The meeting was called to order by the Chair, Noel Roy, President of MUNFA. Anna Leslie (SWGC Executive representative) coordinated participation from SWGC via the teleconference hook-up.
Two Information Bulletins were distributed prior to the meeting (IB 1998/99:28 and IB 1998/99:29), providing background paper.
- Approval of Agenda
(G99:005) MOVED (J. Bear/A. Redlack) that the agenda be accepted as amended.
- Approval of Minutes of General Meeting of October 20, 1998
(G99:006) MOVED (B. Schrank/A. Gardner) that the General Meeting minutes of October 20,1998 be accepted as amended.
Pg. 5, para. 2 change 'Biology' to 'Physics & Physical Oceanography.'
- Approval of Minutes of Special General Meeting of February 16, 1999
(G99:007) MOVED (A. Thoms/T. Hannah) that the minutes of the Special General Meeting of February 16, 1999 be approved.
- Matters Arising from Minutes of October 20, 1998
- Discussions with V.P. (Academic)--Dr. E. Simpson: Dr. Simpson has indicated a willingness to open lines of communication with MUNFA. There have since been meetings on specific issues both with members of the MUNFA Executive and with members of the AF&G. Dr. Simpson has suggested to MUNFA that it would be worthwhile to meet on a more frequent and regular basis. The MUNFA Executive agrees, and is following up on this initiative.
- A-96-10 (SRIP): As noted in a recent IB, the Arbitration Board dismissed this grievance. The Board's report turned entirely on the ruling that the SRIP was not, on its face, a pension plan. Therefore the implementation of the SRIP was not a decision on the pension plan, and so the Administration did not have to inform the Pensions Committee. It is nonetheless of note that the Board stated that it would have been better for the Administration to have engaged in some form of consultation with the stakeholders of the Pension Plan. The resolution of this case points out once more the need for changes in our pension arrangements, a need which MUNFA shall be addressing in the forthcoming negotiations.
- I-98-12 (denial of tenure): Dr. Roy reported on a satisfactory outcome of this grievance, which had involved the denial of tenure to a Faculty Member with a chronic illness which has required him to spend extended periods on LTD.. At the time of the last general meeting, seven days of arbitration hearings had been devoted to this grievance. Since then, the Arbitration Board has met for seven additional days. Apparently as a result of the testimony provided by MUNFA to the arbitration board by the griever and others, the Administration came to recognize that it had not made a sufficient accommodation for the griever's medical condition. MUNFA was able to negotiate a settlement with the Administration in which the griever received a part-time (60%) research position. The position is not a tenured one, but the terms are such that the griever is assured a continuing position so long as the griever maintains his research productivity at the level he has achieved since arriving at MUN. Both the griever and MUNFA are satisfied with this settlement. It is unfortunate that it took 14 days of arbitration to induce the Administration to agree to this kind of settlement.
- A-98-07 (disbursement of travel funds): It had previously been reported that in last fiscal year 1997-98, certain units in the University had underspent their allotments from the travel fund by a total of approximately $80,000, while at the same time denying to ASM's recovery of all of their legitimate travel expenses, and that MUNFA had filed an Association grievance as a result. It has turned out that approximately half of the $80,000 discrepancy was due to the failure of administrators to account for academic travel in the proper way. There remains a shortfall of approximately $40,000 in the Faculties of Arts and Science, and the Schools of Music and Social Work. We are close to a settlement that will provide appropriate redress to faculty in these units.
- Covert surveillance: Despite MUNFA's reservations, a logged card access system has been implemented in some buildings on campus. Some of the correspondence on this issue has been published in The Dispatch.
- Proposals Committee: The Proposals Committee has completed about half of the Articles. Dr. Roy indicated that he would have a complete report on the status of contract negotiations in the President's Report.
- GSU/CSU: MUNFA has had useful discussions with the GSU and CSU on the Ombudsperson proposal. MUNFA has informed the student organizations that because we do not expect that many MUNFA members would avail themselves of the services of the Ombuds Office, we are not prepared to support the office financially. Nonetheless, we do support the establishment of a properly designed Ombuds Office, and we are prepared to participate in the initiative so long as such participation does not involve us in a conflict of interest with regard to our primary role to represent our members in their employment relationship with the University.
As noted in the minutes, both MUNFA and the student organizations had concerns with the Administration's Draft Student Complaints Policy, and the three organizations wrote a joint letter to the Administration insisting that the policy not be implemented until revisions had been made. A new draft has been circulated, and we continue to have concerns about some aspects of it. We are continuing our communications with the student organizations on this issue.
- Distance Education Contract/Copyright: MUNFA has negotiated a new distance education contract with the Administration. There are aspects of the contract that concern us, but we are satisfied that the new contract is in compliance with the current Collective Agreement. Issues which have arisen here have been passed on to the Proposals Committee. ASM's should understand that they retain copyright unless they are prepared to sign it away.
- Sexual Harassment/Employment Equity matters: These are reported in greater detail in the report of the MUNFA representatives to the Sexual Harassment Board. The consultant which had been hired to evaluate the merging of the Sexual Harassment Advisor and the Employment Equity Officer into a combined Equity Coordinator position, has recommended that the separation of the position into the two positions should be restored. MUNFA has accepted this recommendation, and has declined to agree to permit the two offices to continue
to be combined. As a result, a full-time University Employment Equity Officer position has
been reestablished. The Administration is willing to establish a Sexual Harassment Advisor
only as a part time position. MUNFA has expressed serious reservations about this, and
continues to urge that a full-time position be established. As of today, no Sexual Harassment
Advisor has been hired by the University.
- Matters Arising from Minutes of Special General Meeting of February 16, 1999
A motion (G99:002) was passed at the February 16, 1999 meeting that MUNFA seek to establish a MUNFA defined benefit pension plan, jointly and equally controlled by the Association and the University. The motion was passed to the MUNFA Proposals Committee for them to prepare proposals to implement the motion.
- President's Report
The President's report is a report of the MUNFA Executive.
Newly elected 1999-2000 members are Bill Barker (English), Ray Clark (Classics), and Bill Schipper (English). On behalf of the Executive, Dr. Roy thanked outgoing Executive members Margaret Burton (Biology), Chris Dennis (QEII Library), and Michael Skipton (Business).
Also on the Executive's behalf, Dr. Roy thanked members of the Nomination and Balloting
Committee including Chris Dennis and Karen Lippold, both of the QEII Library, Stephen Tomblin
(Political Science) and Walter Okshevsky (Education). Luise Hermanutz (Biology) will continue with
new members David Behm (Physical Education) and David Close (Political Science). There is one
vacancy on the 1999-2000 Nominating & Balloting Committee.
Dr. Roy indicated that he would report on three issues: (a) Meetings with the Senior Administration, (b) Arbitrations, and (c) Preparation for Negotiations.
- Discussions with University Administrators. As reported above, a number of meetings have
been held with Dr. Simpson on specific issues.
As well, an informal meeting with the President took place in January. Discussion took place
on two issues:
- preparation for negotiations. Discussion was fairly general. The President did indicate
that the Administration would prefer an early start on these negotiations.
- an Administration suggestion that the MUNFA Scholarship Fund be brought into the
MUN Opportunity Fund. This had been subject to previous discussions two years
ago, but the Administration had let the negotiations lapse. Dr. May indicated an
interest is returning to these discussions. A subsequent meeting with the University
official responsible for find-raising for the Opportunity Fund established that the
Administration was prepared to implement this while still maintaining the MUNFA
Fund as a separate unit, being managed essentially as it is at present. The MUNFA
Executive is willing to consider doing this, provided that the government's matching
funds are also incorporated in the MUNFA Scholarship Fund and provided the tax
and Trust issues could be resolved. We expect discussions to continue on this.
- Grievance and arbitrations. Since October, we have had arbitration rulings or settlements on five grievances. A report on two (SRIP and denial of tenure) has already been given.
Of the other three, one was a serious case in which a Faculty Member had been denied an
extension of his probationary appointment during his third-year review. The denial was
characterized by serious procedural flaws: the use of anonymous material was central to the
case against the faculty member; the denial of the extension came in February rather than in
December, seriously prejudicing his ability to obtain other employment; and the alleged
deficiencies cited in the denial did not appear to MUNFA to warrant dismissal after only three
years. During the arbitration hearings the Administrative Head was subject to cross-
examination by the MUNFA lawyer, and as a result the weaknesses in the Administration
position became quite apparent. After the cross-examination had been completed, MUNFA
initiated negotiations for a settlement. As a result, the Administration agreed to a settlement
in which the Faculty Member was given a choice between restoration to his position, with a
subsequent tenure consideration under conditions which would ensure a fair process; or
alternatively, a cash settlement. The Faculty Member chose the cash settlement.
The remaining two arbitrations turned on fairly simple issues which in MUNFA's opinion
should never have needed to go to arbitration. In the first, discipline was imposed on an ASM
beyond the time limits specified in the Collective Agreement. The arbitrator ruled that these
time limits were mandatory, and allowed MUNFA's grievance.
In the second, the administration refused to acknowledge that a course that meets four times
a week involves a higher workload than one that meets three times, and a faculty member that
teaches such a course must have his teaching load appropriately adjusted to acknowledge this
additional workload. Once more, the Arbitrator ruled to allow the grievance; as a result, the
Faculty Member's course load is be adjusted to reflect the additional workload involved in
these courses. This has been the subject of the Information Bulletin entitled Four Is Not equal
to Three. Unfortunately, the Administration does not appear to recognize that this ruling has
precedential value, and applies not only to this specific instance, but also to all instances in
which a course meets more than the standard three times a week.
In summary, excepting the SRIP arbitration, we have had four arbitrations on issues which
could have and should have been settled during the grievance resolution process, and were
settled on terms similar to those that MUNFA had offered during the grievance resolution
process. To his credit, Dr. Simpson has acknowledged this to be a problem, and has expressed
willingness to redress the issue. For what it is worth, there are only two arbitrations pending
at this time.
As reported above, Proposals Committee has completed work on about half the
articles to the Collective Agreement. When the MUNFA proposals are finalized, they
will be presented to the membership at an information meeting, as has been the
Time lines for negotiations are as follows:
- Under Clause 1.38, every year beginning this year there is a thee-month window of opportunity within which either party may indicate its desire to commence collective bargaining. Within 21 working days of this notification, the parties must notify the names of their Negotiating Committee and commence collective bargaining.
- We have named most of our Negotiating Committee, although some of the Alternate positions remain unfilled. We have attempted to achieve a blend of 'new blood' and experience. The committee to date consists of the following:
- Elizabeth Browne, QEII Library,
- Jon Church, Medicine
- Malcolm Grant, Psychology
- Clar Matchim, Business
- William Schrank, Economics
- Dennis Sharpe, Education
- Michael Wallack, Political Science
- Elizabeth Yeoman, Education
- Chris Youé, History
- The Terms of Reference of the Negotiating Committee require that the Chief Negotiator is appointed by the Executive after a nomination is received from the Negotiating Team from its own ranks. That nomination has not yet been made.
- Treasurer's Report
The Interim Financial Statement for 1998-1999 and Proposed Fees and Budget for 1999-2000 had been distributed to the membership (ref. IB98/99:28). As circulated, the proposed motions had been based erroneously on a current mill rate value of 8.5 instead of the actual value of 9.0. This error was corrected for the meeting by A. Redlack (Treasurer).
(G99:008) MOVED (Redlack/ ) that as of July 1, 1999, MUNFA members in the bargaining unit shall pay membership fees by payroll deduction at a rate of 10.0 mills (1%) of salary.
(G99:009) MOVED (Redlack/) that as of July 1, 1999, 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.
(G99:010) MOVED (Redlack/) that as of July 1, 1999, MUNFA members who are Laboratory Instructors shall pay a membership fee of $130.00 per year.
(G99:011) MOVED (Redlack/) that as of July 1, 1999 MUNFA members who are Cooperative
Education Coordinators shall pay membership fees at the mill rate of 10.0 mills (1%)
of their salary, minus CAUT Defence Fund dues.
- CAUT Defence Fund Report
Dr. W. Schrank and A. Lonardo are two members of the CAUT Defence Fund Board of Trustees.
Dr. Schrank reported that the current balance of the fund is approximately $10m.
Schrank reported that approximately a week ago, CAUT received a report 'Public Investments in University Research: Reaping the Benefits,' March 26, 1999. The report was prepared by The Expert Panel on the Commercialization of University Research for the Prime Minister's Advisory Council on Science and Technology. This is a consultation document intended for extensive discussioN. CAUT will be considering this report in greater detail. It was suggested that individuals lobby their Members of Parliament against its implementation.
- Collective Agreement Administration
- Report of the Academic Freedom & Grievance Committee: Dr. B. Schrank, AF&G Chair
(Department of English) noted that the committee makes a written report to the membership
at the October General Meeting and that an oral report is given at the April General Meeting.
The AF&G continue to meet weekly and discuss the progress of grievances and to offer
advice to colleagues. Since the last October report, there have been 12 new grievances. Two
are related to discipline, 3 to workload, 2 to non-renewals of contract, 1 to discrimination on
prohibited grounds and 4 others related to some aspect of working conditions such as
restriction of access to research facility or withdrawal or denial of support services. Dr.
Schrank summarized the status of the grievances.
Dr. Schrank reported that the AF&G Committee is disturbed by a growing tendency that the
administration use Clause 19.05, investigation as the opening manoeuvre for discipline, for
matters that are not discipline-worthy.
The AF&G has lent its support to four arbitrations. One concerned a non-renewal of a
probationary appointment; this grievance was earlier reported on by Dr. Roy. It was settled;
the griever was offered either a cash settlement or reinstatement of his position. The griever
chose the financial settlement.
The second arbitration involved the denial of tenure of a colleague who suffered from serious
illness. Dr. Roy also reported on this case. This has been settled.
The third arbitration concerned a letter of reprimand which the Association argued was
untimely. The grievance was upheld by Arbitrator Bruce Outhouse.
The fourth arbitration concerned compensation for teaching four hour courses, when the
fourth hour exceeded the three-hour teaching norm. This grievance was upheld by Arbitrator
- Requirement for AF&G Triennial Review. Dr. Roy reported that a report of the St. John's Triennial Review Committee was made in October 1998. There is a parallel report from the SWGC Triennial Review Committee which has been distributed with papers for this meeting. There were no questions on this report and no action was required by the MUN membership.
- Report of Joint Association/University Relations Committee: Dr. Roy reported that this Committee is intended to work out problems that do not fall under the rubric of grievances.
Most issues on the agenda of this Committee were earlier reported on under the President's
Report. MUNFA does enquire at each monthly meeting if there have been any early
retirements approved. The administration continue to answer no. The university
administration was, for purposes of the Federal Contractors' Program, putting together a non-
harassment policy. Discussions regarding this document are continuing. Another issue on the
agenda of this Committee is that of search committees. It is MUNFA's position that the
Collective Agreement requires that all academic appointments should go through a properly
constituted search committee for both bargaining unit and non-bargaining unit positions. This
does not appear to be the understanding of the administration.
- Employment Equity Committee: There was no report from the MUNFA representatives of
the Employment Equity Committee.
- Report of Sexual Harassment Advisory Board: The report of the MUNFA representative to
the Board was distributed to the membership. Ms. A. Lonardo, Chair (QEII Library) was in
attendance to answer questions.
- MUNFA Committee Reports
- Economic Benefits Committee: A report of the MUNFA Benefits Committee was distributed.
The Chair, Dr. J. Snook (German & Russian) was present to answer questions.
- MUNFA Pensions Committee: The report of the MUNFA Pensions Committee was
distributed. Dr. R. J. Clark, Chair (Classics) was present to answer questions.
- Status of Academic Women Committee: There was no report from this Committee..
- Employee Assistance Program Advisory Committee: A report of the MUNFA representative
to this Committee was distributed.
- Other Business
There was no other business for consideration.
(G99:012) MOVED (C. Dennis/C. Matchim) that the meeting adjourn.
Dr. Noel Roy
Approved by Membership October 25, 1999.