252 Bloor Street West, Room 8-104
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September 29, 2011
Kevin Whittaker, President
McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association
L’ Association Accreditee du Personnel Non Enseignant de l’Universite McGill
|3483 Peel Street
Re: Solidarity with MUNACA’s members and their just demands
Dear Brother Kevin:
The members of CUPE Local 3907 at the University of Toronto stand in solidarity with the members of McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA) and their strike action. Your strike to achieve internal and external equity with other similarly-placed workers in your workplace as well as with employees in other postsecondary educational institutions in Montreal is both inspiring and encouraging to our local.
In going out on strike, MUNACA is valiantly attempting to bring the Employer’s behavior in line with its expressed principles. In the terms of reference of the Principal’s Task Force on Diversity, Excellence and Community Engagement, the Employer asserts, “We will evaluate our achievement regularly and rigorously, both against our own previous performance and against that of our peers.” The practice of evaluating its operation against that of other comparator organizations is a long established way of ensuring that McGill University meets or exceeds the best practices in the university sector.
Therefore, the Employer should not treat your demands for a wage scale, substantive involvement in decisions about your members’ pension plan and workplace benefits, which are already enjoyed by workers in comparable organizations, as unreasonable and unprecedented. Internal and external equity has long been used in industrial relations to determine the terms and conditions of employment for workers and even administrators in higher education institutions.
The Principal’s Task Force highlights diversity of staff or employment equity as a major concern. If the Employer has concerns about seniority considerations frustrating the need to remove structural racist and other discriminatory barriers in fairly representing equity-seekers throughout the job classifications system, it should see MUNACA as partner and not a liability to this necessary goal. Any union that is committed to the principle of an “Injury to one is an injury to all” is going to work to ensure that equity-seekers are fairly and rapidly represented in all job categories.
CUPE Local 3907 applauds the determination of your members in standing up for fairness and equity in the workplace. Please rest assured that our members are solidly behind your strike action. A cheque is attached to this letter and it represents a donation from CUPE Local 3907 to MUNACA’s strike fund.
Cristina Guerrero, Chair External Yongfang Jia, Chair Internal
Cc: Dr. Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, McGill University