ST. JOHN’S, NL – Members of the Lecturers’ Union of Memorial University have ratified a new collective agreement after a prolonged round of bargaining which began in April 2017. LUMUN represents two bargaining units consisting of roughly 330 per-course instructors – academic workers who teach up to two courses per semester both in-class and by distance – and 95 postdoctoral fellows.
LUMUN was formed 2006 in response to an increase in the university’s reliance on precarious, part-time staff to perform all aspects of academic work. Since its certification, the union has been fighting to improve the working conditions of part-time and precarious academic workers at both campuses of Memorial University.
The new contract includes economic increases for both bargaining units, as well as improvements to their professional development funds. Both groups also negotiated an expansion of the prohibited grounds for discrimination and harassment to include gender expression, a significant protection of LGBTQ2+ members’ rights on campus.
Postdoctoral fellows won an increase in sick days from 6 to 8 days and 2 additional vacation days for members with 3 years of service. For per-course instructors LUMUN also negotiated a union-administered fund to assist members with health care and family care expenses.
“We’re proud that every day postdoctoral fellows and per-course instructors make significant contributions to all aspects of Memorial’s academic work – through their research and teaching. And yet our work is too often undervalued,” said LUMUN President Martha Wells. “While this contract brings us a little closer to realizing the working conditions our members deserve, our mobilized membership has made their position clear: LUMUN must keep fighting to make their work at MUN less precarious.”
Public Service Alliance of Canada Regional Executive Vice-President Colleen Coffey congratulated the union saying, “LUMUN members have been unwavering in their commitment to fairness and respect for part-time and precarious academic workers. This contract is a testament to their hard work.”
LUMUN is an affiliate union the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) which serves as the union’s bargaining agent.
For further information contact:
Lesley Thompson, Regional Political Communications Officer, PSAC, 902.266.8589, firstname.lastname@example.org