Dear MUNACA Colleagues,

I invite you to review Article 19 in the collective agreement:


19.01 If, as a result of circumstances beyond its control, the University decides to authorise the majority of employees to leave their work before the end of their regular work day, the employees shall not suffer any loss of regular salary because of this.

19.02 An employee who remains at work, at the specific request of the University, is eligible to take either time off equal to the number of hours actually worked between the authorised time of departure and the end of the regular work day at a mutually agreed time, or payment, at the regular rate, of the hours actually worked between the authorised time of departure and the end of the regular work day.

In solidarity,

MUNACA Executive

Open Letter to Principal Fortier COVID-19

Dear Principal Fortier,

We the representatives of unions and associations would like to address our concerns
over the way McGill ‘s administration has handled the COVID-19 crisis. We are loath to
say the reaction to this crisis is the same as in the past. The McGill Administration has
conducted itself again with little to no leadership and has treated those that we represent
in a typical paternalistic fashion. The Administration has ignored our legitimate questions and concerns. We do not question the Administration’s right to manage, however, we feel it’s folly to ignore the potential experience and resources of the unions and associations available to you. Best practices would seem to us to dictate that the Administration should
include unions and associations in emergency meetings. By not cooperating and
consulting with us the labour/management relationship worsens, and at a time where all
are affected and need to count on one another for support and assistance. We believe
that all employees should be sent home with pay and those that remain behind to
maintain essential services should be compensated at the appropriate rate.

We appreciate the concern that the Administration has shown towards Students and Faculty but wonder where is the concern for staff!

McGill claims to be a good employer, yet the Administration is ignoring the threat to all our members and their families’ health and safety. It is time to show leadership and concern
for every member of the McGill community.

In light of the announcement by Premier Legault and to avoid confusion and stress we
ask that you make an announcement that the university will be closed except for essential services and that all employees will be paid during the closure mandated by the Premier.

This letter was sent to Principal Fortier by Unions and Associations. Our Collective Agreement provides for staff being paid when the University closes, however, we believe that
the University Administration has the duty to reassure all members of our community. We
also believe that the University has the responsibility to work with all groups as we all
have a stake in what happens here at McGill.

Apologies. le texte francais a suivre
yours as always in solidarity,
Thomas on behalf of the MUNACA Executive Committee

Commemoration event for the victims of the January 29, 2017, Quebec City Mosque shooting victims

11AM, Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Macdonald Engineering Building Mezzanine
817 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 0C3

McGill’s Associate Provost (Equity & Academic Policies), the Institute of Islamic Studies, and the Muslim Students Association will hold a commemoration event for the victims of the January 29, 2017, Quebec City Mosque shooting victims. This event is held in partnership with Muslim Awareness Week.

The commemoration will be held in the mezzanine of the Macdonald Engineering Building at 11 am on January 29, and will be followed, weather permitting, with a visit to the CCIQ memorial tree, close to the entrance of the James Admin building.

The event is open to all members of the McGill community and also welcomes the participation of the general public.

Student March Against Bill 21

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women

On December 6th 1989 a lone gunman assasinated 14 women and injured 14 others. Now 30 years later – across Canada and Québec – we remember and honour the victims of this anti-feminist attack. This is a dark day in Canadian history and it is important to remember this hateful crime and hold our sisters close. We must make every effort to ensure that this doesn’t ever happen again and that all women and girls are respected, are at liberty to pursue their education and dreams in safety and without fear.
yours in solidarity the Executive Committee

Walkout for fossil fuel divestment: Nov.12, 2019

Since 2012, McGill students, faculty and staff have demanded that the university divest its endowment from the fossil fuel industry. This is a matter of climate justice: divestment is necessary to address the past, present and anticipated social, ecological and democratic damages of the fossil fuel industry.

On November 12 at 12PM, McGill’s committee reviewing fossil fuel divestment (CAMSR) will meet and finalize their recommendations on divestment to be approved by the Board of Governors on December 5th. The meeting on November 12 is the last chance for students, faculty, and staff to speak out before the decision is made.

Join us in a walkout to demand:

1) Divestment from the top 200 largest fossil fuel companies, globally by carbon reserves;

2) A public statement by the University recognizing that fossil fuels and fossil fuel companies do cause grave social injury;

3) That the Board of Governors’ discussion on divestment on December 5th be held in open session;

4) That CAMSR members commit to publicly presenting their preliminary findings and arguments at a community town hall organized within the first month of the Winter 2020 term, with question period for the community;

5) During the transition period toward full divestment of the endowment, all general McGill donations must go towards the trial fossil free fund.

Learn more about recent developments in the divestment campaign, including SSMU’s Moratorium on Ancillary fees until divestment and the unanimous strike vote by the Faculty of Arts, here:

This event will be held on stolen territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka (Ga-ne-ghe-HA-ka), the keepers of the Eastern Door of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Montreal, which is known as Tio’tia:ke (Gio-Jaw-Gé) in the language of the Kanien’kehá:ka, is a place of vibrant indigenous communities. Divest McGill is an organization that centers on social and environmental justice, and we feel it is crucial to be informed on the past and ongoing consequences of colonialism and to actively deconstruct its oppressive systems. This includes the compensating and returning of land to indigenous nations.


WHAT: Walk out of class at 11:45 and meet with other students, staff, and faculty in Community Square. This event will feature speakers who are directly involved in the fight for climate justice and fossil fuel divestment and will also include chants and singing so that the McGill committee meeting inside the Administration building can hear the student support for fossil fuel divestment.
WHEN: Tuesday, November 12, 11:45AM – 1PM.
WHERE: Community Square (the grassy steps and surrounding area between McConnell and the Administration building).

Accessibility info: We recommend that wheelchair users meet on the side of Community Square closest to McConnell. There will be a loudspeaker at the event. For questions about specific accessibility needs, please contact the Divest facebook page.

See you there!

Commuter Train Meeting

As many of you are aware, two major commuter train lines will be interrupted for up to the next four years. An inter-union group has been working through the summer on different ways to address the issue.

All members affected by the shutdown are invited to a public meeting

Monday, October 21st, 2019

Leacock 232


There will be a short presentation followed by open discussion.
Please note that we cannot have food in the room.

Fall BBQ

Come join us Friday, October 4th, 2019 for our annual Fall BBQ. We’ll be serving burgers, sausages, vegetarian and vegan options, and more at the Three Bares Field from 12:00-14:00.

Hope to see you there!

Letter to Principal Fortier re: Climate March

September 20th, 2019

Dear Principal Fortier,

As you know, there is a global movement planned for September 27th, 2019 to bring awareness to the severity of climate change. MUNACA writes to you today to ask what McGill is prepared to do to support this global initiative?

According to Professor Manfredi:

Addressing the threats posed by climate change and other environmental challenges through the advancement of knowledge and changes in our own operations is a priority at McGill University.  Our ongoing commitment has expressed itself in, among other measures, our $10-million fund that supports sustainability-focused research and our bold objective to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.”

However, if McGill is as committed to supporting sustainability as is stated above, a good show of faith would be to liberate students and staff to participate in the Montreal march, without penalty, as has been done at Concordia University, Dawson College and Université de Montréal.What will McGill do to show its support for not only its constituency, but also the planet? As MUNACA did during extreme weather this past winter, we again write to you to ask you to take a leading role amongst your university counterparts. 

As we are well aware that climate change is of vital importance to us all, especially those from our student body who are young and will need to deal with the impact of climate change for the duration of their lives, we ask you to support our students, staff, and our planet. Should you choose to support this initiative with positive actions, it will bear witness to a McGill that cares and shares the concerns of its constituency. We ask you to support our students, staff and the planet in solidarity and cancel classes on September 27th, 2019.


The MUNACA Executive Committee  


Dawson College

Université de Montréal

University of British Columbia, Toronto District School Board

Quebec’s largest school board makes Sept. 27 a PED day for climate march

Montreal Schools Are Cancelling Class For Climate Protest With Greta Thunberg This Month

In memory of Allan Youster

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Allan Youster the founding father, and first President, of MUNACA. Allan passed away on Friday, August 23, 2019 due to medical complications from cancer.

Allan was a Renaissance man. Everyone who is a local musician, a visitor to Birks library, or those who walked around St. Laurent, knew him or had seen him over the years. But for us, he is best remembered as one of the forefathers of MUNACA.

Allan first joined McGill in 1970, working for various libraries. During those first years, he was involved with the Support Staff Association known as MUNASA, created in 1973 to represent support staff at McGill (represented all non-academic staff, even management was included). He was the president of MUNASA from 1978 – 1987, and during his term he was instrumental in obtaining many rights we hold dear to this day; employment security, grievance procedures, staffing policy, parental leaves, and Summer Fridays. Following his presidency in MUNASA, he followed up by creating MUNACA and obtaining our first collective agreement with the University as a bargaining unit, called MUNACA.

Judy Kolonics remembers the best and the beginnings of those days as she too, was there from the start;

It was shocking to learn of Allan’s untimely death. So many memories. I knew Allan (& Gail) back in the day – before I joined McGill University (1973). I would find myself at their home in St. Laurent (pre-children), but filled with plenty of cats. Five…if memory serves…whose names can’t be mentioned in “polite” company.

Back in 1973, there was no union/certified association/formalized worker’s rights group. Who thought of it back then? Well, Allan did. He & people like Jim McVety, Trevor Garland got to talking. There were many like-minded people, whom Allan reached out to and engaged with. The result was MUNACA; I can’t remember when it was formed (1994).

I say this in the kindest way…Allan was annoying but effectively persuasive. He had drive, determination & a huge personality. We didn’t always agree and sometimes, near as dammit, wanted to come to blows with our differences…but Allan was a solid, principled man.

In the early 90’s, things were changing with respect to employer/employee relations. Allan realized that a formal Union was not the way to go for many of the McGill employees. So, Allan educated himself on exploring other options for the benefit of non-academics. A true Renaissance Man. One would sometimes want to walk away, in those days, when Allan would begin his “spiel”…always sincerely and ever so softly, persuasively. It was somewhat hypnotic.

So, in the early 1990’s, I (& others) got caught up in Allan’s vision for a certified association to respect the lowly workers.

Here are those who became involved in Allan’s vision:

John McNeil (retired: Physical Sciences & Engineering Library)
Steve Hubbard (deceased: Physical Sciences & Engineering Library)
Steve Peets (Richmond, B.C. – smart to move…formerly: Current Periodicals & Reading Room – McLennan Library)
John Cunningham (retired: McLennan Stacks)
Judy Kolonics (retired: Government Documents Dept. – McLennan Library)

With Allan, we signed an application to form a union. There were others involved as well, but our little group hammered out details. Our lawyer, Georges Marceau, helped guide us along.

Gail embraced we five into their home on St. Famille. There were copious amounts of alcohol and other stuff, much argument, discussion and always, Allan’s focus. Gail was so patient.

A vivid memory of that time was sitting on the floor, looking at the Beatle Bobble Heads that Allan had in the living room and wondering…. Are we out of our minds to try this?

Well, thanks to Allan’s conviction, dedication, persuasiveness and guts…MUNACA came to fruition. I don’t know how we did it all…we were all so young, Perhaps that’s the key.

I’ve been lucky to have shared a part of my life with Allan Youster … it has truly been an interesting road.

I think I’ve forgotten more than I recall…we tend to do that with those with whom we have welcomed in our lives and those dear ones, who have welcomed us – warts and all.

Allan after the MUNACA years, he would continue to serve on the Board of Governors, the Milton Co-op, attend copious concerts of all forms, participate in art exhibitions…you only have to google Allan’s name to find out his numerous interests.

He will be remembered for his tenacity, strength, his courage to fight for individual rights, whether it be for unions or the community at large. Allan left his mark not only with MUNACA but his legacy can be found all over Montreal. Our thoughts are with his wife Gail and his family.

Allan Youster encouraging members in the demonstration – 1999
Voting for the first CA – 1999
Signing of the first Collective Agreement, March 15, 1999 – at HR on Sherbrooke