Ethical behaviour (policy 33)

Why updating this policy is important

The current version of policy 33 doesn’t have clear definitions of harassment, toxic work environment, and doesn’t fulfill the University’s legal obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. It’s also unclear who anyone should actually talk to about concerns, much less marginalized individuals, who are much likely to need support under this policy.

Policy 33 timeline

  • The policy drafting committee began its work in 2014.
  • In September 2019, a draft was sent to members of the UW community for consultation. FAUW took the feedback we collected to the Faculty Relations Committee (FRC), and also passed on a fulsome document from the Equity Committee to the Secretariat (which supports PDCs).
  • In January 2020, the Faculty and Staff Relations Committees struck a joint subgroup of both committees to review the extensive feedback received from the UW community and make recommendations. After being delayed by the onset of the pandemic, this group produced a set of suggestions to revise the draft policy in fall 2020, some of which required legal advice.
  • In January 2022, the FAUW Board reviewed an updated draft and accompanying recommendations from the President’s Anti-Racism Taskforce. 
  • At some point after the latest draft was submitted, the PDC was disbanded by the Secretariat and the Secretariat has been handling revisions.
  • In February 2023, the Faculty Relations Committee and the Staff Relations Committee held a joint meeting to discuss the latest draft (from 2021), to consider outstanding issues, and to press for implementation of the revised policy as soon as possible.

What FAUW is looking for in this policy

  • Clear processes to address common issues of harassment and maltreatment, and easy access for employees to file complaints.
  • Assured confidentiality and clear guidelines on record retention and security.
  • Separate reporting lines for formal (investigations) and informal (mediation) dispute resolution processes, and clearly defined roles and responsibilities of all offices and parties involved.
  • Having interim measures in place during investigations, protections against retaliation or reprisals, and resources and support for both complainants and respondents and possible other parties.
  • Reporting on the number and nature of cases.