University of Manitoba strike ends after Faculty Association approves new deal

University of Manitoba students picket in front of administration building asking for more mental health assistance during a strike in 2016. Zahra Premji/Global News

WINNIPEG – The strike is officially over. The University of Manitoba and the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) have reached a deal.

The strike started on Nov. 1. On Monday, UMFA voted to accept a tentative agreement reached with the university.

“Going on strike was a difficult decision for our members, but this new agreement shows what we can accomplish when we work together,” UMFA president Mark Hudson said in a press release.

“On behalf of all UMFA members I would like to express our deep gratitude in particular to students for their overwhelming support over the past three weeks. Now we get to do what we love most, and return to our classrooms, labs and libraries.”

Students will be heading back to class Tuesday. The university released a list of changes to dates and deadlines for students, including a modified winter term.

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The faculty association represents 1,200 professors, instructors and librarians. The deal they reached is a one-year agreement that hit their key points including workload protection, fair assessments and a letter from the university committing to no librarian or instructor layoffs before the start of 2019.

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In a release, the UMFA said they also accepted a zero-per cent salary increase in exchange for improving “governance issues.” These were the other terms listed in UMFA press release:

  • A collegial model for determining workloads, based on the model used successfully at the University of Saskatchewan, in which Deans collaborate with their faculty to set workloads. This new process will help protect teaching quality.
  • A guarantee that standards and processes for tenure and promotions will be set by faculty.
  • Limitations on the use of performance metrics in assessing performance.
  • Privacy and confidentiality improvements.
  • Increased administrative support for faculty to free up more time for research and class preparation.
  • Enhancements to professional development, health and dental benefits, among other modest improvements.

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