The MMSA Executive convened this evening, November 2nd 2016, for our monthly council meeting; one topic of discussion was the recent UMFA strike. Following brief deliberation, the MMSA Executive voted unanimously in support of the UMFA’s decisions over the past few weeks and the motives behind their strike.
Though the demands of the medical curriculum necessitate us crossing the picket line at Brodie Centre each morning, I believe I can speak for the entire medical student body when I affirm the deep respect and appreciation we have for those of our educators and support staff who are part of the UMFA. The MMSA strongly opposes the monetization of education and research. University students, no matter the Faculty, are not customers. It is disappointing that the University of Manitoba administration seeks to cut corners that limit the academic freedom and well-being of professors while devaluing the education of students.
The MMSA recognizes that research is an integral cornerstone of modern medicine. Business interests and attitudes such as those displayed by the University administration threaten to undermine not only the prestige of our University, but the validity of future medical care as well. The outcome of these negotiations may well set the tone for years of University priorities. They also have the potential to reach further beyond the parties immediately involved as evidenced by the interjection of our provincial government.
The MMSA encourages the University administration to carefully consider the implications of its decisions and priorities. Though we hope for a conciliation to be reached shortly, we also understand that it may take time. The MMSA will continue to support the UMFA strike for as long as it is in effect.
-Joshua Palay, Sr. Stick, MMSA