20 September 2012: Contract Talks Begin for Per-Course Instructors

The Lecturers’ Union of Memorial University of Newfoundland has opened talks for a new Collective Agreement with MUN for Per Course Instructors.

The parties spent two days in negotiations after exchanging proposals on September 18, 2012.

LUMUN has some good news to report. In the first session of bargaining, we’ve finally reached agreement with the University to provide for the long-sought participation of Per Course Instructors on committees in academic units.

We’ve also signed off on several housekeeping issues, mostly necessary due to the new status of Grenfell Campus and some slight changes in provincial legislation.

But your Bargaining Team is gravely concerned about an open attack by the University on the seniority provisions of our Collective Agreement.

MUN wants to gut the hard-won seniority rights contained in Article 13 – Appointments, and in particular clause 13.05, which require the University to appoint Per Course Instructors based on seniority provided they meet the requirements for the position as outlined in the job posting. It is also demanding that potentially hundreds of appointments be exempt from the posting provisions of Article 13.

“We are shocked that the University would attack the seniority rights that were only achieved in our first contract signed in 2009, and that represent the cornerstone of our Collective Agreement,” said Dr. Robert Lewis, President of LUMUN.

“We have no intention of going down this road,” Dr. Lewis said. “These seniority rights in Article 13 provide a measure of job security for Per Course Instructors, some of whom have spent a career at MUN while being hired on short-term contracts from one semester to the next.”

LUMUN has about 900 members, about 300 of whom teach in any given semester at the University, delivering courses to about 70 per cent of the student body.

The Union, which is affiliated with the Public Service Alliance of Canada, has also recently organized postdoctoral employees at MUN and is preparing to bargain a first contract.

Bargaining for the Per Course Instructors will continue in early November. Please stay tuned for further developments.



Dr. Robert Lewis, LUMUN President

Martha Wells, LUMUN Secretary and Executive Assistant

Craig Cramm, LUMUN First Vice-President

Dwight Hutchens, LUMUN Second Vice-President

Gail Lem, PSAC Negotiator