Article 27: Financial Exigency

27.01 A financial exigency exists if, and to the extent that, far-reaching reductions are required in University expenditures, which may include expenditures on Members’ salaries, in order to avoid the financial collapse of the University.

27.02 Bearing in mind that the primary aims of the University are teaching, scholarship and research, and except as may be provided for in Article 26, the Board undertakes that lay-off or termination of employment of Members for financial reasons will occur only in the event of, and only to the extent required by, a bona fide case of financial exigency. The necessity must arise from the total budget of Dalhousie University, not just the teaching, research, library or salary budget.

27.03 Before the Board takes any action for reasons of financial exigency it shall advise the Association, through a report from the President, of its judgment that such a situation obtains. The President’s report shall include the information which convinced the Board of the need for such a decision and the Board’s statement of the magnitude of the exigency, its proposal for solving the exigency and a statement of the maximum reduction necessary in bargaining-unit salaries. The Association shall have a reasonable opportunity, and not less than twenty-eight days, to respond through the Association- Board Committee to the President’s report.

27.04 Following the report by the President referred to in Clause 27.03 and until the decision is made by the Board whether a declaration of financial exigency is to be made, and this decision has been implemented in accordance with Clause 27.17, the President shall not recommend any appointments to vacant or new positions on the teaching, research, library or administrative staff of Dalhousie University.

27.05 If requested by either the Association or the Senate, the Board shall establish an Independent Financial Advisory Committee, composed of one member nominated by the Board, one member nominated by the Association and a chairperson chosen by those two members. Failing agreement to select a chairperson within ten days, S. Bruce Outhouse or someone chosen by him shall serve as chairperson.

27.06 The Board shall provide to the Independent Financial Advisory Committee all relevant information, financial and otherwise, pertaining to Dalhousie University requested by the chairperson of the committee. Delay in providing information shall lead to an equivalent extension in the committee’s time to consider before reporting. Refusal by the Board to produce the information requested by the committee shall be, in and of itself, grounds upon which the committee may declare that there is no state of financial exigency and that no lay-offs or termination of the employment of Members for financial or budgetary reasons shall occur.

27.07 The Independent Financial Advisory Committee shall seek to reach a judgement in which all three members concur. Failing a majority judgment on any issue to be reported, the judgment of the chairperson shall be the judgment of the committee, but the members may report their divergent opinions. Any report of the committee shall be a public document.

27.08 The committee shall report to the Board and the Association within ninety days of the selection of its chairperson, unless a longer period is agreed upon by the Parties or unless there has been a delay as in Clause 27.06.

27.09 The committee may recommend specific measures to be adopted or steps to be taken to ameliorate or eliminate the exigency, including:

(a) reasonable reductions in all areas of Dalhousie University’s expenditures other than salary expenditures for Members;

(b) appropriate means of increasing revenue;

(c) taking all possible advantage of endowment funds and other investments;

(d) disposing at reasonable prices of Dalhousie University property not essential to the teaching, scholarship and research objectives of the University;

(e) reductions in administrative staff that are not likely to interfere seriously with the aforementioned objectives of the University;

(f) reductions of salary commitments through attrition, including regular retirements without replacement, including also the anticipated expiry of non-renewable limited-term appointments;

(g) reduction of salary commitments through non-renewal of probationary, probationary tenure-track and limited-term appointments.

The committee shall recommend step (f) only if it judges that steps (a) to (e) are inadequate to ameliorate sufficiently or eliminate the exigency and it shall recommend step (g) only if it judges steps (a) to (f) inadequate to the same purpose.

27.10 If the committee judges that the measures and steps it recommends in accordance with Clause 27.09 are adequate to ameliorate sufficiently or eliminate the exigency, it shall so declare in its report and it shall recommend against the lay-off and termination of the employment of Members.

27.11 Only if the savings to be achieved through the measures and steps it recommends in Clause 27.09 are inadequate to ameliorate sufficiently or eliminate the exigency shall thecommittee recommend that the lay-off or termination of the employment of Members be carried out.

27.12 Using generally accepted accounting procedures the committee shall assess the validity of the Board’s declaration of financial exigency and shall state the magnitude of the exigency, its proposals for meeting the exigency and shall state the maximum amount of reduction of bargaining-unit salaries it believes justified.

27.13 Upon receipt of the report from the committee, or after ninety days or longer period (as agreed by the Parties in accordance with Clause 27.08 or due to delay in accordance with Clause 27.06), the Board may, through the President, declare that a bona fide state of financial exigency obtains within Dalhousie University.

27.14 After receipt of the committee’s report, in accordance with Clause 27.13, the Board shall inform the Association through the Association-Board Committee if it intends to declare a state of financial exigency which will require a reduction of the bargaining-unit salary budget and give the Association not less than thirty days to respond.

27.15 The Board may, after declaring that a bona fide state of financial exigency obtains within Dalhousie University, declare the amount of bargaining-unit salary reduction that must be achieved through lay-off or termination of employment of Members. If the Independent Financial Advisory Committee unanimously recommends a maximum reduction of bargaining-unit salaries in Clause 27.12, then this amount shall not be exceeded by the Board. In the absence of a unanimous recommendation, the Board shall act to exceed the maximum amount of reduction of bargaining-unit salaries, declared by the Independent Financial Advisory Committee in accordance with Clause 27.12, only if it can make a bona fide case that its own declared amount, made in accordance with this Clause 27.15, rather than the committee’s declared figure aforesaid is necessary to avoid the financial collapse of the University and that the exigency cannot be sufficiently ameliorated in other ways.

27.16 The maximum amount of bargaining-unit salary reduction which is finally settled upon in accordance with Clause 27.15 shall not be increased unless and until a new declaration of financial exigency is made and the procedures of this Article 27 are followed.

27.17 In the event that the Board declares the need for a reduction in the bargaining-unit salary budget, as in Clause 27.15, a Supervisory Committee shall be formed to supervise the state of financial exigency as it applies to Members. The committee shall consist of two Members appointed by the Association, two Members appointed by the Board and a chairperson chosen by the committee from the academic staff of another university. Failing agreement to select a chairperson within ten days, Dr. Kenneth Ozmon or someone chosen by him shall serve as chairperson.

27.18 Within ninety days, the Senate shall specify the priorities for establishing which teaching, research or library units shall be subject to reduction.

27.19 Working within the priorities as may have been specified by the Senate, the Supervisory Committee shall first determine the number and distribution of people to be laid-off and then, subsequent to the procedures described in Clause 27.20, the individual Members. The Supervisory Committee’s procedures shall include reasonable provisions for Members to argue their cases, both individually and on behalf of their teaching, research and library units. The Supervisory Committee shall take it as a rule of procedure that no Faculty, School, College, Institute, Centre, Library, or Department within a Faculty shall have its bargaining-unit salary budget reduced for reasons of financial exigency by a percentage that is more than 1.25 times the percentage reduction in the overall bargaining-unit salary budget. Should the committee decide that it must reduce a particular unit by more than the 1.25 percent guideline, it will first refer the matter to the Senate for approval. Failure by the Senate to make a judgment within a time specified by the committee (which in any case shall not be less than two weeks) will give the committee power to proceed as it sees fit. The Supervisory Committee will complete its activities within five months from the declaration of priorities by the Senate as provided in Clause 27.18.

27.20 The identification of individual Members to be laid off shall be made by the Supervisory Committee in consultation with the appropriate Dean or Vice-President and with committees in each Department or other such unit potentially affected. These consultative committees shall consist of Members elected by the unit and one Member appointed by the Association from outside the affected unit. Such decisions shall be made according to appropriate criteria on fair and nondiscriminatory bases consistent with the provisions of this Collective Agreement and with those characteristics of excellence considered relevant to granting appointments, promotion, tenure and appointment without term. Those characteristics are given in the Report on Tenure (approved by the Senate and the Board in 1971) and, in the case of professional librarians, in Article 11 of this Collective Agreement. Length of service shall not be considered as a criterion for identifying individuals to be laid-off unless all the other criteria have been exhausted. Recommendations and the bases for the recommendations shall be made, in writing, by the Supervisory Committee, following full consultation with all Members of the affected academic unit. Members recommended for lay-off shall have the right to examine the above-mentioned written recommendations.

27.21 The President shall write to each person designated for lay-off, indicating the intention to recommend to the Board that the person be laid off and stating that the lay-off is for reason of financial exigency only. The President’s letter shall be delivered to the person by registered mail.

27.22 Such notice shall be provided as soon as possible prior to the date of lay-off. For Members with tenure, appointment without term, or continuing appointments notice shall be at least fifteen months, and for Members holding tenure-track appointments, probationary tenure-track appointments, or probationary appointments notice shall be at least nine months. For the purpose of this Article 27 the procedures for lay-off shall not apply to those holding limited-term appointments.

27.23 Prior to implementing any lay-off, the Board shall make every reasonable effort to secure a position elsewhere in Dalhousie University for the person concerned. Individuals who accept such alternate employment which is on the teaching, research or professional library staff shall continue all their employment rights, including years of service towards sabbatical leave, salary and pension credit. Individuals who accept alternative employment at Dalhousie University which is not on the teaching, research or professional library staff shall continue those employment rights which are appropriate to their new positions and shall retain those pre-existing employment rights which are not so appropriate, for use if they return to the teaching, research or professional library staff. Individuals who accept alternate employment at Dalhousie University shall have the same rights, in Clauses 27.24 to 27.26, as those laid off and shall be given reasonable opportunity to retrain for their new duties. The Board shall pay tuition where necessary, as judged by the Association-Board Committee.

27.24 There shall be no hiring of new teaching, research or professional library staff to positions in the University until all laid-off former Members, who apply and are qualified for the positions that become available, have been offered them. Laid-off former Members shall have the right of first refusal for their original position and for all other vacancies on the teaching, research and professional library staff of Dalhousie University, for which they are qualified, for a period of six years from the date of their lay-off or earlier period as given in Clause 27.29. Although preference shall not be given to laid-off former Members over other persons who have been laid off from other bargaining units or the administrative staff in Dalhousie University for recall to their original unit, preference shall be given to laid-off former Members over other people for such positions. The qualifications of laid-off former Members shall be judged by the appropriate Department or similar unit and the Dean or Vice-President concerned and, where more than one laid-off former Member is being considered, the Department or similar unit shall choose among them. Individuals receiving offers of employment under this provision shall have up to one month to accept such offers and a reasonable period, not less than six months, to terminate alternative employment and take up the position.

The Board shall notify all laid-off former Members by regular mail, at their last-known address, of all available positions at Dalhousie University and also give timely notice of them to the Association.

27.25 Recalled persons returning to teaching, research or professional library positions shall be entitled to seniority and tenure (or appointment without term in the case of professional librarians) as at the time of lay-off and years of service prior to lay-off shall be counted towards sabbatical leave privileges. Salary shall be the salary at the time of lay-off, increased by any applicable across-the-board or standard increments, not including increments for career development awarded during the period of lay-off unless the person’s activities during lay-off warrant some payment for career development.

27.26 Any person recalled to a position different from that at lay-off shall continue to have the right of first refusal for a vacancy in his or her original position for a period of six years from the time of initial lay-off.

27.27 For a period of six years, laid-off former Members shall enjoy full access to University facilities, including library and computing services, under the same conditions as Members. Office and laboratory space shall be provided when the Board judges this would involve no significant cost and the Department or similar unit judges that such access would not inhibit seriously its teaching Programme. Those laid-off former Members who are not in full-time employment, their spouses and dependents shall be eligible for tuition waivers as provided for through this Collective Agreement, for a period of six years from the date of lay-off.

27.28 A person who has been laid off for reasons of financial exigency shall be entitled to:

(a) notice or one month’s salary and benefits for each month’s notice as specified in Clause 27.22; and either

(b) in the case of an instructor or professional counsellor Member employed in excess of three (3) years, one (1) month’s salary for each full year of service, but a minimum of nine (9) months’ salary and a maximum of twelve (12) months’ salary shall be paid to those who have continuing appointments and a maximum of nine (9) months’ salary shall be paid to those who have probationary appointments; or

(c) in the case of other Members, one month’s salary and benefits for each year of service at Dalhousie University, but a minimum of twelve months’ salary and a maximum of fifteen months’ salary shall be paid to those who have appointments with tenure and those who have appointments without term, and a minimum of six months’ salary and a maximum of nine months’ salary shall be paid to all other persons laid-off.

The salary referred to in (a) is that current at the time notice is given and the salary in (b) and (c) is that current at the date of lay-off, or at the time notice is given if salary in lieu of notice is taken under (a).

27.29 Recall rights of a person laid off shall terminate six years from the date of lay-off, or the date due for retirement, or when the person indicates in writing to the Board that he or she no longer wishes to be considered for recall, or at the date of expiry of the appointment from which the person was laid off, whichever of these occurs soonest.