U of M reaches tentative deal with union after 20-day strike

The University of Manitoba has reached a tentative deal with its faculty, which has been on strike for 20 days.

Classes scheduled to resume Tuesday pending results of ratification vote Monday night

The CBC's Brett Purdy reports on the University of Manitoba reaching a tentative deal with its faculty, who have been on strike for three weeks. The faculty association will vote on the offer Monday night,. 1:51

The University of Manitoba has reached a tentative deal with its faculty, who have been on strike for 20 days.

The agreement was reached Sunday night after five straight days of meetings.

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association is holding a special general membership meeting Monday night for members to vote on the proposed deal. Results aren't expected until 11 p.m.

The U of M expects classes to resume as normal on Tuesday.

Niether faculty association president Mark Hudson nor U of M spokesman John Danakas would comment until members of the faculty association have had a chance to view the proposal.

UMFA, which represents professors, instructors and librarians, has been on strike since Nov. 1. Concerns about workload protections, job security and protections against performance indicators were the big three bargaining issues.

Salary was also on the table but that was set aside due to an unfair labour practice complaint filed by the faculty association 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.
The University of Manitoba's faculty association has been on strike since Nov. 1 (Bert Savard/CBC)

"The last few weeks have been challenging, and at times divisive, but it is my hope that our community will reunite in support of our commitment to our shared mission of teaching, discovery and engagement," U of M president and vice-chancellor David Barnard stated in a news release.

'A lot of negative feelings'

Brendan Noyes, a student in his fifth year studying theatre and English literature, wonders how the school can get back to normal on campus.

"I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a bit of reticence in my feelings there because it is a tentative deal," Noyes said. "There are a lot of negative feelings that are still kind of floating around."

Noyes is worried that students will lose reading week in February — a week he said he needs to study.

"It's a really important period for us to get ahead of our studies," he said.

Jason Sasoy, a second year criminology student, said he's not looking forward to the catchup he'll have to do over the coming weeks.

"It's going to be rushed, so that's what I'm kind of worried about," he said.