Advocacy Corner: Termination

March 30, 2016

Each month, our APSA Advocates answer your questions about workplace challenges, the AD 10 policies and how they’re applied. Questions? Submit them anonymously here.

Hello, I'm Anne Mason, the Executive Director of APSA. On behalf of the Advocacy Committee, I'm answering your questions related to termination.

1. Can I be fired? What reasons would lead to instant termination?

There are four instances where the University could terminate a member’s position, outlined in AD10.19 Discipline and Termination of Employment. Note that all these cases are based on members’ activities and are within the control of a member to either work to correct the issue or avoid conduct that is unacceptable.

  1. Gross Misconduct
    May include, but is not limited to: absences without leave, assault, insubordination, negligence, unauthorized possession or use of University property, facilities or services.

  2. Unacceptable Conduct
    Action or inaction by an Employee that is incompatible with, or prejudicial to, the business of the University.

  3. Unsatisfactory Performance
    The failure to satisfy expected standards of performance in the position. The disciplinary measures for this, along with unacceptable conduct, may include:
    1. oral warnings,
    2. written warnings,
    3. informal or formal Trial Periods,
    4. suspension,
    5. demotion,
    6. termination of employment.

  4. Non-Culpable Circumstances
    Situations where an Employee is unable to fulfill the requirements of the employment relationship because of circumstances or events over which he/she has no control. It should be mentioned that these cases are rare. In the ten years I’ve been with APSA, we haven’t had one case.  


2. I know a higher up (APSA) here who got a buy out to resign. He had to sign a contract so he never said another word about it. Can the University do that; just force us to resign with no due process?

As stated above, there are ONLY four ways a members’ employment can be terminated (outside of position eliminations). Acting outside of these is acting outside of the AD10 Policies that APSA and the University negotiate and agree upon.

If you are contacted or offered incentives to resign, contact the APSA office, specifically the Executive Director, immediately before responding verbally or in writing. 

3. Is it enough if your boss doesn't like you or do they have to fully eliminate the position?

First off, your boss cannot fire you simply because they don’t like you. However, under probation (AD10.22), “lack of suitability” is a valid reason to end employment before the end of probation. 

Outside of probation, to eliminate a position, managers or supervisors must follow proper procedure and justify the need to eliminate the position. APSA advocates attend all elimination meetings, to ensure the procedures, described in AD10.18 Elimination of Positions and Employment Continuity, are followed.


Previous Advocacy Corner articles:

Coworker Concerns

Probation and Breaks


Time off in lieu

Variable Scheduled Work Week