Manitoba government will not appeal UMFA case further

University of Manitoba Faculty Association will receive $19.4 million in damages

The provincial government has chosen not to pursue further action following a decision from the Manitoba Court of Appeal to uphold a previous ruling ordering the province to pay $19.4 million to the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA).

The previous decision found that the province’s secret interference in U of M bargaining negotiations led to the 2016 UMFA strike and resulted in lost wages for the association’s members.

Following its loss in court, the Manitoba government had the option to either request permission to appeal the case to the Supreme Court of Canada or accept the ruling.

In an Aug. 3 press release, Manitoba Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen noted that after a review of the case by the governments’ constitutional law branch, the Manitoba government “fully respects” the court’s decision.

“Premier Heather Stefanson has strongly signalled that it is time to turn the page for the benefit of UMFA members and all Manitobans,” the release read.

The statement added that the government stands by its decision to appeal the case to Manitoba’s top court, as it was “in the interest of all Manitobans.”

To affirm the province’s position, Goertzen referenced a case from October 2021 where the court sided with the government against the Manitoba Federation of Labour’s claims that the province’s legislation to freeze wages was unconstitutional.

While the province has accepted the court’s ruling, UMFA has yet to receive formal communication from province regarding when the $19.4 million will be released.