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Academic Staff and Criminal Conviction

CAUT Policy Statement

An academic staff member charged with a criminal offence but not incarcerated shall continue to carry out the duties associated with their position in the normal manner, receiving full pay and benefits. Suspension of the member is only justified where their presence on campus poses a clear, serious and imminent danger to any member of the academic institution.1 Any such suspension shall be with full pay and benefits, and shall be grievable and arbitrable. If the member is imprisoned pending trial, this period shall be counted as paid leave.

Proceedings to terminate employment of an academic staff member are a last resort. If such proceedings are implemented, the employer, following the procedures specified in the collective agreement, must be able to demonstrate that the nature of the crime for which the member was convicted renders the member unfit to carry out their academic duties or that the length of the court sentence can reasonably be construed to mean that the member would not be able to maintain their academic credentials at the level so required for an academic post.

Academic staff members charged with or convicted for acts which were an exercise of their academic freedom (as defined by the CAUT policy on Academic Freedom) shall not be subject to termination of employment, and if incarcerated, their period of imprisonment shall be counted as paid leave.

The employer shall ensure that academic staff members convicted of criminal offences and who have not been dismissed under 2 above are enabled to carry on with academic and scholarly activities so far as circumstances allow.  With the exception of cases under 3 above, the Employer should count the period of imprisonment as unpaid leave.

Wherever possible and appropriate, the employer shall assist academic staff members convicted of criminal offences in seeking rehabilitation.

Approved by the CAUT Council, April 2013.

1 See Smith vs Jones SCC 1999.