Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC

fpse

Fair Employment Week October 18 - 22. 3 contract academic staff are pictured with quotes describing the negative effects of contract academic work.

FPSE has joined the national campaign for fairness for contract faculty and staff organized by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT). The Fair Employment Week campaign runs from October 18th-22nd.

Join the FPSE Non-Regular Faculty Committee in taking part in the Social Media Day of Action on Wednesday Oct. 20th, and a Zoom Social for contract faculty, staff, and supporters on Friday Oct. 22nd. Please visit the CAUT website for up-to-date information https://makeitfair.caut.ca/ and for shareable resources https://makeitfair.caut.ca/resources


Wednesday, October 20th, 2021: Social Media Day of Action

sessional-shoe-loose-solePut your thumbs to good use and tweet your support for contract academic faculty and staff. Consider describing what fair and equitable employment could and should look like at your institution. Speak your truth to power. Share messages of solidarity using words, pictures, or images. For example, to the left is an image that was tweeted last year during the Day of Action called “Sessional Shoe” a sessional instructor lamented the number of times they have repaired their teaching shoes with shoe glue. Follow and tag your tweets using @FPSE and interact using the following hashtags: #MakeItFair #MakeItFair4CAS #bcpse #bclab #cdnpse #canlab. Shareables, and customizable posters are available here: https://makeitfair.caut.ca/resources.


Friday, October 22nd, 2021 from 11:00am-12:00pm (Pacific Time): Zoom Social for Contract Academic Staff & Supporters

Join contract academic faculty, staff, and supporters from coast to coast in an informal Zoom social. Hosted by CAUT, we will discuss the unique issues of CAS, discuss strategies to improve working conditions, and join in celebration of the work and contributions we make to our universities and colleges. We look forward to zooming with you! To attend, please register in advance. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email containing a Zoom link and further details about joining the meeting.

Author: nseguin@fpse.ca
Posted: October 13, 2021, 11:07 pm

Chair

Douglas College Faculty Association
Kim Trainor

Staff Rep

Nicole Seguin

Local Reps

 

Local 1

Capilano University Faculty Association
Eduardo Azmitia

Local 2

Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association
Michael Mehta
Teressa Fedorak

Local 3

Faculty Association of the College of New Caledonia
Benjamin Stuart

Local 4

Douglas College Faculty Association
Kim Trainor

Local 5

Kwantlen Faculty Association
Kathy Dunster

Local 6

College of the Rockies Faculty Association
Sheena Svitich

Local 7

University of the Fraser Valley Faculty & Staff Association
VACANT

Local 8

Vancouver Island University Faculty Association
Don Alexander

Local 9

Okanagan College Faculty Association
Linda Elmose

Local 10

Selkirk College Faculty Association
Robert Macquarrie

Local 11

Academic Workers’ Union 
(Coast Mountain College)
VACANT

Local 12

Camosun College Faculty Association
Chris Ayles
Marty Donatelli

Local 14

Langara Faculty Association
VACANT

Local 15

Vancouver Community College Faculty Association 
Shari Laliberte

Local 16

North Island College Faculty Association
Shirley Ackland 
Angela Spooner

Local 17

Thompson Rivers Open University Faculty Association
Steven Earle

Local 19

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology Employees’ Association 
VACANT

Local 21

Education and Training Employees' Association
Sonja Winks

Local 22

Emily Carr University of Art + Design Faculty Association
Rita Wong

 Local 24

Quest University Faculty Union
VACANT

Exec Liaison

Sharon Mansiere
FPSE Member-at-Large

NRFC Liaison 

N/A

Author: anevarie
Posted: September 28, 2021, 10:17 pm
FPSE news release icon

After five semesters of the post-secondary system operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was hope that September 2021 would herald a return to somewhat ‘normal’ operations. Indeed, the July 5 Return to Campus Guidelines issued by the government anticipated that masks would no longer be mandatory and planned for a return to normal social contact.[1]Educators, exhausted from delivering high-quality education to students with limited or no support from employers[2], looked forward to a return to the campus community. While concerns about COVID-19 remained, there was plenty of optimism.

Sadly, the high transmissibility of the COVID-19 Delta variant thwarted those plans and turned optimism to anxiety. The high transmissibility of the Delta variant is just one cause of concern. Previous public health strategies to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, most notably the requirement to socially distance or to isolate when exposed to COVID-19 are still absent from current recommendations in post-secondary institutions. Although there is high vaccination uptake in British Columbians aged 12+, it is insufficient to provide community immunity. Many educators worry about spreading COVID-19 to their young children or their health-compromised family members.

A confusing patchwork of policies regarding vaccine self-declarations, vaccine passports, rapid testing, and in many cases few or no special protections, has been pulled together across the province, with decisions being made with minimal or no involvement of workers or students. This despite unions raising concerns and stressing the importance of consultation months ago.

Now, after two weeks of experience with this patchwork of policies, labour unions and representative provincial organizations, including FPSE, have come together to bring order to the chaos by sharing information and creating a consistent framework for campuses to ensure safety for everybody; with an expectation that provisions at hotspots may provide for additional measures in those areas as required.

There is solidarity among FPSE Locals, which have taken the following position regarding the current state of safety on post-secondary campuses.

  1. Different COVID-19 policies at different institutions are needlessly confusing for campus communities and provides varying levels of safety for workers and students.
  2. Workers and students should not face greater risk attending school than they face in other public places.
  3. FPSE and member locals support safe practices, such as vaccine mandates (the requirement to show the BC Vaccine Card), to access the entirety of all post-secondary institutions in BC, provided they apply to all campus members. Details regarding any required accommodations for exemptions, workload, and privacy must be clear before the implementation of such a mandate. In the meantime, FPSE and FPSE member locals strongly encourage all members of the campus community to become vaccinated for the safety of themselves and others.

Together, the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC will continue to push for the health and safety of everyone on campus.

 


[1] https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/post-secondary-education/institution-resources-administration/covid19-return-to-campus-guidelines-web.pdf

[2] https://www.myprincegeorgenow.com/137283/cnc-faculty-association-one-of-11-unions-to-file-labour-complaint-over-pandemic-concerns/

Author: anevarie
Posted: September 21, 2021, 9:31 pm
Image of 'Rosie the Riveter' wearing a mask. Text reads

(British Columbia, September 2, 2021) – With last week’s ever-changing landscape in COVID-related announcements affecting BC’s post-secondary sector we saw what’s possible amidst chaos. Union leaders jumped to action to represent their members in a variety of ways and one of those ways was that we, the undersigned unions, came together as a collective to keep each other informed and discuss strategies. While we all have different structures and memberships, foremost on our minds was the health and safety of campus communities.

As advocates for our members and crucial partners in post-secondary we made ourselves available to work with the government and employers to discuss measures based on what we were hearing from members.

At an uncertain time like this, with Labour Day approaching, we want to celebrate the power of solidarity.

As union leaders, we stand united with all workers across all post-secondary institutions. We support employers in being advocates for staff, faculty, and students. As unions we welcome communication, consultation, and clarity – these are key factors in the successful operations of our campuses. This is why we came together to share what we were hearing and why we will continue to fight for equitable, accessible, and well-supported public education in BC while honouring the different working realities for our memberships.
 

Signed by:

Colin Jones, President and Michael Conlon, Executive Director
BCIT Faculty & Staff Association

Cindy Battersby, Vice-President Component 7
BC General Employees’ Union

Daniel Laitsch, President and Annabree Fairweather, Executive Director
Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC

Brent Calvert, President and Sean Parkinson, Secretary-Treasurer
Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC

Christy Slusarenko, Vice-President and Nathan Beausoleil, Union Representative
MoveUP


BC Post-Secondary Education Sector Group

Representing over 24,000 faculty and staff, teaching and supporting 175,000 full-time-equivalent students in post-secondary across British Columbia.

BC Institute of Technology Faculty & Staff Association: BCITFSA   https://www.bcitfsa.ca/ 

The BCIT Faculty & Staff Association (BCITFSA) is a certified trade union and a member-driven association that represents 1,800+ full-time and part-time technological faculty and staff at the B.C. Institute of Technology (BCIT). The BCITFSA has worked since 1964 for excellent working conditions for all members through representation, negotiation, and advocacy. The well-being of BCIT as a unique educational institution in British Columbia is at the heart of our work.

President – Colin Jones cjones@bcit.ca

Executive Director – Michael Conlon mconlon@bcit.ca

BC General Employees’ Union – Component 7   https://www.bcgeu.ca/component-7 

Component 7 is the Education, Scientific, Technical and Administration unit of BC GEU, and includes members who work in colleges and institutes as instructors and support staff, in private environmental testing laboratories, legal services, and other related fields. Employers include community colleges, the B.C. Institute of Technology, the Justice Institute of B.C., private labs, BC NDP Caucus and Constituency Offices, legal services to the public and many more. 

Vice President Component 7 – Cindy Battersby Cindy.Battersby@bcgeu.ca

Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC: CUFA BC   https://www.cufa.bc.ca/ 

CUFA BC represents over 5,500 faculty members, professional librarians, lecturers, instructors, and other academics at the five research-intensive universities in British Columbia, which include University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, Royal Roads University and University of Northern British Columbia. CUFA BC celebrates fifty years of working closely with the member Faculty Associations at each institution. Our purposes are to support high-quality post-secondary education and research in British Columbia and to advocate for the interests of our members.

President – Dr. Dan Laitsch dlaitsch@sfu.ca

Executive Director – Annabree Fairweather executive.director@cufa.bc.ca

Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC:  FPSE   https://www.fpse.ca/  

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators is the provincial voice of 10,000 faculty and staff at BC’s teaching universities, colleges, institutes and private sector institutions.

President – Brent Calvert president@fpse.ca

Secretary Treasurer – Sean Parkinson secretary-treasurer@fpse.ca

Movement of United Professionals: MoveUP   https://moveuptogether.ca/ 

The Movement of United Professionals (MoveUP) represents more than 12,000 union members at public and private sector companies in Western Canada. MoveUP is Local 378 of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE-SEPB). 

Vice-President – Christy Slusarenko cslusarenko@moveuptogether.ca

Union Representative – Nathan Beausoleil nbeausoleil@moveuptogether.ca

Author: nseguin@fpse.ca
Posted: September 2, 2021, 1:47 am
Outline of books against a blue background with text

The Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation discovery of the remains of 215 children at an unmarked site in Kamloops, B.C. has shocked the community, the province and the nation. FPSE locals and members are honouring the memory of these children and supporting their families and communities by wearing orange, flying flags at half-mast, and conducting commemorations acknowledging the 215 children discovered at this single location. Understanding and addressing the abuse, death and generational trauma resulting from residential schools must be accompanied with moving to actions, such as calling for the protection of sites of former residential schools, as a part of the six of the TRC’s 94 calls to action focused on missing children and burial information. 

Author: nseguin@fpse.ca
Posted: June 1, 2021, 12:46 am
Text: FPSE News. Image: Outline of books against blue background.

(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) & səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories –
Vancouver, BC, May 11, 2021) – Yesterday union leaders from the post-secondary sector met with Dr. Bonnie Henry, public health officials, as well as post-secondary administrators to discuss concerns about the return to campus planned for September.


Following the meeting, unions representing the majority of faculty and staff across all BC post-secondary institutions issued the following statement:


Consultation is a key factor in the successful operations on our campuses. We appreciate that this was the first conversation of its kind with the union groups and BC public health officials, and look forward to continuing our discussion. Working together, we can ensure the health and safety of faculty, staff, and students on all campuses.


Every post-secondary institution in BC is complex, with different needs based on campus populations, programs, and proximity to nearby communities. We were encouraged today that public health officials recognize many plans will need to be made on the ground on an institution-by-institution basis. Now, post-secondary institution administrators need to work collaboratively with the faculty, staff, and their representing unions on site to come up with local solutions based on the needs of the campus community. The only way to properly plan for the reality of hundreds to thousands of people on campus is to speak to the front-line educators and staff who will be in direct contact with students.


This discussion also reinforces the need to commit to fair and sufficient funding for BC post-secondary institutions to make much-needed long-term investments in campus infrastructure and programs. Properly investing in ventilation systems as well as campus health centres available to all members of the campus community will be necessary to support a safe environment for everyone.


Signed by:


Brent Calvert, President and Sean Parkinson, Secretary-Treasurer FPSE


Daniel Laitsch, President and Annabree Fairweather, Executive Director CUFA BC


Colin Jones, President and Michael Conlon, Executive Director BCITFSA


Cindy Battersby, Vice President Component 7 BCGEU


Christy Slusarenko, Vice President MoveUP

 


BC Post-Secondary Education Sector Group
Representing over 24,000 faculty and staff, teaching and supporting 175,000 full-time-equivalent students in post-secondary across British Columbia.


Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC: CUFA BC https://www.cufa.bc.ca/
CUFA BC represents over 5,500 faculty members, professional librarians, lecturers, instructors, and other academics at the five research-intensive universities in British Columbia, which include University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, Royal Roads University and University of Northern British Columbia. CUFA BC celebrates fifty years of working closely with the member Faculty Associations at each institution. Our purposes are to support high-quality post-secondary education and
research in British Columbia and to advocate for the interests of our members.
President - Dr. Dan Laitsch dlaitsch@sfu.ca
Executive Director - Annabree Fairweather executive.director@cufa.bc.ca


BC Institute of Technology Faculty & Staff Association: BCITFSA https://www.bcitfsa.ca/
The BCIT Faculty & Staff Association (BCITFSA) is a certified trade union and a member-driven association that represents 1,800+ full-time and part-time technological faculty and staff at the B.C. Institute of Technology (BCIT). The BCITFSA has worked since 1964 for excellent working conditions for all members through representation, negotiation, and advocacy. The well-being of BCIT as a unique educational institution in British Columbia is at the heart of our work.
President - Colin Jones cjones@bcit.ca
Executive Director - Michael Conlon mconlon@bcit.ca

Movement of United Professionals: MoveUp https://moveuptogether.ca/
The Movement of United Professionals (MoveUP) represents more than 12,000 union members at public and private sector companies in Western Canada. MoveUP is Local 378 of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE-SEPB).
Vice-President - Christy Slusarenko cslusarenko@moveuptogether.ca
Union Representative - Nathan Beausoleil nbeausoleil@moveuptogether.ca


BC Government & Service Employees Union - Component 7 https://www.bcgeu.ca/component-7
Component 7 is the Education, Scientific, Technical and Administration unit of BC GEU, and includes members who work in colleges and institutes as instructors and support staff, in private environmental testing laboratories, legal services, and other related fields. Employers include community colleges, the B.C. Institute of Technology, the Justice Institute of B.C., private labs, BC NDP Caucus and Constituency
Offices, legal services to the public and many more.
Vice President Component 7 - Cindy Battersby Cindy.Battersby@bcgeu.ca


Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC: FPSE https://www.fpse.ca/
The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators is the provincial voice of 10,000 faculty and staff at BC’s teaching universities, colleges, institutes and private sector institutions.
President - Brent Calvert president@fpse.ca
Secretary Treasurer - Sean Parkinson secretary-treasurer@fpse.ca

Author: nseguin@fpse.ca
Posted: May 11, 2021, 2:00 pm
Outline of books against a blue background with text

Today, the B.C. government unveiled Budget 2021. It includes targeted commitments with respect to post-secondary skills, training, education and the workforce, which supports the sector.

In response, Brent Calvert, the President of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE) of B.C., said:

“Post-secondary education is an important sector – and one that is vital to B.C. economic recovery. We know that young people, women and racialized communities are among the hardest hit by the repercussions of the pandemic, and recognize the urgency for these populations to have access to education, training and re-training.

“It’s encouraging that the government is adding $32 million dollar investment in post-secondary skills training initiatives. We know that targeted funds give communities the ability to determine the mix of training opportunities they need.

“Training opportunities provide much-needed support to people immediately, and also pay dividends by ensuring that people are getting the education that works in the post-COVID future.

“There is also significant funding committed to post-secondary infrastructure as part of the government’s highest-ever level of taxpayer-funded capital spending totalling $26.4 billion dollars over the next three years. Of this, $3.8 billion dollars (14%) is allocated for post-secondary projects that will enhance the learning environment of students.

“While institutions are continuing to plan for a return to in-person learning on campuses in September, they are missing key steps to ensure the health and safety of workers and students. The pandemic remains an extremely dynamic situation, meaning we need as many people working together on the return to campus plan as possible. We’re talking about the coordination of hundreds to thousands of people in shared indoor spaces, so faculty, staff and students can’t be brought in at the last moment and expected to fill in gaps that should have been identified and solved in the initial plan. There’s still time to include stakeholders in planning, so we’ll be pushing for that to happen at every institution in BC.

“Now we’ll be monitoring institutions to make sure this money goes to where it’s needed – more faculty and higher staffing levels to address burnout/workload, maintain health and safety, and give students the support they need to succeed.”

 

 Note: A more detailed budget analysis by FPSE to follow.

Author: nseguin@fpse.ca
Posted: April 20, 2021, 9:16 pm
Text: FPSE News Image: Outline of books against blue background

On January 25th the ETEA filed a complaint against ILSC under Section 54 of the BC Labour Relations Code. Section 54 requires that “If an employer introduces or intends to introduce a measure, policy, practice or change that affects the terms, conditions or security of employment of a significant number of employees to whom a collective agreement applies” the Employer must meet in good faith with the union to try to develop an adjustment plan. Due to the global pandemic ILSC was not able to recall their teachers to work as would normally happen. As a result over 50 teachers will have their recall rights expire and their employment with ILSC terminated.

ILSC had a legal obligation to meet with the union to form an adjustment plan once it realized it would not be able to recall teachers as they normally would. They did not do this, and instead told the union that they had no interest in discussing an extension of recall rights. ILSC has offered to hire teachers back when operations return to normal, but without their accumulated seniority and at the starting wage of the pay scale. This represents a pay reduction of up to 25% for these teachers, many of whom have over ten years of experience teaching with ILSC. It is not surprising that ILSC would be willing to hire trained, skilled and knowledgeable teachers back at starting wages and with no seniority. It shows a complete lack of respect and recognition for the work these teachers have contributed to the success of ILSC.

A few important facts about the dispute between the ETEA and ILSC:

– ILSC is the only language school with an ETEA bargaining unit that did not reach an agreement with the ETEA on extending recall rights as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

– ILSC reached an agreement with their teachers in Toronto to extend their recall rights. It is only the teachers in Vancouver whose recall rights they won’t extend.

This global pandemic has been a challenge on both employees and employers. The majority of the employers the ETEA works with have handled this difficult time with respect to the union and have worked cooperatively with ETEA Bargaining Units. We encourage any former students or agents to contact ILSC and let them know how disappointed you are that the company is using the pandemic in such an opportunistic fashion, and at the expense of hard working and long serving teachers.

Tell ILSC NO! to driving down workers’ wages and rights!

ILSC Contact Information:
Phone 604-689-9095 | Email info@ilsc.com | Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ilscvan/

ILSC profits on the knowledge and experience of workers – now they want to profit off the pandemic too. Show your support for ETEA workers by sending a message to ILSC saying:

“Do the right thing ILSC. Extend the recall rights for your Vancouver teachers too!”

The Education and Training Employees’ Association (ETEA) represents over 250 private post-secondary teachers in Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria, and is Local 21 of FPSE.

Author: nseguin@fpse.ca
Posted: February 5, 2021, 6:29 pm
Text: Happy Holidays with FPSE 50th anniversary logo

2020 marked both the start of a new year and the additional excitement that occurs with the launch of a new decade. For us at the Federation of Post Secondary Educators, it also marked our 50th year of advocacy for improvements in the learning and working conditions for post-secondary students and educators. You can learn more about our fifty-year history through our online museum at https://history.fpse.ca/

The year began with some notable moments for students and educators. We supported efforts to make post-secondary more affordable by supporting the new BC Access Grant for students announced in the February provincial budget. We continued our advocacy for contract faculty, and welcomed the Quest University Faculty Union as FPSE Local 24. Our federation also granted over $60,000 to human rights organizations through our International Solidarity Fund (ISF). The ISF funds projects and actions that support disadvantaged people organizing to realize their basic human rights, informed by the values of equality, respect, human dignity and social justice. Since 2008, FPSE has now donated over $400,000 to organizations leading this work around the world. 

Then, in March COVID-19 was declared an international pandemic and everything began to change. Suddenly, we had to adapt our life and work to reduce transmission of the coronavirus. Over just a few days, educators and students together undertook an unprecedented overnight transition to remote-adapted-learning. I'm proud of the fortitude and resilience BC post-secondary educators demonstrated in making the best of their severely disrupted working environments to provide students with the best learning conditions possible. 

During this dramatic change in learning environments our FPSE locals were in various stages of bargaining negotiations. This added to what was already an incredibly stressful time, but bargainers brought the same fortitude and resilience to negotiation as they did teaching their classes. As a result of the hard work of the folks who are our faculty and staff unions, the majority of our locals were able to meaningfully increase pay for contract faculty for the first time in over twenty years. I’m so appreciative of the local and provincial bargaining teams for their perseverance in achieving the best deal possible for their coworkers.

Of course, there are profound new challenges brought about by the pandemic. Fluctuations in student enrollment and disruptions to international education are felt unevenly across our system. Often, budget pressure results in staffing layoffs or cuts, which increase workload for remaining educators, and reduce capacity to support students. It will be tempting to ease the pressure on institutional and provincial budgets by allowing post-secondary budgetary strain to be born by increased educator workload. This is not sustainable – not for educators, and not for students - both of whom need additional supports to succeed during this time of pandemic post-secondary education. 

The impact of the pandemic has been felt particularly keenly by our private post-secondary workers. In May a unionized private language school, inlingua Vancouver, closed and twenty of our Local 21 – ETEA members lost their jobs. Many of these workers made lasting contributions to our federation, and we need to do everything possible to support the other ETEA members who are at risk of losing their jobs or facing deep concessions due to the pandemic. We cannot allow COVID-19 to destroy the rights and benefits it has taken workers decades to achieve. 

In June, we spoke out about these challenges during the BC Budget 2021 consultation held by the provincial government Standing Committee on Finance. A strong post-secondary sector is a vital part of the economic recovery plan we need for British Columbia. Many FPSE Locals also made presentations to the Standing Committee on Finance, pressing home the point that failing to increase funding to post-secondary to make up for any budget shortfalls would put our province’s future economy at risk for relatively small savings. Further, we also called for a post-secondary funding review. We are pleased to relay that this review was included in the BCNDP party platform and is now a focal point in the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training mandate letter! This review is the first step in creating a truly sustainable post-secondary system. Thank you to all the FPSE and post-secondary activists whose advocacy has resulted in this review. We’ll be posting more information as we find out more about the post-secondary funding review process.

Our sector has also been affected by other global events. The enormous groundswell of public demonstration in support of Black Lives Matter this summer has hastened a reckoning with the legacy impacts of colonization and racism in our education institutions. The Scholar Strike (https://scholarstrikecanada.ca/) in September showed that educators, students and administrators are ready to make changes. It will not be easy, it will not happen overnight, but it is essential that we begin our journey towards anti-racism now. I am committed to this work, personally, and as president of our federation. It will require changes in our union and federation practices, and require examining our own thoughts and beliefs in order to be achieved. I am confident that if we bring the same curiosity and sustained exploration of anti-racism as we do of the subjects we teach, we will transform ourselves and our institutions. 

In early 2021 we will begin incorporating the findings from our FPSE Ad Hoc Committee on Climate Emergency into our operations and committee work. This follows from our October declaration of a climate emergency, and endorsement of the Global Climate Emergency initiative of the Global Universities and Colleges for the Climate group

Imagine a working and learning environment where each day inequality amongst ourselves and our colleagues is reduced; the post-secondary system becomes more accessible and sustainable; Indigenous ways of knowing, being and relating are embraced and practiced; and our racialized colleagues and students are truly safe and valued. This is the future we are working towards.  

Wishing you a safe and restorative holiday season.

In solidarity,

Brent Calvert

Author: Anonymous
Posted: December 15, 2020, 11:54 pm
FPSE news with outline of books

xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) & səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories (Vancouver) - Today is the first day of Fair Employment Week, an international campaign to bring attention to the working conditions of contract faculty. After a bargaining process that stretched out over a year, there are mixed results for contract faculty at BC colleges and teaching universities. Across the province, contract faculty are paid less by varying degrees. Ending this pay disparity was a top priority of the unions, but ultimately not all unions were able to make progress towards equal pay for contract faculty.

“Fair Employment Week is our opportunity to bring people together to understand and address contract faculty issues. For too long, contract faculty have been used as disposable labour that can be paid less for doing the same work,” said FPSE president Brent Calvert. “This creates an obvious cost incentive for institutions to keep educators on contract, rather than moving them into regular work. The combination of less pay, no job stability, and no health benefits was bad enough before the pandemic, but now is much worse. Contract faculty who weren’t hired for this fall semester now have no employment, no extended health coverage, and yet they still have bills to pay and kids to feed. What happens if they or their families get sick and need support?”

“At every bargaining table we attempted to connect the dots between the lesser pay and protections for contract faculty and the connection to the overrepresentation of racialized people within contract faculty ranks. In turn, this is connected to the systemic racism and bias that disadvantages racialized folks for promotion. All of this makes the gains that unions and employers were able to achieve that much more meaningful. Where contract faculty made gains, their economic health improved, and the institution became better placed to deal with COVID-19. However, there’s a growing number of items that workplaces are struggling with through the COVID-19 pandemic, so much more needs to be done.”

-30-

About FPSE

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators is the provincial voice of 10,000 faculty and staff at BC’s teaching universities, colleges, institutes and private sector institutions. We provide resources, legal services, and engage in advocacy on behalf of our 20 member faculty and staff associations. Learn more at fpse.ca

Background

  • Lower pay and instability for contract faculty has existed in BC for over 50 years, with unions attempting to increase security and pay through bargaining.
  • In 1998, unions reached a landmark agreement that included a process for contract faculty to become regular employees (regularization).
  • However, collective agreements continued to allow contract faculty to be paid less – sometimes 80% less – than their regular colleagues.
  • Now, at 8 institutions, contract faculty have had their first meaningful pay increase in two decades.
Author: nseguin@fpse.ca
Posted: October 19, 2020, 7:37 pm