Lecturers’ Union of Memorial University of Newfoundland Weighs in on Financial Debate

April 26, 2017

Lecturers’ Union of Memorial University of Newfoundland Weighs in on Financial Debate

ST. JOHN’S, NL –Members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) who are part of the Lecturers’ Union of Memorial University of Newfoundland (LUMUN) local 90500 offer their perspective and caution on the financial debate ongoing at the post-secondary institution as it deals with a financial crunch.

LUMUN’s local president, Martha Wells, explains the union’s perspective: “We represent more than 1,000 per course instructors (PCIs), and several hundred of us teach at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) during the academic year.  I won’t mince my words: these frontline workers do not earn a living wage, they have no guarantee of continued work and they don’t even have health and dental benefits.  Our members earn at most $5,350 to teach one course and they can teach a maximum of two courses per semester.  Per-course instructors are not the reason for the financial hardship faced by MUN - we are the lowest paid contractual university instructors in Atlantic Canada and among the lowest paid in the country.  We also represent postdoctoral fellows, and some of these highly skilled researchers earn as little as‎ $14.66 per hour. Meanwhile, nearly a thousand MUN employees on the Sunshine List earn over $100,000 annually and too many of them are in administration, including the president, who is one of the highest paid in the country.”

Ms. Wells concludes by adding: “At the Senate’s special meeting on April 24, MUN suggested only two possibilities for fixing this financial mess: academic cuts on the expenditure side or tuition hikes and new student fees on the revenue side. We join students and others who are asking that MUN earnestly, scrupulously, and transparently examine executive and administrative salaries in an effort to curb spending.”

Jeannie Baldwin, Regional Executive Vice-President of PSAC’s Atlantic Region, echoes the sentiments shared by Ms. Wells: “We sincerely hope the university will demonstrate that they value the work done by PSAC members – the frontline workers – and ensure they receive proper compensation.  These workers are not to be held responsible or penalized because of highly paid executives.”

LUMUN represents more than 1,000 PCIs, several hundred instructors and about 75 postdoctoral fellows at MUN during the academic year.  Their collective agreements expired in August 2016.

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Information and interviews:
Sébastien Bezeau, Political Communications Officer
902.266.8589 | bezeaus@psac-afpc.com