Memorial University of Newfoundland Faculty Association (MUNFA) is preparing for a strike after bargaining efforts reached a standstill between MUNFA and the MUNL administration.
On Friday (December 2nd, 2022), MUNFA stated the following in a news release:
Strike preparations have been underway since November 30th– when MUNFA was approved for daily strike pay from CAUT Defence Fund for impacted union members.
In addition, MUNFA has drafted a strike protocol for the university’s bargaining personnel to maintain provisions of benefits such as childcare in the increasingly likely scenario that a strike takes place.
Once the conciliator’s report is filed, a fifteen-day “cooling off period” will be maintained, which prevents any job action from erupting. But what happens once the report is filed remains to be seen- and a strike is not necessarily automatic. MUNFA members will have to hold a vote, followed by the Executive Committee determining the date of a hypothetical strike action.
The administration is facing tensions across all aspects of the campus (governmental, student, and faculty), and the writing may already be on the wall.
A possible strike places MUN’s administration in a difficult position.
Pressures could mount for returning students starting classes in January should the university not return to the bargaining table without improvements for teachers.
MUNSU will also likely support the job action after increased cooperation and support through the All Out Like 99’ campaign.
Labour disputes across Canada
Labour disputes between post-secondary institutions, lecturers, teachers, and other educational staff are occurring across Canada.
McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, has been on strike since November 21st, and organizing is occurring at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. Both involved CUPE-led campaigns for increased work conditions.
MUNFA is circulating a petition for support in their bargaining negotiations. In the meantime, a faculty strike remains a possibility that students should monitor.