Mediator berates University of Manitoba Faculty Association for rejecting arbitration to end strike
A mediator criticized the striking University of Manitoba Faculty Association for refusing to accept binding arbitration in its labor dispute with the university, saying there was no longer any value in the mediation.
Arne Peltz recommends arbitration because “there is no likelihood that the parties will reach a settlement of the outstanding disputes without a prolonged and continuous strike”.
In his final recommendation, which was released to the media by the U of M on Friday, Peltz said the university accepted his recommendation. The teachers’ association did not, despite nearly four weeks of mediation.
“The parties remain distant. I therefore reiterate my recommendation that all outstanding disputes be referred to binding interest arbitration,” he said.
Dispute arbitration can be particularly useful when innocent third parties are seriously affected by a strike, as students are on strike at U of M.
Many of their classes have been suspended since the Faculty Association, which represents more than 1,200 professors, instructors and librarians at the University of Winnipeg, called a strike on November 2.
Peltz says that in this case, the monetary and operational issues are still outstanding.
He wrote a personalized arbitration referral that he said is fair to both parties.
Return to work agreement recommended
He recommends that a sole arbitrator be appointed by mutual agreement of both parties, with another appointed by the chairperson of the Manitoba Labor Board if they cannot come to an agreement.
If the dismissal is accepted, the UMFA and the U of M would conclude a return to work agreement as soon as possible, with the UMFA ending the strike.
UMFA and U of M are encouraged to continue negotiating pending the arbitration hearing, which could result in a settlement before the hearing, according to Peltz’s recommendation.
The referral also responds to the professors association’s complaint that the U of M has the second lowest average salary among U15s – a collective of 15 of Canada’s most research-oriented universities.
According to Peltz’s recommendation, the arbitrator would “take into account the mutual objective of the parties to achieve reasonable advancement in the U15 ranking… towards the 25th percentile” during the term of the collective agreement.
The teachers’ association also accused the province of interfering in the collective bargaining process.
To address this problem, Peltz’s recommendation states that “warrants issued by the government will not be considered by the arbitrator, but governance proposals will be considered as long as they aim to achieve a fair and reasonable result. “.
Peltz urged the faculty association to reconsider binding arbitration.
“There is no need for this strike to continue. If it does, it will not be because of a restrictive mandate from the government or the intransigence of employers,” he said in his statement. recommendation.
“Like the University [of Manitoba], UMFA should be prepared to subject all of its proposals to scrutiny before an independent arbitrator and live with the result. “