Safeguarding Academic Integrity During the CUPE 3903 Strike

In the face of some potential confusion emerging from recent statements from the Employer, YUFA affirms its position that the YUFA Collective Agreement and broader principles of academic freedom grant members not only the right but the professional responsibility to determine whether proceeding with their courses while the strike continues is consistent with the principles of academic integrity and ethical and fair treatment of students. Decisions about academic integrity in individual courses are a matter of the professional judgement of our members and YUFA will vigorously defend any member who acts on this basis.

A number of departments, schools and Faculties have adopted policies explicitly reaffirming that the decision about whether to resume a class before the strike has ended rests with the course director. Some departments have decided collectively that all or some types of course cannot proceed with academic integrity in the absence of striking workers and/or students who exercise their right not to participate. We believe these measures are entirely consistent with the Senate policy towards remediation, and underscore Senate’s — not the Employer’s — authority to determine that policy.

YUFA understands that there are some Deans’ Offices that are communicating to members either which courses’ academic integrity may be threatened or what criteria should be used to determine how or if academic integrity has been threatened. Members have also been asked to report to their Chairs or to their Dean’s Office on whether or how academic integrity will be assured or protected in their courses. YUFA’s position is that any top-down determination of criteria is neither defensible nor appropriate. YUFA members are the experts in their courses and neither the Employer nor Senate – nor YUFA – should be dictating the parameters of academic integrity to members.

Members who have questions or concerns are asked to contact YUFA: yufa@yorku.ca, 416-736-5236