CUPE Professional Development Fund (New)

This is a new fund that supports CUPE employees to pursue professional development opportunities or purchase computer-related equipment that will support their learning and development. 

Who is eligible for the CUPE Professional Development Fund?  

Continuing CUPE employees as well as temporary CUPE employees who are in contracts 365 days or longer (with no break).  For temporary employees, please check with your supervisor if you're unsure of your contract length.

How much will I have access to?

For the first year of the fund (2024), eligible continuing and temporary employees will have $1,450.  In subsequent years, they will receive $500.  The annual amount will be pro-rated for part-time employees. For continuing employees, their unused annual amount will carry forward to subsequent years.  The accumulation of funds is limited to 5 times the annual allocation, rounded up or down to the nearest $100.  For temporary employees, unused amounts will not carry forward to the following calendar year.

If I’m a temporary employee with an appointment less than 365 days will I receive anything for PD?

Active non-probationary temporary employees with service of greater than 4 months but no more than 12 months (less a day) as at January 1, 2024 will receive a one-time payment of $500 (pro-rated for part-time) as part of the program roll-out. This will be paid through their bi-weekly pay in January 2024 (subject to applicable source deductions).

When can I submit an expense?

The expense claim process will begin in 2024 when the new fund administration is up and running.  Details about how to submit expense claims will be available on this website in late 2023.

Those who are eligible for funding as of January 1, 2024, may submit expenses for the period of Sept 1 to Dec 31, 2023 that align with the periods in which they held a temporary or continuing CUPE appointment with SFU. 

What will I need as proof of purchase?

When you submit your claim in 2024, you will require a detailed receipt or invoice in your name.  The receipt must be in the employee’s name, and must be itemized, noting the specific items purchased.

Purchase orders are not considered receipts.

A credit card statement on its own is not eligible, and it must be accompanied by a detailed invoice or receipt. 

For restaurants (e.g., for conferences), a detailed receipt is required (a debit or credit statement is not sufficient).

Additional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) can be found here.

What Items are Eligible?

The following table summarizes eligible expenses.  Please note, eligible expenses are subject to ongoing review and may change.

Expense

Eligible Items

Professional Development Learning Opportunities: courses, workshops, seminars

Courses (including non-credit courses), workshops, seminars must relate to your area of employment or possible future employment at SFU

Please note: Expense claims can be made only after completion of the course, workshop or seminar, even if registration was paid in advance.

Journals & Books

Purchases must relate to your area of employment or possible future employment at SFU

Membership Fees

Fees for memberships will be eligible if they relate to your employment or possible future employment at SFU

 

Coaching (work/leadership-related)

  • Fees for professional coaching
  • We recommend working with coaches certified by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) 

 

Conference-related

 

  • Conference Fee
  • Airfare - Economy Class only
  • Accommodation, meals and travel expenses – as per SFU’s travel and business expense policy, and for conference dates only.

Please note: Expense claims can be made only after attendance at the conference, even if registration was paid in advance.

Computer-Related

 

 

 

Eligible to purchase 1 item from this list every 3 years1:

  • Computer (with standard peripherals – monitor, keyboard, mouse)
  • Laptop
  • iPad
  • Tablet

Extended warranties are not mandatory but if you chose to purchase, it must be included at the time of purchase.

1 The 3 year point will be calculated based on the year of your most recent claim.

In summary, you may purchase one computer, laptop, iPad or Tablet every 3 years (from the year of the most recent claim).

Please note: The University owns equipment purchased with Professional Development Funds until the fair market value equals $0 (after 3 years). This includes computers, laptops, iPads, Tablets and all computer peripherals.  

Computer Peripherals

Eligible to purchase 1 of each of these items every 3 years.

  • Headset
  • Microphone
  • Webcam
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Ergonomic keyboard/mouse
  • Additional monitor up to 32 inches

In summary, you may purchase one of each of the listed computer peripherals every 3 years (from the year of the most recent claim.

Please note: The University owns equipment purchased with Professional Development Funds until the fair market value equals $0 (after 3 years). 

Software

Software (must be related to your area of employment or possible future employment at SFU)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is eligible?

Please review the detailed table that summarizes eligible expenses.  If you still have questions, please email pei_learn@SFU.ca.

How often can I submit a claim?

For the first year of this new PD program (2024), you will be able to submit claims twice in the calendar year.  For example, you may submit in March 2024 for expenses from September 1, 2023 until March, and then you may submit again for expenses for the remainder of the year (by the deadline of December 31st, 2024). 

When is the deadline for submission?

The deadline is December 31st of each year in order to utilize your eligible PD fund from that calendar year.

Do I need to complete a course, workshop or conference before claiming? 

Reimbursement is possible after successful completion of a course/workshop or after attendance at a conference.  In other words, you may not submit your claim until the course, workshop or conference is complete. 

Proof of successful completion or attendance is required.  If you do not have proof, you will need to include a note from your supervisor confirming that you attended. 

Can I register for a course or conference that will finish or happen after my temporary appointment?

If your contract or employment ends prior to your completion or attendance, the fee will not be eligible for reimbursement.  In other words, if you attend a conference that happens after your contract ends, you will not be able to submit the expense claim for it.  As well, if you complete a course after your contract ends, you will not be able to submit the expense claim for it.

Can I buy a laptop or desktop plus an Ipad?

You may purchase ONE of these items every 3 years: Computer (with standard peripherals – monitor, keyboard, mouse) laptop, iPad, tablet.  Thus, you are not able to purchase a laptop plus an iPad or a desktop plus an iPad. 

How is the 3 year allowance calculated for computer-related items?

For computers and computer peripherals, there is a 3-year allowance.  You may purchase one of: computer, laptop, iPad or tablet every 3years.  And you may purchase one of each of the computer peripherals listed in the table every 3 years.  The 3-year allowance is based on calendar year (not month).  It will be calculated based on the year of your most recent claim.  For example, if you purchase a laptop in 2024, the next time you will be eligible to purchase a computer/laptop/iPad/tablet is on or after January 1, 2027.  Similarly, if you purchase a computer monitor in 2024, the next time you will be eligible to purchase a monitor is in 2027.

What membership fees are eligible?

Memberships are eligible if they are work-related. 

What are eligible expenses related to conferences?

Items such as the conference fee, travel expenses, meals and accommodation are eligible.  However, they are eligible only for the conference dates, and must follow SFU’s Travel and Business Expenses policy.  You will need to provide proof of attendance.

What kinds of courses or workshops are eligible?

Courses, workshops or seminars are eligible if they relate to your discipline, your current job or possible future employment at SFU.  This includes courses, workshops or seminars that will help you in your job and stay at the forefront of your discipline.  It also includes courses, workshops or seminars that will help you develop or enhance your people skills (for example, core competencies such as interpersonal communication skills, conflict skills, leadership skills, emotional intelligence, equity, diversity and inclusion, indigenous cultural knowledge, etc).    

Is coaching eligible?

Work or leadership-related professional coaching is eligible.  We recommend working with coaches certified by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).  For support related to wellness, lifestyle or mental health, please see the options available through the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP).  Invoices need to include the dates of the coaching sessions. 

Who owns the computer-related items that I received PD reimbursement for? 

The University owns equipment purchased with Professional Development Funds until the fair market value equals $0 (after 3 years). This includes computers, laptops, iPads, Tablets and all computer peripherals. 

If you retire or terminate employment prior to the fair market value equaling $0, you will have the option of purchasing these item(s) from the University at fair market value or declaring the item(s) as a taxable benefit at fair market value as at the date of such retirement or termination of employment.