MUNACA Negotiations Update

News

Published: 12Apr2022

HR update to managers – MUNACA negotiations

As we enter the annual compensation review period, the following information is provided to managers and supervisors to keep them abreast and help them discuss or answer questions from staff pertaining to the ongoing negotiations with MUNACA.

McGill and MUNACA leadership began negotiations on a new collective agreement in Fall 2020. Since then, the parties have met regularly, despite challenges associated with the pandemic, and have come to agreement on most of the non-monetary elements.

McGill took a systematic approach to collecting and evaluating salary data by comparing the pay rates of our employees with those of similar positions in other local universities and organizations. The exercise provided the foundation for a new market-based salary structure that is more closely aligned with practices in other organizations.

In addition, the proposed salary scale ensures that hourly rates better align with the market median (95% to 105% range of market median), giving employees the opportunity to reach the market rate (by Step 4 or 5 in each level) in a much shorter period of time than before. The scale also allows for the harmonization of levels with similar rates and pay equity points and offers a logical progression between each level (6%).

M1 employees who recently joined MUNACA would be covered by the same provisions, and benefit from the same working conditions, as any other MUNACA employee. This would include floating holidays, guaranteed step and economic increases, and employment security eligibility (as per the provision of the collective agreement to come).

McGill has successfully reached recent agreements, within similar parameters, with other McGill unions, and therefore believes it is presenting a fair offer to MUNACA while maintaining the University’s financial viability as a para-public institution.

In the event the University reaches an agreement with MUNACA, a one thousand-dollar ($1,000) lump sum payment will be made to active employees who have a salary higher than the maximum of their new level for years 2021, 2022 and 2023. Moreover – conditional to the parties reaching an agreement on the terms of a new collective agreement by April 30th– a one thousand and five hundred dollars ($1,500) one-time payment will be paid to all active employees.

In this latest proposal, the new five-year collective agreement would allow employees to benefit from an overall average increase of over 21%, including an immediate increase of close to 15%, retroactive to 2019.

FAQ

Although McGill is legally limited as to how much it can discuss about ongoing negotiations, the administration can provide managers with some clarity on certain subjects:

Is McGill proposing a salary freeze for MUNACA members?

McGill is proposing an annual salary increase informed by a market pricing exercise that systematically collected and evaluated the pay rates of employees across local universities and organizations and by salary increase projections surveys. The proposed annual salary increase reflects this analysis. In this latest proposal, the overall average increase over five years is over 21%.

How do the proposed pay increases reflect inflation?

We monitor salary increase projection surveys closely to ensure that our increase budget is aligned with the Quebec and Canadian market. There is still a lot of uncertainty as to where inflation is headed in the longer term, and we continue to monitor the situation closely. It’s also important to bear in mind that the University’s operating budget is dependent on government funding, and that this funding is not adjusted to reflect the current inflationary volatility.

What is McGill proposing to address salary inequities?

The overall findings from the benchmarking exercise were that, in general, the maximums for positions at the lower end of the expired collective agreement pay scale were above market, while the minimums for positions at the higher end of the scale were below market. The proposed scale therefore addresses these findings.

Another objective of the proposed scale is to ensure that the hourly rate that aligns to the market median (95% to 105% range of market median) is reached by Step 4 or 5 in each level. This approach results in higher hourly rates in Step 1 across most levels, to give employees the opportunity to reach the market rate faster.

With 12 steps and 10 levels (instead of 82), the proposed scale allows for the harmonization of levels with similar rates and pay equity points. The new scale also offers a logical progression between each level (6%).

The harmonization of levels with similar rates and pay equity points will require most employees to be placed into a new higher level, with a corresponding pay increase. This exercise represents a considerable investment on top of the annual automatic step and economic increases.

The proposal also includes a lump sum compensation mechanism for employees above the maximum of their salary scale, to ease the transition to the new scale.

The proposal replaces merit-based pay increases for M members with guaranteed step increases similar to MUNACA’s current system.

What is included in McGill’s latest proposal?

Market Based Salary Structure

The proposed scale ensures that the hourly rate that aligns to the market median (95% to 105% range of market median) is reached by step 4 or 5 in each level. This approach results in higher hourly rates in Step 1 across most levels, to give employees the opportunity to reach the market rate faster.

With 12 steps and 10 levels (instead of 82), the proposed scale allows for the harmonization of levels with similar rates and pay equity points. The new scale also offers a logical progression between each level (6%). Eighty-six percent (86%) of the positions will have higher maximums.

The harmonization of levels with similar rates and pay equity points will require most employees to be placed into a new higher level, with a corresponding pay increase. This exercise represents a considerable investment on top of the annual automatic step and economic increases.

Salary increases

 

Year

Step Increase

Economic Increase

Total

2019

2.97%

1.50%

4.47%

2020

2.97%

1.50%

4.47%

2021

1.97%

1.50%

3.47%

2021

Placement on the new salary scale providing increases up to 11.45% for current MUNACA employees and 12.65% for M1’s, depending on level and positioning in the scale.

2022

1.97%

2.00%

3.97%

2023

1.97%

2.00%

3.97%

*For years 2019, 2020 and 2021, M1’s already received their salary increase during the Annual Compensation Review process.

Lump Sump Payments

In the event the University reaches an agreement with MUNACA, a one thousand-dollar ($1,000) lump sum payment will be made to active employees who have a salary higher than the maximum of their new level for years 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Moreover – conditional to the parties reaching an agreement by April 30th on the term of a new collective agreement – a one thousand and five hundred dollars ($1,500) one-time payment will be paid to all active employees.

What has the University done since MUNACA’s last collective agreement expired in November 2018?

Negotiations between MUNACA and McGill began in Fall 2020. The expiration of the last collective agreement coincided with MUNACA’s drive to create a new bargaining unit in Fall 2018. The drive resulted in the creation of a new bargaining unit, which needed to be reviewed by the Tribunal administratif du travail (TAT), who issued their ruling on January 28, 2020.

In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic began. Globally, as all sectors adapted to unprecedented economic and social disruptions, many normal processes, including labour negotiations, were understandably slowed.

Since Fall 2020, McGill and MUNACA have met more than 50 times. They have since come to agreement on most of the non-monetary elements within the new collective agreement. In July 2021, the parties engaged in discussions to settle the financial negotiations.

In January 2022, discussions continued, now in the presence of a conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour, pursuant to a request filed by McGill. On March 10, 2022, McGill presented its latest offer.

 

If the Union obtains a strike mandate, would there need to be another vote to enforce it?

Even though discussions are ongoing to reach a new collective agreement, the Union informed the McGill’s Labour Relations it has obtained a strike mandate from their members, following a vote on April 6. The decision to go on strike is the Union’s alone and therefore another vote would not be required. 

If a strike is declared, who will be on strike?

All employees covered by the bargaining unit, including the M1 employees who have recently joined MUNACA, would be on strike.

 

 

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