AMURE’s postdoc bargaining team needs your support. The University is refusing to address our most important issues:
Paid parental leave
McGill’s offer of a minimum salary of $37,500 and 39,000 in 2023 would mean that postdocs would have the lowest Minimum salary out of all full-time McGill positions. Every single other McGill position has a higher minimum salary.
The median salary for postdocs is $48,000, but for comparison, laboratory technicians, research assistants and research associates have a minimum salary above $50,000 a year. While our offer is even below this amount, we feel that this agreement will be the first step for fair salaries of postdocs. Please support the bargaining demands of postdocs by signing this petition
Today, December 6th marks the 33rd anniversary of one of the most brutal mass killings in Canadian history at Ecole Polytechnique. Today we take time to reflect upon violence against women. We take some time to consider the impact this horrible act had on not only the 14 women who were viciously murdered simply because they were women but on the impact it has had on their friends, families and love ones and on our society as a whole. Please keep these women in your thoughts and hearts today.
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.
Negotiations (2020-2022) 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.
Conciliation (2022) 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.
Arbitration 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.
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:
Retroactive cuts to economic increases – Proposed economic (cost of living) increases for the first 3 years of the contract, covering 2019 – 2021, totaling 4.5%. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for that same period was 6.9%. The ‘Top University’ extends its thanks for all our members’ fidelity by gouging retroactively on cost of living.
Cuts to economic increases going forward – For 2022 and 2023, the university is offering 2% economic increases. In February 2022, we saw the CPI soar past 5.7%, and is expected to remain as high, or higher, for the next several years. This effectively cuts several additional percentage points deeper into members’ earnings and actual spending power in future years.
Cuts to step increases – McGill agrees with the union that the lowest salaries for employees are well below those of the rest of the University sector, and these need to be adjusted as the university is now having trouble recruiting and retaining new employees. Their proposed solution is to make employees pay for increases by lowering the annual step increases from 2.97% to 1.97%. Were MUNACA to agree, losing these gains already won in the 3 month long 2011 strike, this would cement McGill support staff as the lowest paid in the Quebec University sector. Step increases are recognition for experience and expertise gained on the job over time. It currently takes 12 years for employees to reach the full value of their positions.
Cuts to top of salary scales – In further efforts to improve salaries to the lower ends of the scales, McGill is also proposing cuts to the top of the salary scales for their longest serving employees, forcing this latter group to bear the brunt of correcting McGill’s market shortcomings, while depriving their longest serving, and most experienced employees of potential future earnings as they start to think about retirement. This is unacceptable.
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.
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.
[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.
Contact: Thomas Chalmers 514-398-6565 email@example.com