UWinnipeg profs approve new contract

New collective agreement includes 5.4 per cent increase to salary and benefits

University of Winnipeg faculty members voted to ratify a new collective agreement today, after reaching an deal with the university Wednesday evening just 30 minutes before their strike deadline.

“This collective agreement is both fair and fiscally responsible, and will ensure we are able to recruit and retain top-quality faculty, and addresses many important administrative issues for our faculty,” said U of W president and vice-chancellor Lloyd Axworhty in a statement released Friday evening.

The University of Winnipeg Faculty Association’s new agreement includes a 5.4 per cent increase to salary and benefits over the three year contract, though faculty will receive a 3.3 per cent wage increase once benefits are subtracted. Improvements to benefits include increases in Career Development Increments (CDIs), pension contributions, and travel and professional development accounts.

The faculty association had originally sought an 8.4 per cent increase over three years, while the university was offering a 3.7 increase over the same period.

The first year of the new contact, which ends Mar. 19, will see no salary increase for UWFA members, while the second and third year of the contact will see a 0.5 per cent and 2.8 per cent increase, respectively.

UWFA spokesperson Shannon Sampert said that there were 285 of the 350 members of the union set to walk the picket line before the strike was called off. A strike deadline had been set for 12:01 Thursday.

“They were ready to hit the bricks at 8:00 a.m,” said Sampert.

“When you have 285 people ready to go at 12:01, you want to make sure that you’re going to present a deal to them that they’re going to be happy with. You don’t call a strike off unless you have something that you think will be acceptable.”

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