Teachers, students appalled by University of Manitoba admin locked online learning site – Winnipeg

University students caught between administrators and striking faculties say they were locked out of an online learning system that was supposed to let them continue their studies.

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) went on strike Tuesday morning after the union and administrators failed to agree on the latest contract.

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University of Manitoba faculty on strike

Later that day, students who thought they did not need to cross a line to continue some of their work online found that they were now denied access from UM Learn, the university’s online learning portal.

“Just notice that I can only access two of my classes that are not striking,” he wrote Roderick Richardson on Twitter.

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Potential impact on students from the University of Manitoba faculty strike


Potential impact on students from the University of Manitoba faculty strike

“BAD FORM,” he added Librarian Alyson Brickey.

“In response to the strike, it appears that Uof M has locked students out of their online classroom materials. It is quite clear that the university does not have the students’ best interests in mind here,” Cara Ginter wrote on Facebook.

In a statement sent to the school’s website late Wednesday afternoon, officials from U of M said that all courses on the UM Learn site have been activated.

“We have heard from you that it was not possible to access all courses in UM Learn was a problem. We resolved this as soon as possible to reduce any additional stress that this caused you,” said Laurie M. Schnarr , Deputy Provost (Students) in the statement.

Schnarr said students are not responsible for any coursework, assignments or exams in courses taught by an instructor who strikes during the strike.

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University of Manitoba faculty on strike


University of Manitoba faculty on strike

A continuously updated list of classes continuing during the strike is available on the school’s website.

The school’s statement did not say why students had been denied entry from UM Learn.

A second-year student, who asked not to be identified for fear of academic retaliation from the university, said she tried to download all of her course material before several parts of the system were affected.

“I just want to learn, and for the university to do this, this is not acceptable,” she said.

“They have to keep the students out of what this is between teachers and the university, not the students.”

UMFA says it was not responsible for the lockout and said it cannot deny students access even if they wanted to.

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“The University of Manitoba unilaterally removed all student access from the UM Learn website,” UMFA said in a statement to Global News.

“The material on these sites, in courses taught by University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) members, is the intellectual property and is work produced by UMFA members.

“The decision of the university administration to block access to UM Learn was made without consultation or communication with UMFA, and questions regarding this should therefore be referred to the university administration.”

On Wednesday morning, The Manitoba Teachers Society threw its support behind striking UMFA workers, which include professors, librarians and other support staff.

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The union is calling for wage increases to address what it calls problems of continued recruitment and retention, and is asking the university to push back against government-imposed rules that require small wage increases over the next three years.

-With files from Shane Gibson


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University of Manitoba faculty members on strike


University of Manitoba faculty members on strike

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