Article 26: Financial Constraint

26.01 Financial constraint is a situation in which the overall budget of Dalhousie University, including potentially the budget for bargaining unit salaries, is in a condition of severe restraint which cannot be met through routine budgetary measures. It is less serious than a financial exigency and can be resolved by less drastic solutions.

26.02 The Board shall not declare that a state of financial constraint exists until it has taken all routine budgetary measures given in Clause 26.02 to postpone, alleviate or avoid the state of financial constraint. It is understood that routine budgetary measures shall include:

(a) efforts to increase the revenue of Dalhousie University;

(b) efforts to reduce or eliminate expenditures on budgetary items not crucial to the teaching, professional, artistic, scholarly and research objectives as may be determined by Senate;

(c) non-replacement of Members who leave or have left the University, which shall be in accordance with the following procedures:

(i) Normally by 1 February, the President after consultation with Senate, shall determine the level of reduction in the overall complement of Members;

(ii) the President may designate the way in which this reduction is to be distributed among Faculties. Such reduction shall be subject to the agreement of the Senate Academic Priorities and Budget Committee and consistent with the priorities established by Senate’s academic planning processes. If no such agreement has been reached within thirty days, the President may proceed to make the reductions in the way originally proposed;

(iii) each Dean may designate the way in which this reduction is to be distributed within the Faculty. Such reduction shall be subject to the agreement of the Faculty Academic Planning Committee and consistent with the priorities established by Faculty academic planning processes. If no such agreement has been reached within thirty days the President may proceed with non-replacement in the way proposed by the Dean or in accordance with the proposal, if any, of the Faculty Academic Planning Committee. Departments or other such units with fewer than 5 Members shall not be subject to more than 1 non-replacement in any 3-year periodunless the Faculty Academic Planning Committee so agrees.

(iv) by 31 May, the Board shall provide a list to the Association of the names of Members who will not be replaced, subject to additions or deletions as a result of decisions made after that date.

(d) non-renewal of some or all of those limited-term appointments defined in Clause 11.03, Clause 12.11, Clause 13.02 or Clause 14.16(a) of this Collective Agreement;

(e) those measures in Clause 26.04.

26.03 Insofar as routine budgetary measures may require action under Clause 26.02(c) or (d), the Board shall advise the Association in advance, citing this Clause 26.03, of the measures it proposes to take under Clause 26.02(c)(i) or (d), and shall keep the Association advised of the overall condition of the operating budget of the University.

26.04 Steps to postpone, alleviate or avoid the state of financial constraint may include encouragement of Members to accept: voluntary leave, voluntary early retirement, voluntary reductions in responsibilities and corresponding salary or voluntary separation, provided that prior to any such agreement between a Member and the Board:

(a) there shall be notice to the Association, and

(b) there shall be consultation with the Department, and

(c) that such agreement is consistent with the academic needs of the Programme and the financial interests of the University, and

(d) the Board shall inform the Association in writing of the details of the arrangements referred to above.

26.05 In implementing any routine budgetary measures, the Board shall take due account of recommendations resulting from such planning processes as may be established by Senate, Faculties, or Departments or similar units.

26.06 Before the Board takes any of the actions provided in Clause 26.08, it shall advise the Senate and the Association, through a report from the President, that it intends to declare a situation of financial constraint. This report shall cite this Clause 26.06, and shall provide relevant detailed information on the Board’s efforts and plans to increase revenue, the methods employed, and the actual and projected increase in revenue. The report shall also provide detailed information on the reduction or elimination of expenditures on budgetary items referred to in Clause 26.02(b) and the actual or projected savings resulting therefrom. This report shall demonstrate why the actions in Clause 26.02 are inadequate to avoid this situation of financial constraint.

The report shall also state those steps provided in Clause 26.08 the Board proposes to take, the maximum amount of reduction in the bargaining unit salary budget and the maximum reduction in the number of Members which is proposed, and the reasons to justify this amount and the need for such steps.

26.07 The Board shall allow the Association and the Senate a reasonable period, not less than thirty days, to make proposals on ways in which the financial situation might be ameliorated, including how any reductions in expenditures might be accomplished with the least damage to the University. The Senate may, if it wishes, specify the academic priorities within which the situation of financial constraint is to be resolved.

26.08 Following the procedures in Clauses 26.06 and 26.07 the Board may declare that a situation of financial constraint exists and that some or all probationary, probationary tenure-track, and those limited-term appointments defined in Clause 14.16(b) shall not be renewed.

26.09 Subject to Clause 26.13, the percentage reduction in the bargaining unit salary budget shall not exceed the percentage reduction in the overall salary budget for teaching, research and professional library staff, excluding restricted external funds for salary support.

26.10 The steps in Clause 26.08 above shall not be taken to affect the bargaining unit unless the actions possible in accordance with Clause 26.02, are inadequate and any proposals from the Association for relieving the financial situation are judged by the Board to be inadequate to avoid, eliminate or sufficiently alleviate financial constraint, and reasons for this judgment have been given.

26.11 The identification of those whose appointments will not be renewed, as provided for in Clause 26.08, shall be made by representative committees in the Departments or similar units affected. Such decisions shall be made according to appropriate criteria on fair and non-discriminatory bases consistent with the provisions of this Collective Agreement and with those characteristics of excellence considered relevant to granting appointments, reappointments, promotion, tenure, continuing appointments and appointments without term. In the absence of a recommendation from the Department or similar unit concerned within twenty days, the Dean or Vice-President shall consult with the Association-Board Committee and shall undertake within twenty days the identification of those whose appointments will not be renewed.

26.12 For purposes of this Article, the situation of financial constraint shall continue for a period of one year from the date of the Board’s declaration unless repealed sooner by the Board in light of a sufficiently improved financial situation. If the situation of financial constraint is to be continued the Board must make a new declaration under Clause 26.08 following the procedures in Clauses 26.06 and 26.07.

26.13 Notwithstanding the provisions of this Article 26, the Senate may determine that some of the positions affected by financial constraint are redundant under the terms of Article 25 of this Collective Agreement.