Bulletin on Family Leave and Sick Leave

Dear Members,

In regards to the University’s request to make the Family Leave Pilot Project a permanent option. Several things have become clear as a result of the survey;

1) Our membership wants and needs time to take care of their family responsibilities,

2) 3 days allocated from one’s personal incidental sick leave is neither sufficient nor acceptable for many of you.

Although it is positive to enshrine the concept of leave for family responsibility within the Labour Relations consciousness here at McGill, allowing our members to use 3 days from their personal incidental (PI) days is wholly insufficient for many of us, and what is clearly needed is a bank of days dedicated for family responsibilities. As a result of the survey and discussions by the Union Council, as announced this week by McGill, we accepted the Family Leave provisions becoming permanent.

Some of you may have noticed that the law now provides for 2 paid days for a broad range of uses, including personal incidental illness and other family obligations. McGill’s position is that this change to the law does not give us access to two additional paid days, because we already have a mix of days, namely, personal days, floating holidays and PI days, for those purposes. We are not convinced by McGill’s arguments in this regard. But if we believe we either need or are entitled to additional paid leave we will have to either succeed in convincing an arbitrator that the law provides for it or convince McGill to add them during collective bargaining.

Please note: for those of us who serve as caretakers, we still entitled to 10 days of unpaid leave to look after the health or well being of others, in addition to the educational needs of our children.

Also please refer to the FAQ’s on the HR website as these leaves are not obligatory and your supervisor cannot cut down your PI days to 6. It is your choice to use to take PI days for family reasons.

Based on some of the comments we received in the survey and also throughout the year, we think it important to clarify certain aspects of personal incidental (PI) days. These include and what, when and how you are required to inform your supervisor, when a doctors note is required and why, and what to do if there is a conflict between you and your supervisor.

We have learned that certain supervisors and HR representatives have stated that you are required to submit a doctor’s note on the third day of an illness. You do not. You need to submit a note only if you wish to take advantage of Short Term Disability. This is advisable, if possible, because you will only use up 2 PI days instead of more. In addition to this, if you need more time to recover it will be simpler to extend the period if you’ve already submitted a note. It has also the advantage of avoiding unpleasant conversations with your supervisor, since it is Benefits that communicates the details of your absence.

You are not required to elaborate on the specifics of your illness when you inform your supervisor of an absence. You may say ‘I am not feeling well today so I will not be in’ or ‘ I am taking one of my personal incidental days today.’ This is important: your supervisor does not need to know your personal medical situation, so please do not volunteer any information!

Should your supervisor question your illness or make any demands or call you at home on the days you are off sick, contact your Steward or the MUNACA office immediately. They do not have the right to harass you or make any demands upon you when you are ill.

If you are on STD, for example, Benefits has the right to call you at home and ask about your particular illness or to relay important information; you may also respond to them via email, should you prefer, or have a union rep on the line as well, if you wish. You are not required to answer the phone, but McGill does have a right to communicate with you, as you remain an employee. It is often advisable to cc your Steward or MUNACA (at reception@munaca .com) on emails.

Last, but certainly not least: please fill out an incident report (and forward it to MUNACA) when you are involved in or are witness to an accident at work. An accident can be defined as any sudden incident that brings on signs or symptoms of an illness or medical issue, including mental illness. This can also include the effects of psychological or sexual harassment. If there is a serious accident that results in hospitalization or your absence from work it is essential that you communicate this to the union.

Yours in solidarity, 
The MUNACA Executive Committee

Call for Nominations

Nomination procedures
The nomination period will start effective immediately (Friday April 26th) and will continue until Thursday May 9th at 17:00. Details of the election procedure will be sent out after that date.

All twenty-eight (28) positions of the Union Council are up for election:

(1) President must submit nomination form signed by ten (10) members in good standing from any campus.

(1) Vice-President (Communications) must submit nomination form signed by ten
(10) members in good standing from any campus.

(1) Vice-President (Finance) must submit nomination form signed by ten (10) members in good standing from any campus.

(1) Vice-President (Internal) must submit nomination form signed by ten (10) members in good standing from any campus.

(1) Vice-President (Labour Relations) must submit nomination form signed by ten (10) members in good standing from any campus.

(1) Chair of Communications Committee must submit nomination form signed by five (5) members in good standing from any campus.

(1) Chair of Finance Committee must submit nomination form signed by five (5) members in good standing from any campus.

(1) Chair of Grievance Committee must submit nomination form signed by five (5) members in good standing from any campus.

(1) Chair of Health and Safety Committee must submit nomination form signed by five (5) members in good standing from any campus.

(1) Chair of Solidarity Committee must submit nomination form signed by five (5) members in good standing from any campus.

(14) Chief Steward/ District Head – Downtown Campus must submit nomination form signed by five (5) members in good standing from the Downtown campus.

(2) Chief Steward/ District Head – Macdonald Campus (including Gault Estate)must submit nomination form signed by five (5) members in good standing from the Macdonald campus.

(2) Chief Steward/ District Head – Glen Campus (including Solin Hall) must submit nomination form signed by five (5) members in good standing from the Glen campus.

All current members of the Union Council must submit two written reports to the CRO along with their nomination forms as per Article 8(iii) of the MUNACA bylaws.

All nominations must be accompanied by a pensketch of 400 words or less. Website or social media links are not permitted in the pensketch, though may be used as part of a larger campaign.

For information on the roles of Chief Steward/District Head, Chairs of Standing Committees and Executive Officers please see the MUNACA by-laws

Dino Dutz
Chief Returning Officer

Statement on Bill 21

Recently, the Government of Quebec proposed a deeply troubling law under the guise of secularism that would prohibit certain Quebecers of faith from participating in public life and in the public sector. The academic community has long been a bastion of diversity and free thought. Pluralism enriches our communities and makes Quebec a more prosperous and welcoming place to live. As the associations and labour unions representing the whole of the McGill Community, we stand together against this divisive law which attacks civil liberties.

Association of Graduate Students Employed at McGill

Association of McGill University Support Employees

Association of McGill University Research Employees

McGill Association of University Teachers

McGill’s Association of Continuing Education Students

McGill Course Lecturers & Instructors Union

McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association

McGill University Non-Academic Staff Association

Post Graduate Students’ Society

Service Employees’ Union

Students’ Society of McGill University

 

While state secularism is an important value in Quebec, one that is broadly supported by the public and faith communities alike, we believe that the current legislation misses the mark and creates two classes of citizen. Requiring government employees and citizens to remove personal symbols of their faith in order to participate in society is divisive and punitive and dangerous.  Asking a teacher to remove his kippah or a crown prosecutor to remove her hijab is akin to firing these individuals because of their religion.  Nowhere in the modern history of this province is there an example of a government employee attempting to proselytize by way of her or his clothing.  This law is an answer to a problem that does not exist.  It serves merely to send a message to certain of our compatriots that their personal religious beliefs are not wanted here in Quebec.

Even more alarming is that, by preemptively adding the notwithstanding clause to the law, the government fully recognises that this law likely violates freedom of religion – as enshrined in our Charters of Human Rights.  What’s more, the second part of this law – requiring the removal of face coverings to receive government services – creates a scandal where there is none.  For years, various government bodies have maintained the practice of asking veiled women to remove their face coverings for identification.  Never has there been a case of a person refusing to remove a face covering for the purpose of identification.  Why then does the government feel the need to adopt laws to marginalize certain religious Quebecers – laws that disproportionately affect Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, and women?

We call on the government of Quebec to respect the Charter of Rights and Freedom.  A free society cannot be called free when it, without reason, demands certain of its citizens to choose between their faith and participation in public life.  This law has no place in a multicultural, secular, modern Quebec and must be repealed.

The MUNACA Executive

Started as a casual? Check your seniority!

It only takes 2 minutes and seniority is fundamental for questions of employment security, priority for vacant positions, for shift work, and for vacation schedule/entitlement

It has come to our attention there have been some cases of discrepancies in McGill’s calculation of seniority.  MUNACA urges all members to verify their seniority by logging on to the following link: https://www.mcgill.ca/hr/app/munaca-seniority

Please remember that time you spent in continuous employment as a casual prior to joining MUNACA is to be included.

Should you find that your seniority does not correspond to your time here at McGill, we strongly recommend reviewing the Letter of Agreement and then submitting to HR a Seniority Contestation Request (both below).

Questions?  Please reach out to your friendly neighbourhood Steward!

 

Find the letter of Agreement here.

To contest your seniority, please submit this form to HR with MUNACA cc’d.

Open Letter to Principal Fortier on Winter Conditions

Dear Principal Fortier,

As has happened in the past, when inclement weather is coming our way, we have received questions and concerns about the University’s plans on coping with the situation.

First of all, as was done at other universities in the city, serious consideration should have been made to simply closing the campus except for essential services. This would have done much to enhance moral and send the message that the situation – being the safety of all staff – was being taken seriously.

Second of all, communications with staff and students should have been much clearer. The University could have easily made use of its emergency response system, and used, for instance, phone messaging systems. Every other educational institution in the city issued clear winter advisory warnings in the form of banners across the landing pages of their websites the evening prior. They cancelled classes and work for all staff but those required for essential operations. The discrete nature of the message on McGill’s home page placed alongside every other “news” story was missed by some lecturers, who still made their way in to teach or work. The timing of the emails was also unacceptable, as anyone who had a long commute would have had to leave even earlier than usual and thus missed the message. Consistently, by the time those responsible send out emails or post rather imperceptible warnings on the website, it is much too late for many colleagues. In addition, the messages were inconsistent CBC and Radio-Canada were broadcasting that McGill was closed for the day: few who heard them would have thought to question their validity.

We would also like to point out the disparity of treatment between employees. Some staff were permitted to work from home but not all, even where such an option would have been practical for the departments concerned.

We know that you are aware of these issues, and are considering them on an ongoing basis, but we felt it important to communicate our concerns clearly in writing. You may also not have been aware of just how much confusion and inconvenience the inconsistency and lack of clarity in communication caused for many. We believe we can and will do better next time.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We have included two examples of communications, one from McGill the other from Concordia for your information.

Regards,

Thomas Chalmers

President, MUANCA

 

Links to Concordia and McGill Winter Storm Warning:

Concordia

McGill

Planete Mobile Discount for PSAC Members

Public Service Alliance of Canada members and staff are entitled to a
30% discount on a “Share Everything” plan from Rogers.

With a Share Everything plan, you’ll have the freedom to share data between family members
and devices, as well as unlimited Canada-wide talk and SMS. You also have the flexibility to
manage your account from any device, choose the Share Everything plan that’s right for you
and receive your corporate discount on the primary line. But the discount is just the beginning.
In addition to talk, text and data, you’ll get:
• 400$ bill credit * when you port-in your number from another service provider (not
compatible with Fido/Chatr). This bill credit is not applicable on the No Tab and Smart
categories.
• You must choose one of the following categories: No Tab; Smart, Premium, Premium
Plus, Ultra
• Roam like home
• All in-market promotions
• And more…

Order directly from our web portal:
http://planetemobile.biz
Login: psac
Password: mobile

Contact info
Email : corpoepp@planetem.com
Louis-Philippe Robitaille / Karolane Lefebvre
1-844-279-2861 or 819-776-4377 option 2

*Bill Credit is subject to change

Helen Campbell’s Passing (March 02, 1941 – November 09, 2018)

On November 09, 2018, Helen Campbell passed away at 77 surrounded by her family. Helen worked for over 30 years as a technician in the electron microscopy and metallography laboratory in the Department of Mining and Materials Engineering. She also helped set up X-ray Photoelectron Spectrometer.

She was very dedicated to her fellow technicians and to the students right until her retirement in 2012. She was always willing to help us resolve issues big and small. She was a quiet smiling anchor we could count on.

To honour her memory her family wishes donation to be made  to St-Mary’s Hospital Foundation.

For Ms wishing to sign MUNACA-PSAC membership cards

Yes – this is still possible!

Please remember that you may drop by the MUNACA office (3483 Peel) any time 9-5, contact a member of the M organization committee, speak to a MUNACA representative or sign a card electronically. When you do so you will have three choices as to how to pay the obligatory $2 membership fee:

If you submit a card electronically you will be invoiced to pay the $2 via PayPal, which you may do right away. OR

. Drop off $2 at the MUNACA office (3483, Peel Street – 2nd floor).

Thank you to everyone for the amazing enthusiasm and tremendous amount of interest! Please read up on the Frequently Asked Questions

MUNACA asks Ms to join its ranks

Propelled by strong interest expressed by many Ms to become unionized, MUNACA has offered to open up its certificate to include them. The PSAC has agreed to fully support us in this effort. A group of M staff who believe in the need to unionize formed a committee (the M Unionizing Committee) and started working with MUNACA and the PSAC on this. At this point the emphasis is on providing facts to all of our colleagues on the process of unionization and the advantages of forming a union. It is essential for everyone to realize that the key difference between voluntary associations and a union are the protections conferred by Quebec’s Labour Code. Fundamentally, unionization is about having more control over one’s working conditions, including salary. We encourage all staff to engage in reasoned discussions on what being a union member actually means and what it brings.

You can view a copy of the FAQs here.

Any questions can be sent to 2018munion@gmail.com

 

Newsletter for April 2018 now out

Vol. 1, April 2018

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