McGill University Proposes Multi-Year Salary Freeze


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.


Media Contact:
Thomas Chalmers, MUNACA President
president@munaca.com
514-398-6565

PSAC-Quebec stands with Ukraine

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. 

Contact Us

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 – 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

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

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