Manitoba

Mediation extended as University of Manitoba faculty strike looms

As faculty members head toward a possible strike, the University of Manitoba Faculty Association says mediation with the administration is being extended for another 24 hours as it seeks to negotiates wages for the 2020-21 school year.

Original mediation deadline was Saturday at midnight

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association says mediation with the university's administration will continue throughout the day on Sunday. (Dana Hatherly/CBC)

The clock is ticking.

As faculty members head toward a possible strike, the University of Manitoba Faculty Association says mediation with the administration is being extended for another 24 hours as it seeks to negotiates wages for the 2020-21 school year.

The original deadline for mediation was Saturday, but the UMFA extended it by 24 hours, said Greg Flemming, the executive director of the faculty association.

That also means a potential strike will be delayed.

"The earliest a strike could begin is Tuesday morning," he said in an email to CBC News.

The union has said its members want a modest pay increase, a more equitable salary grid and extra supports during the COVID-19 pandemic for faculty caring for children and other dependents.

However, the provincial government has told university administration to seek a 2.5 per cent reduction in labour costs from faculty, while it negotiates wages for the 2020-21 school year.

The last time the university's 1,200 professors, instructors and librarians walked off the job was in 2016, a strike that lasted about three weeks.

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