Collective Bargaining Updates
The college is currently in negotiations with the Manitoba Government Employees Union (MGEU) to negotiate a new collective agreement for our staff who are members of the bargaining unit.
We are committed to keeping our students, faculty, staff and stakeholders up to date as we continue to work together with the Union to come to a meaningful resolution. Information will be posted here as it becomes available.
March 21 - Strike Mandate Vote
We have been at a joint bargaining table with Red River College Polytechnic and MGEU since the fall of 2021. Since that time, we have been involved in 24 bargaining sessions and have made significant progress on many items for a renewed collective agreement for the Colleges.
Despite ongoing efforts, we have yet to agree on the compensation package. The union has decided to seek a strike mandate from their members and are hosting a series of strike votes throughout this week. If union members vote to strike, it will mean that they have authorized the bargaining committee to call a strike if necessary. However, it does not necessarily mean that a strike will happen. Both parties are still expected to continue negotiating in good faith, and a strike can be avoided if a tentative agreement is reached.
We will return to bargaining this week, on Friday, March 24, at which point we will learn if the union has received a strike mandate. We have received many questions about the status of bargaining from our students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders, and want to reassure you that we are committed to the bargaining processes.
The Colleges and the union are doing everything they can to avoid a strike to reach a fair and equitable agreement that is in the best interest of both parties. We respect the bargaining process and are committed to reaching a renewed collective agreement to avoid any potential work disruption.
On March 7, 2023 we began working with a conciliator, who will be working with us to help us achieve an agreement. We are scheduled to continue this work with the conciliator on March 24, 2023.
As we approach our next bargaining session on March 24, we remain committed to finding a resolution to avoid a labour disruption at the College.
March 24 - Strike Mandate Vote Results
We have been informed that MGEU members have voted in favour of a strike mandate. This means that the union bargaining committee has been authorized to call a strike if necessary. We understand that this news may be concerning for our students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders, but we want to assure you that we are committed to working with MGEU to reach a fair and equitable agreement.
The College and the Students Association continue to have employee/student and family assistance programs available to provide support during this time.
Staff – Homewood Health - Staff may continue to access our employee and family assistance program through Homewood Health at www.homeweb.ca or 1-800-663-1142, Access Code: ACC770.
Students – I.M. Well – All students have access to I.M. Well a free counselling program for students and their immediate family members. Students can access I.M. Well by going to www.accstudents.com/imwell/ or 1-877-554-6935.
We remain optimistic that a tentative agreement can be reached and a strike can be avoided. We will continue to negotiate in good faith with MGEU, and we have additional bargaining sessions in the coming weeks.
We will keep you informed of any developments as negotiations progress
April 3 - Update
This week the college will continue to work with the MGEU to reach a tentative agreement. We remain optimistic that a tentative agreement can be reached, and a strike can be avoided. We will continue to negotiate in good faith and are scheduled to continue working with a conciliator on Wednesday, April 5, 2023.
As we continue to work toward a resolution with the Union, students remain our priority. Last week, the Union notified members that strike action would begin on April 11 if a resolution had not been reached.
The Union has communicated its intended strike action, should they initiate a strike, it will be a rotating strike.
A rotating strike, while less disruptive to the lives of employees, could be potentially more harmful to the academic lives of students.
As such, on Friday, March 31 we met with MGEU to discuss the necessary protections needed for our students to allow a rotating strike to occur. These conditions will be necessary to ensure a full labour disruption can be avoided to protect our students from the harm that could be caused by a lengthy rotating strike.
So, at this time, we cannot definitively say how this disruption will impact college programs and services, but we will continue to keep staff and students informed as soon as we know further information.
In the event of a strike, the Respectful College Policy will continue to apply to all staff, students, affiliates, contractors, and visitors. We continue to have supports available to help people cope with the stress that this uncertainty can cause. The Students Association continues to have their student and family assistance program available to provide support during this time.
Students – I.M. Well – All students have access to I.M. Well a free counselling program for students and their immediate family members. Students can access I.M. Well by going to www.accstudents.com/imwell/ or 1-877-554-6935
Staff – Homewood Health - Staff may continue to access our employee and family assistance program through Homewood Health at homeweb.ca or 1-800-663-1142, Access Code: ACC770.
April 4 - Student Rights and Responsibilities
The college has been meeting regularly with the Students' Association to address a wide range of questions and concerns in relation to the potential strike. We have committed to meeting daily in the event of a strike of any sort.
Last week, a letter was sent to the ACCSA President articulating the college's commitment to Students Rights and Responsibilities During Labour Disruption.
Please find that letter here.
April 6 - Strike Plans Suspended
Today, with the continued assistance of a conciliator, the College and the MGEU resumed bargaining to reach a renewed collective agreement. Following today’s session, the Union advised the College that they will suspend their planned strike on Tuesday, April 11 and will present our most recent offer to their membership.
This development means there will not be a strike on April 11. The College will maintain regular operations, programs and services moving into next week. All programs, scheduled exams and events will proceed as planned for students.
April 19 - Offer Update
As part of our commitment to keep our college community informed and as we continue to work with the Manitoba Government and General Employees Union (MGEU) to reach a fair and equitable agreement, we would like to share an update.
On April 5th and 6th, with the continued assistance of a conciliator, the college and the MGEU resumed bargaining with the objective of reaching a renewed collective agreement. Following these sessions, the union advised the college that they would present the college’s most recent offer to their membership for a vote.
This is encouraging and we wanted to provide the college community with the details of our offer.
What has the college offered?
Here is our most recent offer:
- New multi-year agreement for the period of June 19, 2021 – June 13, 2025, with general salary increases (GSI) each year, along with measures to enhance the faculty salary schedule in years 2 and 4:
Faculty Special Wage Adjustment
1 - 2021
2 - 2022
3 - 2023
4 - 2024
New Step 13
- Retroactive pay for all employees going back to the expiration of the last agreement based on the new wage scales and wage adjustments.
- 4.5% increase in instructor educational supplements ($125 per year for a Master’s and $250 per year for a doctorate)
- 50% increase in standby rates
- $500 signing bonus for full-time members, and $250 for part-time members
- $350 increase to the Health Spending Account
The offer was presented as a package, which means that all aspects of the offer must be ratified as presented for the employees to benefit from all the enhancements in the offer. If the offer is not ratified, and should the Manitoba Labour Board be called on to settle the agreement, certain aspects of the offer such as the Faculty Special Wage Adjustments may not be included in the proposals put to the Board or the Board may decide not to include the Faculty Special Wage Adjustments in an imposed settlement.
The college has been working hard to provide an offer that would increase wages and improve conditions for our staff, while also working within the required parameters of a publicly funded institution.
The college has been paying close attention to recent settlements that align with the same years we are negotiating (2021-2025). Our last offer is competitive with recent settlements that have occurred at other public sector employers within this timeframe:
- Manitoba Workers Compensation Board (pending ratification):
- Agreed to annual wage increases of 2.5%, 1.75%, 1.75%, and 1.5%
- 7.5% over four years, 2021-2024
- University St. Boniface: (Ratified May 2022)
- Agreed to 1.25%, 1.5%, 1.5%, 1.75%
- 6% over four years, 2020-2024
- Government of Manitoba (Ratified May 2022):
- Arbitration settlement – 1.65%, and 2.0%, for the last two years of their agreement (2021,2022), that align with the first two years of our agreement (2021, 2022). These two years were settled by an arbitrator.
- 5.55% over four years, 2019-2023
- Manitoba Nurses Union (Ratified October 14, 2021):
- 1.2%, 2%, 2%
- 5.2% over three years, 2022-2024
What happens next?
Taking the college’s offer to a membership vote provides membership the opportunity to evaluate the offer on the table and vote on it.
The union has indicated that a vote could take a few weeks. In the meantime, the college will maintain regular operations, programs, and services. All programs, scheduled exams, and events will proceed as planned. While a strike is still possible, the college remains optimistic that we can reach a tentative agreement and avoid a strike.
So will there or won’t there be a strike?
Should the membership vote to accept the College’s last offer, the collective agreement will be ratified and there will not be a strike.
If the offer is not ratified, the union and the college will return to conciliation under the threat of a strike. Should a strike be called by the union, the Manitoba Labour Board cannot be called on to settle the agreement until the strike has lasted at least sixty days.
Students will remain our priority as we move forward. At this time, we can’t say if or when a strike may impact college programs and services, but in the event of a strike, we are committed to putting the interests of our students first.
We remain committed to keeping our college community as informed as we can. Please continue to check your college email and assiniboine.net/bargaining for updates.
May 4 - Offer Vote Result
The MGEU has advised the college that their members have voted to reject the last offer we presented during our bargaining sessions on April 5th and 6th. You can find all previous updates around bargaining along with details of our most recent offer at assiniboine.net/bargaining.
We have been at a joint bargaining table with Red River College Polytechnic and MGEU since the fall of 2021. A conciliator was agreed upon and appointed earlier this year. In this time, the college has been working hard to provide an offer that would increase wages and improve conditions for our staff, while also working within the required parameters of a publicly funded institution.
While this result is disappointing, we would hope that a tentative agreement can be reached, and a strike can be avoided. The college intends to continue negotiating with the union in good faith and are scheduled to return to the bargaining table, with the assistance of a conciliator, later this month.
Students will remain our priority as we move forward. At this time, we can’t say if, when or how a strike may impact college operations and services, but in the event of a strike, we are committed to putting the interest of our students first.
We remain committed to keeping our college community as informed as we can. Please continue to check your college email and this webpage for updates.