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Collective bargaining

Update from the provost

Campus and Community

By Dr. Neil Bose

Memorial University and the Memorial University Faculty Association (MUNFA) have been engaged in collective bargaining since January 2022 as both parties work to reach a collective agreement.

MUNFA is the labour union representing about 800 academic staff members.

After conciliation on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, MUNFA advised the conciliation officer that they felt the parties were at an impasse (a situation in which no progress is possible). The conciliation officer then filed a report with the provincial minister responsible for labour indicating that negotiations had come to a standstill. The minister has accepted this report which triggers a 15-day cooling off period, meaning the earliest the union would be in position to take a strike vote is Dec. 29, 2022.

We understand that the idea of a potential strike will raise questions from all members of our community. It may also create feelings of unease, anxiety and worry during an already busy time of year.

The university welcomes a return to the negotiating table and will continue to work towards a mutually beneficial agreement. We remain hopeful that a resolution will be reached through bargaining.

According to MUNFA public statements, preparations have begun for potential job action. This includes holding a strike vote to determine if members support a potential strike.

Students should return to Memorial campuses for Jan. 5 as classes for the winter semester will begin as normal.

Memorial is developing plans to minimize the impact of any potential disruptions and we want to emphasize that we are starting the winter semester with the expectation that students will be able to progress through the term with minimal interruption.

More information about the collective bargaining process, the current situation and any contingency plans will be shared online at www.mun.ca/labour-relations. This site will be updated as new information becomes available.

The Memorial negotiating team has issued an update on the most recent round of bargaining. Past updates are available online.

The university remains committed to the collective bargaining process and is hopeful a mutually acceptable collective agreement will be reached with the union.

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