Below are the latest updates and news on collective bargaining between the University of Manitoba and the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA). This story was updated on November 21. The University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) has ratified the University of Manitoba`s latest offer. The agreement is now final and teaching continues as usual. Previous updates This agreement is far from the initial request of the UMFA, which called for “a fairer salary grid, a modest increase in salaries for the year 2020-21 and additional help during the pandemic for people with dependent responsibilities”. “[We are] in the fourth year of a four-year contract, where there is effectively no salary, because of the PSSA [Public Services Sustainability Act] and this illegal interference in free and fair collective bargaining by the provincial government.” Despite UMFA`s calls for binding arbitration by third parties, an agreement was reached on Sunday through mediation. The agreement has yet to be ratified by UMFA members. The deal offered by the U of M includes a one-time $1950 COVID-19 scholarship and a zero percent salary increase, in line with provincial requirements. UMFA also reserves the right to take legal action against the effects of the unconstitutional law on the sustainability of public services and to guarantee wage discussions during negotiations on the upcoming collective agreement. UMFA members will vote this week on the ratification of this agreement.
UMFA is the first major public sector union to engage in collective bargaining after Bill 28 declared illegal. Shaw believes the government wants to use umFA as an example to dissuade other unions from demanding wage increases. Shaw told PressProgress UMFA`s current collective agreement is concluded “under duress” and contains a clause that requires wage negotiations to resume in the fourth year if Bill 28 is found illegal. The PSSA – a provincial law passed in 2017 – imposed a two-year freeze on the salaries of public service employees when its existing collective agreements expired. It was declared unconstitutional last June. But both actions backfired. In 2017, Manitoba`s Labour Relations Office fined US$2.4 million for “bad faith negotiations” when it followed the government`s intervention. Earlier this year, the Manitoba Court of Queen`s Bench ruled that the Pallister government`s “draconian” law.28 violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, with Justice Joan McKelvey criticizing the government`s “significant interference” in collective bargaining. .