U of M students tense as faculty strike draws near


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The ghosts and witches may be gone, but University of Manitoba students will see new scary shapes walking in the darkness on Tuesday morning — striking professors.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 31/10/2016 (2107 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The ghosts and witches may be gone, but University of Manitoba students will see new scary shapes walking in the darkness on Tuesday morning — striking professors.

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association was to set up picket lines at both the Fort Garry campus and the faculty of health sciences buildings at the Health Sciences Centre complex starting at 7 a.m.

But students interviewed on Monday, while either supportive or against their professors, were united in worrying what it would mean in the short term for the fall session which is halfway to completion, and in the longer term for the year. Many said they were supposed to have mid-terms later this week.

A student walks past the U of M Administration Building Monday evening as a strike deadline of midnight looms.

Brandon Battistoni, 18, a student in University 1, said if it costs more to keep good professors the university — and the province — should pay up.

“The reason why this strike is happening is the professors don’t get enough money,” Battistoni said.

“We’ve been told smaller universities in Saskatchewan pay more than here… it’s good they are not settling without a fight.”

Brandon Battistoni and his friend Mackenzie Chaudhary (18) are both first year students.

Abanoob Daud, 22, a first year science student, said he’s worried higher wages for professors will translate into higher tuition for students.

“I came to the University of Manitoba because my tuition was $5,000 instead of $7,000 at the University of Winnipeg,” he said.

“If I take a loan out for $10,000 I can pay for two years here. But if tuition goes up I’ll have to take out a larger loan so it will make a difference.”

Daud said he’s also worried about his grades and his semester because he has a mid-term early next week that he’s not sure will go on or not.

“This will affect us in winter and summer.”

Mojgan Rezaei

Mojgan Rezaei, 23, a second year science student, said like all students she is busy in her courses and “we don’t need problems.

“It is really stressful for exams. It is a difficult time for us to deal with this now,” she said.

“It would probably have been better to get this over with as soon as possible, but not in the middle of a semester.”

Abanoob Daud

Sabah Khan, 18, in his first year at the Asper School of Business, was blunt at the stance being taken by the professors.

“It’s f—–g b——t — I can’t find a more polite way of saying it,” Khan said.

“There should be legislation by the Manitoba government to prevent strikes between September to April — they should do this in the four months between. This affects everyone whether they are local or international students. You want to get out of here as soon as possible and get a job and this could delay us.

“They (professors) should grow a conscience.”


Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.


Updated on Monday, October 31, 2016 10:08 PM CDT: minor edit

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