Back to top

CAUT Bulletin Archives

June 1999

Promotion Foul Play at UCCB

Faculty at the University College of Cape Breton are vowing to take two outstanding grievances to the bargaining table after the administration unexpectedly withdrew agreement for an arbitration to decide the merits of a tenure appeal.

"How can UCCB be considered the international leader in post-secondary education it claims to be when it persists in the refusal to have these cases heard on the merits?" asked Michael Manson, president of the local faculty association.

The cases in dispute involve tenure and promotion for two professors. Manson said an internal university committee unanimously recommended both the tenure and promotion, but the decisions were unilaterally vetoed without explanation by university president Jacquelyn Scott.

When initial attempts to reach a settlement on the cases failed, the administration and faculty association agreed to an arbitration proceeding. Then, just days before hearings on the tenure appeal were to begin, the administration advised the faculty association it would not agree to the arbitrator ruling on the merits of the case.

"We have no legal way to force the university to hear these cases because we have only a letter of understanding with the administration," explained Manson. "Because there is no collective agreement in place yet to cover matters such as promotion and tenure, our ability to appeal decisions depends entirely upon the administration's willingness to act in a fair and just manner. In these two cases, the administration has chosen to ignore fairness and justice."

Contract talks for a first collective agreement between UCCB and its faculty are currently underway.

"The right to appeal denials of tenure and promotion and to have one's case heard on its merits is the norm across Canada," Manson added.

"It is shocking that UCCB chooses to set itself apart from all other universities in Canada by refusing to allow faculty to appeal presidential decisions to deny tenure and promotion and to have their cases heard on their merits.

"The faculty association intends to obtain justice at the bargaining table."