16 August 2013: LUMUN Per Course Bargaining Team Files for Conciliation

The Bargaining Team for Per Course Instructors has filed an application for conciliation after the University declined to respond to LUMUN’s wage proposal in a two-day negotiating session on June 26th and 27th, 2013.

Some progress was made at the bargaining session – the first after a four-month hiatus in negotiations – but MUN’s avoidance of the Union’s economic package gave your Bargaining Team little choice but to request conciliation in order to move the process forward, said Dr. Robert Lewis, President of LUMUN.

Economic Package: The LUMUN Bargaining Team tabled a comprehensive economic proposal on February 28th, 2013, and was disappointed when the University said in late June that it was still not in a position to respond. MUN’s rationale is that because the provincial government has not yet reached agreement with any of its unions, it does not know what the wage template will be. The University said that since more than 80 per cent of its budget comes directly from the province, it cannot counter the LUMUN economic package without knowing what money will be coming from the government.

The Union’s wage proposal, however, was formulated to attempt to take into account a wage template, while seeking an equity adjustment and other improvements.

The parties did agree to an increase in the course cancellation fee under Article 28.03.

Appointments Language: The University withdrew its proposal in Article 13.05, which would have given Academic Heads complete discretion in re-hiring decisions (they already have complete discretion in initial hiring and in the re-hiring of anyone who has not taught at least three courses over at least three terms). LUMUN welcomed the withdrawal of the concession MUN was seeking, since it would have removed any real job security for LUMUN members and, as a function of that, compromised academic freedom and the practical ability to grieve violations of the Collective Agreement.

The parties ultimately agreed on a number of small increases to the number of courses set aside in Article 13.08 for Adjunct Professors, Visiting Professors, Postdoctoral Fellows, all Graduate Students, and Doctoral Students; the University assigns such courses without posting and without following seniority. The University also agreed to provide the Union with more information on how many appointments are made under Article 13.08. The parties signed off on appointments language.

Professional Development Funding: LUMUN accepted MUN’s proposal to increase the amount of professional funding available annually to Per Course Instructors from $5,000 to $7,500, to allow for applications for that funding during the Spring term, as well as to bookmark $500 of professional development funding annually for Per Course Instructors teaching on the Grenfell Campus.

Definitions: The parties signed off on Article 3, Definitions and Interpretations. Some amendments were made to the language of the original Collective Agreement (of February 2009).

While significant progress was made during this most recent round of bargaining, the Union team is quite concerned about the University’s unwillingness to respond to the economic proposals.

We will be consulting with Per Course Instructors on these and other bargaining matters. Please stay tuned for further developments.

YOUR BARGAINING TEAM:

Dr. Robert Lewis, LUMUN President

Martha Wells, LUMUN Secretary

Craig Cramm, LUMUN First Vice-President

Dwight Hutchens, LUMUN Second Vice-President

Sean Glavine, PSAC Regional Representative

Gail Lem, PSAC Negotiator