During an information meeting for students held yesterday, University of Winnipeg professors Mark Golden and Peter Ives responded to questions about the potential University of Winnipeg Faculty Association (UWFA) strike.
Questions posed by people in the crowd of approximately 75 students included what a strike would mean for the end of the semester, and what exactly the UWFA and University of Winnipeg administration are negotiating about.
Although they could not speak to the details of the negotiations, Golden and Ives assured the crowd arrangements would be made so that students would not lose any credits or their ability to graduate in the event of a strike.
“Of course we hope there will be a negotiated settlement,” said Golden, a classics professor and UWFA member.
“Some teams negotiated today, and some are tomorrow, so it’s very likely there will be a negotiated settlement by the time of the strike or that we will be close. But, I can’t guarantee that.”
If a strike occurs, the semester will be lengthened to include the days missed.
While this could mean trouble for students who have summer jobs or travel plans lined up for the end of semester, Ives said it’s necessary, since going on strike when classes are over for the semester would not have an impact on the university’s administration.
“Students feel like pawns because you are, in a certain sense,” said Ives.
When asked when they think a settlement will be reached, Golden responded humorously.
“I’m still waiting for (a student) to bring me back two books that he borrowed from me in 1979,” he said. “I am predicting we’ll have a settlement before (that student) brings me back those books.”
Meanwhile, the University of Winnipeg updated the main page of its website to include a direct link to info about the labour negotiations.
“The University’s administration remains committed to resolving outstanding matters with UWFA in order to reach an agreement, and to avoid disruptions for students,” according to the U of W’s website.
With files from Aaron Epp.