Delegates to CAUT's November Council set a new course for the association with a decision making occupational health and safety a priority.
Starting in the next budget year, CAUT will add an occupational health and safety officer to its professional staff and an occupational health and safety clerical and administrative position to its support staff.
"Few things are more important than assuring the health and safety of our members," said CAUT executive director James Turk, in welcoming Council's decision.
"Academic workplaces have numerous hazards that have not been adequately addressed," Turk said, in underscoring the need for staff resources to help local associations deal more effectively with health and safety issues.
CAUT's work will include identifying health and safety problems faced by academic staff, offering training sessions for local health and safety representatives, providing fact sheets and technical information on workplace hazards and how to remedy them, giving advice on legal rights and how to exercise those rights more effectively, lobbying for stronger legislation, identifying areas in which further research is needed, and raising public awareness about health and safety issues in university and college workplaces.
CAUT will be posting these positions within the next few months with a starting date of July 1, 2003.