Recent policy updates for MPEX employees

Published: 6 September 2023

Recent policy updates for MPEX employees

Following discussions and consultations, McGill updated four policies that apply to MPEX employees. They include the policies on Dispute Resolution, Parental Leaves, Salary Administration and Temporary Employment.

Why were the policies updated?

Policy updates are a regular occurrence, undertaken when evolving practices or external factors highlight the need for improvements. In the case of the four policies updated in June 2023, McGill discovered inconsistencies among university employees or other situations that had not been identified previously. As a result, the University consulted with MUNASA leaders and other stakeholders over an extended period in order to streamline processes and create more equitable standards across our diverse community.

How were the updates undertaken?

Amendments to the policies were made following extensive discussions with MUNASA, ranging from 15 to 37 months, depending on the policy. The University engaged in transparent and good faith discussions, including modifying or removing some of its proposed changes based on MUNASA’s input.

The University implemented the amended policies in accordance with McGill’s Personnel Policies Review Policy on June 1, 2023. It states that “the University retains the right to create, amend, or remove any policies.” It also states that three months is the minimum timeframe for discussion a period respected and exceeded for the recent updates.

What’s changed in the Dispute Resolution Policy?

Changes to the Dispute Resolution Policy have streamlined the process, resulting in a process which is now easier to understand, less onerous and will hopefully take less time to arrive at a resolution. Employees can still have their concerns addressed through a hearing before the Vice-Principal Administration and Finance if need be, and some policies can still be escalated to a fourth step, before an external arbitrator. In addition, the policy’s scope now extends to temporary employees who have completed two years of continuous service.

What’s changed in the Salary Administration Policy?

The Salary Administration Policy has been revised to make certain concepts clearer, to provide additional flexibility for specific situations such as base and non-base salary adjustments, and to align terminology used in the policy with that which has been in use elsewhere for a number of years.

The University conducted benchmarking exercises in 2020 and again in 2023 to ensure that MPEX employees are compensated in a manner that supports internal equity and market competitiveness. These reviews resulted on salary scale updates in 2020 and 2023. It’s also worth noting that on June 1, 2023, MPEX employees benefitted from a 4% salary increase budget, in line with salary increase budget projections for the Montreal market. Another internal equity assessment exercise is scheduled to take place in December 2023.

What’s changed in the Parental Leaves Policy?

The Parental Leaves Policy has been updated with respect to paternity and adoptive leaves. Notably, it standardizes indemnities among the types of new parents.

The initial provisions for adoption leave were introduced prior to the implementation of the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP). McGill wanted to provide a safety net for adoptive parents while awaiting provincial standards. Now that legislation is in place, the policy has been updated to be consistent with Quebec standards, including those of other institutions of higher learning. This led to the reduction from ten to five weeks of paid leave for adoptive parents, but also to the implementation of a new five week paid paternity leave. Details of the improvements include:

  • Greater benefits to a larger number of employees.
  • Up to five weeks of indemnities at 95% of the employee’s regular salary (QPIP + McGill contribution) for both adoption and paternity leaves.
  • Leveraging the QPIP indemnities to which the University and all employees contribute.
  • Benefits that are comparable to, or better than, those offered by other institutions in the university sector in Quebec.

The Parental Leaves Policy has also been modified to allow for the fractioning of paternity leave, which will provide greater flexibility to employees who choose to take advantage of this leave.

These indemnities apply notwithstanding to a person’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity and ensures parity between adoption and paternity leaves.

What’s changed in the Temporary Employment Policy?

It has been broadened in scope to allow temporary employees who have completed two years of continuous service to avail themselves of the Dispute Resolution Policy.

What are the impacts of the changes for managers?

There have been questions about the impact of changes to the Dispute Resolution and Salary Administration policies, notably that MPEX employees could end up with fewer protections and remedies for issues relating to working conditions. This should not be a concern because the latest version of the policy continues to provide them with a robust dispute resolution process for any of our policies.

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