University of Manitoba Faculty Association ratifies agreement, defies government mandate.
Classes resume Tuesday morning
December 7, 2021
Winnipeg - The University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) has ratified the tentative agreement, ending its 35 day strike, with students and faculty returning to class on Tuesday morning. The agreement comes after UMFA members worked together with students and community supporters to improve recruitment and retention at the University.
“Our members were on strike to improve working conditions for faculty and learning conditions for students,” said Orvie Dingwall, UMFA President. “This agreement will improve equity for the lowest paid and most precarious UMFA members, while also ensuring that we can recruit and retain professors, instructors, and librarians at the University of Manitoba.”
The agreement enhances working conditions for UMFA members by improving maternity and parental leave benefits, and establishes a Family Resources Position to assist UM community members in finding childcare. Compensation will be determined through binding arbitration, which will ignore government mandates and be guided by a “reasonable advancement toward” the 25th percentile when compared to Canada’s top 15 research universities.
“We should have only been bargaining with our employer, but we were also bargaining with the provincial government, who interfered with our negotiations,” said Dingwall. “We defended the university’s independence from the government, and thank everyone who joined us in our efforts to end government interference at the University of Manitoba.”
The final results of the ratification vote were 881 members in favour, 88 opposed with 969 out of 1,264 members voting. UMFA represents over 1,200 professors, instructors and librarians at the University of Manitoba.