Article 28: Disciplinary Actions, Suspension and Dismissal

28.01

(a) Any disciplinary action, including a letter of reprimand or warning, shall be taken only for just and proper cause. Causes for disciplinary action include: gross misconduct; misrepresentation of credentials; persistent neglect of duty to students or to the University; failure to maintain an acceptable standard of competence and performance in duties appropriate to the appointment; malicious damage to University property. Causes for suspension include an immediate threat to the functioning of the University. Illness, including drug addiction, alcoholism and psychological disorders, are not causes for disciplinary action and shall be considered in accordance with the provisions of Clauses 30.05 to 30.07.

(b) Where disciplinary action, including suspension or dismissal, has been recommended pursuant to the procedures set out in the Sexual Harassment Policy approved by the Board on 16 March 1999, and the Statement on Prohibited Discrimination issued by the President on January 2001, the Member and the Association shall be given a copy of all relevant materials, including the decision(s) referred to in Clause 28.10, prior to the initiation of the procedures contained in this Article 28.

Procedure for Those Holding Appointments as Instructor or Professional Counsellor Members.

28.02 The step procedure for disciplinary action shall be:

(a) Verbal warning. A Member shall be warned at a meeting of the Dean, the Chairperson and the Member in question. The Board may indicate what disciplinary remedy the Board intends to take. If agreement is reached as to the disposition of the matter, it shall be reduced to writing, countersigned by the Dean and the Member, and forwarded to the Association within five (5) days.

or

(b) Written warning. If the procedure of Clause 28.02(a) is not successful in resolving the problem, within thirty (30) days (unless the Board has initiated proceedings at this step) a written warning may be given by the Dean to the Member. A written warning shall include details of the cause of discipline and any proposed remedy, and a copy of the warning and proposed remedy shall be sent to the Association within five (5) days. If agreement is reached as to the disposition of the matter, it shall be reduced to writing, countersigned by the Dean and the Member, and forwarded to the Association within five (5) days.

(c)

(i) Suspension. If the matter is not resolved by the procedures of Clause 28.02(b), the Vice-President shall meet with the Member and the Chairperson. The Vice-President shall state the alleged violation(s) included in the written warning that remains unresolved, which may include the Member’s failure to take remedial actions specified therein. No matter may be brought forth as reason for disciplinary action unless it has been previously stated in the written warning as provided in Clause 28.02(b). The Vice-President may then inform the Member of the Board’s intention to suspend and the duration of the suspension. The suspension may not commence earlier than thirty (30) days from the date of the meeting.

(ii) If a grievance is not filed within thirty (30) days of the meeting, the suspension is deemed accepted and shall be without pay for a period of up to three (3) weeks.

(iii) If a grievance is filed, the Board may suspend the Member from some or all duties at Dalhousie University and the suspension shall be with pay. A letter to the Vice-President from the Member and/or the Association that denies the alleged violation(s) of this Collective Agreement and/or contests the remedy sought by the Board as inappropriate or unjust shall be deemed notification of filing a grievance pursuant to Clauses 29.05(a) and 29.07.

(d) Dismissal. If the procedures of Clause 28.02(c) have been carried out but the matter that was the subject of the provisions herein continues when the Member returns, within sixty (60) days of the Member’s return to his or her duties and responsibilities at Dalhousie University, the Vice-President may give written notice to the Member of the Board’s intention to dismiss, and a copy shall be forwarded to the Association. This written notice shall contain a complete statement of the grounds for dismissal, but no matter may be stated as grounds for dismissal unless it was included in the written warning pursuant to Clause 28.02(c). Within twenty (20) days of such notice having been given, the Member shall inform the Vice-President in writing of a decision either to accept dismissal or to oppose the dismissal through the grievance procedure in Article 29. Failure to inform the Vice-President within twenty (20) days shall be deemed to represent acceptance of dismissal.

28.03 Notwithstanding the procedures provided in Clause 28.02, the Vice-President may suspend a Member by written notice for stated cause involving extraordinary circumstances. Such circumstances include an immediate physical threat by the Member to any individual in Dalhousie University, or an immediate and serious threat to the functioning of Dalhousie University or the property of Dalhousie University. The suspensions may be from some or all duties at Dalhousie University and shall be with pay; however, some privileges may be withdrawn. Within twenty (20) days of the date of suspension, the Board shall notify the Member by registered mail, of what further action it intends to take, if any, with a copy to the Association. If no notice is received in the aforementioned twenty (20) day period, the suspension is deemed to terminate.

28.04 When disciplinary proceedings are dismissed, withdrawn or resolved without disciplinary action or remedy, no records of disciplinary proceedings that identify the Member concerned shall be kept. When a disciplinary action or remedy is upheld or agreed to, unless further disciplinary penalties are assessed within the period of eighteen (18) months following imposition of discipline, the record of such action, including but not limited to letters of reprimand and warnings, and anonymous complaints shall be removed from the Member’s Principal Personal File (pursuant to Article 18).

28.05 The Vice-President, upon recommendation of the Dean, may suspend a Member for reasons of health if there is reason to believe that the Member’s health is seriously interfering with his or her ability to carry out duties and responsibilities and if the Member refuses to accept reasonable arrangements for leave or variation of duties and responsibilities that may be proposed by the Dean. Suspension of this sort shall not lead to disciplinary proceedings; however, the Member may initiate grievance proceedings to question the Vice-President’s decision of suspension. Suspension invoked in these circumstances will terminate when the Member presents medical evidence, including a certificate from an examining doctor named by the Member and acceptable to the Association-Board Committee, indicating that the Member is fit to resume duties and responsibilities. The Dean may vary such duties in light of the medical report and in consultation with the Member’s Department.

28.06 Notwithstanding Clause 28.02, disciplinary action may be commenced at the succeeding step of Clause 28.02 if a Member has, within the preceding eighteen (18) months, been assessed a disciplinary penalty in accordance with this Article 28; for the purpose of this Clause 28.06, Clause 28.02(b) shall be the succeeding step to Clause 28.02(a). In such a circumstance, the Board may initiate the disciplinary action at the next step succeeding that where the last disciplinary action was terminated. The Member shall be advised in writing of all incidents and other alleged violations upon which the Board is relying in taking disciplinary action. Matters either not contained in the Board’s aforementioned written statement or unrelated to the incidents and/or alleged violations referred to shall not be introduced in any step of the grievance procedure.

28.07 The onus shall be on the Board to establish just cause for any disciplinary action.

28.08 The Association shall have the right to be present at all steps, and, if so requested by the Member, to represent the Member at all steps. It is understood that the Member shall also be present at all steps.

Procedure for Members Holding Appointments Other Than as Instructor or Professional Counsellor Members.

28.09 When the Dean of the Faculty in which a Member holds an appointment, or a Vice-President if there is no appropriate Faculty, has reason to consider disciplinary action, he or she shall invite the Member concerned and any person the Member may wish to accompany him or her to meet and discuss the matter. The Dean or Vice-President concerned shall also invite the President of the Association or his or her designate to attend that meeting as an observer. If the matter is resolved to the satisfaction of the Dean or Vice-President and the Member, then, with the concurrence of the President of the Association, the formal procedures of this Article 28 need not be invoked.

28.10 If the matter is not resolved in accordance with Clause 28.09, then formal disciplinary procedures may be initiated and the responsibility for laying a complaint shall rest with the Dean of the Member’s Faculty or Vice-President if there is no appropriate Faculty. The Dean or Vice-President laying the complaint shall advise the Member in writing of the complaint and that the matter is being referred to a Dalhousie University Hearing Committee. This letter to the Member shall give detailed particulars of the complaint, including references to times and places where appropriate, names of witnesses to be called and any sanction being sought.

The complaint shall be formally laid as soon as possible, but in no case later than three months after the alleged incident has come to the attention of the Dean or Vice-President. A copy of the letter to the Member shall be sent at the same time to the President of the Association.

Where the recommendation for disciplinary action arises from an investigation established pursuant to the procedures as set out in the Sexual Harassment Policy, the decision under section 40 of that Policy, which shall be conveyed in writing, shall be deemed the alleged incident referred to in this Clause 28.10 for purposes of establishing time limits. Where the recommendation for disciplinary action arises from an investigation established pursuant to the procedures as set out in the Statement on Prohibited Discrimination, the decision under paragraph 18 of that Statement, which shall be conveyed in writing, shall be deemed the alleged incident referred to in this Clause 28.10 for purposes of establishing time limits.

28.11 There shall be a Dalhousie University Hearing Committee composed of two members named by the Association, two members named by the President acting on behalf of the Board, and two Members elected by the Senate. Each of the members named shall serve for two years. Members’ terms shall automatically extend to the conclusion of any case in which they have been concerned prior to the date fixed for their ordinary retirement, if the case continues beyond that time. The committee shall name its own chairperson and vice-chairperson and the chairperson or vice-chairperson shall designate any three members including himself or herself to serve as a Hearing Committee to consider any allegation of cause for disciplinary action from a Dean or Vice-President. The three members designated must include one from each of the three nominating parties.

28.12 Within seven days of the charge being laid the chairperson of the committee shall contact the Member and arrange for an initial meeting at a time convenient to the Member. That initial meeting shall take place as soon as possible but not later than one month from the date the charge was laid.

28.13 The Dalhousie University Hearing Committee shall conduct its proceedings in accordance with the rules of natural justice. It shall conduct hearings in camera unless the Member, the Dean or Vice-President concerned and the committee agree that hearings shall be open. The committee shall permit the Member and the Dean or Vice-President concerned to be assisted by a representative and shall permit the Association to be represented by an observer designated by the President of the Association. The committee shall keep a taped record of any hearings if requested by the Member, the Dean or Vice-President concerned, or the Association. This taped record shall be made available to any grievance and arbitration proceeding that may arise. The committee shall determine whether just and proper cause for disciplinary action does or does not exist. It shall make a recommendation whether disciplinary action or some other action such as voluntary leave is justified. It shall consider the charges and the evidence adduced to support the charges. It shall provide full opportunity for the Member concerned to adduce evidence, to cross-question and to present argument, including argument in rebuttal. The committee may seek and consider additional evidence that bears upon the charges. A Member’s having used the grievance and arbitration procedures shall not be used as evidence against that Member.

28.14 The charges may be withdrawn by the Dean or Vice-President concerned and the hearing by the committee may be terminated at any time if a settlement satisfactory to the Member and the Dean or Vice-President concerned is reached. In any event, the committee shall report on its proceedings, giving written reasons for its decision and shall state its findings of fact relevant to the particulars of the charge in question and to any recommended disciplinary action. As soon as possible this report shall be presented to the President of the University and at the same time a copy of the report shall be sent to the Member, to the Dean or Vice-President concerned and to the President of the Association.

28.15 The President, upon reviewing any report of a Dalhousie University Hearing Committee which records the findings of fact and makes recommendations concerning disciplinary action, shall invite the Member concerned and any person the Member may wish to accompany him or her, the Dean or Vice-President concerned, and the President of the Association or his or her designate to meet to discuss the report of the Dalhousie University Hearing Committee. The Member concerned shall be given the opportunity to make an oral or written statement or representations within a reasonable period. The President may then decide to take no action or to invoke disciplinary action which shall not exceed in severity that recommended by the Dalhousie University Hearing Committee, and the President shall advise the Member concerned in writing of his or her decision as soon as possible, but in no case later than thirty days after the meeting with the Member as provided in this Clause 28.15 or alternatively within thirty days of receipt of representations, if any, from the Member following the meeting with the President. A copy of the letter to the Member from the President shall be sent to the Dean or Vice- President concerned and to the President of the Association.

28.16 When disciplinary proceedings are dismissed, withdrawn or resolved without disciplinary action, no records of disciplinary proceedings that identify the Member concerned shall be kept. Where there is a settlement of the matter (as specified in Clause 28.09) resulting in the Member’s agreeing to accept disciplinary action, or where there is a report of a Dalhousie University Hearing Committee recommending disciplinary action and the disciplinary action is taken by the President, records of the proceedings may be maintained in a special file for the purpose. Letters of reprimand or warning shall be removed from the Member’s Principal Personal File when no further penalties have been imposed on the Member for eighteen months from the date of the reprimand or warning. Any Committee of Hearing may rule that any extant letters of warning or reprimand, whether in the Member’s Principal Personal File, or in a special file, are admissible to their considerations at the time of deciding on the sanction to be imposed on a Member found guilty of a charge.

28.17 If an accused Member cannot be found at any stage of the proceedings carried out pursuant to this Article 28, written statements shall be sent to the Member’s last-known home address by registered mail. The President of the Association shall be sent a copy of these written statements at the same time and the President of the Association may appoint someone to represent the Member during his or her absence. The President of the Association shall also have the right to refer decisions made in accordance with this Article 28 to the grievance and arbitration procedures in Article 29, whether the accused Member has been found or not.

Suspension

28.18 The President may suspend a Member by written notice for stated cause involving extraordinary circumstances. Such circumstances include an immediate physical threat by that Member to any individual in Dalhousie University or to the property of Dalhousie University, or an immediate and serious threat to the functioning of the University. The suspension may be from some or all duties in Dalhousie University and may withdraw some privileges except salary and benefits.

28.19 When the President has acted to suspend a Member, the President shall invite the Member concerned, any person the Member may wish to accompany him or her, the Dean or Vice-President concerned, and the President of the Association or his or her designate to meet and discuss the matter. If the matter is resolved to the satisfaction of the President and the Member, then with the concurrence of the President of the Association the matter shall be considered settled as agreed by the President and the Member.

28.20 If the matter is not resolved in accordance with Clause 28.19, the President shall advise in writing the Member and the President of the Association whether disciplinary proceedings are to be initiated. If they are not to be initiated by the President and the Member wishes to question the President’s decision on suspension, the Member may initiate grievance proceedings. In any grievance proceedings the onus shall be on the President to establish cause for suspension.

28.21 In addition to the provisions of Clauses 28.18 to 28.20, the President may suspend a Member for reasons of health if there is good reason to believe that the Member’s health is seriously interfering with his or her ability to carry out duties and responsibilities and if the Member refuses to accept reasonable arrangements for leave or variation in duties and responsibilities that may be proposed by the President. Suspension of this sort shall not lead to disciplinary proceedings. The Member may initiate grievance proceedings to question the President’s decision of suspension. Suspension invoked in these circumstances will terminate when the Member presents medical evidence, including a certificate from an examining doctor named by the Member and acceptable to the Association-Board Committee, indicating that the Member is fit to resume duties and responsibilities. The Chief Librarian, Dean or Vice-President concerned may vary such duties in the light of the medical report and in consultation with the Department or other similar unit.

Dismissal

28.22 A Member holding an appointment with tenure or without term, or for a term not yet expired, may be dismissed for cause, including causes set out in Clause 28.01.

28.23 Dismissal for cause shall not be initiated unless such action is consistent with the recommendations of a University Hearing Committee, which has considered the matter and reported, in accordance with Clauses 28.14 and 28.15.

28.24 After receipt of the report of the University Hearing Committee in accordance with Clause 28.14, the President and the Member’s Dean, Chairperson, Head, Director or Chief Librarian shall meet with the Member affected in the presence of a colleague in the University whom the Member may have selected as adviser and the President of the Association or his or her designate, shall explain the cause for the dismissal, shall review the matter and the President shall indicate whether a recommendation for termination of the Member’s appointment will be made to the Board of Governors.

28.25 If the Member does not accept termination of his or her employment as proposed and discussed in the meeting with the President, and if the President determines that termination remains justified, the President shall within twenty-one days of the meeting serve written notice of intention to initiate procedures to dismiss the Member concerned. The notice shall include the reasons for the decision in sufficient detail to enable the Member to prepare his or her response.

28.26 Within thirty days of such notice having been given, the Member shall inform the President in writing of his or her decision either to accept termination or to oppose the proposed termination. Failure to inform the President within thirty days shall be deemed to represent acceptance of termination.