On March 14, 2014, the university met with McGill course lecturers and instructors in the presence of a government-appointed conciliator. The university presented its counter-proposal on items still to be negotiated – including monetary items – in response to the counter-proposal submitted by the union a month earlier, in which it maintained its position on all unresolved issues.
The union rejected this latest counter-offer and no progress was made on unresolved issues. The union did not signal its intent to pursue negotiations. In fact, in February the union had asked for negotiations to move to arbitration. Considering the impasse created following last Friday’s meeting, the conciliator is now in a position to file a report to the government recommending that discussions now be held in arbitration. This course of action is likely to cause greater delays, as a new government-appointed arbitrator will need time to assess how far apart the parties are on unresolved issues. This is likely to result in a much longer timeline to reach a settlement.
The parties started negotiating in June 2012. In October 2013, the course lecturers’ bargaining unit broke away from AGSEM, the union representing teaching assistants and invigilators, to form its own union. The parties have been negotiating in conciliation since October 2013. The union is negotiating its first collective agreement.