Committee Name: Negotiations Committee

The Negotiations Committee is comprised of 1 to 5 MRSA members including the MRSA President.The Negotiations Committee is responsible for bargaining a collective agreement in the best interest of its MRSA members in cooperation with Mount Royal University

Committee Members:

  • Baset Zarrug
  • Craig Baskett
  • Robert Spencer
  • Nicole Kowalchuk
  • Sheri Marendiuk

Minutes:  Christine Pepper

Committee Membership 

The Negotiations Committee is made up of four (4) elected members and the Mount Royal Staff Association (MRSA) President.  Members are elected for a two (2) year term with two new members being elected alternating years.  Members should have served on the MRSA Executive for at least one year before seeking election.

Mandate Including Specific Goal 

The mandate of the Negotiations Committee is to negotiate the best possible collective agreement for the MRSA members.  The Negotiation Committee is ultimately accountable to the membership.

The Negotiations Committee takes the negotiation process through to a proposed agreement which must be voted on by the membership.  If the vote is successful, the Negotiations Committee’s role is completed for the duration of the agreement.

If the vote is not successful, the Negotiations Committee will go back to the table after receiving direction from the members as to what needs changing. In the event of no resolution, the negotiations proceed to mediation which may or may not lead to an acceptable resolution and a positive vote.  If the mediation is not successful, the next step is binding arbitration which ends duties for the Negotiations Committee for the duration of the collective agreement.

Roles and Responsibilities of Negotiations Committee

Prepare for Negotiations

  • collect relevant data by monitoring other collective agreements;
  • collect data on the current and future economic outlook for Calgary, Alberta and Canada;
  • survey the members for their input on changes to the collective agreement and then communicate with the membership what has been established for negotiation priorities;
  • determine which clauses in the collective agreement may need changing;
  • collect relevant budget data from Mount Royal University;
  • engage in training as a team and with the Mount Royal University Board of Governors’ team and;
  • establish priorities to bring to negotiations.

Negotiate the collective agreement

  • engage in negotiations with the Mount Royal University Board of Governors’ team using an interest based approach;
  • come to an agreement in principle with the board team;
  • hold information sessions for MRSA members to advise of the proposed changes to the collective agreement;
  • hold a vote for MRSA members on the proposed agreement;
  • seek direction from members if the proposed agreement is rejected;
  • return to the bargaining table for further negotiation with changes acceptable to the members;
  • proceed to mediation if further negotiations fail and;
  • proceed to binding arbitration if mediation fails thereby ending the Negotiation Committee’s duties.

Frequency of Meetings 

Frequency of meetings prior to the formal negotiations is set by the MRSA Negotiations Committee.

Meeting frequency and schedule for the formal negotiations is determined by the MRSA Negotiations Committee and the Mount Royal University Board of Governors’ team during the first meeting between the two parties.

Responsibilities of the Negotiations Committee Members

  • gather material prior to the negotiation and contribute ideas during all stages of the negotiations;
  • attend all training sessions;
  • participate constructively in discussions and decisions following the interest based bargaining approach;
  • maintain confidentiality during bargaining and;
  • communicate progress to the members. 

Record Keeping 

Minutes of the negotiation meetings with the Board of Governors are prepared jointly during the negotiations and recorded by the MRSA Executive Assistant.


There is no specific budget set for the negotiations but the collective agreement states that the cost of joint training is shared equally by both parties.

The cost of food required during the negotiation meetings is also shared equally.

If further Negotiations Committee training is deemed necessary, the Negotiation Committee will request funding from the Executive.

Legal consultation required by the MRSA during negotiations is the MRSA’s responsibility.

If mediation or arbitration is required, the cost is shared equally between the MRSA and the Board of Governors.


The Negotiations Committee decides by consensus which items to bring forward to negotiate.

If there is disagreement among members of the Negotiations Committee and consensus is not possible then the majority rules.


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