The Virtual Advising Help Centre is also available to help with general questions about UM, if students are concerned about progression in their studies, questions about continuing courses, and more. VAHC is available extended hours during the week and on weekends.

In these challenging times, please remember that supports are available to you. If you need help with academics, your finances or have health and wellness concerns, there are staff committed to providing student advocacy, supporting your emotional wellness, and offering spiritual care.

Please check the strike main page regularly for any updates.

Highlights

  • The Voluntary Withdrawal date will change depending on the length of the strike. Get details in the Changes to the Academic Schedule section. Students may also request an Authorized withdrawal.

  • Graduate students can learn about any changes to deadlines in the Graduate students section.

  • The university has stipulated a buffer of 72 hours after the first class session of resumed courses before any tests/exams can be held or assignments due.

What is happening?

Why is there a strike?

The joint efforts of the University of Manitoba and the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) to reach an agreement on terms for a new collective bargaining agreement by Oct. 31 have been unsuccessful. As a result, UMFA has commenced with strike action beginning Tuesday, November 2. One of UM's priorities is to provide stability for students through the timely conclusion of an agreement with UMFA. We continue to work toward a resolution. 

Will all faculty be on strike?

No. Only those individuals who are members of UMFA and choose to participate will be on strike. Many academic staff are not members of UMFA, such as sessional appointees, teaching assistants, certain members of the Max Rady College of Medicine and other professional programs. These individuals are expected to continue with academic duties. All non-UMFA employees (administrative, support, and managerial) will report to work as usual. 

Will the University be open during the UMFA strike?

Yes, the university will continue with normal operations to the extent possible and with continued adherence and adaptations as required by COVID health safety protocols. We will support the continuation of classes and services in during UMFA strike action. UMLearn will remain functional and online library services will remain available. 

How can I find out if my class or lab is being offered?

Please review the list of continuing courses and labs. Attend classes and labs as scheduled in the format they have been delivered (remote or in-person). Check the list regularly as information about course offerings may change daily. Course materials for all courses (continuing or not) on UM Learn is available as usual during the term. However, if a course is taught by an UMFA member, that member may choose to remove the course material or deactivate the course, preventing students’ access. For any course not running, , you are not responsible for any coursework including exams, mid-terms, assignments etc. for that course until,

          a) it restarts once the strike is over, or
          b) if your instructor returns to normal duties before the end of the strike. If your course is continuing, you will be responsible for all coursework for that course. 

Will student services be available during the strike?

Most student services are currently available online or by phone, and will continue to be offered in this manner during the strike. Some programs, services or workshops may be impacted – check with the specific service for details on availability. A listing of services and supports available to students is available here.

Will there be library services during the strike?

During the pandemic, library services were online and libraries are now open and adhere to provincial COVID protocols. Collections will be available online and through contactless pickup and AskUs services will continue to be available. Consult the Libraries' website for more and updated information.

How long will a term be disrupted before it is a “write-off”, and what options are being considered?

The university has no intention of "writing off the year" due to labour disruptions. The intent is that the academic year will be successfully completed. Depending on the length of the strike, the commencement of the Winter Term may be delayed until Fall Term classes and examinations are completed. More details will be communicated as they become available.

How will I be receiving updates on the situation?

We will share as much information with you as possible, as soon as it becomes available. This website will be updated immediately with any new developments. Any updates affecting students will be communicated to you directly in all-student emails from vice-provost (students), Laurie Schnarr. Please pay close attention to all future communications from the university on this matter. We will also be updating our social media channels with any news that may become available. Visit us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

The demonstrations make a lot of noise and people seem angry. Are they safe?

Both the university and UMFA are committed to student and public safety. Demonstrations are peaceful in intent and practice and reassurances from UMFA are publicly stated to confirm this: There will be pickets that are carefully organized to adhere to safety and public health measures. The safety and well being of students is everyone's top priority. 

Should I take any precautions or special measures for picket lines?

Allow for additional time to get to any in-person class in case there are delays. Delays may be caused by UMFA members and their supporters crowding at access points to campus. Again, these are peaceful demonstrations, they are not intended to be barriers to your access or movement and your safety will be respected.

What will the university do?

As an employer, the university recognizes that the right to strike is a legitimate option in the bargaining process and will endeavour, as far as possible, to maintain service and operations, safeguard personnel and students, property and facilities, and continue constructive relations with the faculty association members who are engaged in lawful strike activities both during the strike and after, once normal operations resume.

What happens when it's over?

When the strike ends, the university will endeavour to restore normal conditions as soon as possible by attempting to re-establish sound relations with the faculty association and resuming all classes, courses and activities. ​Once an agreement is established, we will communicate with you on what to expect next with new information that will be posted and highlighted on this site as it becomes available. There may be changes to the academic schedule so ensure that you continue to monitor your email for more information as the strike continues.

What is binding interest arbitration?

Agreeing to binding interest arbitration would mean that both an employer and a union (in this case UM and UMFA) who are negotiating a collective bargaining agreement agree to adhere to a resolution put forth by a neutral, third-party arbitrator. That arbitrator would look at the outstanding issues on the table and come up with a contract that they deem to be the best path forward. The Arbitrator's decision is informed by legal principles and made independent of government. Both sides would be bound by the agreement to accept the arbitrator’s decisions.

Why would binding interest arbitration be recommended?

Binding interest arbitration is sometimes recommended by a mediator when there is little likelihood that the parties will reach a settlement. 

What does this mean for me?

Can I cross the picket line?

Yes. Students can cross the picket line. If you are attending in-person classes or labs, we encourage you to exercise patience and caution in crossing any picket line. All parties, including employees on strike and individuals crossing the picket line, are responsible for refraining from illegal behaviour. If you experience problems or are involved in an incident while crossing the picket-line please report this to University Security Services (204-474-9312), or at https://umanitoba.ca/security/ 

Can I choose not to cross the picket line?

Yes. Choosing not to cross picket lines is your right. All instructors who are currently teaching are to make reasonable accommodations if this is the case. Please note, if you make this choice, all course requirements must still be met. Your instructor will provide details around how and when work can be completed. If this is your intention, you must email your instructor as soon as you have decided not to cross the picket line, and inform them that you will not be attending your continuing course (whether in-person or virtual) for this reason. Your instructor will provide a confirmatory email back to you - declarations will not be accepted retroactively.

I have to attend class and labs but don’t want to cross picket lines. What are my options?

Whether or not to cross a picket line is your choice. All instructors who are currently teaching are to make reasonable accommodations if this is the case. Please note, if you make this choice, all course requirements must still be met. Your instructor will provide details around how and when work can be completed. If this is your intention, you must email your instructor as soon as you have decided not to cross the picket line, and inform them that you will not be attending your continuing course (whether in-person or virtual) for this reason. Your instructor will provide a confirmatory email back to you - declarations will not be accepted retroactively.

Will remote classes continue to run?

If the course is taught be a non-UMFA member or an UMFA member that has decided not to strike, the course will most likely be continuing. You have access to all course material in UM Learn for all courses, whether the course is continuing or not. However, if a course is taught by an UMFA member, that UMFA member may choose to remove the course material or deactivate the course, preventing students' access. Also, if an instructor for one of your courses is on strike, you are not responsible for any coursework including exams, mid-terms, tests and assignments until,  

          a) the course restarts once the strike is over, or
          b) your instructor returns to work before the end of the strike. If your instructor is on strike, you can read or study for that course if you choose. Please review the list of continuing courses and labs often. Remember if your course is continuing, you will be responsible for all coursework for that course

If my instructor is on strike but has pre-recorded lectures, am I expected to keep up with the classes?

No. If an instructor for one of your courses is on strike, you are not responsible for any coursework including exams, mid-terms, tests and assignments until,  

          a) the course restarts once the strike is over, or
          b) your instructor returns to work before the end of the strike. However, you will be able to access course materials on UM Learn for all courses – those that are continuing and those that are not (note: if a course is taught by an UMFA member, that UMFA member may choose to remove the course material or deactivate the course, preventing students' access).  

If your instructor is on strike, you can choose read or study for that course, but it is not a requirement. Please review the list of continuing courses and labs often. Remember if your course is continuing, you will be responsible for all coursework for that course.  

I am conducting research as part of my studies and have live specimens, field or studio work on campus – can I continue with my research and activities? Who will attend to live specimens or other ongoing work?

Fully vaccinated students will continue to have access to labs as required to maintain research work and projects. In cases where the student’s advisor is normally in charge of the laboratory and they are an UMFA member who has chosen to strike, a student should not be in the lab unless there is a technician, research associate, or post-doctoral fellow that can assume supervisory responsibility. Also note that labs and experiments cannot be held offsite for liability reasons. 

What about multi-section course offerings, where some sections may continue, and others may be paused due to the strike? How will this be accommodated?

Specific sections, of multi-section courses, taught by non-UMFA members (or those not on strike) will continue as per normal. The sections, of multi-section courses, taught by UMFA members on strike will continue once the labour action ends, in accordance with all other courses that were paused.

Should I keep coming to the university if my in-person class is not being offered?

If your in-person class is not running, it is preferred that you do not come to campus due to the current COVID-19 pandemic situation. If you do attend campus, you need to be fully vaccinated as per university health directives implemented Aug 19. We encourage students to continue with their studies and to remain aware of what is happening in response to strike action. Daily updates regarding bargaining and the university's strike response activities will be available on this website. 

Can classes be offered off-campus without previous permission?

No. In-person classes cannot be moved to an off-campus location. A list of classes and labs that are continuing have posted. Please check this list regularly as information about class offerings may change daily. If a class is not on the list, you will not be responsible for the coursework. 

How will the strike affect my co-op program or practicum placement?

Students in the co-op program, practica and field work placements should not be impacted but that will be dependent on the length of the strike and if you are supervised by an UMFA member. For specific information, check with your Faculty, College or School and continue to monitor the bargaining website and strike website

How will the strike affect me financially (i.e. tuition, refunds and scholarships)?

The university will provide students with a reasonable opportunity to complete all courses. Students will continue to receive their government student aid, as long as they do not reduce their credit hours below what was reported to their provincial loan agency. Students will also continue to receive their institutional awards if they do not fall below 24 credit hours for scholarships and 18 credit hours for bursaries (over the fall/winter terms).

Will this have an impact on students who are receiving financial aid and awards?

Financial aid is typically based on a minimum credit hour requirement. It is anticipated that the strike will not impact the number of credit hours taken, as courses will resume, and credits will be achieved as per normal, following any strike action. Courses taught by non-UMFA staff or by UMFA members that choose not to strike will continue.

What happens to mid-term exams, final exams or assignments that have been handed in to be marked?

The university will endeavor to ensure that the term is completed, but adjustments may have to be made. Mid-term exams and final exams may be rescheduled at the completion of the strike. It is anticipated that assignments presently handed in will be graded and returned following the end of the strike. 

Will the strike affect the December examination period?

Any effect on the December examination period cannot be determined until the length of the strike is known. The university, subject to Senate approval, will develop a plan that may impact the normal examination period presently scheduled for December. Such planning is dependent on the length of the work stoppage. As information becomes available it will be shared on this website, our social media channels and in all-student emails. 

What is the potential impact on students withdrawing from courses and dropping below minimum course registration requirements?

The impacts on students that choose to voluntarily withdraw (VW) from courses that may be paused during a strike will be no different that the consequences of a VW during a regular term. Students should speak to an academic advisor in their home Faculty/College/School to be certain they understand any impact of a VW on their specific program, financial aid, or other concern.

My (family member/friend) goes to UM and said that a prof told them not to go to class during a strike. What should I do?

Students should confirm with their professor or on the strike website if their class is continuing during the strike. If it is, students are expected to attend classes as they have been during the pandemic – either in-person or remotely. This may involve crossing a picket line to do so, and that is their individual choice. The website has been established to offer up-to-date information on any changes for our students. You can let everyone know to check this website regularly. 

I am currently in university and want to apply to another program for Fall 2022, should I still apply?

Yes, applications for other programs will be posted on the website with deadline dates to apply.  The strike will not impact that process and you should apply by the deadline date for your intended program.

Where can I get more information on the bargaining process to date?

For the most recent UMFA Bargaining updates, please return to this site and visit our social media channels on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

What happens to teaching assistants, grade markers, demonstrators, tutors, or seminar leaders? What happens to student lecturers/instructors?

Student employees should contact their faculty/college/school/department office to determine their activities. Student lecturers/instructors must continue teaching their courses. 

What about a grad ceremony?

The November 10 Convocation ceremony will be conducted virtually, as the October ceremonies were.

What is the time frame between when classes that have not been running resume and assignments due or tests/exams held?

The university has stipulated a buffer of 72 hours after the first session before any assignments are due or tests or exams held.

What happens if I have an exam and a class that just resumed at the same time?

The university’s goal is that students are not disadvantaged with respect to any missed classes, materials, assignments/tests when there is a scheduling conflict between a class and an exam. If such a conflict exists, please bring it to the attention of your instructor and a student advisor as soon as possible.

Will tuition increase as a result of the strike or because of a new collective bargaining agreement?

Reviewing and setting tuition fees is an annual process that typically takes place after the winter term.  As such, variable tuition fee changes may be proposed and laid out in budget discussions at that time as part of the University’s typical annual budget planning process. How the strike or a new collective agreement will impact that process will not be known until after the labour action has concluded and the university has had time to evaluate and fully consider the financial impacts of the new collective bargaining agreement and the strike action. It is important to note that UM tuition rates are very low relative to other post-secondary institutions. A sustainable future and the ability to invest in appropriate student programming and supports continues to rely critically on tuition and course-related fees as well as the provincial grant.

How do I apply for an exam deferral?

You apply for an exam deferral through the academic advising office in your faculty/college/school. 

My course was interrupted by the strike but resumed a short time later. When will my final exam will be held?

An alternate exam schedule will be posted soon. Communication will be sent to students once the new exam schedule is posted.

I am a student in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. How will I be able to graduate if I could not complete my program’s clinical courses/placements that were cancelled due to the UMFA strike?

Each program in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences is committed to working collaboratively with its team of leaders, faculty, staff and clinical partners to develop a plan that will assist students toward completion of their required clinical courses/placements in a timely manner and complete their programs requirements in Spring 2022.

Am I going to lose my Manitoba Student Aid as a result of the strike?

Manitoba Student Aid is committed to ensuring that students at the University of Manitoba are not adversely affected by situations outside their control. During the labour disruption at the university, Manitoba Student Aid will continue to disburse funds as long as the student continues to be enrolled in the same credit hours as their aid package was assessed for, as confirmed by the university. If the situation is prolonged, Manitoba Student Aid will review available options and will communicate any changes to students. In the meantime, students can visit the Manitoba Student Aid website for additional information or to contact the office.

Changes to the Academic Schedule

What is happening with the academic schedule?

The academic schedule will be revised as a result of the strike. The extent of the revisions will depend on when an agreement is reached between UM and UMFA. Senate Executive has approved four scenarios on timing for resumption of work.

What would the academic schedule be under scenario one?

Scenario 1 was if teaching resumed on or before November 15, 2021.

What would the academic schedule be under scenario two?

Scenario 2 was if teaching resumed on or before November 23.

What would the academic schedule be under scenario three?

Scenario 3 was if teaching resumed on or before November 30.

What would the academic schedule be under scenario four?

  • Teaching resumes from between December 1, 2021 and, up to and including, December 7, 2021.
  • The last instructional day of fall term, December 10, 2021 remains unchanged for continuing classes. 
  • Interrupted classes will have instructional days up until the start of the winter break on December 24, 2022.  Classes will resume January 5, 2022, and the last instructional day will be January 19, 2022. 
  • The voluntary withdrawal (VW) date will move to December 10, 2021 for continuing classes, and December 21, 2021 for interrupted classes. 
  • The original exam period, December 11 to 23, 2021, will continue as is for continuing courses that are not disrupted by the strike. 
  • The dates of the alternate exam period will be January 21 to 23, 2022, inclusive. All courses interrupted by the strike will have their exams re-scheduled to occur during this alternate period. 
  • The final grade appeal deadline will be moved to February 11, 2022, for all classes, continuing and interrupted. 
  • The start of Winter Term 2022 will be January 24, 2022, and the last instructional day would be April 20.
  • The winter term break (Reading Week) would be reduced from a four-day break (February 22-25) to a one-day break (February 22). The winter term exam period (April 21-May 1, 2022) would proceed as scheduled to prevent delays in the start of the Summer Term 2022 and to minimize the impact on graduation and on admission and registration timelines for the Fall Term 2022.
  • The VW date is to be moved to February 4, 2022 for fall/winter term spanned courses and to April 1, 2022 for winter term courses.

Why does scenario four impact the Winter Term break?

In scenario 4, the start of winter term will be delayed by seven days. To maintain the number of instructional days and instructional contact hours, it is necessary to capture additional days. This was accomplished, in part, by reducing the winter term break (Reading Week) to an extended long weekend. This is not ideal, but the alternative of extending the end of the winter term further into May creates many more significant issues: it would jeopardize students’ ability to graduate on time; it would impact students’ ability to complete courses on time that are required to meet application deadlines for advanced entry, after degree, or graduate programs including those at institutions other than UM; and would impact summer employment commitments for students who rely on summer income to pay for their education.

Why do courses have minimum instructional hours? Why can't we just absorb that time that was missed and finish all courses on Dec 10 as planned?

To maintain the integrity of the university’s courses and programs, and to ensure requirements for accreditation, the number of instructional days should remain at sixty-one where at all possible. Courses have minimum instructional hours determined by units and approved by the university Senate. Instructors carefully craft their courses to meet these requirements. It is important that instructors are provided with sufficient time to teach students and facilitate learning. All students have sufficient time to successfully learn the content in courses and compete the required assessments of their learning. Students must be insured that the original learning goals or outcomes for the courses and programs are met. If this does not occur, students may not be prepared for follow-on courses that have prerequisite requirements or have the necessary knowledge to progress effectively and safely to placements or other academic activities including laboratories. Also, some programs have strict minimum contact hours that are stipulated within national accreditation standards. If these standards are not met, programs can lose accreditation and students may be ineligible to meet professional standards for practice in the profession. Lastly, there is generally agreed to understanding of what constitutes a 3 credit hour course across institutions in Canada and more broadly. If the number of teaching hours is altered, there is a potential that other institutions may not accept the course or program from UM. This could have significant consequences for student course credits or even degree(s), when applying to enter other programs or seeking some types of employment.

Is the holiday break affected?

No. In all scenarios, there will be no classes or exams held during the University closure that is scheduled for December 24, 2021, through January 4, 2022. 

I had booked travel home based on the previously released exam schedule. What are my options?

A new exam schedule for courses that were interrupted by the strike will be made available after December 1. At that point, if you have any major conflicts please contact your instructor or the advising office of your faculty/college/school. 

What are my options related to withdrawing from courses?

In all scenarios, the voluntary withdrawal date will be moved (see scenarios, above). As per normal and depending on the situation, students may also request an Authorized Withdrawal (AW) – please contact your academic advisor.

Graduate students

Will a strike affect awards recipients?

Graduate students receiving awards will continue to receive their awards during the strike. Graduate students submitting scholarship applications should continue to adhere to the stipulated deadlines. The Faculty of Graduate Studies will endeavor to ensure that all awards are adjudicated and submitted by their stated deadlines.

Will a strike affect graduate students working on theses?

Graduate students are encouraged to continue their research to the extent possible during the strike.  Graduate students working in different research settings (e.g., a laboratory, in the field, at a research site on or off campus) must ensure that they continue to comply with all safety and supervisory requirements, including those imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  In cases where the student’s advisor is normally in charge of the laboratory and they are an UMFA member who has chosen to strike, a student should not be in the lab unless there is a technician, research associate, or post-doctoral fellow that can assume supervisory responsibility.

Will a strike affect graduate students submitting comprehensive papers?

A graduate student submitting a written comprehensive or candidacy exam to an individual who is a member of UMFA and who is on strike will not have their paper assessed during the strike. You can still submit your answer and copy your department support staff to confirm receipt.  

Can my candidacy exam proceed during a strike?

Contact your department to determine whether this can proceed. All members of an advisory committee must be in attendance. If a member of an advisory committee is a striking UMFA member, then the event will be delayed until all committee members are available. 

Can my thesis proposal or defence proceed during a strike?

Contact your department to determine whether this can proceed. All members of an advisory committee must be in attendance. If a member of an advisory committee is a striking UMFA member, then the event will be delayed until all committee members are available. 

My thesis has been distributed to the examiners, will they be given more time to examine my thesis?

Yes. If your committee members are external to the UofM or are not part of UMFA, they can still submit their reports following the usual process. If you have UMFA members on your committee, they will be given time after the strike is over to submit their report.

I'd like to study at the University of Manitoba - can I still apply for admission?

Yes. You can still apply for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. During a strike, recommendations for admission from departments may take longer than usual and contacting an advisor may be difficult.

What happens to teaching assistants, grade markers, demonstrators, tutors, or seminar leaders? What happens to student lecturers/instructors?

Student employees should contact their faculty/college/school/department office to determine their activities. Student lecturers/instructors must continue teaching their courses. 

Is it possible to submit my Human Ethics protocol during the strike?

Yes, faculty and students may continue to submit their Human Ethics protocols to REB1 or REB2 (Fort Garry), or to BREB or HREB (Bannatyne).

Will my ethics protocol still be reviewed during the strike?

During the strike, protocols submitted to REB1 or REB2 (Fort Garry) will experience delays in approvals because protocols cannot be sent out for review. However, please continue to submit protocols to the Human Ethics Fort Garry Office so your application is in the queue, as well as that the Human Ethics Fort Garry Office will conduct a pre-review of submissions and send feedback. REB1 or REB2 (Fort Garry) reviews and approvals will resume as soon as the strike has ended. We do not expect significant delays due to the strike for protocols submitted to BREB or HREB (Bannatyne).

What happens if I am delayed in my graduate program due to the strike?

We understand that the delays due to the strike will impact graduate students and these will vary across students depending on their courses, program or the nature of the research. We will work with students who are delayed in their programs on a case-by-case basis to accommodate to the best of our ability.

I’m an international graduate student and my thesis defense will have to be rescheduled because of the strike. Do I need to extend my study permit?

If international students are due to apply for a study permit extension during labour unrest (strike), they should include with their application an explanation (from the registrar of the educational institution) of why they have been unable to continue with their studies or attend school. International students must, however, maintain valid temporary residence at all times and should maintain their status as a student during this period by renewing their study permit before it expires or becomes invalid. Once the labour action (strike) has been resolved, they will be able to resume their studies, provided that they continue to have valid temporary residence and a valid study permit. Please contact an International Student Advisor at the International Centre to discuss your individual situation. You can get connected with an ISA through e-mail or a pre-scheduled Zoom meeting by sending a message to international@umanitoba.ca.

My recommender or reference is a professor at the University of Manitoba, am I going to miss my application deadline?

No, you will not miss your deadline. We understand that recommendations as well as supervisor support letters from UM Faculty may be delayed due to the strike, and you will not be penalized. Once the strike ends, your recommender will still be able to submit their letter with the link provided by our system. IMPORTANT: Please ensure that all other items are uploaded by the application deadline.

Extension (non-credit) courses offered through Extended Education

Will my Extended Education courses be impacted by a strike?

In most cases, no. Extended Education courses that are offered as part of certificate or short programs would normally not be impacted. Most Extended Education courses will continue to be offered online as they are currently. If any courses are impacted, you will be contacted by Extended Education. 

Work-study

Will my work-study placement be affected by a strike?

No, you may continue to work your allotted hours as normal, as long as you remain enrolled in a minimum of 18 credit hours over the full academic year.

Indigenous students

Will the strike have any impact on band funding for Indigenous students?

Band funding is typically based on a minimum credit hour requirement. It is anticipated strike will not impact the number of credit hours taken, as courses will resume, and credits achieved as per normal, following any strike action. Courses taught by non-UMFA staff or by UMFA members that choose not to strike will continue.

What dedicated supports are available for Indigenous students?

The Indigenous Student Centre Elders-in-Residence and Student Counsellors continue to be available for appointments. Student advisors are also available to assist with impacts from the strike or meet with you to discuss your academic program, goals or any questions you may have during this time. Indigenous student advisors provide holistic and culturally-grounded advising services for Indigenous students, where they consider your mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and cultural well-being. Please go to the following link to contact the Indigenous Student Centre.

International students

What is a strike?

A strike is a recognized, legal action that employees of a labour union can vote to undertake according to the Labour Relations Act in Manitoba. It means they stop working for a period of time and publicly demonstrate their concerns in bargaining a new collective agreement. The work stoppage puts pressure on normal operations as a measure to motivate the employer to settle disputes. 

What is a "picket line?"

During a strike there is something called a "picket line." In this case, it means UMFA members and supporters gathering together in groups or forming "lines" of people near university campus locations where they can be seen by members of the public and rally for support. These gatherings may be loud but they are peaceful, legal demonstrations, not barriers to entry, your safety will be respected. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a 'virtual' picket line could also be considered. You would see this prior to viewing your remotely delivered courses or as postings on websites or learning portal sites (such as UM Learn). It would be a message to students that labour action is underway by the faculty association.

Will I be in trouble with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as a result of a strike?

No. There are provisions in the IRCC regulations for situations beyond a student’s control, such as a strike. Please contact an International Student Advisor at the International Centre if you have further questions. To contact an advisor email international@umanitoba.ca with your name and student number.

Due to the strike I can’t continue my studies. What does that mean for my status as a study permit holder?

This situation is beyond your control and your status as a study permit holder should not be affected. As a result of the strike, you will: 

  • Not face any penalty or enforcement action because you can’t pursue your studies during this time, 
  • Be able to work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week if your study permit allows you to work (and also work full-time during regular breaks such as Christmas and reading week), and 
  • Still be eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. 
  • You must continue to have valid status as a student in Canada to be able to return to class after the labour dispute is resolved. If you need to apply to extend your study permit during the strike, include a letter from the registrar to the IRCC that confirms that the strike has stopped you from attending school and pursuing your studies. 

Am I still enrolled as a student during a strike?

Yes. A strike is not considered to be a scheduled break so you would still be considered enrolled as a UM student. 

How will a strike affect UM’s reporting of my status to IRCC?

The Registrar’s Office will respond to requests from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to confirm a student’s academic/enrolment status based on course or program registration information on the day the request is received. If one or more of your classes is interrupted due to a strike, you will still be considered to be registered in the course during a strike period. Graduate Students will maintain registration status during the strike period. 

Can I still get documents from the University to extend my permits and visas during a strike?

Yes. The Registrar’s Office will remain open virtually during regular business hours. If you require any additional documents from your Faculty, College or School, please contact their advising office directly. 

If international students are due to apply for a study permit extension during a strike, they should include with their application an explanation (from the registrar of the educational institution) of why they have been unable to continue with their studies or attend school. International students must, however, maintain valid temporary residence at all times and should maintain their status as a student during this period by renewing their study permit before it expires or becomes invalid. Once the strike has been resolved, they will be able to resume their studies, provided that they continue to have valid temporary residence and a valid study permit. Please contact an International Student Advisor at the International Centre to discuss your individual situation. You can get connected with an ISA through e-mail or a pre-scheduled Zoom meeting by sending a message to international@umanitoba.ca.

Can I work during a strike?

Your eligibility to work doesn’t change during a strike. You must always maintain your legal status with IRCC and continue to comply with the terms and conditions of your permits and visas. A strike is not considered to be a scheduled break and you will be considered enrolled as a UM student. 

I am here studying English as an additional language at the English Language Centre. Should I attend my online classes?

Yes. Attend your classes as scheduled. If you choose not to attend/log in to your remote classes, you will be marked absent, which will count towards your attendance and may impact your successful completion of the program.

Will my coverage under the Manitoba International Student Health Plan (MISHP) be impacted because I'm not attending classes during the strike?

No, your coverage through the MISHP is not impacted by the strike, as your registration status is not changed, even though you can't attend classes. If one or more of your classes is interrupted due to a strike, you will still be considered to be registered in the course during a strike period. Graduate Students will maintain registration status during the strike period.

Newly admitted winter 2021 international students

Will a strike affect the processing of my study permit?

No. There are provisions in the IRCC regulations for situations beyond a student’s control, such as a strike. Please refer to the IRCC website and/or the Visa Office processing your application. Also, refer to the IRCC’s site on COVID for the latest travel restrictions and exemptions for international students. 

Bisons student athletes

Are there members of UMFA in Bison Sports?

Yes, many of our full-time coaches are UMFA members. 

Can I contact my coach during the strike?

If your coach is participating in the strike, your team will be assigned a primary contact from Bison Sports staff. Please direct all inquiries to this individual. 

Who will be my primary contact for our team during the strike?

The primary contact for your team will be an assigned Bison Sports staff member and an assigned assistant coach. That information will be provided to your team captains. 

How will team training/practices be affected during the strike?

If your full-time coach is on strike, team training and practices will be planned and run by assistant coaches and run as they have given the pandemic and according to the most recent COVID health safety protocols. Since some assistant coaches are part-time volunteers, there may be certain training sessions that will require the leadership of team captains and/or Bison Sports staff. 

How will team and individual strength and conditioning training, and Athletic Therapy Clinic be affected?

Team and individual strength and conditioning training and Athletic Therapy and psychology will continue to be offered as they have been during the pandemic.

How will “participation” in competitions be affected?

If your team has any exhibition events planned, and your full-time coach is on strike, assistant coaches will determine which student-athletes participate in the competition. 

Will the Bison Sports administration offices be open and operational during the strike?

Yes. In the Bison Sports administrative staff will create a schedule to ensure that the office is open and staffed. Due to the pandemic, many UM services and supports will continue to be offered remotely. For information on facilities are currently open and under what measures refer to this UM Today article

Who do I speak with if I have any concerns about eligibility, athletic scholarship, or missing classes or tests?

Speak with Gene Muller and/or Curt Warkentin, as well as your team’s primary assistant coach. 

Who do I speak with if I have any concerns about my physical or mental health including injuries and treatment?

Please consult with members of the Bison Integrated Support Team (BIST) including your team’s Athletic Therapist, Cole Scheller at the high-performance gym, Kevin Kristianson (Psychology), Gene Muller and/or Curt Warkentin. 

Prospective students

What does the strike mean for me if I apply to, start or complete my program on time?

For any prospective students, the situation at UM will not affect your ability to apply to, complete or graduate from the university on time. 

If I apply now, does a strike situation affect my degree?

A strike at UM will not affect your ability to apply to, complete or graduate from the university on time. 

Can I still apply?

Absolutely!  During the strike all student services will be open remotely as they have been during the pandemic, including the Admissions Office, Student Recruitment and Financial Aid & Awards. Student Recruitment and Admissions staff will be available as usual to assist you with any questions or inquiries you may have.  Please contact us. For undergraduate admissions questions email admissions@umanitoba.ca or call 204-474-8808. For graduate admissions questions email graduate_studies@umanitoba.ca or call 204-474-9377.

Will this affect my admission/scholarships at UM?

No. Applications for admission and scholarships will not be affected. 

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