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CAUT Policy Statement

Outsourcing takes two general forms. “Contracting out” refers to work that is performed by non-employees at an establishment or place other than the employer’s establishment or place of work. “Contracting in” refers to the situation where an employer contracts with another company to supply persons at the workplace to perform work similar to that of the bargaining unit. As a result of technological changes, outsourcing of computer related services can include the transfer and storage of data – including research and teaching materials protected by academic freedom – to anywhere in the world.

It is important to have in place contractual restrictions on an employer’s ability to contract for academic and other services outside the jurisdiction of negotiated collective agreements. These restrictions are essential to protect the integrity of academic work and to ensure that all academic staff are protected by the provisions of their collective agreements, criteria documents, hiring procedures and other policy documents.

Collective agreements should prohibit outsourcing unless the association agrees to a specific, limited exception such as teaching and research assistants.

Outsourcing of information technology services poses particular risks to privacy, academic freedom, and security of research and data. Academic staff associations should negotiate absolute prohibitions on the outsourcing of information technology services in their collective agreements.

Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2015;
Reviewed, no changes, September 2020.