Negotiating News #7

As you probably recall, on Wednesday, 26 March, MUNFA tabled an outline of our salary and benefit proposal as part of a new Collective Agreement Article 31. We reported this to you in Negotiating News #6 (March 28). Unfortunately, as of this date, the university administration has not yet tabled any response to our monetary demands.

Nevertheless, the parties have continued to meet – April 2, 22 and 23 – and have worked hard to reach agreement on some of the still outstanding language issues. While the MUNFA Negotiating Committee can report that some Articles have been agreed, there remain some outstanding issues that should be of concern to MUNFA members. The employer continues to insist on yet again restructuring Cooperative and Field Education and complicating the work of these valuable Academic Staff Members (ASMs). The administration remains focused on inserting a requirement for annual reports into the duties and responsibilities of both Faculty Members and Librarians. In addition, the university has consistently said no to MUNFA’s attempts to reduce teaching norms at Grenfell Campus to a more equitable norm of 5 (there are less than 30 ASMs at Grenfell who must teach 6 courses each year), to improve maternity/parental benefits for all, to provide better childcare for those with young children (in fact MUN still fails to provide any facilities at Grenfell Campus), and have been unable to agree to any of MUNFA’s proposals around fair and reasonable sharing of research data rights.

It is the opinion of the MUNFA Negotiating Committee that May will be a crucial period in collective bargaining. We are scheduled to meet again with the employer on May 2, and again on May 15 and 16. If the university administration can make a salary and benefit offer to MUNFA that both reflects our demands, and recognizes the modest needs of our diverse membership, we believe that a new Collective Agreement can become a reality before summer begins. On the other hand, there may be no alternative but to seek the assistance of a provincial conciliation officer, settle in for the long term, and look forward to possible job action when the Fall 2014 semester begins.

As always, the MUNFA Negotiating Committee will strive to keep you abreast of developments as quickly as possible.

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