: If you would prefer a different fund centre is used for your CERF transfer, please send the alternative fund centre to Phil Harper before end of day October 6.

Once the Faculty funds have been allocated to individual PI accounts, faculty members and librarians can submit their reimbursement claims to their units and business officers can begin to post transactions. Detailed instructions for processing will be circulated from Financial Services.

Claims for reimbursement may be submitted up to March 31, 2022. All transactions must be posted by April 22, 2022 at 5pm, after which time any unused funds will be centrally transferred back to the original Faculty fund centre.

Eligibility

PERA lists will be used to determine eligible faculty members and librarians. Faculties may choose to review their list (prepared by Phil Harper) to confirm who is eligible. If you would like to review your list contact Phil Harper (deadline for review is October 7, 2021).

Expenses must be actually incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021, up to a maximum amount of $750 in total per faculty member or librarian inclusive of tax.

Eligible expenses must be in accordance with the University of Toronto’s “Guide to Financial Management” and must be related to the performance of University of Toronto undergraduate and graduate teaching and, in the case of librarians, professional practice remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They may include, but are not limited to: office furniture, microphones, cameras, ring lights, and computers.

[Updated October 8, 2021: Eligible expenses previously claimed under PERA can be reallocated to the CERF.]

Unit heads will approve reimbursement requests and can determine if claimed expenses meet the criteria. Questions about eligible expenses can be directed via Teams or email to Jessica Eylon in the Office of the Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life.