University of Manitoba staff in midst of strike vote
About 29,000 students face possible suspension of classes if faculty association goes on strike
About 29,000 students could be getting an unexpected break from classes if the University of Manitoba faculty decides to go on strike.
The University of Manitoba Faculty Association is in the midst of a strike vote, and students are expected to hear the results as early as Wednesday.
Both sides are remaining mum about the details of the bargaining, but the university’s student union president, Al Turnbull, said he has heard a bit about where the two parties are butting heads.
“It seems to be an issue about evaluations and academic freedoms,” said Turnbull. “Students are worried. I’ve been getting 20 to 30 emails, and we had a council meeting last night and that was the biggest discussion around the table.”
On Oct. 2, UMFA authorized a strike vote to take place on Oct. 7, 8 and 9.
In the meantime, negotiations are ongoing.
Neither side would do an interview on the potential strike, but representatives from the university said negotiations are going well and they are hopeful a strike can be avoided.
Environmental studies student Tara Wuennenberg is also hoping there won’t be a strike.
“I have a midterm on Saturday and a few more coming up in the next couple weeks,” she said. “It’s kind of a crucial time!”
Student Christyn Lemonie is also worried. “I’m paying for my tuition so I would actually like to be able to learn,” she said.
The last collective agreement between the university and UMFA was inked in 2010.