Special Reports

University Of Manitoba Faculty Strike Continues As Protesters Reject School's Offer


Faculty members of the University of Manitoba are continuing their strike. This comes after they rejected the school's offer, describing it as an "insult."

Global News reported that the University of Manitoba protesters unanimously rejected the school's offer. The group, University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA), took to Twitter to post the rejection letter.

"Proposal Shows Administration Out of Touch," the tweet read. The letter stated that the school's administration "continues to ignore serious concerns about working and learning conditions expressed by students and UMFA members."

It was found that the administration's proposal includes hiring more students as temporary markers and teaching assistants. The group noted that this does not address their main concern about protection against arbitrary workload increases. UMFA also believes that it insults students because it would make additional support for graduate students dependent on faculty labor negotiations.

Over 1,200 University of Manitoba faculty members protested on Nov. 1. This resulted to about 29,000 students left in academic limbo.

According to CBC News, the administration of UM claims that the faculty association is using students as labor negotiations "pawns." The strike is now on its second week.

On Monday, John Kearsey, vice president external for the University of Manitoba, said that the situation is "beyond disappointing." He added that it would be possible to continue negotiations with UMFA without disrupting class for students.

Mark Hudson, the president of UMFA, stated that if the administration was truly focusing on dealing with the workload, it should have hired TAs and markers immediately. The school should not have tied it to the UMFA bargaining.

"We think we have been crystal clear from the beginning for the basic protections that we are asking for," Hudson said. "And so it's incredibly frustrating to read a proposal that doesn't seem to respond to what we have been telling them across the table."

He also added that the money that the school proposed in order to hire more student teaching assistants and markers is less than what the UM president and vice-chancellor David Barnard and his four vice-presidents earned last year. The figure is said to be at $1.7 million a year.

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