June 29, 2018
In this issue we want to highlight a matter of critical importance to MUNFA members.
Many Academic Staff Members (ASMs) take on “extra duties.” These include, course assignments above the norm for the Academic Unit (AU), graduate supervision and expanded service roles. Compensation for this extra work is outlined in Article 31.49 of the Collective Agreement (CA) and can take the form of cash paymentsor time bankedfor future remission/teaching release.
The administration wants to end this arrangement.One of their opening proposals (passed to MUNFA on 12 December 2017) was to remove the possibility of receiving time in lieu of money as compensation for extra duties.
Many of our members receive credit (a partial or full course) for taking on different tasks in undergraduate, graduate and honours programs. The current CA gives ASMs the option to accumulate these partial course credits (i.e. they “bank” time) so that they can reduce their future workload to focus more intensively on their scholarship. In some departments, credit for extra duties is pooled, thereby allowing for more generalized adjustments to workload that also provides ASMs with time to pursue scholarship at opportune times.
Many MUNFA members have told us that banked time is vitally important to them and serves as an incentive for taking on extra undergraduate teaching, honours and graduate students, and for additional administrative duties. If ASMs do not have time to undertake scholarship, it will be difficult to maintain the programs of research, funded and otherwise, that are essential to building and maintaining strong programs attractive to both students and future ASMs.
Rather than supporting this community of scholars, the administration proposes to do the opposite. Losing the option of taking time instead of money will discourage research-active scholars from contributing to the core mission of MUN – teaching and scholarship. If ASMs opt to continue to take on extra duties, they will be squeezed for the time and flexibility needed to undertake scholarship and will not be able to develop and maintain the programs of research essential to a first-class university.
This is yet another example of the failure of Memorial’s administration to provide leadership and another reason to take back our university.
MUNFA’s Negotiating Committee:
- Jon Church (Chief Negotiator), Medicine
- Alison Coffin, MUNFA Executive Officer (non-voting)
- Dan Duda, Library
- George Jenner, Earth Sciences
- Kurt Korneski, History
- Leroy Murphy, Business
- Dave Peddle, Grenfell Campus
- Nathalie Pender, Grenfell Campus
- Nicole Power, Sociology
- Richard Rivkin, Ocean Science