New Brunswick Teachers’ Association
Code of Professional Conduct
We, the members of the New Brunswick Teachers' Association, accepting the
responsibility to practise our profession according to the highest ethical
standards, acknowledge our responsibility to the teaching profession. We
are prepared to judge and to be judged by our colleagues according to the
provisions of the Code of Ethics.
The Code of Ethics is based on the following principles:
* Teachers shall regard as their first obligation the student's physical,
social, moral and educational growth.
* Teachers have regard for the dignity, liberty and integrity of students
under their supervision and endeavour to convey to students some understanding
of their own worth.
* Teachers maintain high standards of professional competence and endeavour
to develop in their students an appreciation for high standards of accomplishment.
* Teachers have regard for the safety of their students.
* Teachers recognize the special position of trust and responsibility which
they assume in their guidance of young people.
* Teachers endeavour to maintain public knowledge of their profession by
improving and maintaining favourable public relations.
* Teachers endeavour to improve their professional competency by study, travel
or other means which will make them aware of changes in education and the
* Teachers strive to be supportive of other teachers and ensure that any
criticism of other teachers is judicious and proper.
* Teachers support their Association and Federation in promoting the interests
* Teachers respect the authority of the School District in the management
* Teachers avoid all conflicts of interest that arise from, or that might
impair their employment.
Code of Ethics
It shall be unethical for a teacher to;
(a) treat pupils in a manner that is unjust or partial;
(b) exploit the privileged relationship between teacher and pupil;
(c) undermine the confidence of teachers or students in other students;
(d) divulge other than through professional channels any information of a
personal or domestic nature concerning pupils obtained in the course of his/her
(e) accept additional remuneration for tutoring a pupil in any subjects in
which the teacher is responsible for giving classroom instruction to that
(f) knowingly disregard the safety of his/her pupils;
(g) fail to notify the Minister of Health and Community Services, as per
the terms of the Family Services Act, where he or she has information causing
him or her to suspect that a child has been abandoned, deserted, physically
or emotionally neglected, physically or sexually ill-treated, or otherwise
(h) fail to notify the Minister of Education where he or she has information
causing him or her to suspect that a student has been physically or sexually
ill-treated or otherwise abused by an adult in the school system.
It shall be unethical for a teacher to;
(a) seek a position except through professional means;
(b) seek a position that is declared in dispute by the NBTF;
(c) undermine the confidence of students or parents in other teachers;
(d) criticize a fellow teacher except (i) when demanded or authorized by
law or work-place policies; (ii) in response to enquiries for factual information
by the administrative staff, in carrying out the normal course of their duty
to the employer; or (iii) where warranted to protect the interests of the
(e) submit a report either oral or written on a fellow teacher without informing
the teacher as per nos. 2(d)(i) or 2(d)(ii);
(f) knowingly submit false or misleading reports on fellow teachers;
(g) seek to change NBTA policy except through the proper channels of the
NBTA (Local Branch, Board of Directors, Executive, General Meeting);
(h) recognize any individual or group except the NBTA and the NBTF as the
official voice of teachers;
(i) criticize the NBTA, its Directors, Executive or Administrative Staff,
except within the membership of the NBTA;
(j) while holding a position of added responsibility, subscribe to the dismissal
of a teacher on grounds related to work performance, without first attempting
to help and counsel that teacher by means of formative evaluation;
(k) accept personal gifts which would not directly benefit the school program,
from companies servicing the needs of schools or student extracurricular
(l) use his/her position to profit from the sale of goods and services to
or for pupils in the teacher's charge.
It shall be unethical for a teacher to;
(a) acting alone or as a member of a group, take unilateral action with a
School District, the Minister of Education, or any government person or persons,
or politician in matters which is contrary to the position of the NBTA or
NBTF, or which may be prejudicial to fellow members;
(b) engage in activities which are unrelated to his/her role as an educator
for personal financial gain during the hours of instruction.
4. Conduct Unbecoming a Member of the Profession
It shall be unethical for a teacher, while acting in a professional capacity
or otherwise, to engage in misconduct of a reprehensible and serious nature
which, in the opinion of the Professional Conduct and Standards Committee
(Provincial), discredits the teaching profession or raises serious concerns
as to the teacher's integrity.
4. Misconduct of a Criminal Nature
It shall be unethical for a teacher to conduct himself/herself in such a
way as to be convicted in a court of competent jurisdiction of a criminal
offense which, in the opinion of the Professional Conduct and Standards Committee
(Provincial), represents serious misconduct which is relevant to the teacher's
suitability as a member of the profession.
Professional Conduct and Standards Committee (Branch)
1. Each Branch shall appoint a Professional Conduct and Standards Committee
consisting of five members.
2. The function of the Committee shall be to investigate ethics charges and,
where it deems necessary, require that the Professional Conduct and Standards
Committee (Provincial) conduct a hearing.
Professional Conduct and Standards Appeal Committee (Regional)
1. There shall be Professional Conduct and Standards Appeal Committees (Regional)
consisting of three members.
2. The Committees shall be established in each of the following regional
a) Saint John (for Branches 0618, 0619, 0820, 1021, 1022 and 1023) b) Moncton
(for Branches 0214, 0215, 0216, 0217 and 1640)
c) Fredericton (for Branches 1809, 1724, 1725, 1826, 1827 and 1428)
d) Bathurst (for Branches 1608, 1610, 1536, 1538 and 1542)
e) Florenceville (for Branches 1429, 1430, 1431, 0333, 1450 and 1454)
3. The President (Provincial) shall, in consultation with the Executive,
appoint the Professional Conduct and Standards Appeal Committees and shall
designate the Chairpersons.
4. The function of the Committees shall be to hear appeals from complainants
in ethics charges in those cases where Branch Committees are recommending
that hearings not be held; the decision of the Appeals Committee is final.
Professional Conduct and Standards Committee (Provincial)
1. There shall be a Professional Conduct and Standards Committee (Provincial)
consisting of six members, one of which will be selected from the public
by the NBTA Board of Directors.
2. The President shall, in consultation with the Executive, appoint the Professional
Conduct and Standards Committee and shall designate the Chairperson.
3. The function of the Committee shall be to hear cases of alleged unethical
conduct on the part of teachers which have been referred from Branch Committees.
4. A hearing conducted by the Professional Conduct and Standards Committee
(Provincial) shall include the chairperson, the member selected from the
public, and three members of the committee.
Who may be Charged
(a) Any statutory member of the New Brunswick Teachers' Association (NBTA)
(b) Any person who was a statutory member of the New Brunswick Teachers'
Association (NBTA) at the time of the occurrence of the event(s) which could
lead to a proceeding under this Code, so long as not more than two years
have elapsed from the last date that the person was a statutory member of
the New Brunswick Teachers' Association (NBTA).
1. Laying a Charge
1. A member of either the New Brunswick Teachers' Association (NBTA) or the
Association des enseignantes et des enseignants francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick
(AEFNB) or an NBTA Branch or the NBTA Executive Committee may lodge in writing
an ethics charge against a teacher or teachers and the charge must be signed
by the appropriate person or persons.
2. The charge shall be based on alleged unethical conduct and shall state
specifically under which section of the Code of Ethics the charge is being
3. The charge shall be submitted in writing to the Chairperson of the Professional
Conduct and Standards Committee (Branch) with a copy of the charge to the
respondent and the Executive Director.
2. Stay of Proceedings in Extenuating Circumstances
(a) At any time from the receipt of the written notice of complaint to the
commencement of a hearing at the provincial level, the Executive Director
of the New Brunswick Teachers' Association has the authority to stay proceedings
until the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Provincial NBTA Executive
Committee. The Executive Committee may then determine if the stay of proceedings
should continue. If the stay is continued, it will be reconsidered at each
subsequent meeting of the Executive Committee until the stay is lifted.
(b) This procedure may be invoked in cases where either the complainant or
the respondent is required to appear before, or is being investigated by
the Employer or other authority due to a potential breach of Department policy,
a provincial statute, or federal statute including the Criminal Code of Canada.
3. Function of Branch Committee
4. 4. Within 14 days of the receipt of the written charge, the Branch Committee
shall investigate and determine if a hearing by the Professional Conduct
and Standards Committee (Provincial) is warranted. If, in the opinion of
the Branch Committee, a hearing is not warranted, then the matter is concluded
subject to the complainant's right of appeal to the Regional Committee.
4. If Provincial Hearing NOT To Be Held
5. If the Branch Committee determines that a hearing should not be held,
the complainant may, within five (5) days of notification of the decision
of the Branch Committee, register a notice of appeal with the Chairperson
of the appropriate Regional Appeal Committee. Within fourteen (14) days of
the receipt of the notice of appeal, the Regional Appeal Committee shall
investigate and determine if a hearing by the Professional Conduct and Standards
Committee is warranted. The decision of the Appeal Committee is final.
5. If Provincial Hearing To Be Held
6. Within a further five (5) days, if the Branch Committee or the Regional
Appeal Committee determines that a hearing shall be held, the respondent
and the complainant shall be given due notice; a copy of the notice and all
particulars related to the charge shall be forwarded to the NBTA Executive
Director by the Chairperson of the Branch Committee.
7. The Executive Director shall, within a further five (5) days, forward
all particulars related to the charge to the Chairperson and members of the
Professional Conduct and Standards Committee (Provincial).
8. The Chairperson, within a further thirty (30) days, shall convene a hearing.
Functions of the Provincial Committee
9. The Committee shall
(a) Direct the Executive Director to notify all parties involved of the time
and place of the hearing at least twenty (20) days before the hearing is
to be held.
Conduct of the Hearing
(b) Conduct the hearing with the complainant and the respondent notified
to be present. Should the respondent fail to appear following due notice,
the Committee may nonetheless proceed. Each party shall have the right to
conduct its case either personally, by teacher advocate, or by legal counsel,
to file documents, to call witnesses, to examine and cross-examine witnesses.
The Chairperson of the Professional Conduct and Standards Committee shall
chair the hearing, assisted by legal counsel retained by the Association,
such legal counsel to act as advisor to the Committee in all matters related
to the hearing. The rules of evidence related to civil action shall be applied
by the Committee in the conduct of the hearing. The burden of proof to be
met shall be "on the balance of probability", not "beyond a reasonable doubt"
as in criminal actions.
(c) Determine whether or not the respondent is guilty of a breach of the
Code of Ethics and if guilty, apply one or more of the following sanctions.
( i) a private reprimand
( ii) a public reprimand (without limiting the generality of this, it could
take one of the following forms.)
a. notice to respondent and other interested parties, or
b. notice to respondent, other interested parties and appropriate school
c. notice to respondent, other interested parties, and appropriate superintendent
d. notice to respondent, other interested parties, and published in an Association
(iii) suspension of one or more of the following membership privileges:
a. educational improvement grants
b. consumer buying assistance
c. interest-free loans
d. eligibility for Project Overseas
e. eligibility for Johnson Scholarship
f. appointment to any NBTA delegations
g. participation on any NBTA Committees
(iv) recommend to the Minister of Education the suspension or cancellation
of the teacher's license.
Notification of Decision of Committee
10. The Executive Director shall, within ten (10) days after the completion
of the hearing, notify both parties of the decision of the Committee.
11. (a) Travel, meals and accommodation expenses for the complainant, or
designate and the respondent, or designate, will be borne by the Association
in keeping with the current policy on expenses.
(b) The expenses of witnesses for the successful party may be paid at the
discretion of the Committee.
12. A person whose license has been suspended or cancelled as the result
of an official action taken by the Minister of Education may apply for reinstatement
by submitting a written application to the Board of Directors. The Board
of Directors shall consider the application and recommend that the Minister
of Edu-cation grant or deny the reinstatement. No application for reinstatement
shall be considered by the Board of Directors until a waiting period of thirty
(30) days has been completed.
13. (a) Complainant(s): A member of either the New Brunswick Teachers' Association
(NBTA) or the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants francophones
(AEFNB), or NBTA Branch or the NBTA Executive who lays a charge under the
Code of Ethics.
(b) Respondent(s): The teacher or teachers against whom a charge has been
laid pursuant to the Code of Ethics.
(c) Notice(s): For purposes of this Code means official written notification
by registered mail or personal service.
(d) Days: For purposes of this Code means teaching days
(e) Rules of Evidence: Those normally in vogue in civil proceedings but at
the absolute discretion of the Professional Conduct and Standards Committee.
(f) Burden of Proof: On the balance of probability.