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CAUT Policy Guidelines for International Cooperation



The primary aim of international cooperation undertaken by CAUT should be to strengthen the capacity of post-secondary education trade unions and associations to promote the economic, social and political interests of their members. This includes, but is not limited to, assisting partners in developing their ability to:

  • defend and promote academic freedom, tenure or its functional equivalent, equity and human rights;
  • organize post-secondary education staff into trade unions and associations;
  • undertake collective bargaining and administer collective agreements;
  • conduct public relations and lobbying campaigns for academic staff and post-secondary education;
  • collect and analyze data pertaining to the social and economic well-being of academic staff and post-secondary education; and,
  • establish and maintain international relations with academic staff in other countries.


Guidelines and Principles

International cooperation initiatives should be guided by clear principles agreed to by both CAUT and the partner union. These principles should include:

  • Reciprocity: International cooperation initiatives should involve a two-way exchange and sharing of knowledge and experiences. This exchange should enrich both CAUT and the partner union and strengthen international solidarity.
  • Democracy:  International cooperation should enhance the democratic nature of trade unions and associations and promote their capacity to respond to members’ needs.
  • Equity:  International cooperation should build capacities to fight against and eliminate discrimination of any kind.
  • Sustainability: International cooperation should enable partner unions and associations to develop and sustain their activities once specific projects have come to an end.
  • Transparency:  International cooperation projects should be established on a transparent basis. Both partners should seek and should be provided with information on the policy and practice of the cooperating unions, their priorities, and specific areas of interest. Both partners should also regularly review and evaluate the partnership.



Priorities for potential initiatives should be jointly identified by CAUT and partner unions or associations representing members in the post-secondary education sector. Specific projects should be developed through ongoing consultation and exchange. CAUT should undertake initiatives and projects only when they are clearly related to its competencies and expertise, and for which adequate resources are available.

Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2010.