Faculty and staff: be prepared

In the event of adverse weather that results in the closure of the UVic campus, information will be posted at uvic.ca and on  and . Faculty, librarians and staff are reminded to personally prepare for snow or other disrupting weather when adverse weather is in the forecast.

Academic and operational leaders should have unit plans for use in the event that the university cancels classes, or reduces or cancels services due to disrupting weather. They should also have procedures to notify students, faculty, librarians and staff when classes are cancelled and services are curtailed. If staff are required for the continued operation and safety of campus, these positions must be pre-designated and staff need to be aware of their roles in a snow closure.

Faculty, librarians and staff should learn about their unit's plans in the event that the university cancels classes, or reduces or cancels services during disrupting weather. 

Employees who are uncertain about their unit's plans and whether they would be required in the event of disrupting weather should contact their unit leader.

In the event of inclement weather

The university can experience snow and other disrupting weather but will make every effort to remain open. Having said that, the university recognizes that, despite best intentions and efforts, inclement weather may delay or otherwise prevent employees from reporting to work.

As a general rule, if the BC Transit bus system is operating and buses are travelling to and from the university, the university will remain open. UVic only interrupts regular operations under exceptional circumstances. We encourage staff, faculty and librarians to use caution travelling to and from UVic and around campus, and allow yourself extra time to reach campus.

When on campus, slow down, watch for icy roads or pathways and choose appropriate footwear. The university cares about your safety and well-being. Plan ahead and make safe choices for travel to campus during snowy weather. If your vehicle is not equipped for winter driving conditions, please use other transportation options including public transit or carpool with someone whose vehicle is winter-ready. If you do not have a safe travel option available and are unable to attend work, please notify your supervisor. 

UVic's practice with respect to pay has been to take reasonable steps to minimize the possibility that staff will lose pay if they are unable to come to work, or arrive late, due to these circumstances. Managers have the discretion to allow staff and librarians to leave early on request. These requests are handled on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the collective agreement, staff may apply to use vacation days, banked overtime, or, subject to scheduling and operational requirements, may be allowed to make up the time later.

Faculty unable to attend campus are expected to make arrangements for classroom coverage, attend commitments virtually, or reschedule classes, exams, meetings or appointments so as to support the operational needs of the department and minimize negative impacts on students and others.

There may be exceptional circumstances during a period of inclement weather where a staff member may request to perform some or all of his/her work from home for a short duration. Unit leaders may consider the operational impact of these requests on a case-by-case basis and are welcome to consult with Human Resources or Faculty Relations as needed.

Frequently asked questions

Transportation and travel

How do I know if my bus route is operating?

Visit the BC Transit website at https://bctransit.com/victoria/home.

The bus that I take to work is not running and it is too far or unsafe for me to try to walk to another bus route. Am I expected to still try to get to work?

Staff should contact their manager/supervisor and let them know that you are unable to travel to work.

Faculty and librarians are asked to make suitable arrangements if they expect to miss a class or meeting and to notify their chair.

If the university closes do the BC Transit buses stop coming to campus?

BC Transit buses are expected to travel to and from campus unless BC Transit decides to reduce or stop service due to disrupting road conditions. Some bus routes may experience modified service. Make sure to check the BC Transit website for current information: https://bctransit.com/victoria/home.

Has my bus stop moved during the campus closure? Are buses still servicing Ring Road?

Buses will stop on Ring Road unless the buses are full or the bus stops are not available due to conditions. Buses can fill up before they leave the UVic bus loop. Full buses will not stop along Ring Road unless they are stopping to allow passengers to disembark.

Is there a place indoors on campus I can wait for my bus?

All classroom buildings and the SUB will remain open for several hours after the campus closure announcement.

I live far from campus (e.g. Sooke, Shawnigan Lake, Salt Spring, etc.) and the road/ferry is unsafe or not operational. Can I work from home?

There may be exceptional circumstances, during a period of inclement weather, where an employee may request to perform some or all of his/her work from home for a short duration. Deans, chairs, directors and other administrators may consider the operational impact of these requests on a case-by-case basis and are welcome to consult with their Human Resources consultant or Faculty Relations as needed.

What are my options if I feel uncomfortable about driving due to escalating weather and poor road conditions? Will I get a parking citation if I leave my car parked overnight?

Plan ahead and make safe choices for travel to campus during snowy weather. If your vehicle is not equipped for winter driving conditions, please use other transportation options including public transit or carpool with someone whose vehicle is winter-ready. If you do not have a safe travel option available and are unable to attend work, please notify your supervisor. If the campus has been closed due to snow, cars on campus may park overnight without worry of a parking citation.

In the event of a campus closure, what is the best way to leave campus?

Roads may be quickly congested with departing traffic. For this reason it may take time to depart the campus. You may choose to wait on campus until the congestion on the roads has eased.

Can someone do something about the traffic on Ring Road? Are there people who can direct traffic?

UVic is not able to provide staff to direct traffic on Ring Road as this is a municipal road. When walking or driving on campus please use extra caution and be patient and courteous.

If I need to stay on campus overnight due to the road conditions what are my options?

Residence Services may have a small number of beds/rooms available for the night for a fee. If these are not available and you are not able to leave the campus, please contact Campus Security.


Pay and hours

I cannot get to work due to unsafe road conditions. What do I do? Will I be paid?

Contact your manager/supervisor. The university's practice with respect to pay has been to take reasonable steps to minimize the possibility that staff would lose pay if they are unable to come to work, or arrive late, due to these circumstances.

Depending on the collective agreement, staff may apply to use vacation days, banked overtime, or may be allowed to make up the time later (subject to scheduling and operational requirements).

Will I get paid if I leave early due to snow conditions along my travel route?

The university's practice with respect to pay has been to take reasonable steps to minimize the possibility that staff would lose pay if they are unable to come to work, or arrive late, due to these circumstances.

Depending on the collective agreement, staff may apply to use vacation days, banked overtime, or, subject to scheduling and operational requirements, may be allowed to make up the time later.

How do I know if I am required to stay at work during a closure due to snow?

Consult with your manager or supervisor to determine if your function is necessary for the continued operation or safety of the campus.

The university closed at noon. I am scheduled to work at 3 p.m. today. Do I need to come to work?

No, unless you are in a position deemed to be necessary for the continued operation or safety of the campus. Check with your manager or supervisor to confirm.

I am required to work even though the campus is closed. Will I be paid double or will I get time off?

Staff who work during the closure will be paid according to their collective agreement. Refer to your collective agreement for further guidance.

If I leave work early due to weather conditions what sort of leave do I access?

Refer to your collective agreement for further information. The university's practice with respect to pay has been to take reasonable steps to minimize the possibility that staff would lose pay if they are unable to come to work, or arrive late, due to these circumstances.

Depending on the collective agreement, staff may apply to use vacation days, banked overtime, or, subject to scheduling and operational requirements, may be allowed to make up the time later.

My job is such that it is possible for me to work from home. Am I allowed to do that in a snow closure?

There may be exceptional circumstances, during a period of inclement weather, where an employee may request to perform some or all of his/her work from home for a short duration.

Deans, chairs, directors and other administrators may consider the operational impact of these requests on a case by case basis and are welcome to consult with their Human Resources consultant or Faculty Relations as needed.

Our work area has decided to leave, yet the university has not closed. Will all the staff in this area be paid?

Managers have the discretion to allow employees to leave early, but an employee must first request permission to leave campus early. These requests are handled on a case-by-case basis. Staff who leave without prior approval from their manager will be considered absent without leave.

The university's practice with respect to pay for an approved leave in this circumstance has been to take reasonable steps to minimize the possibility that staff would lose pay if they are unable to come to work, or arrive late, due to these circumstances.

Depending on the collective agreement, staff may apply to use vacation days, banked overtime, or, subject to scheduling and operational requirements, may be allowed to make up the time later.

Will I be paid if I cannot come to work because my child’s school has closed and I have not been able to make alternative child care arrangements?

Depending on the collective agreement, staff may apply to use vacation days, banked overtime, or, subject to scheduling and operational requirements, may be allowed to make up the time later.

Can managers allow staff to leave work by request?

Yes. Managers have the discretion to allow employees to leave early. These requests are handled on a case-by-case basis.

The university's practice with respect to pay has been to take reasonable steps to minimize the possibility that staff would lose pay if they are unable to come to work, or arrive late, due to these circumstances.

Depending on the collective agreement, staff may apply to use vacation days, banked overtime, or, subject to scheduling and operational requirements, may be allowed to make up the time later.


Teaching and exams

I am a professor. Do I need to release my class if I receive word that the campus has closed?

It is recommended that you wrap up the activities in your class at a point that makes sense within your lesson to allow students to begin their journey home before the road system becomes difficult to use. Please do not start any new classes or activities once you hear that classes have been cancelled.

I am conducting research in my lab. Can my students and I can keep working?

It is recommended that people wrap up their activities at a point that allows for an orderly conclusion. Campus closure due to snow is not an emergency. However, students may want to finish their tasks and leave the campus when they are ready. The university will not force people to leave the campus. Note that the road system will likely become more difficult to use as more snow falls.

I’m scheduled to invigilate/deliver an exam. What do I do if the campus is closed? When will it be rescheduled? What happens if I’m not available at that time?

All exams are cancelled during a campus closure. Instructors will work with the Office of the Registrar to determine if the exam can be rescheduled, as determined by the instructor or Chair, or if another option will be made available.


Services

What services will remain open in the event of a closure?

Services necessary for the continued operation and safety of the campus will be staffed. These include:

  • Campus Security (including Safe Walk)
  • Residence Services (CLs, RLCs)
  • Commons building – main kitchen

Other services on campus are closed.

My child’s school has closed. Can I leave to go get my children?

Staff should check with their manager/supervisor for approval before leaving work. Faculty and librarians are asked to make suitable arrangements if they are in the middle of teaching or expect to miss a class and to notify their chair.


For safety, snow removal and event information, see our general FAQs.