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Our office has received inquiries from members about the status of the ‘Negotiations’. This bulletin is to inform you of the difference between Negotiations, Conciliation, and Arbitration.
As you know, your MUNACA Negotiations Committee was in lengthy negotiations with the employer’s representatives from 2020 until 2022. After more than 50 meetings, we were not able to reach an agreement.
The Employer requested Conciliation on or around the 9th of December. The parties first met with the Conciliator M. Hervé on January 27th, 2022, with subsequent meetings until late April when, despite our best efforts, conciliation broke down as we failed to come to an agreement acceptable to both parties. It was near the end of this process that MUNACA members called for strike action.
McGill requested first contract arbitration on April 14th and after many attempts the Parties agreed to Me Cavé as the arbitrator. Arbitration is scheduled for August 29th 2022 and September 1st 2022. This will continue until the Arbitrator has made their binding decision. Although the Arbitrator has the authority to make a binding decision on the collective agreement, they can also try to give the parties one last chance to reach a negotiated settlement through a process of mediation. MUNACA and McGill have agreed to work through the mediation process in hopes of reaching an agreement. The Parties, along with Me Cavé, have agreed to meet on Wednesday July 13th in an attempt to mediate an agreement.
2022-04-20 Strike Press Release
Today, the McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA – PSAC Local 17602) which represents more than 1800 non-academic support employees, has gone on strike after being without a contract since November 2018. At 12:30pm today, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)’s Regional Vice-President for Quebec, M. Yvon Barriere, will be joining our picket lines and will be available for comment along with MUNACA’s President, M. Thomas Chalmers, and PSAC Representative and Lead Negotiator, M. Mathieu Brulé.
Striking is the last resort to call attention to ongoing conflict between McGill’s Administration and their ardent and steadfast support staff. The Administration has praised MUNACA members’ diligent, and committed work many times during the pandemic. However, the expression ‘A handful of gimme and a mouth full of much obliged’ comes to mind when considering the ‘concrete’ ways the university hopes to offer compensation. During the 20 months of negotiations, McGill has not offered anything for essential workers in the form of COVID pay as other Universities in Quebec have done. For example, in September 2020, Concordia University gave all employees a $500 COVID stipend to help with expenses resulting from the pandemic. McGill, despite receiving the same government subsidy, offered their employees nothing other than some vacuous words of thanks during Town Hall meetings.
For the below reasons, MUNACA support staff are hitting the streets today in protest:
To the McGill Administration, who pays their upper management the highest in Quebec, and in Canada, and who will be forking out an obscene $860,00 to outgoing Principal Fortier in her final year alone, we want to send the clear message that we will not be disrespected, insulted, or taken for granted! Come to the negotiations table with a new mandate to address our members’ priorities and sincerely work with us to reach a fair and satisfactory collective agreement.
Every member of MUNACA is expected to report to their picket locations (see below) on the shifts they had previously indicated in their picket preference choices.
Shift times are: 9:00-13:00 and 12:00-16:00.
This is the time for us to collectively demonstrate that we are just as committed to our bargaining priorities today as when we established them, and we are willing to walk off the job in support of:
– a decent pay scale,
– a cost of living increase, and
– respect for MUNACA workers
for all MUNACA workers who work tirelessly to put McGill at the top. Where is the fair compensation? The gratitude? The respect? When is enough, enough?
“When is strike action taking place?”
– You will be notified 24 hrs in advance of any strike action.
– You will be contacted by phone, or your alternate/personal email, when (please check your emails regularly for updates!).
– It is likely that MUNACA members will have their McGill email access cut off. This includes calendar appointments, storage drives, or and anything linked to these McGill accounts.
– In order to facilitate communications about where/when to show up, Send us your alternative email and/or cell phone number.
If you notice MUNACA emails going to your Junk folder:
– Go to your Junk Email folder
– Right Click on the email within the list you want to redirect to your Inbox.
– Drop down menu should offer “Junk”
– In “Junk”, select “Never Block this Group or Mailing List”
– Selecting solely “Not Junk” will not work.
“What do I bring?”
– Wear MUNACA t-shirts, lanyards, buttons, hats
– Please dress accordingly (look at the weather forecast)
– Wear comfortable shoes!
– Bring your masks, bottle of water and snacks for the 4 hour picket shift.
– Bring a piece of ID
– Noise makers, claquers, whistles, ear plugs, and energy!
– MUNACA Musicians bring your instruments and contact Rick Rossi for coordination.
“Where do I go?”
– Get to your meeting point (sent to members 24 hours prior)
– Find your strike captain to SIGN IN (look for the orange jersey)
– Follow your strike captain’s instructions and do strike activities (walking, making picket signs, picketing, handing out stickers…)
– Find your strike captain to SIGN OUT
“How do I get Strike Pay?”
– You must have signed your union card
– In order to qualify for strike pay, workers must carry out strike-related duties for a minimum of 4 hrs / day (flat rate, non-taxable).
– Strike pay, in accordance with regulation 6 of the PSAC Constitution is $75 / day.
– While $75 / day may seem low, it is one of the higher rates of strike pay provided by Canadian unions.
– Delay of 2 weeks for processing
– Printed checks will be issued by the PSAC.
– No strike pay if you don’t show up on site and sign in, and sign out.
– Your pay will be distributed by your local.
“What can you tell me about ‘scabbing’?”
– The term scab refers to people who continue to work during a strike. Working during a strike is also known as crossing the picket line. Replacement workers undermine the demands of the workers on strike, and are termed “scabs”.
– The Employer is forbidden by law to use ‘scabs’. Some managers might perform some of the duties, but McGill cannot hire new people to do the work of striking workers.
– If you know of scab workers, report this to MUNACA.
– Scabbing is a violation of section 25 of the PSAC Constitution (page 49) and the Quebec Labour Code.
“Is there anything to gain by striking? Will I ever recover the lost earnings?”
– Aside from the dignity and respect the workers gain from their employer by voting to strike, the improvements made to the collective agreement often result in not only material, but non-material gains as well. In many cases, the monetary gains made over the life of the collective agreement surpass any losses incurred during a strike.
– Sign the New Mode petition
“What impact does a strike have on the employer?”
-The very threat of a strike will often force employers to bargain seriously. They can’t get any work done when the majority of their workforce withholds its labour.
Questions / Concerns?
Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The MUNACA Negotiations Committee
[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. Consequently, last week the MUNACA membership voted in favour of a strike mandate.
McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA), which represents nearly 2,000 support staff employees, has been in contract talks with McGill’s Administration; they started in earnest in September 2020. Our previous contract expired November 30th, 2018. Over the past 15 months, we have met with the Employer at least 50
times and still they have not adequately responded to our salary concerns.
MUNACA has informed the University that their last offer on salaries of March 10th was rejected by the membership. There has been no further attempts by the Employer to improve their final offer, hence the strike mandate was requested and approved. The Administration’s offer of March 10th is significantly below the cost of living, and would
mean that our members would be losing money for the duration of the contract.
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.
The MUNACA membership has given their Negotiations Committee a strong and clear mandate in favour of a strike action.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONTREAL, QUEBEC – The McGill Administration has proposed a multi-year salary freeze for many of its support staff who are currently in conciliation. The university administration has been in negotiations for nearly two years with the McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA), the union representing these workers. The current contract expired in 2018.
The administration’s proposal reduces the maximum of many current salary scales, meaning that long-time employees currently at or near the top of the scale will see their salary frozen, in some cases until 2026.
Many of those affected are essential workers who operated on-site throughout the pandemic while the rest of the campus shut down and other staff worked from home. These workers provided animal care, on-site technical support, and worked front-line in residences with COVID outbreaks.
According to Statistics Canada, inflation in Montreal hit 5.7% in February, the highest level since 1991.
“This proposal is clearly unacceptable, especially in the current economy” says Thomas Chalmers, president of MUNACA, “It’s like they want us to go on strike.”
These negotiations follow a flurry of media coverage earlier this year around the salary of McGill’s retiring principal, Suzanne Fortier. She will receive over $860 000 in compensation this year, receiving an executive retirement bonus in addition to her base salary of $470,000.
Thomas Chalmers, MUNACA President
February 25, 2022
For the past few days, we have been waking up every morning to difficult live images from Ukraine. In this age of social media, this conflict unfolding before our eyes shows how fragile our peace and freedom are. While the pandemic is still ongoing, another shocking event reminds us of the importance of compassion and solidarity.
“As we work together to build an inclusive society of rights and freedoms, some parts of the world are working to break peace. Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian community in hope that this nonsense and insecurity will end as soon as possible,” said Yvon Barrière, PSAC-Quebec Regional Executive Vice-President.
PSAC-Quebec stands with Ukrainian communities in Canada and around the world against this outrageous action. The Ukrainian community in Canada is the largest outside of Ukraine. There are over 1.3 million people in Canada and some 40,000 Quebecers of Ukrainian origin among our members, colleagues, families and community.
With the Winter semester underway, union representatives continue to work out of the on-campus office. Given staggered scheduling and the unpredictable situation, we ask that you contact us ahead of visiting the office.
The staff and executive can be reached as follows:
Christine McCunn, Office Administrator – Office.Administrator@munaca.com or 514-398-6565
Josie Cioffi, Labour Relations Coordinator – email@example.com or 514-398-5355
Josh Pavan, Research Coordinator- firstname.lastname@example.org or 514-398-6565
Thomas Chalmers, President – email@example.com or 514-398-4594
Nancy Crowe, VP Labour Relations – firstname.lastname@example.org or (514) 622-9428
Sherrie Child, VP Internal Affairs – email@example.com
Deborah Martin, VP Finance – firstname.lastname@example.org
Debra Yee, VP Communication/Mobilisation – email@example.com