Negotiating News #5

February 19, 2018

Welcome to Negotiating News Number 5 (NN #5)! The purpose of the Negotiating News is to keep our members informed about collective bargaining.

Despite the parties agreeing to enter negotiations over seven months ago, there has been very little progress. The reason for this lack of progress is that MUN has refused to respond to any of the proposals that MUNFA has passed across the table.

As reported in NN#3, in December MUNFA tabled proposals that focused on workplace equity, job security for our most precariously employed colleagues, and intellectual property. On the same day, MUN tabled proposals with changes to 15 Articles. Most were of the so-called “housekeeping” nature; however, there were some significant changes proposed that we described in NN#4. ASMs responded, saying the administration`s changes were a threat to collegiality, tenure, and the fundamental principles of academic freedom.

At our December meeting with MUN, we agreed to set aside two full days in February for what we expected would be meaningful negotiations. Meanwhile, MUN sent a letter in January stating their refusal to respond to any of our Articles unless we tabled all of our proposals. We assured them that there were no substantive issues in the outstanding Articles.

Since December, the MUNFA Negotiating team has met weekly to closely consider and prepare responses to nearly all of the proposals that MUN presented to MUNFA.

When we met on February 12th and 13th, we responded to almost all of the Articles that MUN gave to us on December 12th. In contrast, we did not receive any response to the Articles we had given the employer. Delay and inaction is the modus operandi of the administration. They continued to demand all our proposals, and were unable to provide any substantive reasons why they wanted all of them. We are puzzled as to why changes to an Article concerning non-discrimination, or Promotion and Tenure processes for Librarians, for example, would impact an Article dealing with changes to intellectual property rights, or employment conditions for  ASMs who are precariously employed.

Our concerns about equity, precarious employment, and intellectual property reflect core academic principles, and we are dismayed at MUN’s pointless dawdling. Rather than further delay a process that we initiated in July 2017, we tabled the remaining Articles to which we have made changes. We expect that MUN will come prepared to negotiate when we next meet in early March.

In solidarity,

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