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Bargaining to continue following UMFA strike mandate

A Message from President Michael Benarroch

October 19, 2021 — 

To our university community,

We learned today that that University of Manitoba Faculty Association members voted to give their union a strike mandate. I want to assure you that the university will continue to bargain in good faith with UMFA, with the intention of concluding a collective agreement without a labour disruption.

At this time, all classes and campus activities will continue as usual. Staff who have been working on campus can continue to do so.

Since bargaining began on Aug. 5, we’ve seen meaningful progress on many articles and proposals. The university is committed to addressing challenges with faculty recruitment and retention and ensuring that each department offers an outstanding teaching and learning experience. We have proposed significant structural changes to enhance pay-scales for year 1 and 2 (please see the full presentation here). We recognize the need for market supplements and have made a proposal to continue them in this round of bargaining with UMFA. On October 13, the university offered UMFA a four-year contract with the following increases: 1% in year 1, 1% in year 2, and 1.25% in year 3, and 1.25% in year 4. The entirety of our proposal recognizes our commitment to make faculty salaries more competitive within the U15 and regional landscape, while providing stability for students and staff.

The university fully respects the bargaining process and the union’s right to take strike action if it believes that is in the best interest of its members. However, the university believes strongly that we can reach a fair agreement for UMFA members and we will continue to work hard to achieve this.

I know the bargaining process can create tension and stress for many in our community; we all feel this. I care deeply about what happens in these negotiations as I know we all do. I am incredibly proud of our community’s commitment to provide an outstanding student experience and to ensure UM is the internationally competitive research university that Manitoba deserves.

Thank you for your resilience and patience as we work together to conclude a collective agreement that supports stability in operations; an outstanding educational experience for our students; fairness to our faculty members; and sustainability for our institution. 

Please visit the bargaining website often, as we work to update it following each bargaining session and provide information to our community to the extent permitted by the bargaining process. 

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