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Students staging lockout at U of M admin building as strike continues

University of Manitoba staff hit the picket line Tuesday after failed negotiations with university administration (Mason Depatie, CTV News) University of Manitoba staff hit the picket line Tuesday after failed negotiations with university administration (Mason Depatie, CTV News)
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WINNIPEG -

A group of students is standing outside the doors of the University of Manitoba administration building on Monday to prevent administration staff from entering the building.

In a news release, Students Support UMFA (SSUMFA) said the group will be staging the lockout from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the building located at 66 Chancellors Circle.

“Administrators at the University of Manitoba are afraid to stand up against government interference,” said Travis Hunnie a SSUMFA organizer.

“If administrators are willing to let that get in the way of our learning, then we are going to show them that we can get in their way, too."

Members of the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) went on strike at the beginning of November following months of failed negotiations with the university’s administration. UMFA is asking for what it describes as a fair salary offer, saying it will help with recruitment and retention of faculty members.

SSUMFA said its Monday morning protest is a result of the administration refusing to offer a fair deal.

“We as students of the University of Manitoba unequivocally stand with UMFA and support their right to strike and protest,” said Jaron Rykiss, a student from SSUMFA.

“We demand that the administration meet the faculty and offer a new deal, one that supports the faculty and values their efforts accordingly.”

CTV News Winnipeg has reached out to the university for comment.

In a statement, the university said a small group of its bargaining team met with UMFA representatives on Saturday to clarify the numbers and calculations that make up the university’s and UMFA’s offers.

“UMFA confirmed that the university has calculated the actual cost of the proposals accurately, although there continues to be disagreement on how to report those numbers,” the statement said.

The U of M noted that both parties will be back at the bargaining table on Monday as they continue mediation and work towards a new collective agreement. The university added it will be tabling an updated monetary offer.

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