Arbitrator awards 3-year salary increase to U of Manitoba faculty

Members of the University of Manitoba Faculty Association are getting a pay raise, an arbitrator announced late Monday afternoon in a news release.

William Kaplan has ruled that the University of Manitoba must pay its professors salary increases of 2.25% per year, over three academic years.

Increases begin with the 2021-22 school year.

The decision follows a 35-day strike last year, which ended Dec. 7, after the university and faculty association agreed to binding arbitration.

The terms of the arbitration stated that the arbitrator would ignore any government mandate and be guided by a reasonable progression to salaries paid at Canada’s other top research universities, the statement said.

Orvie Dingwall, president of the faculty association, is pleased with the referee’s decision.

“After six years of Conservative government interference and freezing our salaries, we needed significant improvements to our compensation in order to remain competitive with Canada’s research universities,” she said in the statement.

“This decision helps ensure that we are able to retain the best teachers, instructors and librarians who provide quality public education to Manitoba students.”

Additionally, Kaplan took a groundbreaking decision in the decision that the university administration be required to pay professors for the teaching they gave after the strike. This allowed students to complete their fall semester classes and begin winter semester classes.

It also decided that members of the faculty association would be paid for time spent performing their research and service duties, the statement added.

Dingwall is pleased that Kaplan has recognized the need to keep faculty association salaries competitive with other Canadian universities, while sending a clear message to the university that workers deserve to be paid at a high level.

The Faculty Association represents over 1,200 professors, instructors and librarians at the University of Manitoba.

CBC News has contacted the university for comment, but has not yet received a response.

William M. Mayer