While the Association of Universities and Faculties finally ratified a four-year collective agreement that did not progress in the first year of salary, followed by 0.75 percent and a one percent increase in the second and third years, the two sides agreed to renegotiate the fourth year`s salary. The University of Winnipeg and the University of the Faculty Association (UWFA) have been conducting regular collective bargaining since October 2013 and meet regularly to negotiate a new collective agreement. The UWFA collective agreement expired at the end of March 2013, but remains in effect until a new collective agreement is reached. “We are at the stage of opening up our collective agreement,” said Shaw. We want to assure students, staff and teachers that we will do everything in our power to keep the campus community informed. The proposed three-year collective agreement between the University of Winnipeg and the University of Winnipeg Faculty Association (UWFA) on February 8 has been accepted by the UWFA. The agreement reached last weekend with the help of a provincially appointed Ombudsman was ratified with strong support from members of the faculty association. UWFA members voted on the proposal from February 12 to 14. Manitoba`s Labour Relations Act provides for a series of alternative dispute resolution procedures. Mediation is another of these procedures and is used in situations where two parties (in this case the University and the University of Winnipeg Faculties Association) have not been able to reach a collective agreement through normal collective bargaining or conciliation.
Mediation is not a mandatory step for parties to a collective agreement, but in this case, both the university and the UWFA have agreed to ask the Minister of Labor to appoint a mediator to continue to help them reach a collective agreement. An ombudsman is an independent third party who carries out a private activity. The role of the Mediator is similar to that of conciliator, except that he plays a more active role in assisting the parties in concluding a collective agreement. Michael Shaw, a member of the Life Sciences Faculty and President of UMFA, said that while acknowledging that the ongoing pandemic is a factor, the faculty is not receiving enough support from the administration to work from home. “[We are] in the fourth year of a four-year contract, where there is effectively no salary, because of the PSSA [Public Services Sustainability Act] and this illegal interference in free and fair collective bargaining by the provincial government.” While the timeline is yet to come, the University of Manitoba and its faculty association will receive an extension of this very important task. After three days of mediation, the University of Winnipeg and the University of Winnipeg Faculty Association (UWFA) reached a three-year interim collective agreement on February 8. No details of the proposed agreement will be released until the agreement has been ratified by the UWFA. Faculty federations at the universities of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Western Ontario and Lethbridge have all issued similar letters condemning the directive and telling the AU that Athabasca members will no longer recommend students to take credits if AUFA members are de-appointed. As announced over the weekend, the University of Winnipeg and the University of Winnipeg Faculty Association (UWFA) have reached a three-year interim collective agreement after a three-day mediation.
The next step in this process is a vote on the agreement reached by UWFA members; voting will begin on Wednesday, February 12 and end on Friday, February 14. Knowing and Using Your Collective Agreement has been designed to clarify some of the most confusing aspects of CA. .