First four sessions produce agreements on a variety of issues
By Doug Sweet
Both the University and the AGSEM/CSN union representing course lecturers and instructors are reporting good progress in the initial stages of negotiations for a first contract.
Talks were held June 27-28 and July 5-6, at which the parties agreed to group issues in 10 blocks and managed to get agreement on five of the six articles in the first block.
Negotiations will be suspended for the summer and resume in the fall, with weekly dates set until the end of November.
“These first days at the bargaining table were a fruitful, promising start,” said a blog posting from the union. “Our counterparts on the employer’s side of the table demonstrated that the administration shares our goal to move the process forward. In fact, in just four days, we found common ground and settled several issues at the table.”
Issues settled in the July 5-6 talks included the following: the purpose of the collective agreement; grievance procedure and arbitration; harassment and intimidation; health/security/environment; and disciplinary measures.
About 900 course lecturers are employed at McGill in a given semester, most of them in Continuing Education and in language programs.
“We’re off to a good start,” said Robert Comeau, Director of Employee Relations in McGill’s Human Resources Department. “I’m very glad we were able to reach agreements on issues quickly.”
Meanwhile, at a meeting on July 4 between McGill and AMURE, the union representing research associates and research assistants, the University submitted the English and French final versions of articles on arbitration and disciplinary measures.
Discussions on the article concerning the grievance procedure led to improvements that will be included in the final version of the contract. These three articles will be ratified at the next bargaining session.
Discussions also took place on the union’s proposal regarding layoffs, end of contracts and recalls of research associates and assistants.
The parties expressed their opinions on this item and agreed to consider solutions for future talks, which will resume in August.
The Human Resources Department publishes a newsletter called Forum periodically where labour-relations news is regularly updated