Manitoba

21-day U of M strike ends after union votes to accept new agreement

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association voted to accept a new collective agreement, ending a 21-day strike.

Classes to resume on Tuesday morning

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association voted to accept a new collective agreement. (Bert Savard/CBC)

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association voted to accept a new collective agreement, ending a 21-day strike.

UMFA, which represents 1,200 professors, instructors and librarians, held a special general membership meeting Monday night for members to vote on the proposed deal. 

"Going on strike was a difficult decision for our members, but this new agreement shows what we can accomplish when we work together," UMFA President Mark Hudson said in a news release.

"On behalf of all UMFA members I would like to express our deep gratitude in particular to students for their overwhelming support over the past three weeks. Now we get to do what we love most, and return to our classrooms, labs and libraries."

Classes will resume on Tuesday morning. 

UMFA members have been on strike since Nov. 1. The new one-year agreement addresses "workload protections, enhancement to collegial governance and fair assessment practices," according to the release. 

In a release, UMFA said they also accepted a zero-per cent salary increase in exchange for "improvements to governance issues," including: 

  • A collegial model for determining workloads, where deans collaborate with their faculty.
  • A guarantee that standards and processes for tenure and promotions will be set by faculty.
  • Limitations on the use of performance metrics.
  • Privacy and confidentiality improvements.
  • Increased administrative support for faculty to free up time for research and class preparation.
  • Enhancements to professional development, health and dental benefits, and other "modest improvements."  

The university also committed to no layoffs for librarians or instructors before the start of 2019.

Earlier this month, the faculty association filed an unfair labour practice complaint against the provincial government. The union alleges the province meddled in the bargaining process, causing the university to withdraw a salary offer, which is contrary to the university's obligations under the Labour Relations Act of Manitoba.