Tentative deal for MUN's contract, permanent faculty — 2nd agreement this week

Tentative deal for MUN's contract, permanent faculty — 2nd agreement this week

The association representing some 900 permanent and contractual faculty members at Memorial has reached a tentative contract agreement with the university's administration.

"We haven't had a chance to study the details yet, but we're obviously very pleased to have reached this point after all this time," said Robin Whitaker, president of MUNFA, the university's faculty association.

It's the second tentative agreement in as many days at the university.

On Thursday, the union representing MUN's per-course instructors reached a tentative agreement with the university.

MUNFA has been without a contract for more than 16 months, and talks had been ongoing for over a year.

One of the outstanding issues, said Whitaker, was pay and gender equity, which she says will "solidify the academic foundation of the university."

The issue of contract academic staff and concerns about job security was another issue, along with questions surrounding intellectual property rights.

"We think we've made some important gains in those kinds of areas," she added, without going into detail.

Whitaker said pay was not a big issue at the negotiating table.

MUNFA is committed to making the university stronger, and we really think the things we were negotiating this time will help strengthen the university. - Robin Whitaker

The two groups reached an agreement in principle Thursday evening, and MUNFA's executive will now carefully review the contract language, in consultation with its negotiating team.

Whitaker said a ratification strategy is still in the works.

"MUNFA is committed to making the university stronger, and we really think the things we were negotiating this time will help strengthen the university."

A spokesperson for MUN said the university will not be commenting on the labour situation until both unions hold ratification votes.

"I want to thank everyone on both sides of the negotiating table for their hard work in reaching these tentative agreements," said Noreen Golfman, provost and academic vice-president, in a statement.

"We knew from the start that finding the right balance in these difficult financial circumstances would not be an easy task. Reaching this stage so early in the winter semester provides reassurance to our students that their studies and research will continue uninterrupted."

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