‘We don’t want to strike’: UMFA to vote on potential strike if deal doesn’t get done with university

WINNIPEG — A potential strike is looming for the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA).

The association said a strike vote is scheduled for this weekend, stating the University administration’s “refusal to accept binding arbitration” as the reason for the vote.

“The university could bring an end to negotiations tomorrow – all they have to do is agree to our proposal to bring in a neutral, third-party to arbitrate a final decision,” said Michael Shaw, who is the president of the UMFA, in a news release.

The UFMA said it is bargaining for a more equitable salary grid, wage increases for the current contract year and more support for members who have dependent care responsibilities during the pandemic.

The association said more students are being educated by their members but their salaries are near the bottom compared to other “research-intensive” schools in Canada.

The Graduate Student Association at the U of M has already voted to support the association’s demand, and the UMSU, the undergraduate student union, will be voting next week on the issue.

“We don’t want a strike,” said Shaw.

The association is also asking that the wage offer that was on the table in 2016, but was later taken off, be restored, and that those wages be paid to the workers.

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