YUFA supports U of M faculty on strike

On November 1, full-time faculty at the University of Manitoba (U of M) went on strike in an attempt to settle the outstanding issues in their protracted negotiations with the university administration. As a gesture of solidarity, YUFA has donated $1,000 to the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA), which represents U of M faculty, and has issued the following letter of support:

Dear Mark (UMFA president) all of our colleagues at UMFA,

Please know that you have our deepest and strongest support. We have been wrestling with many of the same issues (teaching load and the growing use of performance metrics and evaluation). We obviously owe a lot to you for taking on this fight and for your Association’s leadership. This is a great reminder of how we need to be united. We will do our best to make our own members aware of your job action and the important issues you are tackling on behalf of all of us. Our Executive has voted to send a $1,000 donation immediately.

In solidarity,
Richard Wellen
York University Faculty Association

YUFA is proud to offer our solidarity and support to our colleagues at the University of Manitoba and to their struggle to defend the quality of education at their institution. That means fighting for reasonable workloads, so faculty can give students the time and attention they deserve, and opposing the introduction of narrow and restrictive "performance indicators" that fail to recognize the diverse ways that faculty contribute to teaching, research, and their students' educational experience.

The issues facing our UMFA colleagues are the same issues facing all of us.

At York, YUFA continues to resist attempts to increase our workload and the larger trend whereby university administrators and governments step up their efforts to manage postsecondary institutions using industrial-style quantitative productivity measures. These policies show little understanding about how increasing reliance on narrow and quantitatively-focused metrics can distort the nature of academic achievement and incentivize faculty to ignore many valuable activities that cannot be given a clear 'score' in the performance evaluation. In particular, this can lead to the under-recognition of many academic qualities such as originality, reflectiveness, critical thought, innovation and dedication to students--qualities which expand and enhance the learning experiences of our students.

We applaud our UMFA colleagues' commitment to these issues, and their willingness to take action to defend the quality of education at the University of Manitoba. Their strike should serve as a reminder to all of us that, when administrators continue to pursue policies and approaches that undermine teaching and research at the university, faculty must consider all tactics at their disposal to defend the high-quality education that all our students deserve.

Please show your solidarity by sending a message of support: email [email protected].

A win for our UMFA colleagues is a win for all of us!