MUNFA General Meeting
October 14, 1997
7:30 p.m.
HSC Main Auditorium


The meeting was called to order by the Chair, John C. Bear, President of MUNFA. John Ashton (MUNFA SWGC Executive representative) coordinated participation from SWCC via the teleconference hook-up.

Two information bulletins were distributed prior to the meeting (IB 1997/98:06 and 1997/98:07).

The Chair introduced the MUNFA staff present at the meeting: Marian Atkinson (Executive Officer) and Jill Diamond-Strong (Administrative Secretary).

  1. Approval of Agenda

    (G97:006) MOVED (C. Dennis/A. Lonardo) that the Agenda be accepted as distributed.

    Motion Carried

  2. Approval of Minutes of General Meeting of April 9, 1997

    (G97:007) MOVED (A. Redlack/T. Hannah) that the minutes of the General Meeting of April 9, 1997 be accepted.

    Motion Carried

  3. Matters Arising from General Meeting Minutes of April 9, 1997

    1. 0A-89-03 (y-value): This association grievance arose from disagreement on interpretation of the first Collective Agreement with respect to salary implications of receiving a promotion or earning an advanced degree. In 1990, Arbitrator D. Soberman found in favour of MUNFA's position, however the administration obtained a judicial ruling to have the arbitration award set aside. MUNFA appealed to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal which has now ruled that the question is moot. The ASMs affected by this ruling have been advised. The decision is available for review at the MUNFA office.

    2. Sexual Harassment Hearing: MUNFA has refrained from commenting on this case because: (i) the University-Wide Procedures on Sexual Harassment Complaints, incorporated in the MUN/MUNFA Collective Agreement, provide that complaints are to be handled with confidentiality, (ii) MUNFA treats individual grievances as confidential, and (iii) the matter proceeded to arbitration and the arbitrator obtained undertakings from the parties not to comment on the award. Dr. Bear summarized the arbitrator's award received August 27, 1997. The arbitrator was not persuaded that the sexual harassment policy had been breached. The arbitrator observed that the complainant and the griever had formed a close friendship over several months and found this completely inappropriate in a professor-student relationship. He found the griever at fault. The arbitrator set aside the proposed discipline of dismissal and instead imposed lesser discipline appropriate to the inappropriate behaviour.

    3. President's report: Thanks were extended to those individuals who have volunteered for the various MUNFA committees.

    The status of previously-minuted grievances was reviewed.

    It was noted that administration interest in a general harassment policy seems to have waned.

    The MUNFA Executive continues to monitor developments regarding integrity in scholarly research, computing policy, and copyright legislation. An Information Bulletin on copyright will be distributed, in the near future.

    MUNFA and the administration held information sessions for Chairs of Promotion and Tenure Committees again this year. These sessions are useful and informative for those who participate.

    Since the last General Meeting, there have been no meetings with the administration.

    In response to a question, it was reported that the Cooperative Education Coordinators have not been in formal contact with MUNFA since the last General Meeting.

  4. President's Report

    Grievances and Arbitrations:

    The President reported briefly on grievances and arbitrations not mentioned in matters arising, noting that the inclusion of a report from the AF&G Committee will be made later in the meeting. A grievance involving the right to supervise graduate students was resolved prior to arbitration. The ASM's right was maintained and appropriate accommodation was obtained for interference in the ASM's work over several years. A grievance regarding the administration's attempted dismissal of a colleague in the Faculty of Education was the subject of an Information Bulletin in May 1997. A grievance regarding the denial of promotion was resolved in mid-arbitration. The promotion was granted. There are currently several Association grievances ongoing, involving clarification of the reimbursement of professional development expense reimbursements, an intended parking fee change, and interference in the work of a P&T Committee.

    MUNFA Scholarship Fund/MUN Opportunity Fund:

    MUNFA was approached last summer to include, for matching purposes, MUNFA Scholarship Fund disbursements in the Opportunity Fund. Consistent with the purpose of the MUNFA Scholarship Fund, MUNFA proposed that the administration match MUNFA's scholarships with scholarship monies. A review by the Trust Officer administering the MUNFA Scholarship Endowment indicated that redirection of its earnings could be difficult, and MUNFA therefore advised the administration that it was unable to proceed. Further correspondence with the Opportunity Fund indicates that its policies preclude specifying the use of matching monies (as contrasted with donations.)

    Covert Surveillance:

    In June, a hidden surveillance camera was discovered at the Marine Institute in an area used by union leaders. It had been placed by the Marine Institute administration, which has never satisfactorily explained why. A written query to President A. May has elicited an ambiguous response; according to the administration there have been on average five uses of hidden cameras per year over the last five years, on MUN campuses. Because the intended purposes of these uses of hidden cameras was not revealed, MUNFA filed a Freedom of Information request for this information. This request has been denied by the administration. NAPE has received a similar response with regard to the Marine Institute camera and is appealing the matter in court. MUNFA awaits the outcome of NAPE's appeal before proceeding.

    Correspondence of President A. May with the Association:

    Extracts of a long correspondence initiated by President May with the Association have been posted in articles in the Labour Relations section of the MUN web site. These are not interpretable in isolation, but attempt to marginalize MUNFA in discussion of university matters. The Association has chosen not to respond. The correspondence is available for review at the MUNFA office.

    Dismissal of Dean of Science:

    Dr. A. Law was removed as the Dean of Science in July 1997. MUNFA is providing Dr. Law with monetary support from the Legal Support Fund in view of the apparent lack of fair process in this matter.

    Other Matters:

    Discussions are in progress to attempt to get agreement on re-structuring the recruitment and promotion and tenure committee processes at SWGC, following on the administrative restructuring of the College.

  5. Joint Association/University Relations Committee

    This committee has met four times since the last General Meeting. It has prepared and distributed a calendar of Promotion and Tenure deadlines. Copyright of course material is under discussion in JAUREC; the administration is in the process of formulating a policy. An Information Bulletin will be distributed on this matter.

  6. Treasurer's Report

    The Financial Statements for the Fiscal Year 1996-97 were distributed to the membership.

  7. Pensions Matters

    Pursuant to discussion and motions in the General Meeting of 22 October 1996, the Executive and MUNFA Pensions Committee prepared and circulated to the membership a document Background Paper: Improving the Pension Plan for MUNFA Members.' The background paper provides information on the MUN Pension Plan and outlines the legislation which governs it, and pension plans generally. It outlines possible changes in pension arrangements for MUNFA members. The Chair reviewed the background paper highlighting the points it addresses.

    After some discussion and questions it was:

    (G97:008) MOVED (W.E. Schrank/M. Wallack) that a notice of motion be presented in advance of the April 1998 General Meeting as follows:

    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.

    Motion Carried

  8. Collective Agreement Administration

    1. Report of AF&G Committee: A report of the AF&G Committee was distributed. Dr. Paul Rice (AF&G Chair) spoke to the specific points of the report. He noted that the AF&G case load has not changed, viewed against that reported at the 1996 October General Meeting.

      The AF&G Committee has brought 22 individual grievances to resolution since last autumn. Dr. Rice noted that, unfortunately, cluster' grievances are become more frequent. In addition, the administration has begun hiring lawyers from the local community to undertake investigations of ASMs, when other procedures have not given the findings desired by administrators.

      Dr. Rice highlighted the section of the AF&G's report Inquiries and Watching Briefs.' The AF&G Committee receives many inquiries, may monitor some, and makes assiduous attempts to resolve problems informally wherever possible.

      Dr. Rice expressed his thanks to the members of the AF&G Committee for their hard work and long hours as well as thanks to the MUNFA office staff for their support. .

    2. Joint Equity Committee: There was no report from the Joint Equity Committee.

    3. Sexual Harassment Board: A report from the Sexual Harassment Board was circulated prior to the meeting. In response to a question from Professor M. Graesser (Political Science), Ms. A. Lonardo (MUNFA representative to the Harassment Board) agreed to obtain information regarding the number of sexual harassment complaints at other universities for comparison with experience at Memorial.

    4. Report of MUNFA Scholarships Committee: A report of the Scholarships Committee was distributed prior to the meeting.

    5. Employee Assistance Program: A report from the MUNFA representative to the EAP Advisory Committee was distributed prior to the meeting.

    6. Report of Economic Benefits Committee: A report of the MUNFA Economic Benefits Committee was distributed prior to the meeting.

  9. Other Business

    There was no other business for discussion.

    (G97:009) MOVED (R.J. Clark, C.J. Dennis) that the meeting be adjourned.

Motion Carried

John C. Bear, Ph.D.
President, MUNFA
DATED: April 20, 1998


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