After months of negotiations and numerous failed attempts at reaching a deal, the members of the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) went on strike as of 12:01 a.m. Tue. Nov. 1, 2016.
UMFA represents and is the certified bargaining agent for more than 1,200 full-time academic staff at the University of Manitoba.
“We know that this is a very stressful time for students, and there will be a lot of questions. We’re going to put every effort into getting this work disruption over as quickly as possible, because we want our students back in the classroom.” said John Kearsey, Vice-President of External Relations for the University of Manitoba.
“We’re on legal strike because mediation came to an impasse. Let’s see if we can get something accomplished on workload protections, on performance assessment and on job security,” said Mark Hudson, UMFA president. “Even on those things with the prospect of a zero percent salary increase, they were unable to offer us anything remotely adequate.”
Classes taught by UMFA members who aren’t crossing the picket line have been cancelled and will resume once the strike is over. Students aren’t responsible for missed course work and examinations will be postponed. The University of Manitoba’s Registrar’s Office has released an official list of continuing classses, the list will be updated daily and in some cases, multiple times per day as new information is obtained by the Registrar’s Office. Students are responsible for reviewing the list on a regular basis, as the status of their class(es) may change at any point during the strike.
Not all classes are affected by the strike – as some classes are instructed by sessional instructors, teaching assistants, student volunteers and other individuals who aren’t represented by UMFA.
Students have the right not to cross the picket line and stand alongside the members of UMFA participating in the strike. Instructors will make reasonable arrangements for missed course work.
A statement from the University of Manitoba website reads:
Students are responsible for classes on the official list and for any ongoing activities including classes, labs, tutorials, practica, clinical assignments, studios, tests and assignments identified through consultation with their faculty school or college. If students choose not to cross the picket line, they are still responsible for materials covered in any class that is included on the class list, as well as lab activity, tutorials, practica, clinical assignments, studios, tests and assignments. These students must advise their instructors in advance of class if they choose not to cross the picket line. In such circumstances, instructors will make reasonable alternate arrangements with respect to any missed material, labs, tutorials, studios, assignments or tests.
Visit umanitoba.ca/strikeinfo for the further information, the latest updates on negotiations and answers to questions you might have.
Students with questions are strongly encouraged to contact the University of Manitoba Students’ Union or the University of Manitoba Graduate Students’ Association.