U of M students heading back to the classroom Tuesday


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The three-week-long University of Manitoba faculty strike is over and students return to classes Tuesday morning.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/11/2016 (2093 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The three-week-long University of Manitoba faculty strike is over and students return to classes Tuesday morning.

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association, which represents 1,200 professors, instructors and librarians, voted Monday to accept a new collective agreement after walking off the job Nov. 1. They had been without a contract since March 31.

“UMFA members are excited to be returning to work (Tuesday) morning,” an UMFA news release stated.

Boris Minkevich / Winnipeg Free Press U of M students Tegan Turner, 20, and Connor Boyd, 20, discuss how the strike affected them.

The release said the agreement is a one-year deal, focusing on improvements to workloads, collegial governance and assessment practices.

As well, the U of M committed to no layoffs of librarians or instructors before 2019. UMFA agreed to a zero per cent salary hike “in exchange for these substantial improvements to governance issues,” the release said.

“Going on strike was a difficult decision for our members, but this new agreement shows what we can accomplish when we work together,” said UMFA president Mark Hudson in the release.

“On behalf of all UMFA members I would like to express our deep gratitude in particular to students for their overwhelming support over the past three weeks. Now we get to do what we love most, and return to our classrooms, labs and libraries.”

The U of M said in a news release late Sunday night: “Over the weekend, negotiating teams made progress on key issues related to teaching workload, performance metrics and job protection, resulting in a tentative agreement that the UMFA executive is recommending their members ratify.”

The university notified students Monday morning if classes resume Tuesday, then the winter term will start Jan. 18, reading week will not be cancelled and final exams will be April 22-29.

The U of M senate has approved a revised academic calendar based on the end to the strike.

Previous university senate scenarios for a lengthy strike ending this week would have cancelled reading week and pushed back other winter-term dates.

The province told the university in early October to extend the previous collective agreement — which expired March 31 — for one year with a wage freeze. 

Brandon University president Gervan Fearon said Monday the province has not told BU if it will impose any conditions on the university’s next collective agreement with faculty in 2019. “No idea at all as to what will be planned,” Fearon said.

U of M students were happy to hear of the tentative deal earlier Monday.

“I had hoped it would come to a close relatively soon, and I think it did, so I wasn’t too overly stressed,” said third-year student Connor Boyd earlier Monday.

Fourth-year agriculture student Tony Britton, 21, said coming to campus was “a bit more hectic than usual” because of the picket lines. “I didn’t have any classes cancelled, I was just really lucky because for a lot of the classes I took, the profs were department heads (and not on strike),” he said.

Nick Britton, 18, a first-year environmental science student, said he had just two of his five classes cancelled: “Most of my professors just decided to cross the picket line. They thought education was more important than the strike. For the two classes that were cancelled, everything just stopped. For biology, they took all the lectures off UM Learn (online learning) and completely shut down the class.”

U of M track athlete Tegan Turner, a sprinter and third-year kinesiology student, had three of her five classes cancelled.

“Because they came to a decision before we had to write off the semester, I’m still on track. I’m doing my degree in five years anyway to take all my (athletic eligibility),” said Turner, who was able to complete all the assignments for an online class during the strike.

Rebecca Refvik, a second-year student, said the strike affected two of her four courses.

“Every day I only had one class and so on some days I didn’t go (during the strike), I was volunteering at my mom’s school so that was nice, but now we know exams will be in full swing so there’s going to be some catching up from those three weeks,” she said. “There’s going to be some scrambling.”





Updated on Monday, November 21, 2016 4:59 PM CST: Updated.

Updated on Monday, November 21, 2016 9:18 PM CST: updated, new photo

Updated on Monday, November 21, 2016 9:33 PM CST: fixed date

Updated on Monday, November 21, 2016 9:38 PM CST: updated, edited

Updated on Monday, November 21, 2016 11:10 PM CST: update, strike over

Updated on Monday, November 21, 2016 11:37 PM CST: updated, edited

Updated on Monday, November 21, 2016 11:41 PM CST: fixed headline

Updated on Monday, November 21, 2016 11:45 PM CST: updated, edited

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