28 February 2013: LUMUN Per-Course Bargaining Team Tables Wage Proposal
The Bargaining Team for Per Course Instructors tabled its economic demands at the close of a two-day negotiating session with MUN on February 27/28, 2013.
The Union proposal seeks wage parity with Teaching Term Appointments working under the MUNFA Collective Agreement. The negotiating team has also proposed health care benefits and contributions by the University to an employee retirement plan.
“It’s only fair that Per Course Instructors are paid for their time and effort on the same basis as full-time instructors doing exactly the same work,” said Dr. Robert Lewis, President of LUMUN.
LUMUN proposed an equity adjustment of $2187 to the per course rate, retroactive to the expiry of the Collective Agreement on August 31, 2012. The adjustment would bring the salary of Per Course Instructors to $6942 per course, exactly one-ninth (1/9) of the rate of pay for Teaching Terms. Instructors hired on Teaching Term appointments under the MUNFA agreement are expected to teach three courses per term, for a total of nine courses in a year.
The adjustment proposed by the Union matches almost exactly the percentage by which the minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador has increased since 2001, when the per course rate of $3,800 was established. This rate was in effect until the first collective agreement, when the Union negotiated the wage increases we have now. However, these wage increases were limited by the then imposed Provincial Government wage template.
The Union team told MUN negotiators that it was open to discussion on wage increases throughout the life of the Collective Agreement if the University could agree on the principle of equal pay for equal work.
LUMUN also proposed a Health Care Spending Account of $250 in each semester in which a Per Course Instructor teaches, which could be carried over for 24 calendar months, and which could be applied to prescription drugs or to vision and dental care expenses. In addition, the Union proposed an Employer contribution of 8 per cent of salary to an employee’s RRSP in lieu of a pension plan.
On February 27/28, and in the previous bargaining session during the last week of January, the parties signed off on amendments to several articles, including Health and Safety; Official Employee File; Discipline and Dismissal; and renewal of several appendices in the Collective Agreement. The University also provided LUMUN with commitment letters with respect to invigilation of distance exams; access to library holdings after the term of a Per Course Instructor’s appointment, and employment equity disclosure to the Union.
Your Bargaining Team doesn’t expect to be back to the table for several weeks, giving the University ample time to review our proposals. But your Union remains very concerned about some of the University demands that are still on the table, particularly a proposal to gut the provisions of Article 13.05, which provides job security to LUMUN members. 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