Collective bargaining update: Feb. 16, 2024

Feb 16th, 2024

As noted in the university’s Feb. 8 update, the Lecturers’ Union of Memorial University of Newfoundland (LUMUN) has advised the conciliator that they are not prepared to continue with the conciliation process.

On Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, the conciliator submitted their report to the provincial minister responsible for labour indicating that negotiations had come to a standstill. The minister accepted this report, which triggered a 15-day cooling off period. At the end of this period, the union will be in position to take a strike vote as of Feb. 29, 2024.

This does not mean a strike will happen. Memorial is committed to moving the process forward and encourages LUMUN to return to the bargaining table to negotiate a collective agreement.

The parties met nine times between April 24, 2023, and Nov. 22, 2023, and there have been six meetings so far in 2024. Prior to exchanging opening proposals, on Feb. 10, 2023, the union submitted its formal request to government for the appointment of a conciliator. Normally initial meetings take place and proposals are exchanged prior to the appointment of a conciliator; however, the process did not proceed in this way.

It is customary to resolve key outstanding language proposals prior to exchanging financial proposals. At the most recent bargaining session on Feb. 8, 2024, the union indicated they would not continue negotiations unless the university presented a monetary proposal. The university presented a proposal to address several of the substantive issues raised by LUMUN in the bargaining process and committed to provide a monetary proposal later that same day if there was resolution regarding those LUMUN priority items. LUMUN chose not to respond to the university proposal and concluded its participation in conciliation.

Memorial remains committed and open to returning to the table with LUMUN to find a mutually beneficial solution that addresses the concerns of both parties.

LUMUN represents per course instructors at Memorial. Approximately 12.8 per cent of courses at the St. John’s and Grenfell campuses are taught by LUMUN members.

General information on labour negotiations and updates on the collective bargaining process with LUMUN will be posted on the university’s labour relations information hub.