labour dispute


Province ordered to pay UMFA $19.3 million

The Manitoba government has been ordered to pay the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) over $19.3 million for secretly interfering with UMFA’s contract negotiations in 2016.





The strike is an inconvenient necessity for students

A number of incidents have further eroded the relationship between UMFA, the university administration and the provincial government since then, and the effect is palpable. In 2016, as I remember it, the mood was determined but apologetic — the academic strike was a new and frightening concept to most students, and both UMFA and the university made significant efforts to explain what was happening and maintained an outwardly friendly relationship. But this disagreement has gone on for years now, and what seemed like a small fight has escalated to full-blown resentment.



Students Supporting UMFA block administration’s doors

The students, organized by Students Supporting UMFA (SSUMFA), demanded the administration offer faculty a fair deal. The protesters held signs with slogans like, “Listen up Benarroch” — directed at university president Michael Benarroch — and “Get back to bargaining” as they prevented staff from entering the building until 9:30 a.m.



Austerity holding students and province back

The strike currently taking place at the U of M is only the most recent symptom of the government’s austerity agenda and is making matters worse. If labour market tightness is the problem — as Manitoba’s new premier asserted during her leadership campaign — we should be investing more in our post-secondary institutions and doing more to support students to move through their programs and get in the job market.