U of M presents comprehensive offer of settlement to UMFA
‘Includes competitive salary offer, enhanced collegial processes and more,’ says U of M’s chief negotiator
On September 13, the University of Manitoba presented the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) with a comprehensive offer of settlement, to help support the continuing negotiation of a revised collective agreement and bring it to a timely conclusion.
“We have made every effort to understand UMFA’s positions and we are confident our offer is responsive and attractive,” says Gregory Juliano, chief negotiator and associate vice-president (human resources).
“Our offer relating to compensation and benefits is very competitive in light of other recent faculty settlements. In addition, both teams have looked for opportunities to enhance collegial participation for faculty members. It’s a solid offer and we are optimistic that an agreement will be reached.”
The comprehensive offer of settlement (which will be released in full on September 30) addresses all matters that have been discussed between the bargaining teams, including compensation, benefits and supports, job security, collegial processes and management issues, in addition to the revised collective agreement text.
With the offer, the University of Manitoba will:
Increase Compensation: The U of M’s four year agreement will provide a total of 7% general increase (1%, 2%, 2% and 2% respectively). This general increase would be in addition to existing annual increments and proposed salary increases to address areas of need, which would result in the average UMFA member’s salary being increased by 17.5% over four years (those who have not reached their increment ceilings would benefit more than those who have). In addition, travel and expense funds will be significantly increased.
Improve Salaries in relation to the U15 Group of Universities: The offer will position U of M faculty members 12th among the U15 for full and associate professor ranks, and 13th for assistant.
Commit to Fair Evaluation of Work: The University proposal commits to providing provisions that prevent assessments of a faculty member’s performance based on formulas and quantitative metrics. Quality of work remains the key consideration.
Enhance Collegial Processes: The University will improve collegial processes regarding the assignment of teaching, performance reviews, promotion and tenure. For example, on promotion and tenure, whereas the collective agreement in the past called for the dean to establish criteria after consultation with faculty members, the University’s proposal calls for enshrining within the collective agreement that faculty members will drive the creation of these criteria. In addition, a new review process to grant continuing appointments to instructors would be introduced, ensuring transparency and collegial input.
Maintain Job Security: The U of M is committed to renewing provisions providing job security to all UMFA members, including librarians and instructors.
Improve Benefits: The University of Manitoba will enhance a variety of benefits, including maternity/parental leave, orthodontic coverage, drug coverage, and health care spending account.
The University of Manitoba is committed to its obligation to administer the collective agreement in a fair and reasonable manner. Administrative matters outside of the collective agreement will be managed fairly and equitably.
“We are convinced the 2016 round of bargaining will lead to improvements which support the work of our faculty members, provide stability for our students, advance the University’s Strategic Plan and provide the best learning and work environment in the province,” adds Juliano. “Our discussions are ongoing and I am reassured by the positive and productive talks.”
Juliano notes that the University is committed to ongoing communication with UMFA, and has proposed the formation of a Labour Management Relations Committee, which will meet regularly to address issues that arise.
After more than 20 productive meetings between the bargaining teams, the University believes all team members have had an opportunity to express their views and acquire a good understanding of all matters. Bargaining principles established at the start of the process have remained the basis of the negotiations.
The University is committed to the four year contract and a timely negotiated settlement with UMFA, in order to provide stability and support for all members of the University, including students and faculty.
January 28, 2016: University proposes interest-based bargaining
February 22, 2016: Interest-based bargaining offer declined
March 9, 2016: University presents expedited offer involving salary increases
March 31, 2016: Collective agreement with UMFA expires
April 20, 2016: Expedited offer declined
May 25, 2016: Full-scale bargaining commences, teams set over 20 meeting dates
June 10, 2016: Bargaining teams agree to comprehensive schedule of topics to lead discussions
June 14, 2016: University shares its bargaining principles with the university community
June to August, 2016: University and UMFA participate in negotiations
September 13, 2016: University presents comprehensive offer of settlement to UMFA
September 30, 2016: Bargaining teams have meeting
Salary information and a calculator to determine proposed salary increases can be found on the human resources website.
For all UMFA bargaining updates, visit the bargaining website. Check this site on Friday, September 30, when the full Comprehensive Settlement Proposal (with recent additions) will be made available after it is shared with the bargaining team. [See UPDATE]