MUNACA/McGill Negotiations Nearing an Impasse

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

[MONTREAL] McGill University takes great pride in being one of Montreal’s top employers, however, that has not translated with regards to its treatment of its employees.

McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA), which represents nearly 2000 support staff employees, has been in contract talks with McGill’s Administration since September 2020. Our previous contract expired November 30th, 2018. Over the past 15 months, we have met with the Employer 48 times. 

Recently, MUNACA was informed by the Employer that their last offer on salaries is close to being final, and that they have little room for movement. This offer is significantly below the cost of living, and would mean that our members would be losing money for the duration of the contract. The Employer is also refusing to pay retroactivity to those members who have left McGill, or who have retired.

Members of MUNACA are asking the McGill University Administration to come to the table with a wage offer that not only accounts for the skyrocketing cost of living, but that also recognizes the fact that the non-academic staff have been essential to keeping the University in operation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This administration is proposing salaries well below the cost of living despite the fact that the Principal’s remuneration has risen to over $860,000  and their multi-billion dollar endowment has risen 45% since the pandemic.” says Thomas Chalmers, MUNACA President*. 

It is time that the University Administration realises that its status as “one of Montreal’s top employers” is not the reality for many of its employees. MUNACA employees have worked extremely hard to keep McGill functioning. All we are asking for is to be treated with respect and to have a fair contract.

Contact: 
Thomas Chalmers
514-398-6565
reception@munaca.com

In Memoriam: Osama Alsamman

Although Osama was with us for a brief moment in time he was part of our family. We extend our condolences to his wife Kawthar and two infant children Qusai and Sana and to all those touched by him.

The MUNACA Executive Committee has made a donation on MUNACA’s behalf.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

To MUNACA members and the McGill Community,


September 30th is a momentous occasion, it acknowledges a shameful event in Canadian history that must be recognised, remembered. and never permitted to happen again. Young children were ripped away from their homes and family to ‘civilise’ them, what arrogance! This wasn’t civilising, this was genocide and another shameful fact was that at the same time this was happening in Canada, our elected representatives were at the United Nation signing a declaration against genocide, what hypocrisy!
The horrors of the Residential School system must be recognised and we must acknowledge what happened and commit ourselves to the truth and reconciliation. We should recognise and support those that have brought this horror to national attention. We applaud those that have struggled hard and long to have these horrors recognised. We owe them a debt of gratitude for bringing to light our tainted past. Only by accepting the truth and owning up to it can we build bridges with our indigeous brothers and sisters. Please take some time today to reflect.

in solidarity,
The MUNACA Executive Committee

Contact us

Dear Members, 

With the Fall return to campus, we look forward to seeing many more of you. However, due to the current COVID-19 epidemiological situation we ask that you schedule an appointment prior to visiting the MUNACA office located on 3483 Peel Street. Scheduling ahead of time will ensure that we are able to respect all Health and Safety recommendations and keep everyone safe.

Should you wish to meet with staff or an executive committee member we encourage you to contact them directly to set up a time. 

Christine McCunn, Office Administrator – Office.Administrator@munaca.com or 514-398-6565
Josie Chioffi, Labour Relations Coordinator – info@munaca.com or 514-398-5355
Josh Pavan, Research Coordinator- research@munaca.com or 514-398-6565

Thomas Chalmers, President – president@munaca.com or 514-398-4594
Nancy Crowe, VP Labour Relations – vplr@munaca.com or (514) 622-9428
Sherrie Child, VP Internal Affairs – vice.president@munaca.com
Deborah Martin, VP Finance – vpfinance@munaca.com
Debra Yee, VP Communication/Mobilisation – vpcomm@munaca.com

Job Description Survey

We are pleased to give each of you this opportunity to tell us about your specific job description. As you know, it has been decades since the PEDs (generic job descriptions) were reviewed by the employer, and we suspect that many MUNACA members are performing work that does not accurately reflect the generic descriptions, or are performing tasks belonging to other PEDs. Your responses will allow us to see where the gaps in information are between what jobs our members do, and what our employer thinks we do.

This survey, will give your Negotiations Committee a better idea of who does what as we are about to negotiate salary increases with the employer over the summer, and it will help your Pay Equity Committee as we attempt to settle years’ worth of pay equity audits with McGill. Remember, going into these kinds of discussions we are only strong if we are well prepared.

Thank you in advance for giving us the tools to better represent each of you! The survey will close on Sunday, July 18th, 2021.

In solidarity,

Your MUNACA Executive Committee
Your MUNACA Pay Equity Committee
Your MUNACA Negotiations Committee

Reply to McGill’s Action Plan to Address Anti-Black Racism

Dear Principal Fortier, 

We read, with great interest, the Action Plan to Address Anti-Black Racism you presented on September 30th. We had responded to your initial announcement with hope, anticipation and – it is not too strong a word – sense of relief. McGill seemed poised both to match its reputation for excellence and to combine the seriousness of the occasion with gravity and thoroughness. By the end, however, we find the document disappointing and a bit puzzling.

It presents a contrast. A certain number of the terms and goals framed contain a ringing acknowledgement of its subjects’ importance. In some sections there is a breadth of vision. Unfortunately, this impression is not sustained as the scope of its action items are increasingly restricted. 

The Plan announces the embrace of what – it must be stated – are modest targets for hiring a greater number of Black faculty. The strength of this statement is in its establishment of concrete and immovable targets. We also laud the recognition of a need for what is described as community outreach and support for students. We fear, however, that there are inadequate administrative resources committed to this promise. There is also a notable failure to recognize the many past, failed commitments. 

The references to establishing goals based on “percentages of population” are disappointing: they clash discordantly with the rhetoric used elsewhere in this document. The Plan appears to recognize, on the one hand, a moral deficit of catastrophic proportions. On the other, it pointedly and persistently hedges expectations, even in its academic ambitions. For example, it mentions studying the possible expansion of the African Studies program, but completely ignores the existence of the Latin American and Carribean Studies Program – even as it discusses the possibilities for enlarging Carribean Studies. 

McGill employs over 10,000 people, but there is no suggestion to hire even as many 100 additional Black colleagues.There is no more than a nod given to the importance of Black support staff or other underrepresented minorities. The Plan’s proposal to address this – along the lines of hiring a dozen or so more Black managers – obviously falls far short of the federal and provincial governments’ and of McGill’s own goals for diversity and inclusion. Here, as well, the report uses the specious “metrics” of “percentage of population.” The Plan forthrightly presents the themes of history, disproportionate representation, systemic barriers and oppression spanning the history of our institution and the society it reflects. The corrective actions it proposes, however, fall far short of addressing them.  

We pass over the issue of the McGill statue (decisions on its status are still pending) and other forms of “glorification,” as the Plan impressively puts it, which remain in place (the regrettably named Le James Bookstore comes to mind), but do acknowledge the commitment to serious study of the systems and interconnected webs of enrichment based on slavery and exploitation. This effort to uncover the colonialist and slavery-embracing past of our institutions is extremely overdue and welcome: we sincerely hope the analysis will continue to the present day and will include contemporary examples. 

It is with sorrow that we conclude that this effort, which begins with such promise and impressive scope, falters in significant ways, for reasons that are difficult to decipher. We are convinced we can do better. We ask you to reconsider this plan. We think it could be redrafted with still more passion, more conviction, and the ambition to match our human and financial capital. There is still the possibility of mining the richness of our combined strength and the values our community aspires to embody. 

regards,

The MUNACA Union Council

Open Letter to the McGill Administration

Dear Principal Fortier et al,


We have some questions regarding ramping up and bringing Faculty members, staff and students back on campus.

Considering the following;
– The second wave is here with a vengeance, over 750 new cases today (28/09/20).
– The Federal and Ontario government’s are urging everyone to get flu shots, Quebec is not, and McGill is not offering flu shots this year,
– McGill is unwilling to provide masks or face coverings for employees working on campus. 
– McGill is unwilling to extend complimentary parking so that employees may avoid public transit and its associated health and safety risks. 
– Our southern neighbour is a potential powder keg and has the worst record dealing with the pandemic. With just around 4% of the population of the planet they have more than 25% of the cases and more than 25% of the deaths. The Trump Administration has, to say the least, downplayed the severity of this crisis and are now considering a herd immunity solution, which some scientists have reported that this plan could see over 2 million deaths, 
– The provincial government had issued an orange alert and as of 17:30, we are now in a red zone
– Today (28/09/20). In Quebec since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 72,651 cases and 5,826 people have died, 
– McGill students question the Administration’s account with regards to the numbers of COVID cases at McGill. The Administration has reported 6 whereas the students claim many more:
.
Given the above, what is the McGill Administration doing?
– Allowing 30% capacity of student and staff to be on the campus,
– Recalling back to work, staff members who have 100% capability of fulfilling their duties from home. The rationale for this is that the Administration does not want employees to get used to working from home but would rather risk their health and safety by forcing them onto campus.
– The Administration has decided that previously acceptable health concerns for remaining at home, such as being a cancer survivor or diabetes, is no longer an acceptable reason for not being called back to work,
– McGill’s Administration claimed last week that there was no need to slowdown the ramping up of the return to work and classes due to the orange alert,
– The Administration is following the strictures of the provincial government, the one with the worst record in dealing with the pandemic in the country. This same administration claims that they are one of the best employers.


Principal Fortier et al, do you think these policies advisable under the circumstances? These policies are incongruent to your stated concern for a healthy workplace. Is now not the time to take a step back, and place the health and safety of all the community as the number one priority? We are not contesting the humanity, nor sincerity, of those making the decisions
regarding returning to work. We know they have family members, children and friends affected by this crisis. We are simply asking for a reconsideration of priorities. Put the health and safety of students, staff, and faculty first and not the resumption of on-site activities.

Regards, 
The MUNACA Executive Committee

In Support of statement by the McGill Black Faculty Caucus

The following letter was sent to Principal Suzanne Fortier, in support of the statement of the McGill Black Faculty Caucus

Statement on the James McGill statue

Dear members, 

At the Union Council meeting of August 26th, a motion was passed in support of our black and indigenous brothers and sisters in their call for the removal of the James McGill statue. As part of this motion, there was a call to end systemic racism and for specific and concrete measures to promote inclusiveness and remove all barriers to studying and hiring.

The Union Council supports these measures as it was felt that it is not the time to be silent on these issues and that we must respect and continue the union movement’s role as an engine for social change. The union movement has fought for and succeeded in making many improvements in the lives of all Canadians such as; employment insurance, medicare, maternity/paternity leaves, and a broad and more inclusive definition of discrimination, to name but a few. Now is the time to put an end to racism – in all its forms.

This is a very critical juncture where we can make a difference for a better and just future for all. 

Racism has no place in our Union, in the McGill Community, and our society at large.

Yours as always, in solidarity,

The MUNACA Executive Committee

For more information please consult the following links.

Take James McGill Down campaign

Public Letter

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