News  MUNACA and McGill make some progress on contract negotiations

McGill has asked for concessions regarding probationary period, access to bereavement and other leaves, sick calls, and sessional workers

The McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA) and McGill continue to negotiate terms for a new contract.

MUNACA is the largest non-academic union at McGill and represents over 1,600 employees.

The University has asked for concessions regarding the probationary period, access to bereavement and other leaves, sick calls, and sessional workers.

Kevin Whittaker, President of MUNACA, identified the protection of union work as a key point of contention.

“Most of the concessions were things that would reduce our rights and our members’ rights and their abilities to be represented at meetings and other work-related scenarios, “ he said.

He added that McGill fails to meet the standards of other Quebec universities in regards to the recognition of seniority for job placement and a progressive pay scale.

“They are not willing to recognize seniority…they’re trying to maintain their prerogative that management will decide who is the best candidate regardless of their years of experience, and that is not something done in other units.”

“It takes thirty years for someone to reach their maximum salary, at other institutes it could take as little as five years to do so…and we’re nowhere close to that. That was where we saw was a glaring difference between McGill and other universities in Canada.”

Whittaker did say, however, that the administration and MUNACA have come to an agreement in principle on streamlining the grievance process.

“As of right now it’s convoluted, it cuts out management’s responsibility in some of the beginnings of  a grievance or pre-grievance,” said Whittaker. “We’re looking at involving the manager…to allow for us to have a better ability to resolve an issue before it comes to a grievance.”

The two parties will conclude the review of the grievance procedure on March 25, at which point they will review other less controversial issues on which they feel they can proceed.

McGill Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources) Lynne Gervais could not be reached for comment.