In-House Legal Counsel, University of Manitoba Faculty Association

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association in Winnipeg is seeking to hire full-time Legal Counsel to provide in-house legal and strategic support. The position will begin June 26, 2017.

UMFA is the certified bargaining agent for 1200 full-time academic staff at the University of Manitoba. Our Legal Counsel will be joining a dedicated team of staff helping to achieve the goals of our Executive, Board of Representatives, and Membership:

• To promote the interests of teachers, researchers, and librarians at the University of Manitoba, to advance the standards of their professions, and to improve the quality of higher education in Canada;
• To bargain collectively on behalf of members of the Bargaining Unit;
• To represent all members of the Bargaining Unit in employer-employee relationships with respect to such matters as salaries, pension, working conditions, leaves, promotions, job security, and grievances.

Counsel’s primary contributions to UMFA will be:

• working directly with our members on contract administration and grievance handling;
• providing legal and strategic advice in collective bargaining; and
• providing support for UMFA committees as needed.

They will report directly to the Executive Director, and work closely with UMFA’s Grievance Officers and committee members as necessary. A full job description is available at

Qualifications and Competencies:

• A Law degree from an accredited law school (LLB or JD);
• Member, or eligible member, of the Provincial Bar;
• Excellent interpersonal skills and an ability to provide support and advice in high-pressure decision-making processes; and
• Ability to pay close attention to detail.
• Experience with grievance processes, contract administration, and/or experience drafting collective agreement language is desirable.

Compensation and Application Dates:

UMFA offers a comprehensive and competitive salary and benefits package with career progress increments. Salary is subject to negotiation, and will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association is committed to employment equity. We encourage applications from all qualified men and women, including indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, visible minorities and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity.

Applications, in confidence, including a cover letter and a complete curriculum vitae together with the names of three references, are requested by March 31, 2017, but will be accepted until the position is filled. Applications should be sent by mail or email to:

Chair, Counsel Search Committee
University of Manitoba Faculty Association
100-29 Dysart Rd.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canada R3T 2M7
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

pdfDownload job advertisement


UMFA’s in-house Legal Counsel is accountable for the provision of Member services in the University of Manitoba Faculty Association. The Position reports to, and works under, the general direction of the Executive Director. Duties are as follows and are subject to amendment:

1. Responsibilities in contract administration and grievance handling. In this area, Legal Counsel:

a. provides legal advice and recommendations to individual members and to appropriate officer(s) on the interpretation, application, and administration of the Collective Agreement, and facilitates the decision-making process;

b. provides legal advice to individual members and to appropriate officer(s) with regard to grievance matters to ensure that full consideration is given to policy/legal issues, evidence, and conflicting arguments in the decision-making process. Legal Counsel participates in each stage of the grievance process, and in conjunction with the elected officer prepares and presents arguments on behalf of the Member;

c. provides advice and recommendation as to conflict resolution to the appropriate officer(s) in situation of conflict between interests of individual members and Association policy;

d. works co-operatively as a member of a team with staff and elected officers in grievance handling, contract administration, and other duties. In particular, Legal Counsel works closely with the Grievance Officers;

e. may conduct legal research and analysis in the areas of administrative law, civil procedures, rules of evidence, labour relations generally, duty of fair representation, legislation, university policies and collective agreement provisions and other areas as required, both on one’s own initiative and as directed;

f. drafts grievances or assists members in drafting grievances or appeals as appropriate. Legal Counsel also conducts investigations, interviews witnesses, and accumulates documentary evidence for individual grievance cases;

g. maintains ongoing records for individual cases and assists outside counsel in developing cases;

h. provides legal and strategic advice, information and assistance to Members with regard to employment matters, working conditions, University policies and the collective agreement provisions.

2. In supporting the work of Association committees, Legal Counsel acts as staff support and resource person as assigned.

3. The Legal Counsel will review proposed university policy and develop an UMFA response, in consultation with other staff members and association officers, as appropriate.

4. Other duties may be assigned from time-to-time.

pdfDownload job description

Hi Everyone,

We’ve been very busy in the office these past couple of months, and so it’s been some time since UMFA has sent a communication to the Membership.  Please see a brief update on our activities below.

CA Signed, and at the Printer
The Collective Agreement has finally been signed. Making sure all the changes we agreed to were included, making several sweeps for edits, and waiting for the new Chair of the Board of Governors to be named and then sign the document – all this took some time. But, an electronic version of the CA is now on the UMFA and UM websites. Some print copies will be available in the office in several weeks.  

Administration before the Manitoba Labour Board
In the past two or three weeks UMFA and the administration have been before the Labour Board several times. This is because UMFA has filed two applications asking for remedy to several unfair labour practices (i.e. violations of the Manitoba Labour Relations Act) that we firmly believe were committed by the Employer. In the first case, the administration introduced two voluntary days-off programs to our Members without coming to UMFA first, even though the programs deal with provisions in the CA (and in several ways appear to be violations of it). In the second case, UMFA is seeking redress for the administration’s refusal to bargain salary increases in the last round of bargaining. The first case has been heard in full and we expect a response from the Board in a month or two. The second case has just begun, and both sides are currently discussing document disclosure. We’ll keep you updated on these issues as they progress.

New Budget Model at the UM
The administration has recently done a partial unveiling of their new budget model, and will be giving more details at two meetings in early March. UMFA has serious concerns about the type of model that’s being adopted, which are outlined in our October Newsletter, available here. Please have a second look at that newsletter, and encourage your colleagues to do the same. You are strongly encouraged to attend these meetings and raise issues about how this model will affect your departments, schools, programs, libraries, and faculties:

•    Bannatyne Campus:  Friday, March 10, 2017 at 11:00 am to 12:30 pm in Frederic Gaspard Theatre, Basic Medical Sciences Building; and
•    Fort Garry Campus:  Friday, March 10, 2017 at 2:00 to 3:30 pm in Senate Chambers, Room E3-262, EITC

Workshop on Labour History and our Current Moment
UM’s own Julie Guard, and Lynne Fernandez of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives are offering a workshop through the Winnipeg Labour Council in late March. At this workshop attendees will hear about the assault on public services and how to fight back. Details are available here.

UMFA Newsletter coming soon
We’re finalizing a March Newsletter now, and hope to have it out soon. In it there will be a short message from the President about the past round of bargaining, a recap of the gains we made, a version of the document sent to Board Reps to share with constituents re: teaching guideline provisions, and a brief summary of the results of the communications survey that went out recently. Lengthier version of the President’s report and the Survey will be presented at our next meeting of the Board on March 22.

If you have any questions, please contact the UMFA office.

What is the "We make UofM happen" campaign about?