Collective Bargaining Update - Nov. 5, 2018
The university bargaining committee met with MUNFA this morning as part of the continuing conciliation process. At the commencement of the meeting, MUNFA conveyed that it reviewed the package of proposals we presented on Oct. 4, 2018, and it was rejected by the membership as being “insufficient.”
As noted in our previous updates, we felt the Oct. 4 package of proposals represented a fair and reasonable resolution to the remaining outstanding issues in light of parameters identified by MUNFA, including opposition to a four-year agreement and to an accountability mechanism for faculty members holding the rank of professor. The package we offered should, therefore, be considered in the context of:
- the university previously agreeing to language on four of the five priority Articles submitted by MUNFA during the initial exchange of proposals in December 2017 (Articles 11, 12, 24, and 27);
- with respect to other priority Article (23), proposing two additional steps on the lecturers scale;
- accepting a collective agreement with a three-year duration rather than four years; and
- withdrawing the university proposal for more collegial accountability for faculty members holding the rank of professor.
Despite advising the university that our proposal of Oct. 4 was insufficient, MUNFA did not propose revised parameters that might serve as the basis for further meaningful dialogue.
Given the potential uncertainty and anxiety that is created among students and faculty by not having concluded a tentative collective agreement, we are very disappointed that the proposed collective agreement, inclusive of our proposals tabled on Oct. 4, was not presented to our faculty through a formal ratification process.
The conciliator advised the parties that he felt negotiations had reached an impasse and he would issue a report to the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour over the coming days. Once the conciliation officer files his report and a specified amount of time elapses, the parties are legally able to engage in other actions such as strike or lockout. We want to assure you that we remain committed to the bargaining process and achieving a mutually acceptable collective agreement.
On behalf of the University Negotiation Committee
Geoff Williams, Co-Chief Negotiator
Ian McKinnon, Co- Chief Negotiator