Manitoba Government Must Stop Interfering in Negotiations
University of Manitoba Faculty Association
Members of the Faculty Association at the University of Manitoba (UMFA) have been on strike since November 2. The 1,200 professors, librarians and instructors of the UMFA have had their wages frozen for five years, and members now rank second-last in terms of compensation among Canada’s largest 15 research universities. The University of Manitoba posted a large surplus in their recent fiscal report.
Scholar Strike Canada, in its statement of support for the striking UMFA members, points out: “Working conditions are learning conditions. The university administrators can fairly compensate UMFA members, but have chosen to allow the provincial government to continue interfering in negotiations. The provincial PC government has imposed an unreasonably low cap on wages. Government interference makes free and fair bargaining impossible.” They say the Government of Manitoba continues to interfere with free collective bargaining between the University of Manitoba and the UMFA, putting the future of public education in Manitoba in jeopardy, and add “The government’s interference has led to a breakdown in negotiations and has forced a strike.”
“While we are dismayed that the University’s President Michael Bennaroch refused to protect the independence of the university, we are equally disappointed that the provincial government continues to interfere in our negotiations by imposing their wage mandate,” said Orvie Dingwall, UMFA President.
Renewal Update supports the just position of the UMFA, and joins in asking everyone to add their voice to the call for the provincial government to immediately withdraw its imposed bargaining mandate and allow UMFA and the University to bargain in good faith so they can reach a fair and mutually agreeable deal.