Ginette Lamontagne, MURA’s President, receives national award for precedent setting-work on University wide association of retirees
By McGill Reporter Staff
Ginette Lamontagne, President of the McGill University Retiree Association (MURA) received the College and University Retiree Associations of Canada (CURAC) Tribute Award on May 25, during CURAC’s annual Conference held at Carleton University.
During the presentation, MURA was singled out as a leader among the 30 university retiree associations across Canada. The inclusion of retirees from all sectors of the University, and the funding model pioneered at McGill were two features that received special attention as “Best Practices” from CURAC.
Lamontagne worked for McGill for 35 years and was the University’s first Director of Government Relations. Over the past two years, MURA has gone from a promising venture to a well-established association serving McGill retirees and maintaining strong ongoing relations with all sectors of the McGill community.
“There are people who over the course of careers that spanned 10, 20, 30, 40 years were part of a community,” says Lamontagne, who herself spent 35 years at McGill. “But often with retirement that link is broken. MURA gives them the opportunity to reestablish that connection with former colleagues, to engage in interesting activities, to maintain their McGill affiliation and ties to the McGill community.
“We also want to link people with existing activities on campus – like the McGill Book Fair; Alumni Association events; and School of Continuing Studies’ Lifelong Learning,” she says.
During the selection process, the CURAC Awards Committee took into account the nomination letter that was submitted by Maguire, Henry Leighton, and Robert Stanley, currently serving on MURA’s Executive as VP Internal, VP External, and Treasurer, respectively.
“Ginette’s enthusiasm, her vision, her hard work, her diplomacy and her determination were inspirational to the other members of the Executive and Board,” said the nomination letter. “As a result of Ginette’s leadership, seven months later MURA had its constitution and by-laws in place, had sound funding, had over 300 prospective members, and held its founding meeting on June 1, 2015, with 75 prospective members in attendance.
“The inclusion of all employment sectors is a great strength as MURA is able to draw on the diverse and complementary skills that its members developed throughout their careers at McGill – skills that continue to be critical to the success of the University,” said Maguire.
MURA was launched on Nov. 5, 2014, an initiative several years in the making by members of the four major McGill employee groups: MAUT (McGill Association of University Teachers), MUNASA (the McGill University Non-Academic Staff Association), MUNACA (the McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association) and SEU (the Service Employees’ Union).
The idea was to establish an association that would represent retirees from all sectors of the University. Up until then only retired faculty and librarians could belong to the Retirees Section of the McGill Association of University Teachers (MAUT-RS), which also represented McGill at CURAC.
Initially, members paid a $25 annual membership fee. After innumerable meetings and negotiations spearheaded by Lamontagne, MURA now receives annual funding from each major employee union or association so that membership is free for any retiree who was a member of one of those organizations.
The 3rd Annual MURA Homecoming Reception & Concert will take place on Friday, October 13. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and a glass of wine. Following the reception, enjoy a musical performance by the very talented McGill Baroque Orchestra, directed by Hank Knox.