UMFA reaches tentative deal with university

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By Amy-Ellen Prentice  Global News, Posted December 6, 2021 7:12am & Updated December 6, 2021 8:05pm.

Could the month-long strike between the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) and the University of Manitoba finally be coming to an end?

The union, which represents more than 1,200 U of M faculty members, has reached a tentative agreement with the University, UMFA told Global News Monday.

“Because of the support from students, and the solidarity from supporters of public education,” said Orvie Dingwall, UMFA President,

“We have been able to reach a tentative agreement that prioritizes recruitment and retention.”

If ratified, the deal would put an end to a 35-day strike at the university, and the school says classes could resume as early as Tuesday.

The union says its executive council is unanimously recommending that members ratify the deal.

In a statement, the university says negotiators made progress on key issues.

“This has been a very challenging period for our entire community and it is time to move forward,” said Michael Benarroch, the university’s president and vice-chancellor, said in the statement.

“To our students, this has been especially hard on you. As we resume classes and interrupted research, we are committed to providing you with the support you need during this transition.”

The strike started in early November after the faculty association called for better wages and better methods to keep the staff from leaving to join other schools.

“UMFA members have stood together to protect the independence and future of our university,”  said Dingwall.

“We have refused to let the provincial government’s interference reduce the competitiveness of Manitoba’s only research-intensive university,”

UMFA says details of the agreement will be made public pending the result of the ratification vote, expected to be announced after polls close at 11:30 pm Monday.

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