REPORT OF THE JOINT ADMINISTRATION / FACULTY ASSOCIATION COMMITTEE

The Joint Committee is pleased to announce that the representatives of the McMaster University Faculty Association (MUFA) and the Administration have agreed to a remuneration settlement for the two-year period from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2008, subject to ratification by MUFA members who participate in the Career Progress/Merit Scheme.  Negotiations were serious but collegial and followed the Principles established by the Joint Committee.  MUFA and the Administration feel that the resulting agreement represents a reasonable balance of interests within the University while promoting the shared goals of fair remuneration for faculty and the support of excellence in scholarship.

The agreement includes across the board salary increases and a market sector adjustment that provide for salary increases that, even after accounting for increased pension contribution rates mentioned below, will be comparable to those recently awarded to faculty at comparable Ontario universities.

The agreement supports the Pension Plan by increasing contribution rates and instituting a delayed and gradual transition from the Rule of 80 to the Rule of 85.  It also provides a guarantee that employer contributions cannot be significantly lower than those made by employees, resolving an issue which has been a source of friction between MUFA and the Administration for almost twenty years.

The agreement promotes excellence in scholarship by reaffirming the importance of the Career Progress/Merit (CP/M) system, in particular by removing the top breakpoint.  This will improve the relevance of the CP/M system to many McMaster faculty, including those towards the end of their careers.  There is also agreement to establish a subcommittee to discuss the structure and administration of the CP/M system.

Under the agreement, faculty who begin at McMaster July 1, 2006 or later will require 10 years of service before becoming eligible for benefits upon retirement.  The Joint Committee has also made a separate agreement to establish a subcommittee to study the adoption of a prescription drug Formulary with the savings from that prospective adoption used to fund improved health benefits.  However, any resulting package of Formulary/ improved health benefits would not be instituted without a separate ratification vote by MUFA members.  In the meantime, to improve access to paramedical benefits (such as physiotherapy and chiropractic), the per visit limit on reimbursement has been eliminated, although the current annual ceilings remain in place.  In addition, beginning the second year of the contract, provision has been made to reimburse employees for eye examinations every two years.

An information session will be held by the Joint Committee to discuss the agreement on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 in Hamilton Hall Room 109 at 2:30 pm.  You are invited to attend.

For the McMaster Faculty Association For the McMaster Administration
Betty Ann Levy Ken Norrie
Ian Hambleton Karen Belaire
Mike Veall Susan Denburg

TEXT OF THE AGREEMENT

For the Period July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2008

1.  Term

Two years from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2008

2.  Across the Board Salary Increase

Effective July 1, 2006 1.5%  Effective January 1, 2007 1.5% (based on December 31, 2006 salary for those employed at McMaster as of June 30, 2006)

Effective July 1, 2007 1.5%  Effective January 1, 2008 1.5% (based on December 31, 2007 salary for those employed at McMaster as of June 30, 2007)

3.  Salary Floors

Effective July 1, 2006 Increase all floors by 3.5%  Effective July 1, 2007 Increase all floors by 3.5%

4.  Career/Progress Merit

    • Effective July 1, 2006, remove the top breakpoint so that all faculty members earning more than 2.2 times the Assistant Professor floor are eligible for a Range 3 increment of 0.50 of a Range 1 and there will no longer be a Range 4 where faculty members are eligible for only a 0.25 of a Range 1 increment.
    • Maintain current system with 120 par units per 100 faculty and par increments tied to the assistant professor floor (and hence par increment increases to $2865.45 in the first year and $2965.74 in the second year).
    • Follow current practice and implement resultant CP/M increases July 1, 2006 and July 1, 2007.
    • Strike subcommittee to discuss structure and administration of system.

5.  Pension Contributions

    • Effective July 1, 2006, an increase in faculty contributions to the McMaster Salaried Pension Plan from 3.5% to 4.25% below YMPE and from 5.0% to 5.75% for pensionable earnings above YMPE.
    • Effective July 1, 2007, an increase in faculty contributions to the McMaster Salaried Pension Plan from 4.25% to 5.0% below YMPE and from 5.75% to 6.5% for pensionable earnings above YMPE.
    • An agreement regarding pension contributions:
      1. if total employer contributions to the McMaster Salaried Pension Plan are less than 90% but greater than or equal to 75% of total employee contributions for any month in the future, faculty contributions to the McMaster Salaried Pension Plan will be reduced to 3.75% below YMPE and 4.875% for pensionable earnings above YMPE.
      2. if total employer contributions to the McMaster Salaried Pension Plan are less than 75% but greater than or equal to 50% of total employee contributions for any month in the future, faculty contributions to the McMaster Salaried Pension Plan would revert for that month to 2.5% below YMPE and 3.25% for pensionable earnings above YMPE.
      3. if total employer contributions to the McMaster Salaried Pension Plan are less than 50% but greater than or equal to 25% of total employee contributions for any month in the future, faculty contributions to the McMaster Salaried Pension Plan  would revert for that month to 1.25% below YMPE and 1.625% for pensionable earnings above YMPE.
      4. if total employer contributions to the McMaster Salaried Pension Plan are less than 25% of total employee contributions for any month in the future, faculty contributions to the McMaster Salaried Pension Plan would revert for that month to zero.

In the above, total employer contributions means employer payments to the trustee of the McMaster Salaried Pension Plan.  Total employee contributions means payments by all employee members of the plan, not just employees who are Faculty Association members.

    • For faculty who begin at McMaster July 1, 2006 or later, vesting becomes after 2 years.
    • The Rule of 80 stays in place until December 31, 2011.  From January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012, the Rule of 80 would be replaced by the Rule of 81.  From January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013, this would become the Rule of 82.  From January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014, this would become the Rule of 83.  From January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015, this would become the Rule of 84.  From January 1, 2016 onwards, the Rule of 85 would be in place.  For faculty who begin at McMaster July 1, 2006 or later, the Rule of 85 applies immediately.
    • The Administration will seek a legal opinion regarding the above changes to the plan and provide that opinion to MUFA.

6.  Health and Other Benefits after Retirement

For faculty who begin at McMaster July 1, 2006 or later, 10 years of service will be required before becoming eligible for benefits on retirement.

7.  Health Benefits

    • Effective July 1, 2006, remove the per visit limit on paramedical benefits.  The ceiling per person per practitioner remains in place ($300).
    • Effective July 1, 2007, modify vision care plan to provide for employees only up to $100 every two years for an eye examination.

8.  The Professional Development Allowance

An increase in the Professional Development Allowance of $50 to $1600 in the first year and from $1600 to $1650 in the second year.

9.  Market Sector Adjustments

    • Market Sector Adjustments to reflect faculty salaries at McMaster that are lower than faculty salaries at competitor universities, most particularly in the mid-ranges.
    • These Market Adjustments will be built into the base salary for each faculty member, in the same manner as the ATB increase.
    • Effective July 1, 2006, the Market Adjustment will consist of $500 plus the lesser of $975 and 0.0125 multiplied by the July 1, 2006 salary less $42,000.  That is, if the salary is $60,000, this sum will be $500 + 0.0125 x ($60,000-$42,000))= $725.  If the salary is $130,000, the sum will be $1475 because 0.0125 multiplied by ($130,000 – $42,000) is greater than $975.
    • Effective July 1, 2007, the Market Adjustment will consist of $500 plus the lesser of $975 and 0.0125 multiplied by the July 1, 2007 salary less $44,000.
    • While the librarians’ negotiations are separate, as the financial terms are determined by these Joint Committee negotiations, it must be understood that librarians will also be eligible for a Market Sector Adjustment which will be $500 for those Librarians earning salaries less than $42,000 per year and $500 for those librarians earning salaries less than $44,000 in the second year and calculated by the above formula each year for those earning above those levels.

Appendix:  Health Benefits 

While not part of this Agreement, the Joint Committee has agreed to strike a subcommittee to study the adoption of the Rx05 Formulary with the savings from that prospective adoption used to fund improved health benefits.  Any resulting package would require a separate ratification vote by MUFA members.  If approved, the target implementation date would be no later than July 1,