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Advancing Women’s Human Rights

CAUT Policy Statement

Action should be taken to achieve and secure equity for women in Canadian universities and colleges, eliminating the current socio-economic and professional disparities between women and men.

The employer and the academic staff association should acknowledge and/or reaffirm that advancing women’s human rights is required for universities and colleges to fulfill their mandate and to fully serve the public good.

The employer and the academic staff association should take active measures to ensure that women working in universities and colleges are not over-represented in contract positions, and that the numbers of women employed at all levels are in the same proportion as they are in the duly qualified population, with equitable opportunities for career advancement1. To achieve the above, the employer must:

1.    Ensure that the rights of all women in the academic community are respected and promoted, particularly those of Aboriginal women, women with disabilities, women of colour, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer or 2-spirited women, including academic staff, support staff, students, and visitors to campus;

2.    Encourage equitable participation of women and men students and academic staff in all academic disciplines;

3.    Rectify the current imbalance between men and women in senior administrative posts;

4.    Redress inequities identified by part-time and contract academic staff;

5.    Encourage research, teaching, and scholarly work by women and about issues of concern to women;

6.    Recognize and fairly reward the community service of academic staff who work as public intellectuals and human rights activists both on campus and in the community;

7.    Maintain a qualified equity officer and enforce clearly specified equity programs;

8.    Conduct regular pay equity reviews and redress unfair anomalies;

9.    Develop family-friendly policies, including those affecting recruitment, hiring, retention, tenure, and promotion;

10.    Ensure access to affordable and convenient child care on or near campus; and

11.    Guarantee pension equity.

Academic staff associations must negotiate appropriate amendments to their collective agreements or terms and conditions of employment to ensure equal pay for work of equal value, maternity leave, parental leave, compassionate care leave, equitable pensions, reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities, freedom from harassment, childcare access, equitable policies on contract academic staff and on part-time and limited-term appointments, and non-discrimination in employment practices, hiring, promotion, and working conditions.

Approved by Council, November 2006.

1 Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) People’s Charter; Federal Contractors’ Program