The McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA) and the McGill administration have resolved the remaining outstanding issue on their collective agreement and are preparing to finalize proceedings. The agreement, ratified by MUNACA’s members on Dec. 5 after months of negotiations, marked the end of the union’s three-month strike last fall.
On March 9, approximately 250 MUNACA members demonstrated in front of the James Administration Building to protest a delay in finalizing and signing the collective agreement with the administration.
The delay involved an article that addresses individuals whose salaries exceed the pay equity line drawn in 2001, and would allow them to receive salary increases as a one-time lump sum.
MUNACA had requested a list of the individuals who would be affected by this article and received 80 names from the administration during negotiations. However, according to MUNACA President Kevin Whittaker, the administration later announced that over 40 names had been added to the original list without an explanation.
According to David Kalant, MUNACA’s VP Finance, the union met with McGill human resources twice since the rally, and resolved the issue at their last meeting on March 28]
“The number [of people in the final list] increased by 20,” Kalant said. “They will receive lump sums for step increases and economic increases too.”
Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources) Lynne Gervais said that McGill sent MUNACA the latest version of the agreement on March 30 and is awaiting the union’s response before translating the final agreement into French, as required by Quebec law. Once a translation is ready, both parties will be able to sign the agreement.
“It can be signed [in] as quickly as a week, as soon as the two parties look at the French version, but I don’t know,” Gervais said.
Kalant noted that MUNACA members are frustrated that the agreement has not yet been finalized.
“The membership is understandably not happy with the delays since none of the agreed-to increases and retroactivity can be paid until the contract is signed,” he said. “It is unfortunate that the administration tried to alter what was agreed to during conciliation in a way that MUNACA could not accept.”
“This increased delay was, in the end, totally unnecessary,” Kalant added.
Gervais reflected on the year-long negotiations with MUNACA.
“It was a very long process and clarity of definitions needs to be even more precise,” Gervais said. “That’s what I learned.”
In an interview with campus press on March 27, Principal Heather Munroe-Blum briefly addressed the pending collective agreement.
“As principal, my hope and my goal is to have this signed and to move on, and certainly for our employees to have access to their compensation,” she said.