“We have learned today that the Pallister government directly interfered for political reasons in an ongoing labour negotiation,” said NDP MLA Wab Kinew. "The U of M and the faculty association have been bargaining for months and were already in mediation, but the Pallister government has forced them to start over by appearing to impose a wage freeze on all public sector employees.
“This deeply irresponsible interference in the bargaining process raises the risk of a strike, which would have a severe impact on students. This is direct political interference in an ongoing labour negotiation and shows shocking disrespect for students, faculty and administrators and for their democratic rights.
“This political interference can only lead to uncertainty and instability for faculty, administration and students – this government is doing what it said it wouldn’t do and is playing with students’ education in the process.
“We call on the Pallister government to immediately back off its ideological obsession with austerity and allow the faculty and the university to bargain in good faith.
“The Pallister government needs to clear the air with Manitobans. Are they planning to impose a wage freeze on all public sector workers?”