MUNFA GENERAL MEETING
APRIL 20, 2000
7:30 p.m.
HSC Main Auditorium


Dr. Noel Roy (MUNFA President) chaired the General Meeting. SWGC participated byteleconference.

  1. Approval of Agenda

    (G00:001) MOVED (B. Schrank/J. Bear) that the agenda be approved.

    MOTION CARRIED
  2. Approval of Minutes of General Meeting of October 25, 1999

    (G00:002) MOVED (B. Schrank/W. Schipper) that the minutes of October. 25, 1999 be approved as amended.

    MOTION CARRIED

    Amendments:
    5a change to '... one meeting with President Meisen and Vice-President Simpson.'
    5d change to '... which would reinforce the copyright of ASMs to distance ...'

  3. Matters Arising from Minutes of General Meeting of October 25, 1999

    1. Negotiations Update: Negotiations have been the main focus of Association business since the last General Meeting. There will be a report later in the General Meeting on the current status of negotiations.

    2. Discussions with VP (Academic): Since the previous General Meeting, MUNFA has had one meeting with the Vice-President, to discuss a number of minor irritants. Many (although not all) of these have been satisfactorily resolved subsequently.

      We have also had a meeting with the President to discuss a donation of MUNFA Scholarship money to the Opportunity Fund. This will be reported on more fully below.

    3. Grievances and arbitrations: Association grievance A-98-07 (Travel Fund Disbursements) has been resolved, under terms satisfactory to MUNFA. In the four Academic Units affected, the Administration has repaid Faculty Members who were not fully reimbursed for travel fund expenditures incurred during Academic Year 1997-98. Any unexpended funds remaining in the travel fund for that year after this repayment were used to replenish research grants that had been used to supplement such travel fund expenditures. Affected Faculty should already have received notification of such reimbursement from their Dean or Director.

      Affected faculty received notice of reimbursement from their respective Dean or Director. Regrettably, these notifications make no reference to the fact that the reimbursements were the result of a MUNFA grievance that had to be referred to arbitration before the Administration was prepared to make significant movement. Indeed, by implication the reimbursements are ascribed entirely to the beneficence of the Administration, with MUNFA relegated to a mere consultative role. We have written to the Vice-President indicating that the recipients of these reimbursements deserve a truthful account of how these reimbursements were made, and that if he is unwilling to provide that account, MUNFA will.

    4. CSU/GSU relations: There is nothing specific to report on the establishment of a University Ombudsperson. The four parties (MUNFA, GSU, MUNSU, and the Administration) have agreed on Terms of Reference for the Office. We await a decision by the Administration to establish the Office.

      With reference to the drafting of a new Student Complaints Policy, we have finally received the Administration's draft policy document, ten months after our draft was sent to the Administration. This draft includes none of the procedural protections that had been incorporated into our proposal. We have asked the Administration for an explanation.

    5. Sexual Harassment/Employment Equity matters: After only a few months on the job, the part-time Sexual Harassment Advisor resigned her position. The Administration has apparently concluded that the position deserves a full-time appointment. A search is currently being held for a full-time appointee.

    6. MUNFA Scholarship Fund/Opportunity Fund: The MUNFA Executive has provisionally pledged the income from the MUNFA Scholarship Fund to the Opportunity Fund, for a four-year period. That income would be used to award MUNFA Scholarships over this four-year period, and these scholarships would be granted in the same manner and in the same amount as at present. The effect of pledging the income to the Opportunity Fund is that the pledge would lever a government donation of equal value. This government money would be allocated to the University's General Scholarship Endowment Fund, and the interest on this money would be used to fund additional scholarships - although these would not be MUNFA Scholarships. The MUNFA Scholarship Fund itself would remain intact through this process, and would continue to receive contributions from MUNFA members that would continue to be tax-deductible. The Fund would continue to be managed by Canada Trust on a hands-off basis.

      This pledge was made provisionally, in order for us to assure ourselves that this arrangement is consistent with the terms of the Scholarship Trust Deed. We have received a legal opinion which has raised only one area of concern, and the Administration has agreed to modify the proposed arrangements in order to address this concern. We are presently engaging in the appropriate consultations, and if no further difficulties arise, we expect to be able to make our first donation in the coming Academic Year.

  4. President's Report

    As always, the President's Report is a Collective Report from the MUNFA Executive Committee.

    The Executive has recently been joined by four new Members-at-Large in Dr. Roger Lee (Dept. of Biology), Dr. T.A. Loeffler (School of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics), Dr. Karen Mearow (Faculty of Medicine), and Dr. Lilli Wang (School of Pharmacy), all of whom were elected to the Executive last month. They will be replacing Bill Barker (Department of English), Kjellrun Hestekin (School of Music), Clar Matchim (Faculty of Business Administration and Commerce), and Reza Tabrizchi (Faculty of Medicine), who did not seek reelection .All four have played significant roles in the affairs of the Association, both on and off the Executive. We wish to thank all four for their service to the Association.

    The business of the Association since the last general meeting has been dominated by the negotiations over a new Collective Agreement, and there will be a report on these negotiations from the Negotiating Committee later in the meeting.

    There is little to report regarding grievances and arbitrations. There have been no arbitrations since the last General Meeting, although there are three arbitrations pending. There is one Association grievance outstanding, and that relates the salary step which members returning from Long Term Disability Leave should receive. The Administration has been placing such members at the same step that they occupied when they were forced to go on LTD. Such members are therefore financially penalized as a result of their illness or disability, in that they are placed on a lower salary step for the rest of their careers. The Association takes the position that members should not be financially penalized for illness or disability. Moreover, the Collective Agreement clearly states that all ASMs receive a step increase on April 1 of each year unless they are capped. There is no exception stated for members on paid leave such as LTD. Unfortunately, we have not been able to resolve our differences with the Administration on this issue, and so we have referred the matter to arbitration.

    The two other arbitrations pending relate to individual grievances. One is a workload issue, and the other is a suspension with loss of pay.

    In the absence of a report from our representatives on the Sexual Harassment Board, it should be reported here that the Board is presently engaging in a revision of its Sexual Harassment Procedures. Comments have been received from MUNFA, the two student organizations, and the Administration. Negotiations have apparently been proceeding smoothly.

    Senate has recently received a report from an ad hoc Committee proposing a set of procedures for the review of Academic Units and Programs. The MUNFA Executive has reviewed this document, and has some concerns that the document does not make it explicit enough that it is up to the Academic Unit in question to establish its own objectives, since these are likely to differ in a fundamental way for different academic units. We have submitted detailed comments to the Vice-President (Academic).

    Finally, you are all no doubt aware of the faculty strikes that have recently occurred at the University College of Cape Breton and the Université de Moncton. Both job actions received significant support from the CAUT Defence Fund, of which MUNFA is also a member. Despite an expenditure of $1 million on strike pay, the Defence Fund remains healthy and has assets in excess of $10 million. The Cape Breton and Moncton strikes lasted five weeks each. The Cape Breton strike settled with a 20% increase with a signing bonus of $3,500. Moncton signed for a 15% increase over four years. As well, last year's strike at Mount Allison (also supported by the Defence Fund) ended with an agreement to have an arbitrator set the salary increases for the final two years of the contract. This decision came down recently and the total increase for Mt. A faculty was roughly 22% over four years.

  5. Treasurer's Report

    Information Bulletin 1999/2000:26 was distributed to the membership. The Treasurer, Dr. Austin Redlack spoke to the financial statements.

    (G00:003) MOVED (A. Redlack/J. Bear) that as of July 1, 2000, MUNFA members in the bargaining unit shall pay membership fees by payroll deduction at a rate of 10.0 mills (1%) of annual salary before any voluntary reductions for the purpose of using part of salary as a research grant.

    MOTION CARRIED

    (G00:004) MOVED (A. Redlack/W. Schipper) (1) that as of July 1, 2000, MUNFA members who are excluded from the bargaining unit because of their status as clinical faculty or as administrators, shall pay membership fees at the mill rate based on the median salary for their rank among all other members of the bargaining unit, minus CAUT Defence Fund dues.

    (2) That as of July 1, 2000, MUNFA members who are Laboratory Instructors shall pay a membership fee of $130 per year.

    (3) That as of July 1, 2000, MUNFA members who are Co-operative Education Coordinators shall pay membership fees at the mill rate of 10.0 mills (1%) of their salary, minus CAUT Defence Fund dues.

    MOTION CARRIED
  6. Report from MUNFA Negotiating Committee

    Dr. J. C. Bear reported on behalf of the Committee in the absence of the Chief Negotiator Dr. W. E. Schrank. The Committee has had 51 negotiating sessions since October 1999. Negotiations were late starting as requested by the administration since a new president came on stream and the administration wished to proceed with its Planning and Priorities exercise.

    Negotiations have become a protracted process with all articles under negotiation. MUNFA suggested that since the administration were interested in moving quickly that each side propose a few articles and then both parties would agree on the final set of articles to be negotiated. The administration declined this proposal.

    On monetary issues, MUNFA's salary proposal was presented to the membership at an information meeting of March 7, 2000 and copies of MUNFA's final proposal circulated to the membership (Negotiating News #8) and passed to the administration on March 17, 2000. The administration have not responded. MUNFA also made a proposal for early retirement and a MUNFA pension fund which the administration have said they will not respond to.

    Articles 5, 6, 17, 18 19 have been signed off.

    Dr. Bear noted that he does not foresee a swift conclusion to the current round of negotiations and welcomed members to contact any member of the Negotiating Committee with questions.

  7. Collective Agreement Administration

    1. Report of AF&G Committee: The Academic Freedom and Grievance Committee makes a written report to the October General Meeting. April reports are oral updates.

      The Committee continues to have weekly meetings with agenda items numbering more than 50. The AF&G continue to discuss the progress of grievances and to offer advice to colleagues as a result of inquiries on matters that range from promotions to copyright of teaching materials. Between AF&G's last report in October and April, there have been 15 new individual grievances filed and three Association grievances initiated. Of the individual grievances, five are about discipline, 4 about remissions, 2 about tenure, 1 about promotion, 1 about a joint appointment, 1 about pension and 1 about salary.

      Of these 15 new grievances, 5 have been settled, the one related to salary, two to remission and 2 to tenure. Of the older grievances, some going back to 1998, 11 were resolved this year. In addition three individual grievances have been referred to arbitration, two involving teaching remissions and 1 concerning discipline. It is possible that at least one of the teaching remission grievances may be settled before arbitration. AF&G have in the period under review responded to 82 individual queries on various matters including promotion and procedures used by search committees.

      Last April, the AF&G Committee ended its report with cautious optimism. It was then hoped that the new President and Vice-President (Academic) would work to reduce the seemingly ever-increasing tide of grievances. To some degree this appears to be happening. It is true that the number of grievances filed between October and April of this academic year is greater than the number of grievances for the previous academic year. But the difference is small. In 1998-99, there were 12 new grievances; in 1999-2000, there are 15. The number of grievances that have in this academic year been resolved without the need for arbitration is where the change can best be seen. Between October and April there have been no arbitrations of individual grievances. The AF&G continue to believe that the changes at the top of the administrative hierarchy are positive. Nevertheless, the AF&G believe that the senior administration must show a greater willingness to oversee how their message of cooperation is being implemented by those to whom they have delegated the task of managing their side of the contract.

    2. Report from the Joint University/Association Committee: This Committee consists of three members of MUNFA and three members of the administration. The Committee attempts to work out issues that do not fall under the rubric of grievances. While nothing earth-shattering comes out of meetings of this committee, sometimes minor improvements in work conditions can result. For example, in the past few months the University has introduced automatic depositing of non-salary payments (such as travel fund reimbursements), at the ASM's option. In addition, the University has agreed to modify its University SmartCard so that Faculty Members could use it off-campus as a Faculty identification card. Both these changes originated as an Association proposal in the Joint Committee. We also use the Committee as a means of tracking any negotiated early retirements that are agreed to, and any Special Assignment of duties in relation to parental responsibilities.

  8. MUNFA Committee Reports

    1. Economic Benefits Committee: A report of the MUNFA Economic Benefits Committee was distributed to the membership with IB 1999/2000:25. Dr. Jean Snook (Chair) was present at the meeting to answer any questions.

    2. Pensions Committee: Dr. Raymond J. Clark, Chair presented an oral report. There are 10 members of the MUNFA committee and all represent MUNFA on the Board of Regents Pensions Committee.

      A proposal for a MUNFA pension plan has been presented in negotiations. A new actuary has been appointed -- Mr. Peter Hayes of Eckler Partners Ltd. Hayes was chosen by the Amendments Subcommittee of the Board of Regents Pensions Committee. The Fund performed at 10% over the last few years with a new actuarial valuation as of December 31, 1999 showing $40 million surplus.

      At the January meeting of the Board of Regents Pensions Committee a motion was made that the actuary, in the process of conducting a valuation of the Fund, assess the proportionate liabilities of employee groups. This was passed with a consensus without dissent, but interpreted subsequently by the Committee's Chair as consensus among employee groups, which he would carry to the Board but personally recommend against. The MUNFA Executive has written the Chair on this matter.

      In discussion, J Bear indicated that a Negotiating News is in preparation outlining the implications of the most recent valuation of the pension fund, which has had the effect of reducing the apparent surplus in the pension fund by $30 million.

    3. Occupational Health & Safety Committee: Dr. Ralph Pastore (Chair) presented a brief oral report. The MUNFA Committee has met three times this winter including one meeting with Dr. Fred Smith who was active on the MUNFA Committee in the 1990s. The MUNFA Committee also met with Mr. Wally Drover of Facilities Management and identified areas of concern. Three members of the MUNFA Committee also serve on the Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee which has met twice this winter. The Joint Committee try to determine how Facilities Management manage the offsite work of contractors including work conducted in areas with asbestos.

      EAP Advisory Committee: A report of the MUNFA representative to the EAP Advisory Committee was distributed to the membership (IB 1999/2000:25).

  9. Other Business

    There was no other business.

  10. Adjournment

(G00:005) MOVED (W. Schipper/A. Redlack) that the meeting adjourn.

MOTION CARRIED

Meeting adjourned: 9:00 p.m.


Dr. Noel Roy
MUNFA President
Approved by Membership April 17, 2001.


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