Skip directly to content

Supporting University of Manitoba Librarians and Professors

on November 7, 2016 - 9:15am

Supporting University of Manitoba Librarians and Professors

As of 12 a.m. on Tuesday, November 1, members of the University of Manitoba Faculty Association are on strike. According to the Winnipeg Free Press, U of M offered a settlement to UMFA and the association will respond today - Monday, November 7.

Key bargaining priorities relate to the way the University of Manitoba - including its libraries - are managed. Key issues for UMFA are:

  • Forbidding any further increase in teaching loads unilaterally imposed by deans/directors and admin staff support for new guidelines, policies, procedures, etc. that will increase/have increased Member’s workloads;

  • Protection of Instructor and Librarian job security;

  • Increasing the collegial power of UMFA Members, relative to the power of the administration, in developing or changing new policies affecting UMFA members’ work;
  • Preventing the administration’s use of performance indicators to evaluate the work of UMFA members;
  • Making the administration exercise its management rights fairly, reasonably, and equitably.

(UMFA bargaining update #6 and UMFA Bargaining Newsletter, October 2016)

Library workers in Manitoba may be aware of the recent high number of library assistant lay-offs at the University of Manitoba Libraries. While these individuals did not belong to UMFA, the scale of the job losses was felt across the organization - including by UMFA librarians. University of Manitoba President David Barnard shared the following thoughts on the layoff of 40+ part-time workers:

"Our business is changing, just as everyone's."

Barnard said that there have been significant changes to university libraries. When he was a student, everything was stacked on shelves, and if he needed a book not available, he'd have to wait for an inter-library transfer.

Now, "It's possible for a student sitting with a laptop" to access almost instantly information which no longer requires the assistance and expertise of a librarian."

(Winnipeg Free Press, June 10, 2016: U of M, union disagree strongly on library cuts)

This is the climate under which bargaining and the strike are taking place.


The Manitoba Library Association would like to highlight the following scheduling information. All supporters are welcome to walk a picket line in solidarity with striking UMFA members.  Many of these lines will include librarians. UMFA Librarians serving as picket captains have provided the following information about locations and scheduling. They very much look forward to any support we can give them.

This information is subject to change.  Librarians' participation is also not limited to the mentions below.  They may be present on other lines and at other times.

There are 5 picket locations.  All run Monday to Friday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. When arriving at any picket line please ask to speak to a picket captain before joining the line.


Picket Locations

Fort Garry Campus - Chancellor Matheson Rd @ Pembina Hwy  

This is expected to be a very busy line. Several librarians are scheduled for duty there on the 7am-9 am shift.  On 11 a.m.-1 p.m. the picket captain is a librarian.

Fort Garry Campus - University Crescent North

Fort Garry Campus - University Crescent South

Fort Garry Campus - King’s Drive

Bannatyne Campus - outside the Brodie Centre (727 McDermot Ave.)

Bannatyne Campus will have the most librarians of any of the lines, with several scheduled to be there for the 7 a.m.-9 a.m. and 9 a.m.-11 a.m. shifts.


General info:

Read more about UMFA bargaining priorities:

Learn about other ways you can support UMFA members: