Since our last update on February 2, 2022, the MUNFA and MUNL Negotiating Committees have held three additional bargaining sessions, from February 14-15, February 28-March 1, and March 15-16.
Where We Agree
Unfortunately, despite seven full days of bargaining, the Parties have only come to agreement on a few items. We can report that we have agreement on the following items:
- Expanding the definition of scholarship/scholarly activity for Librarians under Clauses 17.22(c) and 08(c) to mirror previously agreed to language for other tenure/tenure-track Faculty in Clauses 11.29(b) and 12.13(b);
- The ability for Academic Staff Members (ASMs) at the rank of Associate Professor to apply for tenure in their fourth year; and
- At the discretion of the employer, the provision of a 1-year terminal appointment for ASMs who are denied tenure in their third year.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and Indigenization
Despite senior administration frequently citing their commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and the Indigenization of the University, the employer seems reluctant to agree to any concrete language to demonstrate this commitment. Almost every proposal by MUNFA focused on these key bargaining priorities have been rejected or deferred by the employer’s team. For example, despite Senate having approved the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation as an academic holiday, and the University listing it as such on their website, the employer continues to defer agreement on MUNFA’s proposal to include this day in Clause 22.09. In our most recent bargaining session, the employer indicated that this is because it is a “quasi monetary item,” which suggests that it could be used as a bargaining chip by the employer in the future.
MUNFA continues to meet resistance to improve language in the Collective Agreement around accommodations for ASMs returning from Sick Leave, Long Term Disability, and Compassionate Leave. The employer has also deferred commenting on MUNFA’s inclusion of an equity statement in Articles relating to the hiring or assessment of ASMs, and the expansion of Promotion & Tenure Criteria to include Indigenous knowledge that may not always fit within our existing definitions.
Improved Conditions for Contract Faculty and Faculty Complement
The employer continues to reject MUNFA’s proposals to provide longer contracts to term appointed ASMs, to strengthen conversion language for these ASMs, and to recognize the service work that many Teaching Term Appointments (TTAs) currently undertake.
The employer has also rejected MUNFA’s proposals to require a minimum number of courses at Memorial University be taught by MUNFA members, that a certain proportion of MUNFA members be tenured/tenure-track, and that a certain proportion of term appointments be Regular Term Appointments as opposed to Teaching Term Appointments. These proposals were put forward by MUNFA not only to improve job security, but also to strengthen our university’s academic mission and address ASMs’ workload concerns, particularly in Academic Units who have seen higher attrition and limited or no renewal of tenured faculty.
Take Action to Support MUNFA’s Negotiating Committee
MUNFA’s Negotiating Committee will be back at the bargaining table on March 29-30 and April 18-19 fighting for a fair, equitable collective agreement in line with the bargaining priorities identified by ASMs.
In anticipation of that next session, we encourage MUNFA members send a message to the employer urging them to uphold their commitment to Indigenization and Truth and Reconciliation. Email President Vianne Timmons (firstname.lastname@example.org), Director of Faculty Relations, Geoff Williams (email@example.com), and the Vice-President Academic (firstname.lastname@example.org) to say that if the University is truly committed to Indigenization they cannot use the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation as a bargaining chip. We ask that you copy MUNFA (email@example.com) on this call to action.
MUNFA’s Negotiating Committee:
- Jon Church, Medicine (Co-Lead Negotiator)
- Nicole Power, Sociology (Co-Lead Negotiator)
- Dan Duda, QE II Library
- Patrick Gamsby, QE II Library
- John Hoben, Education
- Nathalie Pender, Grenfell Campus
- Janna Rosales, Engineering & Applied Science
- Ken Snelgrove, Engineering & Applied Science
- Erwin Warkentin, Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
- Amy Wadden, MUNFA Labour Relations Officer (non-voting member)
- Dale Humphries, MUNFA Labour Relations Coordinator (non-voting member)