The meeting was called to order by the Chair, John C. Bear, President of MUNFA. Anna Leslie (MUNFA SWGC Executive representative) coordinated participation from SWGC via the teleconference hook-up.
Two Information Bulletins were distributed prior to the meeting (IB 1997/98:24 and 1997/98:25), providing background paper, committee reports, and notices of motion for the meeting.
1. Approval of Agenda
(G98:001) MOVED (C. Matchim/N. Roy) that the Agenda be accepted as distributed.
2. Approval of Minutes of the General Meeting of 17 October 1997
(G98:002) MOVED (R. Rompkey/A. Lonardo) that the Minutes of the General Meeting of October 17, 1997 be accepted as amended.
A typographical correction was noted: Item 7 (1), pg. 4. Insert the phrase "with MUNFA appointing its trustees and financial managers", to read:
1. That the MUNFA Executive be authorized to prepare plans for changing the MUN Pension Plan so that there will be a MUNFA Pension Plan with MUNFA appointing its trustees and financial managers.
Vote on G98:002: Motion Carried
3. Matters Arising from the Minutes of the General Meeting, 14 October 1997
The Chair indicated several matters arising from the Minutes of the General meeting of 14 October 1997, which he proposed to address in the President's Report. This was agreed. No additional matters arising were raised by the meeting.
4. President's Report
The Chair extended thanks to M. MacLeod and G. Jeffery who are leaving the Executive in September, and to two members joining the Executive, R. Tabrizchi and M. Burton.
Thanks were also extended to the Nominating & Balloting Committee. G. Jeffrey and C. Dunn are leaving this Committee and K. Hestekin and W. Okshevsky are joining the Committee.
a) Copyright and Distance Education Material: MUNFA has filed an Association grievance relating to the Agreement for the Preparation of Distance Education Courses, for the School of Continuing Education, as revised 10 December 1997. The basis of grievance is that the contract seeks to assign copyright and control of further use of material to the institution, whereas the Collective Agreement stipulates that these reside with the ASM, who can negotiate specific arrangements. There has been a meeting with the Administration on this. MUNFA awaits a response to this meeting. Meanwhile, members are referred to IB 97/98:11; Continuing Studies does acknowledge that it can negotiate terms with ASMs.
b) Administrative Re-organization at SWGC: There are on-going efforts to arrive at a Memorandum Of Agreement to cover hiring and promotion and tenure arrangements at SWGC, to accommodate the administrative reorganization at Grenfell College.
c) Covert surveillance: This item arises from the use of hidden surveillance cameras at the Marine Institute. MUNFA has sought information on covert surveillance on other MUN campuses under the Freedom of Information Act, but the application was refused. MUNFA is monitoring the outcome of legal action by NAPE in the Marine Institute matter, and will proceed accordingly.
d) Removal of the Dean of Science: The former Dean of Science was inappropriately removed from that post in mid-July 1997. MUNFA, through its Legal Support Fund, provided partial support for the former dean, as a MUNFA member, in taking legal action against the University. This legal action led to an out-of-court settlement in January 1998. The former Dean was reinstated, resigned from his position and is now on leave with full pay.
The Senate and Board of Regents have proceeded to gather information and draft processes for removal of academic administrators. MUNFA commented to the Senate ad hoc committee on procedures concerning the removal of academic administrators, emphasizing the appropriateness of accountability to colleagues in any review which might lead to removal.
e) AF&G Matters: The Chair reported on arbitrations and AF&G matters, noting the report of the AF&G Committee later in the agenda.
(1) Of the two arbitrations since October, the first relates to denial of teaching remission for above-norm scholarly activity. Clause 3.20 provides for teaching remission on annual basis, for scholarly activity. An application was denied; acceptable reasons were not given. An extensive, unsuccessful effort was made by AF&G to resolve the matter, and it was then referred to arbitration. Four days of hearings were required. In his award the arbitrator granted the remission.
(2) The second arbitration involved the inappropriate handling of a student complaint. The hearing is completed, arguments have been submitted in writing, and an award awaited.
(3) The arbitration of the Supplementary Retirement Income Plan (SRIP) grievance is scheduled for 21-22 April. The Association grieved the implementation of the Plan without the University Pensions Committee being advised, as is stipulated in Clause 30.37 of the Collective Agreement.
(4) CAUT fact-finding report: The MUNFA Executive also requested the CAUT AF&T Committee to undertake a fact-finding exercise in connection with relations between an ASM and the administration. The ASM is the subject of an extraordinary number of disciplinary actions, some of which, if effected, would remove the ASM's academic freedom, and all of which are being grieved. The fact-finding exercise has been completed, with the objective of seeking potential routes to improving matters. As the matters involved are subject to grievance, it was not possible to comment further in the General meeting.
f) Discussions with the Chair of The Board of Regents: On 2 December 1997 MUNFA representatives met with E. Roberts, new Chair of the Board of Regents, and President May. Discussion with Mr. Roberts indicated two areas of specific interest, worth a further meeting:
(1) The first was the amount of resources and time that go into arbitration. Mr. Roberts suggested a review of the last three years of arbitrations, to assess the number settled at the last minute, etc. The Executive therefore did this, and will make this review available to members once it is discussed with Mr. Roberts. In summary: In 1995-97 there were twenty-two grievances or groups of grievances referred to arbitration and settled. These are out of over 200 queries referred to AF&G in that interval, most of which did not become grievances. Of the matters referred to arbitration:
- One comprised a dozen salary adjustment grievances heard seriatim by one arbitrator in 1995. These were the cases remaining from the processing of over a hundred salary adjustments per the 1992 Collective Agreement.
- Six grievances or groups of grievances were resolved by arbitration award.
- Fifteen grievances referred to arbitration were resolved prior to arbitration--in some cases a few hours prior to arbitration, or, in two cases, during the arbitration. In all but one of these cases, the resolution was essentially one the association had offered early in the pre-arbitration phase of the grievance resolution process. In one case the association proposed a modification of an Administration proposal of settlement, and that was agreed.
- In the years 1995 to 1997, seventeen arbitrations were actually scheduled, the others having been scheduled earlier. MUNFA did an informal poll of other Universities, inquiring how many grievances were scheduled in those three years. Fourteen universities responded; Toronto had about fifteen arbitrations, the others three to none. We are looking forward to further discussion on this topic.
(2) MUNFA also wishes to discuss the functions and roles of the Regents' Pensions and Benefits Committees with Mr. Roberts.
g) Working Conditions: The Chair highlighted areas of particular Executive activity.
(1) Sexual Harassment and Employment Equity Matters: The Executive is proceeding to arrange an evaluation of the merger of the Sexual Harassment and Employment Equity Officer positions into Equity Coordinator position, as provided by the Memorandum of Agreement agreeing to that merger. The Administration is drafting an equity policy, in connection with its compliance with the Federal Contractors Program. MUNFA intends to be involved in this drafting exercise, as the Federal Contractors' Program envisions.
(2) Tri-Council Ad Hoc Committee on Integrity Policies: MUNFA has commented extensively on the draft policy on academic integrity, being prepared by the Administration as directed by the Tri-Council Ad Hoc Committee on Integrity Policies.
(3) Computing and Communications: The Executive has clarified aspects of a number of computing and communications operational problems experienced by members -- access, account locking etc.
(4) Christmas Closure of University: The University was shut down for an extended period over Christmas and New Year, a significant interference with the academic work of members. This has been grieved; the grievance is at the discussion phase. The Executive is working to resolve the matter so that a prolonged Christmas shutdown does not recur.
h) Other Matters:
C. Dennis (Past President) represented MUNFA at the Students' Day of Protest on 28 January, as in previous years. This is an opportunity to publicly support accessible post-secondary education.
President May has written MUNFA proposing that students be present at negotiations, as observers. MUNFA responded, explaining that negotiations take place between the parties to a Collective Agreement, and this was not appropriate; students should be encouraged to become better informed about the issues facing the University, however this is better done outside the context of formal negotiating sessions. There has been no approach from the CSU or any student group on this matter.
The Executive is at present obtaining advice for the structuring of negotiating proposals in specific areas from the MUNFA Benefits Committee, the MUNFA Pensions Committee, and an Information Technology and Copyright Committee set up for this purpose. It has received proposals recommendations from the SWGC proposals committee, which remains active between negotiations. A Proposals committee will be formed by the end of the month, to begin drafting a set of proposals.
J. Scott (Chair, MUNFA Status of Academic Women Committee) asked for further information on the Administration's Employment Equity Policy. The Chair explained that this policy was required for compliance with the Federal Contractors Program, but that it was proving difficult to ascertain what the administration was doing.
5. Treasurer's Report
The Financial Statement was distributed to the membership prior to the meeting. A. Redlack presented the Report and explained the reasons for a motion to increase the mill rate for dues.
(G98:003) MOVED (A. Redlack/N. Roy) that as of July 1, 1998, MUNFA members in the Bargaining Unit shall pay membership fees by payroll deduction at a rate of 9.0 mills(0.90 of 1%) of salary.
(G98:004) MOVED (A. Redlack/C. Matchim) that as of July 1, 1998, 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 and the MUNFA Strike Fund Levy.
(G98:005) MOVED (A. Redlack/J. Church) that MUNFA fees shall include a $1.00 per pay period levy for the MUNFA Strike Fund.
(G98:006) MOVED (A. Redlack/A. Lonardo) that as of July 1, 1998, MUNFA members who are Laboratory Instructors shall pay a membership fee of $120.00 per year.
(G98:007) MOVED (A. Redlack/K. Hestekin) that as of July 1, 1998, MUNFA members who are Co-operative Education Coordinators shall pay membership fees at the mill rate of 9.0 mills (0.90 of 1%) of their salary, minus CAUT Defence Fund dues and the MUNFA Strike Fund Levy.
A. Redlack reported that the Strike Fund will be approximately $300,000 as of July of next year.
6. CAUT Defence Fund Report
W. Schrank (CAUT Delegate and Defence Fund Trustee) first noted the earlier reference to the CAUT AF&T investigation as an example of CAUT services. He reported also that Dr. D. Savage, former Executive Director of CAUT, has not yet been replaced; a second search is now on-going and it is hoped that an appointment recommendation will be made to CAUT Council in May.
With regard to the CAUT Defence Fund, Schrank reported that Dr. John Evans(Psychology) had to resign as a Defence Fund Trustee upon becoming Head of Psychology, and has been replaced by A. Lonardo.
Brock and Queen's have certified and both have joined the Defence Fund. The University of Western Ontario has also certified; it is expected that Western will also join the Defence Fund.
In Nova Scotia the freeze on negotiations has now been lifted. The most recent activity was at Dalhousie, which was on strike for 9 days with a 94% strike vote, and obtained a 13% salary increase over 40 months. The Defence Fund covered strike pay and benefits during the strike period. The Defence Fund was also arranging to assemble colleagues from across the country for a demonstration, but the strike was settled before this took place. The nine-day strike cost the Defence Fund $53,000.
Defence Fund support was also authorized for Winnipeg, which just yesterday reached a settlement. A strike was averted at Acadia, and an 11% salary increase obtained; Acadia had a 93.3 % strike vote. St. Mary's negotiated a 12% salary increase and St. Francis Xavier negotiated a 9% salary increase. Mount St. Vincent received a 10-11% salary increase.
Carleton University is a member of the Defence Fund and has received extensive publicity. Carleton's union negotiators felt they did not have the support of their members for a strike in its last negotiations, and felt they had to accept weak program redundancy contract language. For the past year the Carleton Faculty Association has been fighting proposed layoffs of tenured faculty.
7. Pensions Matters
Pursuant to Motion G97:008 in the General Meeting of 14 October 1997, notice of motion was previously circulated to the membership, of the following:
(G98:008) MOVED (W. Schrank/C. Matchim)
1. that the MUNFA Executive be authorized to prepare plans for changing the MUN Pension Plan so that there will be a MUNFA Pension Plan with MUNFA appointing its trustees and financial managers;
2. that this matter be discussed with other unions on campus;
3. that the Executive develop strategies for implementing this change.
The Executive has recommended and provided notice of an amendment:
(G98:009) MOVED (W. Schrank/H. Gaskill) to amend Motion G98:008 by adding:
4. that any proposal for changes to pension plan arrangements, and the means for implementing these changes, be presented for approval at a General Meeting of the membership.
There was extensive discussion on the proposed amendment, and the possibility of a mail ballot. It was noted that the Association follows Roberts' Rules of Order, which stipulate that decisions are made by voting in general meetings. It was noted that the intent of the amendment is to make clear that when proposals and plans are developed they will be brought before a general meeting.
Vote on Amendment G98:009: Amendment Carried
Discussion resumed on the main motion.
(G98:010) It was MOVED (J. Lewis/N. Rich): that the motion be amended to add: Insofar as most members of MUNFA have little knowledge of the current status of their Pension Fund, or of the methods and procedures by which it is managed, I hereby move that the Executive of MUNFA shall compile, or direct to be compiled, such relevant information available within the University as is necessary for the MUNFA membership to make an informed evaluation of the current status of the Memorial University Pension Fund, and of the levels of effort and procedures necessary to manage a substantial pension fund; and shall disseminate this information to all members of MUNFA; and that further consideration of matters affecting the Pension Fund shall include this compilation and dissemination of information as a first step.
The information to be compiled and disseminated should include, but need not be limited to: the present valuation of the Fund (book value, market value, and actuarial evaluation), and changes in these valuations over the last five years (ten years if possible); the identities, roles, performances, and fees of the professional fund managers who actually direct the investment of the bonds and equities which constitute the Fund; the role of the Custodian; the role of the company which evaluates the Fund managers; the role of the Actuary; the interaction of these persons and companies which the University Pensions Committee and its technical subcommittees, the Performance Review Subcommittee and the Amendments Subcommittees; the roles which Human Resources play in management of the Fund; the investment guidelines; and, as illuminating case histories, the setting-up and agreeing of the investment guidelines, the change of Custodian from Roy Trust to Canada Trust, and the replacement of Jarislowsky-Fraser with Lincluden as a manager of the Fund.
There was considerable discussion of the proposed amendment, much of which also spoke to the main motion.
Vote on Amendment G98:010: Amendment Carried
Discussion on main motion resumed.
(G98:011) Moved (D. McKay/K. Lippold): that point #1 be amended to read: "That the MUNFA Executive be authorized to prepare plans for changing the MUN Pension Plan.
Discussion on the main motion resumed. When no further members wished to speak, the question was put.
Vote on Main Motion G98:008: Main Motion Carried
8. Collective Agreement Administration
a) Report of the AF&G Committee: A written report of the AF&G Committee was circulated prior to the meeting. There were no questions on the Report. Also distributed by AF&G was a Notice of Motion regarding Confidentiality of Annual Reports.
(G98:012) MOVED(A. Rahman/T. Hannah) Resolved, that MUNFA's position is that in the absence of consent from the Academic Staff Member concerned, Faculty Activity Reports shall be treated by the Administration on a confidential basis, so that their contents may be made available to only those Memorial University administrators who have a legitimate need for this information.
(G98:013) MOVED (D. Burton/H. Clase) that the motion be amended, replacing the words 'Faculty Activity Reports' with 'any personal internal reports' and eliminating the words 'by the Administration.'
D. Burton explained that the rationale for the amendment was that the original motion places no limitation on other reports that may be confidential.
Vote on Amendment G98:013: Amendment Carried
A further amendment was proposed,
(G98:014) MOVED (P. Gardner/M. MacLeod) that 'by the Administration' be retained in the motion.
Gardner explained that this wording retained the explicit character of the original wording.
Vote on Amendment G98:014: Amendment Carried
The question was put on the Main Motion.
Vote on Main Motion G98:012: Main Motion Carried
b) The Chair asked if there were any questions on any of the Reports that had been circulated prior to the meeting or (Status of Academic Women Committee) distributed at the meeting. There were none.
9. Other Business
There was no further business.
(G98:015) MOVED (C. Dennis/A. Redlack) that the meeting adjourn.
The meeting adjourned at 10:10 p.m.
Dr. Noel Roy
Dated: October 20, 1998