Striking McGill workers, university reach tentative agreement

Union insists return-to-work protocol must be in place

Striking workers at McGill University in Montreal have reached a temporary agreement with the university after being off the job for three months.

A settlement was put forth by a conciliator on Nov. 25, which the president of the McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA) says he will recommend his members accept.

“The tentative agreement is still subject to signing the back-to-work protocol and ratification by members by secret ballot,” said MUNACA president Kevin Whittaker.

The union says the return-to-work protocol is necessary because tension between both parties has been high for the duration of the strike.

The 1,700 support staff — including clerical staff, library assistants, lab technicians and IT technicians — began their strike on Sept. 1 with the main obstacles being wages, a new pay scale, benefits and the employee pension.

While details of the agreement aren’t currently available, Whittaker says the wage increase is better than the six per cent increase over five years initially offered by the university.

McGill’s vice-principal of administration and finance, Michael Di Grappa, congratulated the bargaining teams in a statement.

“This has been a long and challenging period for all of us, and the university naturally hopes for a positive vote,” Di Grappa’s statement reads. “We look forward to welcoming our employees who are MUNACA members back to their positions and beginning the process of reintegration and reconciliation.”

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