The McMaster University Faculty Association was founded in 1951. It represents and protects the interests of all faculty members and senior academic librarians of McMaster University. It is not a union, but a professional association responsible for collective bargaining with the Administration. It is recognized by the Board of Governors in a document, last revised in 1988, which sets out the role of “The Joint Administration/Faculty Association Committee to Consider University Financial Matters and to Discuss and Negotiate Matters Related to Terms and Conditions of Employment of Faculty.” The document is reproduced in the Faculty Handbook.
The Association maintains an office on campus (HH – 103A) and employs a full-time Executive Director and a part-time Executive Assistant. The President of the Association, Vice-President, and 10 members-at-large of the Executive are elected annually by the membership. The Executive meets every two weeks during the academic year and reports to the membership at General Meetings, held two or three times yearly.
The Association follows developments within the University on behalf of its members. We appoint representatives to some thirty University committees and other bodies; have official Observer status on the Board of Governors and the Senate; and we meet regularly with the President, Provost and other senior officers of the University in order to discuss and to attempt to resolve problems that affect both individuals and faculty and senior academic librarians at large. In such matters, the Association works in a collegial fashion with the Administration. We have worked together productively on such matters as the integration of female faculty, research leave, tenure and promotion, the Revenue Canada pension maximum, employment equity, salary anomaly correction, the Social Contract, the pension surplus distribution, and professional development allowance.
The Joint Committee: These and other matters are discussed in the Joint Committee. This Committee consists of three senior Administration representatives — usually University Vice-Presidents and Deans — plus three Faculty Association representatives, usually the President, Vice-President, and Remuneration Committee Chair (during salary negotiation years). The Joint Committee serves as a forum for discussing matters of concern to the University, especially those issues and University policies that affect the terms and conditions of employment of the faculty. The Joint Committee is also empowered to negotiate our annual salary and benefits settlement. If an agreement cannot be reached, both sides present final offers to an external arbitrator, who selects one of the two positions. The arbitrator’s decision is binding upon both the Administration and the Faculty Association.
*The term “senior academic librarians” refers to those librarians who are excluded from the McMaster University Academic Librarian Association.