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This article was published 11/10/2016 (1598 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The University of Manitoba Faculty Association is seeking a one-year deal with an average salary increase of 6.9 per cent.
UMFA has scaled back from its original proposal of a 13.2 per cent one-year average salary increase, but continues to bargain in an effort to start catching up to salary levels in Saskatchewan and at Canadian universities such as Dalhousie and Guelph that it considers to be comparable to the U of M.
The university has offered a total increase of seven per cent over four years, with professors who are eligible for increments seeing their salaries go up 17.5 per cent over the four years.
The last contract expired March 31 of this year.
UMFA is holding a vote among its membership Tuesday through Thursday to ask for a strike mandate.
Figures released by UMFA show that the union is asking for a two per cent salary increase on a one-year contract.
In addition, there would be market adjustments of $2,100 for professors, $3,120 for associate professors, $3,450 for assistant professors, and $2,880 for librarians, instructors, and lecturers, all of which, UMFA says, adds up to a 6.9 per cent increase.
The union has claimed in recent years that the university is sitting on tens of millions of dollars earmarked for capital projects and its strategic plan, which could be used to raise salaries and benefits.
As of 2013-2014, said UMFA, the average U of M professor received $143,736, an associate professor $109,132, and an assistant professor $88,739.
UMFA calculated that its members are paid 86 to 91 per cent of what professors get paid in similar schools in Canada.
"You can only kick your faculty down the road so far," UMFA president Prof. Mark Hudson said in an interview Tuesday morning.
"There's plenty of financial capacity to do the things they want to do with bricks and mortar, and still pay us a reasonable salary."
Hudson said that while salary is a major issue, "Some of the biggest issues our members have is around collegial governance and performance indicators."
UMFA is seeking a greater say in tenure and promotion, layoff protection for instructors and librarians, and greater benefits, including free tuition for dependent children, adequate day care, and half-price parking permits. UMFA's full proposal can be read on the union's website.
The U of M said Tuesday that its package is similar to that accepted this summer by the University of Winnipeg Faculty Association, whose salaries went up 7.5 per cent over 54 months. The university's full offer can be read on the university's website.
U of M communications manager John Danakas pointed out Tuesday that the UWFA had been "acknowledging openly that it was doing so because of changes in the provincial fiscal environment.
"In recent weeks there have been numerous media reports confirming marked shifts in the provincial approach to spending," said Danakas.
In a recent interview with the Free Press, Finance Minister Cameron Friesen said that the eight per cent over five years received by provincial engineers was a higher settlement than Friesen believes Manitoba can afford to pay public sector workers in the province's financial situation.