Tenure and Promotion – Guidelines in the Faculty of Engineering

Dear Colleagues,

As you will recall from previous communications and meetings, over the last several years the employer has sought to unilaterally change the criteria for tenure and promotion in a variety of ways.  As you know, we have been forcefully challenging this unjustified initiative through relevant grievances.  We are also pursuing these questions through a joint APUO-employer committee on tenure and promotion.

Recently it has come to our attention that the employer seems to have taken even further steps in this direction.  The Executive Committee of the Faculty of Engineering recently adopted what they say are “guidelines…specific to the Faculty of Engineering [that] are intended to provide additional guidance to regular faculty members on matters related to the assessment of their performance”.  The document states that the guidelines are “meant to complement, but not replace or supersede, the relevant provisions of the Collective Agreement”.  In reality, however, the content of this document seeks to redefine the standards for performance evaluation to be used in tenure and promotion decisions (as well as others) in ways that can only be achieved through negotiations and the formal revision of the collective agreement.

This email is to inform you that the APUO considers these guidelines as illegitimate and without any legal basis for a variety of foundational reasons, procedural and content wise, including:

  1. The only legally binding and acceptable elements that can be used to make performance evaluations are to be found in the collective agreement;
  2. This language can only be changed, specified, etc. with the mutual consent of both parties during joint negotiations;
  3. No other ‘guidelines’ or clarification can be achieved unilaterally;
  4. This documents adds in numerous requirements and expectations that are not in the collective agreement).

Consequently, the APUO has filed a policy grievance in regard to this matter.

We will keep you apprised of further developments. In the meantime, members in Engineering should know that the only acceptable elements regarding performance evaluation are found in the collective agreement and that these ‘guidelines’ should have no role in tenure, promotion or other decisions.  As such, members should ignore them entirely.  Outside of the Faculty of Engineering, any member with further questions – or knowledge of similar policies in other faculties – should contact us as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

The APUO Executive Committee