Letter to Min. Howell – MUNL Campus Coalition

TO: All MUNFA Members

FROM: The MUNFA Executive Committee

DATE: November 6, 2023

SUBJECT: Letter to Minister Howell – MUNL Campus Coalition

Solidarity is the strongest tool there is. With the events that have unfolded at Memorial over the past year, from skyrocketing tuition fees, MUNFA members on the picket line, and the recent release of the Auditor General’s Report, it has never been more essential.

In collaboration with our campus colleagues and students, the Memorial University Campus Coalition has been reformed to fight for a better university. Representatives from various on-campus unions have come together to fight for more. The Campus Coalition includes representation from all four Memorial University student unions (MUNSU, GSU, GCSU, and MISU), CUPE 1615 representing Memorial staff, several NAPE locals representing Marine Institute instructors and various Memorial staff, LUMUN representing post-docs and per-course instructors, and TAUMUN representing teaching assistants. 

The linked letter to Minister of Education, Krista Lynn Howell has been sent on behalf of Memorial’s various staff and student unions requesting a lobby meeting to address issues within the Board of Regents. 

In the spring of this year, historic changes were made to the MUN Act allowing “teaching staff” representation on the Board of Regents for the first time. In the process, two Academic Staff Members in MUNFA’s bargaining unit were appointed as two of the seventeen Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council seats. While these seats are a step forward, the other on-campus unions representing teaching staff, have been excluded and denied representation. As it currently stands, the two faculty positions are tenuous at best; the Board’s composition has not been officially and permanently altered to accommodate these faculty seats. In the best interests of all involved, a transparent and concrete selection and appointment process must be enshrined in the Act. The provincial government committed to addressing this issue, and the Campus Coalition urges them to follow through on the process that they have begun.

Furthermore, there remain substantial issues with the process for filling the seats for the four student unions. Extended wait times after the submission of students’ names, as well as restrictive requirements for the student representatives, have severely hindered the Student Unions’ ability to serve on the Board of Regents effectively. This is unacceptable.

MUNFA will keep members informed as this process moves forward and other initiatives are taken on by the Campus Coalition.

For a summary of the process of the appointment of MUNFA members to the Board of Regents click here. For a summary of MUNFA’s September 22 Town Hall on the Board of Regents, click here. To view MUNFA’s 2021 review of the Memorial University Act, click here.