Wpg Sun: U of M’s bargaining breached, labour board told
The University of Manitoba told the Manitoba Labour Board on Wednesday that they had no choice but to rescind a contract offer to its employees during last year’s labour negotiations.
Rod Roy, the U of M’s legal counsel, told the board that the university was threatened with funding cuts if wages weren’t frozen during his closing arguments.
The University of Manitoba Faculty Association has alleged that the U of M engaged in unfair labour practices during labour negotiations last fall.
“There’s absolutely no question the power the government has over the university,” Roy told the board. “It’s in nobody’s best interest to jeopardize that relationship (between the U of M and the government).”
Roy said there was a material change — the government issuing an order to the U of M — and thus the university had no choice but to rescind its four-year offer, a “bona fide” justification.
Roy also said the U of M, specifically Greg Juliano, the university’s associate vice-president of human resources who testified extensively during the hearings, was trying right up to the end to get the government behind their own directive and back it publicly.
Furthermore, Roy said the university fought with the government to allow them to keep some money on the table to complete a collective agreement, allowing for wage increases, all while jeopardizing their relationship with their “primary funder.”