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U of M, professors avert strike

Posted: 10/21/2013 4:11 PM | Comments: 0

Last Modified: 10/22/2013 12:54 AM | Updates

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University of Manitoba students attend classes as a normal day Oct. 21, a day ahead of a possible faculty work stoppage.

MELISSA TAIT / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

University of Manitoba students attend classes as a normal day Oct. 21, a day ahead of a possible faculty work stoppage. Photo Store

It will be classes as normal at the University of Manitoba today — there will not be a professors' strike.

A tentative agreement was reached late Monday night between the university and the faculty association.

The deal is a three-year agreement.

While the university said the deal covers all major issues, it also said some unresolved issues will go to binding arbitration.

The university did not reveal what those unresolved issues are and faculty association president Sharon Alward could not be reached for comment.

"I extend my congratulations to the bargaining teams for all their efforts to reach a negotiated settlement," U of M president and vice-chancellor David Barnard said. "Most importantly, I am pleased to be able to inform our students that we will be open and operating with no disruption to their learning."

No details on the terms of the settlement were available.

The tentative agreement was reached with the help of mediator Michael Werier, appointed by the provincial government late Friday after talks between the two sides had reached an impasse.

The faculty said the major stumbling block was the independence of faculty: a professor's right to criticize the university and to freely choose research without interference.

It appeared the university was strongly opposed to any language in the collective agreement that protected academic freedom, language the faculty said was common at most other Canadian universities.

Before the agreement was reached, the university was proposing a four-year deal with wage increases of 2.9 per cent the first year and two per cent in each of the three remaining years; the faculty countered with a two-year deal with increases of 2.9 per cent each year.

The deal appears to be a major win for the university. The faculty association did not want the dispute over academic freedom to be settled through binding arbitration.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca 

History

Updated on Monday, October 21, 2013 at 4:50 PM CDT: adds video

12:54 AM: Agreement reached

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