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The negotiation team has had three conciliation meetings with the employer’s representatives since mid-March and although a few peripheral articles have been settled or are close to being settled, the employer’s representatives are still showing inflexibility to settle core demands approved by the membership, which are in line with other Quebec universities’ unions.
Both parties have decided to delay the negotiation on the following contentious articles to a later date, after less contentious articles have been negotiated. These articles are:
13 – TQRs (Teacher Qualification Requirements)
14 – Priority points
15 – Course allocation (15.03 reserve clause)
Your MCLIU negotiating team has prepared a detailed demand on academic freedom, to be deposited this week. For the time being, the employer’s representatives have shown very little understanding that course lecturers are part of the academic staff and they, like full time academic staff, should have the protection of and be able to exercise their right of academic freedom, embraced as one of the principles of McGill’s mission. This principle is already recognized by McGill University and posted online by the Secretariat, titled Statement of Academic Freedom.
Recognizing MCLIU members as faculty members and academic staff is another contentious point. Such recognition is inherent of who we are and would make it easier to gain representation on various University committees, which is seriously lacking at the moment. This point does not seem to resonate positively with the employer’s representatives either.
Rest assured that your MCLIU negotiating team will continue its hard work to achieve the best possible outcome while respecting your demands. Your support will be of the upmost importance in the weeks to come. We will be sending out more information of upcoming visibility campaigns. Come support your negotiation team.
Stay tuned… Solidarity!
THE COURSE LECTURERS AND INSTRUCTORS CALL ON
A NEGOTIATION IN GOOD-FAITH WITH
FAIRNESS, TRANSPARENCY AND COLLABORATION.
The MCLIU executive thanks our membership for all their support and special thanks to our Bargaining Committee!
The following Mobilization mandate was adopted unanimously on February 8, 2019:
Whereas, MCLIU has been in negotiation with the Employer since June 2018 and since only one article (15.03) has been discussed pertaining to courses reserved for McGill community members who are not on the priority points list such as Graduate Students;
Whereas, the Employer has not agreed to any substantial demand of the Union so far; and
Whereas, a new category of external hire “Course Practitioner” is being insisted on by the Employer;
BIRT the Union take all necessary measures required to mobilize its membership to take action for an equitable second collective agreement that provides job security and rights that are otherwise accorded to all course lecturers of Quebec Universities.
As Course Lecturers and Instructors of McGill, we are:
- Loyal and form part of the essential academic teaching staff of a great institution of higher education;
- Fulfilling our role not only as educators of future generations, but as educators with wholehearted dedication and passion, skillful and effective communication and creative vision;
- Contributing to McGill’s mission: “advancement of learning and the creation and dissemination of knowledge, by offering the best possible education, by carrying out research and scholarly activities judged to be excellent by the highest international standards, and by providing service to society”;
- Proud of our achievements to give the best to our students even though we do it with limited resources;
- Committed to offer our services year after year to McGill because of our dedication for this University.
RESPECT AND FAIRNESS FOR ALL
In continuation of our previous communication regarding the deadlock in negotiations, we would like to inform you of the following developments:
- Me Donald Tremblay has been appointed by the Ministry of Labour as the Conciliator, following the request of the Employer;
- This March, with the assistance of Me Tremblay, the Union and the Employer will resume negotiations on articles other than article 15;
The Union has requested that the article 15.03 arbitration, on the illegal hiring of external candidates under the category of professional, be resumed.
- We will continue to keep you posted on all developments concerning arbitration and conciliation as events unfold.
Please join us this Friday, for our Annual General Assembly, where we will:
- Present an update on the negotiations and the critical issues through a power point presentation by the chair of the bargaining committee;
- Seek a Mobilization vote;
- Present and vote on the union’s annual budget.
Remember, our Union and our Collective Agreement are the power of the sustainability of our academic careers. Our strength is our solidarity.
See you all in full force this Friday.
Failure in reaching an agreement on article 15
As you are aware, article 15 of our Collective Agreement deals with categories of employees who can receive courses from the Course Lecturers’ employment pool. Article 15.03 specifies a percentage of courses that are reserved for McGill community members who are not on priority points list including post-graduate students, post doctoral fellows, adjunct professors, managers and professionals working in the University. This article has been a point of contention because several hiring units continue to purposely misinterpret the application of the article in order to circumvent the Collective Agreement, resulting in loss of work for many of our members and subject to over 200 related grievances.
In an effort to amicably resolve these grievances and move forward to have a clearer wording that does not lead to misinterpretation, the Union has been negotiating in good faith since June 2018 on article 15.03. Unfortunately, despite significant concessions offered by the Union to the Employer, the last being on January 6, 2019, the University has not reciprocated and continues to hold its original positon concerning three key issues. The Employer insists on a larger percentage of reserve courses and on a new external hire category called “Course Practitioner”, insists on a global percentage rather than per hiring unit and refuses to ensure course allocation security by wanting to be able to withdraw a course from a Course Lecturer at any time and assigning it to a Faculty Lecturer.
With this background and as per the Letter of Agreement between the Union and the Employer, which set the negotiation deadline to find a solution on article 15.03 by December 31, 2018, the Union informed the employer of its intention to restart the arbitration process to address related grievances and seek an adjudicated interpretation on the matter. The Union suggested that the parties continue their negotiations on other clauses of the Collective Agreement, starting with less contentious issues so as to rebuild a momentum.
In reaction, the Employer decided to make a formal request for a conciliator to be appointed by Quebec’s Ministry of Labour. Parties are expecting communication from the Ministry soon. A Ministry appointed conciliator will assist the parties in a non-binding role to negotiate the rest of the Collective Agreement.
For more updates and a power point presentation on this issue by the Chair of the bargaining committee please attend union general assembly next Friday.
The last negotiation meeting between MCLIU bargaining committee and the Employer representatives took place on December 5, 2018. If you recall, the Union deposited its last counter proposal on November 16 and had been waiting for the Employer’s response on our proposal which finally came on December 5 – after four negotiation sessions – and is not promising. The employer still insists upon hiring external candidates under a newly proposed category “Course Practitioners” in the School of Continuing Studies with a higher percentage without a counter guarantee to the existing Employees that they will receive work prior to hiring course practitioners.
The negotiation in the next year will resume on January 15, 2019 with the Employer. We hope the new year will bring some good news for our membership and we will be able to fight it together with more energy and commitment. Until then, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
Your Executive and Bargaining and Delegates Committees
Discussions are continuing, but there has been no progress from the Employer’s side. The Employer is having problems identifying and demonstrating their real needs with respect to courses not posted, in article 15.03 (these are courses reserved for McGill community members who are not on the priority points list).
The Employer stated initially that PhD students are the priority for the reserve pool; however, it is now apparent that a new outsiders’ category created by the Employer and called “course practitioners”, who would have almost the same course allocation percentage as PhD students, is their primary concern.
MCLIU respectfully reminds the Employer’s representatives that this is an institution of higher learning and not a vocational training school. The way of thinking of the Employer’s negotiation team needs to be addressed by upper management and the academic stakeholders of McGill University.
Notwithstanding this, the Union is open to solutions that take into account the well-being of MCLIU’s membership without decreasing the number of courses available to them.
Bargaining will continue twice a week through November and then for one session on December 5 before the holiday break.
Discussions are continuing but progressing very slowly. One of the reasons is that the Employer is having problems identifying and demonstrating their real needs with respect to the reserve clause (courses reserved for McGill community members that are not on the priority points list).
Notwithstanding, the Union is open to resolutions that take into account the well-being of the MCLIU membership without decreasing the number of courses available to them.
Bargaining will continue twice a week through December.
MCLIU (Course Lecturers/Instructors) with the Employer
The parties met on Sept. 12, 14, October 3 and 10. The parties continued discussing the clause on the allocation of courses.
On Sept. 12, the employer explained in detail the need to have courses available to graduate students. The union indicated that it supports this objective and the parties will continue to look for solutions to achieve this while considering their respective interests.
As agreed by the parties on Sept. 14, the employer presented a working document that reiterated the objectives of the two parties and suggested possible solutions.
On Oct. 3, the union presented data based on employer’s number of courses reporting as per article 15.03, illustrating its viewpoint on how the employer has been using posting exemptions.
It is fair to say MCLIU and the employer’s bargaining positions are far apart.
Some of the key issues according to MCLIU are:
- Fewer courses for Course Lecturers
- Increased hiring from outside McGill
- Course allocation not following seniority/Priority Points
- Teaching qualification requirements (TQRs) are not followed according to the collective agreement
- The representatives of the academic units’ main concerns are to offer more reserve courses to PhD students, however other Hiring Units prefer to offer them to Professionals from outside the university. The latter is misinterpretation of the Collective agreement.
… and neither party has deposited its respective monetary proposal.
Each party continues to maintain its position; therefore, further discussions will be needed in order to arrive at an agreement on this topic. The next meeting will be held on Oct. 19.
Negotiations for our Union second Collective Agreement began in June 2018 and we have meetings with the employer, scheduled twice a week (if possible) throughout the fall term.
Our bargaining team: Chair of the Bargaining Committee Nick Papatheodorakos (Faculty of Management), Natasha Roy (School of Continuing Studies), Garrfield Du Courturier-Nichol (School of Continuing Studies, Raad Jassim (MCLIU President) and Fneeq-CSN advisor, Daniel Carrier
We will keep you updated regularly on developments.
The parties met on August 30 and 31 as well as on Sept. 5 and 7. They agreed on the content of the French version of the articles on Harassment and Intimidation and on Disciplinary Measures.
As agreed, the parties have started discussing the article pertaining to the allocation of courses. They shared their respective challenges in the application of this article and grouped these challenges into themes. The parties discussed their respective objectives in the allocation of courses and discussed potential solutions. Additional meetings will be needed in order to arrive at mutually agreeable solutions.
The meeting calendar for the fall term was established and will consist of two meetings per week.
This update is meant to inform the community about ongoing negotiations and has been validated by the union.
As part of their ongoing collective agreement negotiations, the McGill Course Lecturers and Instructors Union (MCLIU) and McGill University met on June 26, 27, and 28, as well as July 6.
On June 26, the parties completed the submission of their respective non-monetary proposals and discussed various aspects of the negotiation process, including the order in which topics will be addressed. They also confirmed meeting dates on July 6 and August 30 and 31.
On June 27 and 28, the parties explained their respective proposals relative to the allocation of courses and more specifically article 15.03, and agreed to discuss this further on August 30 and 31. At that time, the parties will explore the pros and cons of various potential solutions with the aim of arriving at a mutually agreeable conclusion.
On July 6, the parties discussed proposed modifications to the articles on: Harassment and Intimidation; Disciplinary Measures; and Health, Safety and Environment. Agreements were reached on the first two items, with additional discussion required on the third.