Though the deadline still looms, the University of Manitoba and its faculty association are getting an extension on this very important assignment.
Mediation talks between the institution and the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) will continue on Sunday after the original deadline for the two sides to hammer out a deal passed the night before.
The deadline was originally imposed by UMFA in an effort to “prevent protracted, unproductive mediation.”
“We’re working significantly longer hours during this pandemic. We are struggling to care for dependents, care for our own mental health while teaching more students than ever,” said UMFA president Michael Shaw.
Shaw has previously told 680 CJOB discussions between UMFA and the school have been ongoing since August and stem from a deal made after the Manitoba Labour Board ruled the university committed an unfair labour practice during bargaining with the faculty association in the fall of 2016.
The association filed a complaint at the height of a three-week strike in November 2016, stating the university had failed to disclose that the new Progressive Conservative government had asked the university to freeze faculty salaries.
While the university and faculty association ultimately ratified a four-year collective agreement, which included no wage increase in the first year, followed by 0.75 per cent and one per cent raises in the second and third years, both sides agreed to renegotiate the agreement’s year-four salary in the fourth year.
Last month, UMFA members voted overwhelmingly (80 per cent) in favour of strike action — meaning they could be on the picket lines as soon as Tuesday, just one day after classes resume following the school’s fall reading week.
The faculty association is the certified bargaining agent for 1,240 full-time professors, librarians, lecturers and instructors at the University of Manitoba.
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