Collective bargaining update: March 2, 2022

Negotiations with MUNFA begin

Memorial University and the Memorial University Faculty Association (MUNFA) exchanged opening proposals on Jan. 27 for the renewal of a revised collective agreement. 

The current MUNFA Collective Agreement expired on August 31, 2021. The university is cautiously optimistic that MUNFA is prepared to enter into productive discussions surrounding a number of topics including a requirement for academic staff members (ASMs) to reside in the province as a condition of employment; introducing a Teaching Professor, Teaching Associate Professor and Teaching Assistant Professor tenure-track stream;  clarifying the vital role of search committees in recruiting for term appointments to ensure the best candidates are hired; changes to Other-Post Employment Benefits (OPEBs) to align with changes implemented for non-academic staff; and exploring the topic of Administrative Heads playing a greater role in the search process. Rather than tabling specific proposals on several of these issues, Memorial will seek an open discussion to find common perspectives in order to build a satisfactory solution.

MUNFA tabled proposals regarding Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) enhancing complement language; climate action; collegial governance; and reducing academic teaching norms from five to four. 

Regular meetings have been scheduled monthly, up to and including April 2022, to continue negotiations.

Shortly after the exchange of proposals, MUNFA posted a bulletin regarding the exchange that misrepresented one proposal.  Our proposal for review of tenured faculty holding the rank of professor was misrepresented as “a post-tenure review, a proposal which was rejected by MUNFA in the last round of collective bargaining as it would bring an end to the job security offered by tenure.” There was no discussion on this item, and during discussions in the last round of collective bargaining, it was made abundantly clear by Memorial that this is neither about removing job security nor about doing away with tenure.

The parties met on Feb. 14 and 15 to continue negotiation. Memorial submitted a detailed response to MUNFA’s opening proposals. MUNFA indicated it was not prepared to engage in open discussions surrounding the introduction of a tenure-track teaching stream and would only engage after Memorial provided a formal proposal, which was disappointing.

Meetings took place February 28 and March 1. Further updates will be shared with the university community as the process unfolds.