Collective bargaining update: Sept. 29, 2022
MUNFA applied for conciliation on June 9 and conciliation dates were set for August 16 and 17; however, these had to be postponed due to a negotiator’s illness. Conciliation proceeded on September 8 and 9 with the assistance of conciliator Mr. Glenn George.
Conciliation is a vital part of the bargaining process whereby a neutral third party, skilled in mediation and collective bargaining, works with the parties in an attempt to find resolution to the outstanding issues. Often, the conciliator will present a different way of considering the issues. The conciliator governs the process during negotiating meetings, deciding which articles will be exchanged, whether that will occur in joint meetings or through an exchange of proposals facilitated by the conciliator, and how long the discussions will run, among other items.
On the morning of September 8, the conciliator identified the articles he wanted both parties to work on during the meetings. The university bargaining team felt good progress was made resolving a number of articles, which means the list of outstanding items is getting smaller. A mutual concern regarding expediting the grievance and arbitration process was identified through negotiations. To this end, the parties have agreed to additional arbitrators being appointed, and during conciliation the university proposed a mediation process to resolve issues rather than arbitrating them.
MUNFA indicated they wanted changes to the criteria for promotion to the rank of professor. The university bargaining team indicated that they were comfortable with the present agreement language in Article 12 with respect to this issue.
The university bargaining team indicated that one of its priorities for collective bargaining was encouraging a greater faculty connection to their respective campuses such that an ASM's residence must not be so far from the university as to limit their ability to carry out of work duties.
The university bargaining team indicated that if both of the abovementioned issues (promotion to the rank of professor and greater faculty engagement) were resolved, the university would withdraw its proposal related to a formative review for those holding the rank of professor. MUNFA indicated they were not interested in discussing greater faculty engagement and withdrew its proposal regarding promotion to the rank of professor.
Conciliation is scheduled to continue on October 27 and 28. We have provided the conciliator with additional dates to continue negotiations in November.