PSAC Local 901, representing Graduate Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows at Queen’s, has posted two critical responses to the CAUT Ad Hoc Investigatory Committee Report on the situation and treatment of Dr. Michael Mason in the Department of History at Queen’s University.
The first is a Letter to the CAUT investigators dated 31 October 2012. It voices “serious concerns” at the investigators’ failure either to contact Professor Mason’s TAs or to “interview a single complainant”—failures that invalidate the CAUT Report’s “dismissal of the verbal complaints made by the TAs.” PSAC 901 concedes that the Report “rightly defends Dr. Mason’s rights under the QUFA Collective Agreement,” while lamenting that it also “exacerbates the mishandling of the complaints made by the TAs and actively seeks to discredit them.”
The second document, also dated 31 October, is a PSAC 901 Press Release criticizing the CAUT Report together with a column by Margaret Wente of 30 October. The linkage is justified since (as PSAC 901 points out) Wente’s column relies on the CAUT Report but goes even further in disrespect and unfairness to the TAs. Though PSAC 901 argues that CAUT’s exoneration of Professor Mason is premature because it did not consider all of the evidence, it affirms CAUT’s contention that the university mishandled his case and violated his rights under the Collective Agreement:
The executive of PSAC 901 defends Dr. Mason’s rights to a fair and equitable process under the Queen’s University Faculty Association’s Collective Agreement. From the available evidence it is clear that mistakes occurred in the Department of History’s handling of serious complaints by TAs and students regarding Dr. Mason’s behavior. It is also clear that critical procedural lapses happened with the Department of History’s handling of these complaints which neglected Dr. Mason’s rights outlined in the QUFA Collective Agreement.