MUNFA GENERAL MEETING
Monday, October 25, 2004
7:30 p.m., HSC Main Auditorium


The meeting was chaired by W. Schipper, MUNFA President. SWGC participated by telecommunications.

  1. Approval of Agenda

    (G04:005) MOVED (Church/Chadwick) that the agenda be accepted.

    MOTION CARRIED
  2. President's report

    Dr. Schipper reported on the Executive's activities since Tony Chadwick's report at the April 2004 General Meeting.

    1. Morneau-Sobeco second report: This report was ready last February, but the entire report was re-examined by the actuaries to take into account the effects of the new pension legislation. That report has been circulated to the membership, and will come up later in tonight's meeting.

    2. Association grievances: as always, one of MUNFA's main preoccupations is to ensure that the provisions of the Collective Agreement are being followed. As a direct result of a number of requests from the Administration on behalf of the Faculty of Medicine for variances in the dates for consideration of promotion to Full Professor, we filed several Association grievances against the university for ignoring the provisions of the CA in this area. Some ASMs in Medicine applied for promotion in September 2003, have only learned the results in the past week. Others have not heard yet.

    3. An association grievance on how the CEQ's are being administered is being heard in March 2005.

    4. The Executive have been following the efforts of TAUMUN to organize the teaching assistants at MUN with interest.

    5. The current collective agreement runs until August 31, 2005, and the Executive have started making preparations for negotiations.

    6. Dr. Schipper thanked the members on the Executive who have finished their terms for their contributions in the past year: John Smeda (Medicine) and Paul Wilson (SWGC), Dennis Mulcahy (Education), and Leo White (Engineering).

    7. Dr. Schipper thanked Marian, Jill, and Kim for their hard work in the office: without their tireless efforts in the office, things would not work as well.

  3. Treasurer's Report

    1. The membership received the financial statement for the fiscal year 2003-04. (IB 2004/05:10). In response to a member's question, the Treasurer clarified that the item "Union support" covers donations made by MUNFA to faculty associations across the country during strike action.

    (G04:006) MOVED (P.Wilson/A.Lonardo) that the 2003-04 statement of income and expenditures be accepted.

    MOTION CARRIED

  4. CAUT Defence Fund

    1. Lonardo (CAUT Defence Fund Trustee) reported that no strikes have occurred since April 2004. The General Meeting of the Defence Fund was held in Charlottetown, PEI in October 2004. The purpose of the Fund is to provide unionized faculty and librarians with strike pay from a centralized strike fund. Approximately 14,000 - 15,000 academics are represented. The current balance of the Fund is $15.5m. Up until last month, when a faculty association went out on strike, strike pay from the Fund became effective on Day 8 of the strike. Strike pay from the Fund is now paid on Day 4 of a strike. Ms. Lonardo noted that MUNFA also has a strike fund account which would fund the first three days of a strike.

  5. Approval of General Meeting minutes of April 26, 2004

    (G04:007) MOVED (E. Hannah/J. Church) that the minutes of April 26, 2004 be accepted.

    MOTION CARRIED

  6. Matters Arising from General Meeting minutes of April 26, 2004

    The Chair noted that matters which required discussion were covered under separate Agenda items.

  7. Morneau Sobeco Report on a Jointly Trusteed Pension Plan for MUNFA and Related Issues (February 2004)

    The Membership received a copy the August 19, 2004 Pension report (IB 2004/05:05).

    There was clarification on the government guarantee of the current MUN Pension Plan. Should MUNFA set up its own plan with the administration, then a new MUN/MUNFA plan would not be covered by a government guarantee.

    D. Steele (Retired/Biology) asked if the Morneau Sobeco report will be the basis for negotiations, and if so, Steele expressed his concern that retired MUNFA members are unable to vote on collective bargaining issues.

    J. Church (Medicine/former Chief Negotiator) noted that the pension matter was part of negotiations in 1999 and 2002. The Executive is proceeding as per Motion G02:005 (MUNFA General Meeting of April 17, 2002):

    "that the MUNFA Executive is directed to take appropriate action: - to establish a MUNFA defined benefit pension plan, jointly and equally controlled by the Association and the University, with current retirees given the option to join the new plan, and - for the provision of indexing of pension benefits, as a feature of that plan."

    John Bear (past MUNFA member) spoke to both the Morneau Sobeco report and the general issue of MUNFA pensions. Dr. Bear reiterated the importance of MUNFA members being aware of pensions and any actions taken by the administration in relation to pensions.

    Dr. Steele supported Dr. Bear's comments regarding pensions and noted that he wished to ensure that pensioners are given an opportunity to comment on the proposed pension plan.

    It was noted that prior to negotiations commencing, a call for proposals will be sent to all members; any member or retired member may at that time submit comments to the Proposals Committee.

    In ending the discussion on pension matters, Ms. Lonardo noted that the MUNFA Executive is working closely with other campus unions and that they have been provided with a copy of the Morneau Sobeco report.

  8. Collective Agreement Administration

    1. Report of the St. John's Academic Freedom & Grievance (AF&G) Committee: The membership received a written report of the AF&G Committee (IB 2004/05: 10). The report includes a detailed list of activities since October 2003. Twenty-four (24) individual grievances were filed in comparison to seven (7) in the previous year.

    2. Report of Joint Association/University Relations Committee: Committee: Dr. Schipper reported that the Joint Committee's purpose is to discuss issues of the Collective Agreement which are not grievable. The Committee usually meet once a month.

      Dr. R. Sweeny (History) asked if the Joint Committee would be appropriate venue for MUNFA to support a reduction in tuition fees. Dr. Schipper replied that MUNFA has written a two page letter in response to the "White Paper on Post-Secondary Education."

    3. Report of MUNFA representatives to the Sexual Harassment Board: The membership received a report from the MUNFA representatives (I. Emerson, Biology and R. Anderson, Psychology).

    4. Report of the MUNFA EAP (Employee Assistance Program) representative. The membership received a report from the MUNFA representative (K. Hestekin, Music).

  9. MUNFA Committee reports

    1. Pension Committee: The membership received a report from the MUNFA Pension Committee. The Chair (Dr. V. Gadag) was available for questions from the membership. Dr. Gadag expressed his thanks to Marian Atkinson (MUNFA Executive Officer) and other Committee members.

    2. MUNFA Scholarships Committee: The membership received the report of the MUNFA Scholarship Committee. Six (6) scholarships were awarded for the 2004-05 academic year.

  10. Other business

    1. Long-Term Disability Benefit: A. Redlack (Business) expressed concern regarding the LTD cap of $4,500 per month for MUNFA members. Redlack asked the MUNFA Benefits Committee to look further at this item.

    2. Support for Per Course Instructors: E. Edinger, Geography/Biology asked that MUNFA support TAUMUN and per course instructors.

      Ms. A. Lonardo reported that members of the MUNFA Executive have met with a PSAC representative regarding their TAUMUN campaign.

      (G04:008) MOVED (E. Edinger/J. Scott) that MUNFA support the efforts of Teaching Assistants in MUN to organize as a union as TAUMUN and to provide moral support they need in that effort.

      MOTION CARRIED

    3. Collective Bargaining: A MUNFA member expressed concern that when the next round of Collective Bargaining begins that MUNFA pay close attention to research issues for faculty (including research facilities, overhead costs, etc.). Dr. Schipper reiterated that when a Proposals Committee is struck and a call for proposals is made to the membership, that members should submit their concerns and comments in writing to the Proposals Committee.

      (G04:009) MOVED ( C. Dennis/ ) that the meeting adjourn.

      MOTION CARRIED

    A wine/cheese reception followed the meeting.

    Meeting adourned: 9:10 p.m.

    Dr. W. Schipper
    MUNFA President
    April 11, 2005


    Back to MUNFA Homepage