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CAUT Bulletin Archives

November 1997

New Contract Language on PIs at Queen's University

The 1997-1999 collective agreement for faculty at Queen's University is likely the first Canadian university contract to include an article about performance indicators.

In the Queen's agreement, performance indicators include "any parameter, measure or quantitative instrument intended or used for:

(a) evaluating, measuring, ranking or comparing the performance, productivity or standards of an academic unit, program, faculty, school, institute, in whole or in part; and

(b) making decisions which affect the terms or conditions of a Member's employment."

The agreement stipulates that no new performance indicator shall be applied by the university unless the new performance indicator has been submitted to the joint committee for administration of the agreement with enough time to permit the faculty association to consider its "legitimacy and efficacy prior to application." New performance indicators are those which were not publicly circulated before November 1, 1996.

The faculty association can submit its objections to the vice-principal (academic) if it has grounds to believe that a performance indicator is invalid. The test of validity is based wholly or partly on whether the indicator violates the terms of the collective agreement, is premised on false assumptions, or uses illegitimate methodology.

Refusal to withdraw an objectionable performance indicator is grievable, and application of the indicator is suspended during the course of the grievance.

For further information contact the Queen's University Faculty Association at The full text of Article 26 on performance indicators is available at: