MUNFA General Meeting
October 25, 1999
7:30 p.m., HSC Main Auditorium
Dr. Noel Roy (MUNFA President) chaired the General Meeting. SWGC participated by
1. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
(G99:015) MOVED (J. Bear/B. Schrank) that the agenda be accepted as distributed.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF GENERAL MEETING OF APRIL 12, 1999
(G99:016) MOVED (C. Matchim/W. Schipper) that the General Meeting minutes of April 12, 1999 be approved.
3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF INFORMATION MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 27, 1999
(G99:017) MOVED (W. Schipper/C. Matchim) that the minutes of the Information meeting of September 27, 1999 be approved.
4. MATTERS ARISING FROM MINUTES OF INFORMATION MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 27, 1999
- Draft Proposals: Dr. Roy reported that members' comments made at the information meeting
of September 27, 1999 were considered by the Executive at a meeting of September 28, 1999. Some changes were made, the most significant concerning the early retirement proposals. The Executive decided it wanted to rework the details of those proposals. When MUNFA's proposals were given to the administration they were advised that MUNFA was holding back details on its early retirement proposal pending this revision.
Dr. Roy reported that Article 31 (Appointment, Review, Promotion & Tenure of Academic Administrators) was distributed to the membership after the September 27th meeting (ref. IB 1999/2000:07). Article 31 was also passed across the table to the administration by the MUNFA Negotiating Committee.
- Negotiations update: W. E. Schrank (MUNFA Chief Negotiator) reported on the progress on negotiations. There have been extensive discussions on Articles 1, 2, 6 and 7, 9 and 10. The administration did not submit a proposal on Article 3 and have indicated that such a proposal may be passed to MUNFA by November 1, 1999. The Parties will hold negotiating sessions in Corner Brook (SWGC) on December 6, 1999.
The membership will be kept apprised of negotiations through Negotiating News. Dr. Schrank noted that there is a 'revolving seat' at the negotiating table; should a MUNFA member wish to attend a bargaining session, the MUNFA member should contact a member of the MUNFA Negotiating Committee.
5. MATTERS ARISING FROM GENERAL MEETING MINUTES OF APRIL 12, 1999
- Discussions with V.P. (Academic): Dr. Simpson had suggested to MUNFA that it would be worthwhile to meet on a more frequent and regular basis. Dr. Roy reported that members of the MUNFA Executive and of the Academic Freedom and Grievance Committee continue to meet with the Vice-President (Academic) on a frequent basis on specific issues. In addition, the Executive has twice met with the Vice-President to discuss general issues, without a fixed agenda. As well, the Executive has had one meeting with President Meisen and Vice- President Simpson together. These meetings cannot be expected to create quick fixes for contentious issues, but they have been successful in resolving some disputes between the Parties, and they may have prevented small problems from becoming larger problems.
- Grievances and arbitrations:
A-98-07 (disbursement of travel funds): Dr. Roy indicated that the Parties are no closer to a settlement on this issue than they were when this matter was reported at the last General Meeting. The Parties are in agreement that the four Academic Units in question underspent their travel fund allocations, and that the deficiency should be provided to Faculty in those Academic Units who made use of the travel fund in that year and were not fully reimbursed. The remaining disagreement is twofold:
- Some of those Faculty who were not fully reimbursed from the travel fund made up some or all the difference from their research grants. MUNFA thinks that, to the extent that funds are available, these research grants should be reimbursed. The University does not agree.
- The University wishes MUNFA to agree to a list of Faculty who would be
reimbursed. MUNFA cannot be sure that the list that the Administration has given us is necessarily a complete and accurate one, and so is unwilling to incorporate such a list into the final agreement.
These problems should be resolvable. If they are not, MUNFA will refer this matter to arbitration.
- GSU/CSU: Discussions with the GSU and CSU have proceeded to the point that we are in rough agreement on a Terms of Reference for a University Ombudsperson. Formal discussions have begun with the University Administration to establish such an office. MUNFA has indicated that it is willing to participate on a Board of Directors for the Ombuds Office, so long as there is no financial commitment involved.
Negotiations on the drafting of a new Student Complaints Policy continue. MUNFA has proposed a draft to the Administration.
- Distance Education Contract/Copyright: MUNFA has submitted proposed changes to Article 27 of the Collective Agreement which would reinforce the copyright of ASMs to distance education materials prepared under contract with the University.
- Sexual Harassment/Employment Equity matters: The appointment of the Sexual Harassment Officer is reported on more fully in the report of the MUNFA Representatives to the Sexual Harassment Board. After a nine month vacancy, the position was finally filled as a part-time position. MUNFA continues to recommend that the position be full time.
In contract negotiations the Administration has proposed that the current requirement that the Employment Equity Officer be full time, be removed.
- February 16, 1999 Special General Meeting: The proposals prepared by the Proposals Committee were presented to a Special Meeting on September 27, 1999 and approved. These proposals which were presented to the Administration on October 4, 1999.
- Nominating & Balloting Committee: There had been one vacancy on the 1999-2000 Nominating & Balloting Committee. The Nominating and Balloting Committee is now at full strength. Dr. Gary Jeffrey (Education) has agreed to serve on the Committee. Dr. Bill Barker (English) will serve as Executive Representative on the Committee, to replace Chris Dennis.
- Discussions with University administrators: President May had indicated to MUNFA that the Administration would prefer an early start on negotiations for a new Collective Agreement. Subsequently, the Administration apparently rethought the matter, and in May proposed that negotiations be delayed until October or November. As a compromise, the Parties eventually agreed to begin negotiations on October 4. In return, MUNFA obtained agreement that the
current Collective Agreement would remain in effect until either a new Collective Agreement is agreed to, or a strike or lockout ensues.
- MUNFA Scholarship Fund/Opportunity Fund: There had been an administration suggestion that the MUNFA Scholarship Fund be brought into the MUN Opportunity Fund. There have been no recent discussions on this issue. We await a response from the Administration.
- Grievances/Arbitrations: There have been no arbitrations since the last General Meeting, and there is only one arbitration scheduled at this time.
- Term Appointments: It has been 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.. The Administration has obtained legal advice which has confirmed MUNFA's position. Dr. Strawbridge has so informed Deans and Directors.
6. PRESIDENT'S REPORT
Dr. Roy reminded the meeting that the President's report is a report of the MUNFA Executive. Most matters to be reported for this meeting have already been dealt with in Matters Arising from the previous Minutes. Dr. Roy reported that there is currently only one grievance which has been referred to arbitration, compared to nine at this time last year. Similarly, there are only two unresolved Association grievances, compared with eight last year. However, the number of unresolved individual grievances has not fallen to the same degree -- from 44 to 20.
7. TREASURER'S REPORT
The financial statements for the fiscal year 1998-1999 were distributed. The Treasurer noted that last year's deficit was due to the high cost of arbitration hearings.
Dr. H. W. Hulan (Biochemistry) asked how many individuals were involved in these arbitrations. Dr. B. Schrank (English) raised a point of order that the question would be better addressed under the report of the Academic Freedom and Grievance Committee. Dr. Hulan agreed.
8. REPORT OF CAUT DEFENCE FUND
Dr. W. E. Schrank reported that he and A. Lonardo attended the Defence Fund meeting in Montreal on October 16-17, 1999. The Defence Fund currently has a balance of $10,780,000. The current membership is 12,000. An interesting session at the Defence Fund meeting was the negotiations roundtable; many associations have the same areas of concern including salary, pensions (concern over surpluses), and the intellectual property issue. Ms. Lonardo was elected to the Policy andPlanning Committee of the Defence Fund.
9. COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT ADMINISTRATION
- Report from Academic Freedom and Grievance Committee: The report of the AF&G Committee had been distributed to the membership. Dr. B. Schrank (Chair) spoke to the Committee's report. There has been a reduction in grievances and therefore a reduction in arbitrations. The Committee's general sense from the V.P. (Academic) is that he will not intervene directly, but that he will listen and hear the Committee's concerns.
In response to an earlier question from the floor, Dr. Schrank advised that arbitrations are an inevitable outcome of the inabilities of the parties to reach settlement. It is unfortunate that the amount of dollars spent was so great. As an association, MUNFA is serious about negotiations and grievances. Arbitrations are avoided because they are so expensive. Dr. Schrank reviewed the three arbitration hearings called during the last year: one was a tenure case which consisted of approximately 16 days of hearings; a second was on the failure to renew a probationary appointment which lasted for about 2 days; a third was an arbitration
which was called to hear a 'cluster' of grievances. The last case was settled by an agreement between the Parties, without an arbitration hearing. Dr. Hulan (Biochemistry) indicated that he did not think that the report answered his question.
- Report from Joint Association/University Relations Committee: Dr. Roy reported that 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. There was nothing further to report froM this Committee.
- Report from Joint Sexual Harassment Board: This report was pre-circulated. There were no questions
10. MUNFA COMMITTEE REPORTS
- Economic Benefits Committee: A report of this Committee was pre-circulated. There were no questions.
- Scholarships Committee: A report of this Committee was pre-circulated; there were no questions.
- Employee Assistance Program Advisory Committee: The report of the MUNFA representative to this Committee was pre-circulated; there were no questions.
- Dr. Roy noted that there were no other committee reports which had been circulated. The MUNFA Pensions Committee did not make a report but members of that committee are present to answer any questions. There were no questions.
11. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
No other business was raised.
(G99:018) MOVED (W. Schipper/C. Matchim) that the General Meeting adjourn.
Dr. Noel Roy
Approved by Membership April 20, 2000.