Manitoba

U of M strike: Students march on picket line as bargaining continues

University of Manitoba students joined striking faculty members on the picket lines on Friday in a show of solidarity.

'We invite all students to come fight for their education,' students union says, urging support for profs

The union and administration have been in on-and-off discussions since March 2016, when the last collective agreement expired. They have been in steady talks since Wednesday of this week, hoping to hammer out a deal. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

University of Manitoba students joined striking faculty members on the picket lines on Friday in a show of solidarity.

"We invite all students to come fight for their education," stated a call to action from the University of Manitoba Students Union, which represents 21,000 undergraduate students.

The message from UMSU urging support for the University of Manitoba Faculty Association's demands for workload protections echoed UMFA's arguments that overworked professors mean lower quality education for students.

UMFA, which represents more than 1,200 members, went on the picket line Nov. 1 after mediation failed. (CBC)

"We understand that poor teaching conditions mean poor learning conditions. We have formally endorsed UMFA's core demands, in the belief that these demands would improve the learning conditions for students," UMSU stated.

"Most importantly, we feel that this show of support will help to bring about a speedy resolution to the strike and a fair deal for our professors."

The union and administration have been in on-and-off discussions since March 2016, when the last collective agreement expired. They have been in steady talks since Wednesday this week, hoping to hammer out a deal.

University of Manitoba students joined striking faculty members on the picket lines on Friday in a show of solidarity. 1:24

UMFA, which represents more than 1,200 members, went on the picket line Nov. 1 after mediation failed. The conciliator was brought in Nov. 2 but the two sides have accused one another of not being willing to make acceptable concessions.

Some classes have been going on as usual because they are taught by non-UMFA members — teaching assistants and sessional instructors. As well, some faculty association members have decided to cross the picket lines and keep teaching.

However, the majority of students have had classes impacted in some way.

Information on courses, classroom scheduling and service changes can be found on the university's website.