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Arbitration Service Terms of Reference

The CAUT Arbitration Service is designed to assist with cases involving principles affecting the whole profession, such as academic freedom and discrimination or involving important legal issues that may set significant precedents.

CAUT will consider requests from local associations to provide staff counsel for arbitrations and equivalent binding hearings. The following factors will guide the consideration: (1) whether the case involves the abridgement of academic freedom, a dismissal, discrimination or other matters of serious consequence to the profession; (2) whether a decision in the case is likely to set a significant precedent; (3) whether there is a reasonable chance of success; (4) whether the local association is willing to assist and collaborate in the grievance/arbitration process. Requests for CAUT staff counsel must be submitted on the “Request for CAUT Arbitration Services” form.

In the event that the Executive Director determines that no staff counsel can be made available for an extended period of time for a case that would otherwise qualify for CAUT’s Arbitration Service, the Executive Director may request the local association postpone the hearing in the case. If the local association feels there is a compelling necessity for counsel during the period before CAUT staff council can be made available, the local association may request that the Arbitration Service Review Committee direct the Executive Director to arrange for non-staff counsel at CAUT expense. The arrangement for non-staff counsel would be subject to the other provisions of this policy.

For all relevant matters pertaining to the case, CAUT shall act for the local association and not as counsel to the individual member. CAUT counsel shall be governed by the principles of solicitor/client relations. The local association has an obligation to help with the handling of the grievance since the local coordination of people, documents, information, venues and local office support are essential to the full and adequate handling of the arbitration or the binding hearing.

This policy shall be administered by the Executive Director of CAUT. Any appeal from the decision of the Executive Director, as well as any request that non-staff counsel be provided under the circumstances described in Section 3, shall be submitted to the Arbitration Service Review Committee which shall be composed of the President of CAUT, and the persons chairing the Collective Bargaining and Economic Benefits Committee and the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee for a final decision. The Committee shall report its decisions to Council annually.

Adopted by the CAUT Council, October 1990;
Revised, September 1991;
Approved by the CAUT Council, November 1999;
Editorial revisions, November 2000;
Reviewed April 2006;
Reviewed, no changes, February 2024.