U of A Affirms Sessional Faculty Membership in Union

The Elephant in the Institution • A Bulletin from MUSSC to MUSF April 16, 2018

2018 GMUFA Board Elections

MUSSC would like to thank everyone who voted in the 2018 Grant MacEwan University Faculty Association (GMUFA) Board Elections.

MUSSC would also like to congratulate the winning candidates Stefan Cartledge, Maria Cristina Infante, Jeff Ryan, Jacqueline Devlin, and Timothy Anderson.

The passage of Extraordinary Resolution #1 at the Special Meeting last fall on October 18, 2017, opened up all positions on the GMUFA Board to MacEwan University Sessional Faculty (MUSF), so it is very gratifying indeed to have secured more equitable MUSF representation on the GMUFA Board this year. The new Board members begin their term of service the day after the GMUFA Annual General Meeting (AGM) on May 15, 2018.

Big News from the U of A Regarding Sessional Faculty Membership in AASUA

The Association of Academic Staff at the University of Alberta (AASUA) has followed the GMUFA’s lead in relation to the membership status of their Sessional Faculty. On March 21, they passed (by a huge majority) the following amendment:

Change: Members whose contracts of employment with the University of Alberta conclude may remain members for up to one year or until they are re-employed by the University of Alberta, whichever comes first, as long as they pay fees or dues set by Council (Article 4.3).

Implications: Sessional Faculty in-between contracts at the University of Alberta will be able to: vote on any matter, including ratifying new collective agreements and elections of officers, and be nominated for and elected to any elected position in the Association subject to eligibility requirements; serve on Association committees; and receive all the rights and benefits of membership for up to one year after their contracts end with the University of Alberta.

The AASUA also secured a legal opinion fully supportive of year-round membership for Sessional Faculty, from the well- known and highly-esteemed labour lawyer J. Robert W. Blair, who is a former Chair of the Labour Relations Board.

MUSSC thought the supportive legal position from such an established and reputable barrister would finally put to rest any doubts about the legitimacy of the year-round membership for MUSF secured by the passage of Extraordinary Resolution #2 last fall on October 18, 2017. However, it did not.

Wayne Benedict, the labour lawyer hired by the GMUFA, dismissed the supportive legal position and continued to argue that year-round membership for Sessional Faculty is illegal at his last two (very poorly-attended) presentations to faculty at MacEwan University.

Clearly, then, MUSF will have to remain attentive to any changes to the GMUFA’s constating documents (the GMUFA Constitution and Bylaws) which try to remove year-round membership for MUSF. Please note that the newly consolidated GMUFA constating document, which will be called the GMUFA Bylaws, will be discussed at the GMUFA Annual General Meeting (AGM) on May 15.

GMUFA Annual General Meeting

Please attend the GMUFA Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday, May 15, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Santa Maria Goretti Centre, 11050 – 90 Street NW, across from the Commonwealth Stadium. Lunch will be provided.

The official agenda for the AGM has not yet been posted, but important matters will be discussed: not only the GMUFA Bylaws as noted above, but also the Strike and Lockout Principles, the Election Protocols, and the Negotiation Proposals. An increase in membership dues may also be voted on. Thus, it is crucial that as many MUSF as possible attend. Please RSVP with the password GMUFA_Union on the link: https://www.macewanfa.ca/member-vault#

One week prior to the meeting, the official agenda along with supporting materials will be uploaded to the Member’s Vault.

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