The PSSA – the spps legislation passed in 2017 – has passed a two-year freeze on the salaries of public service employees when its existing collective agreements expire. It was declared unconstitutional last June. The University of Winnipeg continues to work towards a new collective agreement that must include appropriate salary and benefit increases with our faculty members as part of our financial resources. As we have communicated many times, UWinnipeg receives a proportionately smaller annual operating scholarship per student in the province than other Manitoba universities. That is what we are negotiating with the university — how to deal with the fact that we have actually withheld money, which is now considered unconstitutional by the courts. “In terms of real chairs, computer resources, internet resources, I had to update my internet account to be able to broadcast 150 students at the same time, and the university was very reluctant to help with this kind of thing. After three days of mediation, the University of Winnipeg and the University of Winnipeg Faculty Association (UWFA) concluded a three-year interim collective agreement on February 8. Details of the proposed agreement will not be shared until the agreement is ratified by the UWFA. On Friday, 10 January 2014, the parties exchanged and discussed their remuneration proposals and, after further discussions on 15 January, agreed to seek external assistance to reach an agreement on the latter aspect of the negotiations. Faculty associations at the universities of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Western Ontario and Lethbridge have all issued similar letters condemning the policy and telling the AU that members will no longer recommend that Athabasca supplement the credits when AUFA members are removed. Through the collective bargaining process, the university and UWFA have resolved governance issues and language changes, so that only compensation issues remain unresolved.
We want to assure students, staff and teachers that we will do everything in our power to keep the campus community informed. “This agreement is an important achievement that will strengthen the university and its deep commitment to research, teaching and learning activities. We commend both negotiating teams for a solution that recognizes and respects the needs of all parties. We hope this underscores our mutual commitment to the well-being of our students and the joint management of funding shortfalls that limit our institution,” said Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor of UWinnipeg. The university will provide a new update as soon as the faculty association is informed of the results of the votes. The university and UWFA have agreed not to disclose the terms of the agreement until they are voted on by the faculties association. The University of Winnipeg and the University of Winnipeg Faculty Association (UWFA) have been in regular negotiations and meetings since October 2013 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 concluded.