News in brief for the week of March 12, 2012

MUNACA stages brief march, Madeleine Parent remembered, and McGill partners with Berlin's Freie Universität.

MUNACA stages brief march

Members of the MUNACA union representing McGill support staff held a brief protest march last Friday to voice their unhappiness with the length of time it is taking to sign the contract produced at the end of their three-month strike last fall. The issue concerns the number of employees who would receive modified lump-sum payments to their pensions because they are already paid above a line established in the pay-equity process. The union says the University has added 40 more employees to the list than originally established. The two sides are meeting again late this week to try to resolve the issue.

Remembering Madeleine Parent (1918-2012)

Madeleine Parent, a pioneering feminist and union activist, who had a profound influence on Quebec society, passed away on March 12, at the age of 93. A graduate of McGill, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1940, Parent was also awarded an honorary doctorate in 2002, in recognition of her contributions to Quebec.

“We would like to honour the remarkable determination demonstrated by Madeleine Parent. From early adulthood, she fought tirelessly against the inequalities she saw around her,” said Principal Heather Munroe-Blum. “From her advocacy on behalf of financially disadvantaged students to her relentless defence of the rights of Quebec workers, she served as a role model for social engagement and as a source of inspiration for all of us. On behalf of the McGill community, I offer my sincere sympathies to her friends and family.”

New research partnership forged

McGill and Freie Universität Berlin have formally moved to enhance their research collaboration through a cooperation agreement that includes the exchange of faculty, staff, students, and joint research activities. The agreement was signed this week in Berlin by Dr. Rose Goldstein, McGill’s Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations) and Dr. Peter-André Alt, President of Freie Universität Berlin. Led by Prof. Gerhard Multhaup, Chair of McGill’s Dept. of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Profs. Rainer Müller and Rainer Haag from FUB’s Department of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy, the research collaboration will initially focus on disorders of brain function.