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Full-scale University-UMFA bargaining to commence May 2016

UMFA rejects University’s expedited offer

April 20, 2016 — 

Earlier this year we committed to sharing and updating as much as possible about University bargaining with the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA), so that the University of Manitoba community is kept informed as the process develops.

As of April 20, 2016, UMFA and the University, after a number of preliminary discussions aimed at achieving an expedited resolution, have determined that full-scale bargaining will be necessary commencing in May.

On March 9, 2016, the University initiated attempts to reach an expedited resolution by presenting a salary-only offer to UMFA, made without prejudice. The offer was made in consideration of the uncertain and constrained fiscal environment.

The University offered UMFA:

  1. one-year salary increase of 1.5%, in line with other recent settlements within the University and the public sector
  2. additional salary adjustments for certain ranks and disciplines in order to ensure competitiveness of faculty salaries and enhance recruitment and retention

In total, including annual increments, the proposed settlement was an average 3.94% salary increase for the 2016-2017 contract year; a rate higher than the consumer price index of 1.6% (Conference Board of Canada, year-to-date February 2016).

UMFA indicated that it would not accept this offer without agreement on four non-monetary matters.  The University conveyed its willingness to enter into discussion, but when UMFA presented its proposals on these matters, the University responded that they were too important and complex to discuss in an expedited way.  UMFA then proposed a “freeze” on University activities associated with these matters for the one-year term of the agreement.  The University indicated its willingness to accept one of the proposed “freezes,” but not the others, as they constituted a roll-back of current practices, which could potentially disrupt University operations.

In response, UMFA took the action of rejecting the expedited offer in a meeting held April 20, 2016.

The four matters raised, as referred to by UMFA, were:

  1. performance indicators
  2. layoffs of academic librarians and instructors
  3. teaching loads
  4. management rights

The University believes these matters warrant more fulsome discussion. The University did indicate its willingness to accept the proposal regarding academic librarians and instructors.

UMFA’s rejection of this offer comes after earlier attempts by the University to seek a bargaining process that would result in a timely agreement and avoid a negative impact on students’ academic year.

On January 28, the University proposed an interest-based bargaining model, as utilized recently with AESES, which represents the majority of the University’s support staff.  This method aims for a collaborative negotiation that avoids the confrontational and positional aspects of traditional bargaining.  On February 22, 2016, UMFA rejected the offer for interest-based bargaining and recommended a traditional bargaining approach.

A schedule for bargaining meetings is currently under discussion, and further updates will be provided regularly on the human resources website.


January 28, 2016: University proposes interest-based bargaining

February 22, 2016: UMFA rejects interest-based bargaining in favour of traditional bargaining

March 9, 2016: University presents expedited offer involving salary increases

March 31, 2016: Collective agreement with UMFA expires

April 20, 2016: UMFA rejects expedited offer


See more bargaining news and updates here.


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2 comments on “Full-scale University-UMFA bargaining to commence May 2016

  1. Will Christie

    If the annual increments weren’t included (i.e. the employee has reached what Administration considers their full market salary) then wouldn’t the proposed settlement only be a 1.50% salary increase; a rate lower than the consumer price index of 1.6%?

    1. UM Today Staff - Author

      The proposed salary adjustments of $1,500 for specific ranks were also part of the original calculation of the average salary increase. The Conference Board of Canada Average Manitoba CPI – 2016 YTD as of April 25, 2016 was 1.37%.

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