With a strike deadline just hours away, the University of Manitoba Faculty Association reached a tentative agreement on Sunday, Nov. 8.
The three-year agreement made significant gains on a number of issues -- performance indicators, education technologies, replacement of faculty who leave or retire, and performance evaluations -- according to UMFA chief negotiator, Robert Chernomas. "We learned the lesson that when we stood together on issues, we won."
In response to concerns about performance indicators mandated by the provincial government, the faculty won the guarantee that no academic jobs would be lost as a result of the university's use of any performance indicators.
The agreement gives faculty the right to choose whether or not to use various education technologies and to be protected against any job loss that could otherwise result from such technologies.
To ensure renewal of the university, the faculty won a commitment that as long as the university can maintain its budget at current levels, it will fully replace all faculty and staff that leave or retire.
Language was added that ensures faculty access to grievance rights and due process procedures in all performance evaluations.
On the thorny issue of the employer's demand for mandatory retirement, the faculty were able to ensure continuation of the right to teach after age 70, on a half-time basis.
The agreement also provides a payment of $740 in the first year and 1% and 2% in the next two years, as well as restoration of career progress increments and improvements in funds for travel and professional development.