Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC

fpse

profile photo of woman and photo of open mining pit with heavy equipment

FPSE’s annual Human Rights Speakers’ Tour is coming up and we’re shining a spotlight on the overlap of human rights issues at home and abroad. Join us Feb 22 for a film screening and discussion about how we can honour and recognize the labour of migrant workers. Then on March 10, we’ll have an expert panel explaining the connection between Canadian mining companies and their complicity in human rights abuses abroad.

February 22 Event Panelists: Kent Donguines, Aimer Films; Maria Facundo-Lilly, Featured in Kalinga; and Fuerza Migrante. Moderated by B.C. professors and union activists David Sadoway (KPU) and Eduardo Azmitia (Capilano University). Event is free and open to all. Event details and registration here.

March 10 Event Panelists: Catherine Nolin, Grahame Russell, Jeffrey Webber, and Merle Alexander. Moderated by B.C. professors and union activists David Sadoway (KPU) and Lisa David (Douglas College). Event details and registration here.

Author: nseguin@fpse.ca
Posted: February 9, 2022, 9:32 pm
FPSE News release icon on blue background

For immediate release - Vancouver, BC, December 22, 2021

With the Omicron variant, faculty and staff at BC’s post-secondary institutions are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases among students and campus communities. As this year wraps up, some have managed to implement online exams through the end of term to minimize transmission but as the next term approaches, post-secondary labour organizations CUFA BC, FPSE, and BCITFSA continue to urge the BC government to support institutional autonomy in the sector, an autonomy established by legislation and available to post-secondary institutions across Canada. This is crucial so that our post-secondary institutions can make decisions in the interest of the health and safety of BC’s students, faculty, and staff.

In the absence of a sufficient, safety-focused province-wide directive for the post-secondary sector from the public health officer, we call on institutional leaders to take the lead in establishing health and safety rules in the best interests of their campus communities. Such protective measures could include, but are not limited to, offering alternate modes of course delivery for at least the first month of the term, delaying the start of the term, providing enhanced PPE and engineering protections, and/or reducing class sizes for in-person delivery. Administrators must work closely with unions and joint workplace health and safety committees to make decisions, and to minimize and compensate for increased workload burdens on all faculty and staff.

Given the troubling scenes from overcrowded exam spaces this past week and the reality that hundreds of students gather in communal spaces on campus between classes, we call on post-secondary institutions to implement the same 50% capacity limits in lecture halls, classrooms, and labs as the provincial orders require for social gathering spaces.

The fall term was chaotic and stressful for faculty, staff, and students. This has a direct impact on the mental health and well-being of our members. In large part, this chaos was the result of a series of fast-paced, changing rules governing campus safety decisions. There were also disruptions from the high frequency of absenteeism for sickness and self-isolation due to exposures and balancing necessary accommodations for these interruptions throughout the semester. We expect those disruptions to increase next term.

We need bold governance decisions at BC’s post-secondary institutions and a responsible approach to the January term given the uncertainty created by the exponential growth of the Omicron variant. In the face of an extremely contagious variant, it is no longer adequate to assume there is no or low transmission in post-secondary settings. Nor is it enough to claim that transmission occurring from non-academic gatherings does not impact learning and teaching. Further, it is critical that we rely on information for making decisions that is more robust than the unenforced self-disclosure surveys of vaccination status that do not capture all members of the post-secondary community.

If the current trend of cases continues or worsens, it is imperative to make these decisions immediately, well in advance of the new semester, to allow faculty, staff, and students the necessary time to prepare. It is imperative that faculty unions be involved in this dialogue given the timing and that any work done by faculty, including adjunct, and staff to adjust to this rapidly changing situation be fairly and adequately compensated. Campuses, like the broader community, include folks who face significant health and economic barriers and all decisions should be made with accessibility, equity, and safety at the centre.

Signed by:

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

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

BCITFSA logo; CUFA-50 years logo; FPSE logo

BC Post-Secondary Education Labour Sector Partners


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

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 

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: anevarie
Posted: December 22, 2021, 10:58 pm
Outline of books against a blue background with text

(Winnipeg, Nov 29, 2021) Union leaders from BC are walking the picket lines with faculty at the University of Manitoba today in support of faculty calls for increased wages and an end to provincial government interference in collective bargaining. In addition to walking the line, the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC donated $10,000.00 to the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) strike fund. The support from out of province unions comes days after UMFA made their argument at the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench to Justice Joan McKelvey regarding government’s interference in 2016 labour negotiations.

“Free and fair bargaining is critical for workers to reach fair agreements,” said FPSE president Brent Calvert. “For a government to interfere with workers negotiating a contract with their employer is absolutely inappropriate, and we completely support the University of Manitoba faculty in their fight. The only way we win is by staying united, whether it’s provincially or nationally. We’re here to walk that talk on the picket line.”

Unionized post-secondary faculty and staff in BC will see their collective agreements expire next year, raising the potential for a similar situation to arise.

Colin Jones, BCITFSA President stated: “Believing in solidarity means taking action to stand together. It is my honour, as President of over 1800 members at BCIT, to stand with the members of UMFA in their fight for a fair deal. This is about protecting rights and achieving collective change; at each institute, in each province, and across Canada.”

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) has been on strike since November 2. BC union leaders will join striking faculty on the picket lines at campus locations and the Manitoba legislative assembly throughout the day on Monday.

BC union leaders include: FPSE President Brent Calvert and Secretary-Treasurer Sean Parkinson; Colin Jones, President of the British Columbia Institute of Technology Faculty and Staff Association (BCITFSA); Devin Shaw, Acting President of the Douglas College Faculty Association; and Chris Jaeger, President of the Vancouver Island University Faculty Association.

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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

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

Author: nseguin@fpse.ca
Posted: November 29, 2021, 6:40 am
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 (Co-Chair)
College of the Rockies Faculty Association
Sheena Svitich (Co-Chair)

Staff Rep

 

Local Reps

 

Local 1

Capilano University Faculty Association
Tahmina Shayan

Local 2

Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association
Michael Mehta

Local 3

Faculty Association of the College of New Caledonia
Vacant

Local 4

Douglas College Faculty Association
Kim Trainor (Co-Chair)

Local 5

Kwantlen Faculty Association
Kathy Dunster

Local 6

College of the Rockies Faculty Association
Sheena Svitich (Co-Chair)

Local 7

University of the Fraser Valley Faculty & Staff Association
Stefania Pizzirani

Local 8

Vancouver Island University Faculty Association
Chris Alemany

Local 9

Okanagan College Faculty Association
Rosalind Warner

Local 10

Selkirk College Faculty Association
Robert MacQuarrie

Local 11

Academic Workers’ Union (Coast Mountain College)
Vacant

Local 12

Camosun College Faculty Association
Ian Browning

Local 14

Langara Faculty Association
Bradley Hughes

Local 15

Vancouver Community College Faculty Association 
Skye Richards

Local 16

North Island College Faculty Association
Amber Stroeder

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
Laura Martin

Local 22

Emily Carr University of Art + Design Faculty Association
Kristy Waller

 Local 24

Quest University Faculty Union
Vacant

Exec Liaison

FPSE Member-at-Large
Sharon Mansiere

NRFC Liaison 

North Island College Faculty Association
Angela Spooner

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