31 October 2013: LUMUN Bargaining Team Disappointed by MUN's Lack of Response to Wage Proposal

Bargaining for Per Course Instructors that was scheduled for October 28/29, 2013 was postponed after the University said it was still unprepared to give LUMUN a counter-proposal on wages.

Talks were scheduled to take place with the assistance of a provincial conciliator. LUMUN tabled a wage proposal on February 28, 2013, and applied for conciliation in August after MUN refused to respond to an economic package tabled by the Union.

MUN initially said it could not respond to the Union’s proposals because the major provincial public sector union in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE), was still in negotiations with the province, and the University was waiting for them to establish the “pattern” wage settlement.

However, those parties reached a tentative agreement on September 16, 2013, and NAPE members have subsequently ratified the deal.

The NAPE settlement provides for a wage freeze in 2012; a $1,400 bonus in 2013 (prorated based on the 12 months preceding the date of signing); a 2 per cent wage increase in 2014 and a 3 per cent wage increase in 2014.

In addition, the parties agreed to a Job Evaluation Plan which is expected to benefit up to 70% of the Union’s members in the provincial government; NAPE was quoted in the media as saying that some members could receive increases of as much as 300%.

In February, LUMUN tabled a comprehensive economic package for Per Course Instructors, agreeing in principle to abide by any pattern established by NAPE in exchange for a one-time equity adjustment of $2,187 that would bring the per course salary to $6,942. The proposed adjustment is based on the principle that the work done by LUMUN members should be paid at the same rate as the work done by those MUNFA members who perform exactly the same work. The equity adjustment is based on a proportion of the rate paid to Teaching Term Appointments (TTAs) under the MUNFA contract. Like the duties of LUMUN members, TTAs' responsibilities are nominally restricted to teaching. TTAs normally teach three courses per term (nine per year) and are paid at their appropriate step on the Lecturer salary scale; they also normally receive pension and other benefits. The one-time equity adjustment would bring the Per Course rate to 1/9th of the TTAs' (Lecturers') present floor rate in the MUNFA agreement (though most TTAs receive more than the floor) and would be a first step in restoring the equity that existed two decades ago between the same work done on a per course basis (now with LUMUN) and that done on a per term basis (with MUNFA). It is the Union's position that this wage rate would be reasonable, fair, and equitable for the University.

“Per Course Instructors have now been working for more than a year without a contract,” said LUMUN President Martha Wells. “It’s time for MUN to return to the bargaining table and negotiate seriously. We deserve a fair, equitable, and decent contract.”

Besides wages, the other issues outstanding include:

Article 5 – Union Security and Check-OffArticle 23 – Credit CoursesArticle 24 – Expenses and Access to FacilitiesArticle 27 – Union LeaveArticle 28 – Salaries and Pay AdministrationNew Article – BenefitsNew Article – Retirement FunNew Article – Social Justice Fund

Please take action now in support of your bargaining team.

YOUR BARGAINING TEAM:

Martha Wells, President

Dr. Robert Lewis, Secretary

Craig Cramm, 1st Vice-President

Dwight Hutchens, 2nd Vice-President

Gail Lem, PSAC Negotiator