McGill University and representatives of striking support workers have accepted a tentative agreement put forward by a provincially-appointed conciliator, both sides announced on Wednesday.
While both sides have said they won’t be revealing the details of the tentative agreement until it is presented to union members, MUNACA president Kevin Whittaker told the Montreal Gazette that: “The agreement does contain a number of the main objectives we wanted,” including a pay increase that is “well over” the university’s original offer.
David Kalant, MUNACA’s vice-president of finance, told McGill Daily that the new agreement also includes a new wage scale and will give the union more input on changes to benefits.
But the tentative agreement doesn’t mean the strike is over. MUNACA will continue picketing until an agreement is ratified and a back-to-work protocol is approved.
The acrimonious nature of the strike means the back-to-work protocol may matter more than usual. “There have been injunctions and legal action and this will define how members come back to work,” Whittaker told the Gazette. “We need to know there will be no disciplinary actions against our members so we are negotiating to get that done and then we can call a vote (on the contract).”
Members of the McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association, which represents library assistants, lab technicians, clerical staff, among others, have been on strike since Sept. 1.