To the McGill Community:
Recent advertisements purchased by MUNACA in campus newspapers and some Montreal dailies have contained misleading and inaccurate information. The University administration understands that in the heat of a labour dispute, rhetoric can go beyond normal discourse and things can be said or done, in support of a position, which might not otherwise be advanced. Nonetheless, errors demand correction.
An advertisement published in The Gazette on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009, claimed MUNACA members are paid less than their colleagues in other Quebec universities for equivalent work. This claim is incorrect. An analysis of wage data from other universities that compares 2007 rates of pay at McGill with 2007 rates at other universities shows McGill workers earn more, on average, per hour, in almost every category.
Further, the advertisement stated that support staff members have been offered a pay increase of 2 per cent. This, too, is erroneous. The University’s offer, which has been rejected by the MUNACA membership, includes wage increases of 2.5, 3.0 and 3.0 per cent for three years, beginning in 2007.
Finally, the advertisement stated that McGill “offers its executives salaries exceeding $500,000 which is higher that than of the CEOs of Hydro-Québec or the Caisse de depot.” While the advertisement suggests a number of university executives are paid at this rate, the reality is that only one, our Dean of Medicine and Vice-Principal of Health Sciences, is remunerated at that level.
McGill’s health sciences program was rated 10th best in the world last year by the prestigious Times Higher-QS World University rankings. This standing is of immense benefit to Quebec, Montreal and McGill, not the least because of the top-notch medical research attracted here. To maintain this standing in medical education, we are fortunate to have in our Vice-Principal, Health Affairs the first-class leadership McGill needs to continue our outstanding record of success.
In an advertisement published in both the Monday, Feb. 16, 2009, edition of the McGill Daily and the Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009, edition of The Tribune, the union reiterated its mistaken view that the University has added eight new senior administration positions in the past few months at the expense of offering MUNACA members a fair wage.
The facts are as follows: Two of the positions noted by MUNACA have been filled in the Faculty of Medicine by administrators who have added new duties to existing portfolios. These are not new hires. Another post is a renaming of a senior position that had been vacant. Again, this is not a new position. A fourth, the appointment of a Senior Fellow, is not an administrative appointment, but an academic one. In a fifth appointment, the former Vice-Principal (Public Affairs) was replaced by the Executive Head of Public Affairs which represents a net saving for the University.
The Executive Director, Planning and Institutional Analysis and Senior Advisor (Policy Development), is a new position at McGill. This post was created some months ago and it has taken considerable time to find the ideal candidate.
Similarly, the remaining two appointments in the Faculty of Medicine are to maximize McGill’s ability to attract research dollars. Medical research is one of the major drivers of this university, something that brings with it a significant amount of funding and employment opportunities.
McGill has made a fair offer, particularly given the economic downturn of the last several months. The University will continue its efforts in good faith to arrive at a settlement for MUNACA members.
François R. Roy
Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance)