As was noted in a recent Information Bulletin, on August 19, 2021, MUNFA provided written notice to President Timmons indicating that MUNFA wished to commence collective bargaining.
In anticipation of collective bargaining, MUNFA’s Proposals Committee has been working since January 2021, reviewing feedback from Academic Staff Members (ASMs) and MUNFA Committees to prepare a set of bargaining proposals. These proposals focus on a number of key priorities. These include: equity, diversity, and inclusion; Indigenization of the Collective Agreement; improved working conditions for our most precarious colleagues; climate action; improved governance, openness, and transparency; and due process for our members. Some of the key proposals are detailed later in this Information Bulletin.
MUNFA encourages all ASMs to review and provide feedback, and especially welcomes feedback from members of equity-seeking groups, Indigenous ASMs, and contract faculty on proposed language directly affecting their working conditions. If you wish to review the full set of proposals, we ask that you contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request access to an electronic copy.
Please note that draft changes regarding salaries in Article 31, Salaries and Benefits, are not included. As in the past rounds of collective bargaining, MUNFA will seek fair, reasonable, and equitable improvements in both ASM salaries and benefits.
We do not yet know which articles will be opened in the current round of collective bargaining. This will be decided following an initial meeting with the administration at a yet to be determined date, in which we will discuss the number of articles to be opened, a schedule for negotiations, and other issues concerned with the structure of this round of collective bargaining.
Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI): MUNFA’s proposals put equity front and centre. From improving the University’s collection of equity-data, to expanding on previous gains introducing more inclusive Promotion & Tenure language, to mandating the University ensure universal design principles are adhered to in the construction and renovation of spaces on campus; MUNFA hopes to introduce new equity language throughout the Collective Agreement.
Indigenization: MUNFA recognizes that existing definitions of scholarship are rooted in western academic disciplinary traditions and plans to introduce language to recognize and value Indigenous knowledge and ways of teaching and learning.
Better conditions for contingent faculty: Despite gains in the most recent round of collective bargaining to increase job security for contract faculty, there is much room for improvement. MUNFA intends to present a set of proposals that include, but are not limited to: increasing the minimum contract length for term appointments; expanding and strengthening conversion language; ensuring that ASMs can use their PDTR funds to support research; and ensuring the University prioritizes appointing ASMs into Regular Term Appointments as opposed to Teaching Term Appointments.
Addressing Issues of Faculty Complement: We continue to hear from ASMs across all Academic Units who are concerned with the limited renewal of the tenure-stream faculty complement and the subsequent impact this has on workload and the ability of Academic Units to carry out core functions requiring the service of ASMs. MUNFA will be reintroducing language to ensure: a certain proportion of term appointments are Regular Term Appointments whose duties include service and research; a certain proportion of ASMs in any one Academic Unit are tenure/tenure-track appointments; and, a certain proportion of courses at the University are taught by MUNFA members.
Climate Action: MUNFA is a proud signatory of the Memorial University Climate Crisis Pledge alongside senior leaders of the University. MUNFA plans to present language further committing the University to address the climate crisis and to improving supports for ride sharing, public transit, and all forms of active transportation to/from and across campuses.
Governance, Openness, and Transparency: MUNFA’s Governance Working Group aims to address the erosion of collegial governance at Memorial University alongside MUNFA’s Negotiating Committee who will be fighting for language in the Collective Agreement to recognize the need for Collegial Governance and to increase the openness and transparency of decisions by senior administration and the Board of Regents.
MUNFA’s Negotiating Committee for the current round of collective bargaining includes:
- Jon Church, Medicine
- Dan Duda, QE II Library
- Patrick Gamsby, QE II Library
- John Hoben, Education
- Nathalie Pender, Grenfell Campus
- Nicole Power, Sociology
- 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)
The Negotiating Committee will recommend a Lead Negotiator to the MUNFA Executive Committee.