Paul Young, It is definitely about Academic Freedom (29 November 2012)

As emailed by qufacomm to all Members, 29 November 2012.  The title alludes to Principal Woolf’s dismissal of the CAUT Report on the Administration’s mistreatment of Michael Mason:  “this is fundamentally not about academic freedom.”  

It is definitely about Academic Freedom

Queen’s Administration has repeatedly claimed that QUFA requested that an investigation of the Mason case be dropped and appears to be complaining that we did not file a grievance. In fact, by October 28 the Administration had already acted unilaterally in contravention of the CA. The QUFA request referred to by Administration came after that.  At that point, in the judgment of our Grievance Officer, the Administration had made a decision based on an investigation which did not follow appropriate procedures and was poorly documented. A union has no obligation to pursue a grievance when it is not in the best interests of the member.  Given that our member was no longer in the classroom, that he was not returning to a job at Queen’s, that illness was an issue, that arbitration can take years to reach a decision, and that there was nothing in the way of redress to achieve, QUFA chose not to pursue a grievance.  That does not preclude the present or future use of other avenues to address an issue and to try and prevent recurrences. Since this case involves a clear violation of Academic Freedom, the CAUT (representing 62,000 academics in Canada) was an appropriate body to invoke.

A longer description of events can be found at

Paul Young,

President, QUFA

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