Negotiating News #2

In the month of December, 2013, the MUNFA Negotiating Committee met with our counterpart from MUN on three separate occasions – December 3, 12 and 13. During those sessions (and after many hours of caucus time, as well), the parties were able to exchange proposals on almost all articles of the Collective Agreement opened originally on November 20 (see Negotiating News #1 ). Neither party has yet tabled proposals covering “Salaries and Benefits” (Article 31); MUNFA has not replied on Article 1, and MUN not on Articles 22, 26 & 30. Furthermore, the employer has tabled proposed changes to the “Policies and Procedures Governing the Appointment, Review, Promotion & Tenure of Academic Administrators”, an adjunct to the Collective Agreement, incorporated by reference in Articles 1 and 28.

The MUNFA Negotiating Committee is pleased to report that while much work remains to be done, some progress can be reported. Article 2, “Academic Rights and Freedoms”, has already been agreed and signed off by both parties. Similarly, MUNFA expects that the same can be anticipated for Article 19, “Disciplinary Measures and Non-Disciplinary Relief from Duties”, when MUNFA and MUN meet for the first time in 2014. Significant progress can be reported on the issue of revenue sharing following patent protection outlined in Article 27.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that a variety of important issues separate the union and the employer – and we have yet to talk money at all! MUN has so far refused to address the long-standing inequity created by teaching norms of 6 on the Grenfell Campus; all Academic Units on the St. John’s Campus now have teaching norms of 5 or less. In addition, MUN has tabled new language in Articles 3 and 4 (Duties and Responsibilities of Faculty Members, and Librarians) requiring mandatory annual reports that ask an Academic Staff Members to document such vagaries as “contributions to the profession” and some measure of “public engagement”. While such reports are not yet connected to any other Collective Agreement clause, it is our contention, supported by what has previously happened at other universities across Canada that in future rounds of negotiations, such reports will serve to inform tenure and promotion assessments, and perhaps salary increments. Furthermore, MUN has proposed language for both Articles 9 and 15 (Assessment File, Faculty and Librarians) that would make the inclusion of all Course Evaluation Questionnaire (CEQ) results from the previous three years, mandatory in all promotion and tenure applications.

Future negotiating sessions have been scheduled for January 16, 17, 28 and 29, and February 13 and 14, 2014. The MUNFA Negotiating Committee will keep the membership abreast of developments as they arise in the coming New Year with additional versions of the Negotiating News. In the meantime, we take this opportunity to wish all MUNFA members a happy & healthy holiday!

MUNFA Negotiating Committee:

  • Dr. Jon Church (Chief Negotiator), Medicine
  • Dr. Barrie Barrell, Education
  • Dr. Alistair Bath, Geography
  • Dr. Stephen Butt, Engineering & Applied Science
  • Dr. Sonya Corbin Dwyer, Grenfell Campus
  • Mr. Dan Duda, Library
  • Ms. Kelly Hickey, MUNFA Executive Officer
  • Dr. George Jenner, Earth Sciences
  • Dr. Basil Kavanagh, Human Kinetics & Recreation
  • Mr. Leroy Murphy, Cooperative Education Coordinator, Business
  • Dr. Richard Rivkin, Ocean Sciences
  • Dr. Paul Wilson, Grenfell Campus