Much of the TRUFA focus over the last month has been on bargaining and preparation for the April 24th AGM.
The TRUFA bargaining team and the TRU administration team have finalized a negotiating protocol agreement (the rules around how bargaining will be conducted), and a Housekeeping agreement (minor clarifications and revisions to wording that don’t change the meaning of provisions in the Collective Agreement). The parties have also exchanged substantive proposals and begun negotiations on issues in those areas. The TRUFA proposals fall into five categories: Better Benefits, Salary Increases, Better Protection of Contract Faculty, Workload, Increased Support for Research, and Transparency and Inclusion. The TRUFA proposals were endorsed by both the TRUFA Executive and by those attending the March 7th general meeting. The parties will continue to bargaining—probably until some time in May—before taking a break because many members of the TRUFA team have research, service and teaching obligations during the summer.
The TRUFA confidential administrative assistant, Marian Griffin, has been sending out updates on results of Faculty/School and constituency elections, and on nominations received for positions to be elected at the April 24th AGM. If you haven’t had the chance to review the positions that are coming up for election and the nominations received to date, please do so. I urge you to consider putting your name forward or encouraging colleagues to do so. TRUFA is dependent on TRU faculty stepping up and assuming leadership roles. The Executive positions all have a one-year term, and despite the fact that none of us are labour relations or union experts, you can expect a high degree of orientation and training for whatever role you may be interested in filling.
The TRUFA Executive has approved bringing four proposed by-law changes to the membership for an on-line vote. Any changes to the constitution or by-laws requires a 2/3 majority approval of those voting. You will already have received an e-mail with instructions on how to vote. Please make sure that you take advantage of the opportunity and vote before the April 30th deadline.
Here are the four proposed changes:
Extraordinary Resolution #1
On the advice of the TRUFA accountant, the TRUFA Executive is recommending the following change to Article XVI—Financial Review Engagement and Audit. He explained that to conduct a “limited scope audit” one has to be very specific in what the scope range needs to be, whereas a full audit captures everything>
A Financial Review Engagement shall be conducted by the Association’s accountant each year and reported to the Annual General Meeting. Every fifth fiscal year, a full limited scope financial audit shall be conducted by the Association’s accountant and reported to the Annual General Meeting.
Extraordinary Resolution #2
In order to better prepare an incoming elected president to fulfill their responsibilities, the Executive has proposed that the president’s term run from July 1st through June 30th of the following year. In the two-month period after the AGM and before July 1st, the outgoing president can provide mentoring and help orient the new president to duties both here at TRUFA, but also at FPSE. Most university faculty associations that I’m familiar with have a similar orientation period following election for the new president to prepare. I’ve stated that I would be willing to provide that mentoring support this year.
Extraordinary Resolution #3
An amendment to the definition and powers of the TRUFA Table Officers has been recommended by the Executive. The need for TRUFA to act quickly when a member is facing, for example, disciplinary sanctions means that it isn’t always possible to wait for a meeting of the Stewards’ Committee or the Executive. Table Officers, comprising the President, Vice President, VP Stewards, VP SWCC and VP Williams Lake & Regions, the Executive believes should have the authority to make decisions about filing grievances or taking other appropriate actions in an emergency. In two cases this past year—one in July and one in mid-December—members faced potential discipline and TRUFA had to act quickly when neither the Stewards’ Committee nor the Executive was able to meet. In non-emergency situations, Table Officers conduct the day-to-day business of the Association and ensure that issues raised by members are assigned to the proper venues for resolution, whether they be stewards, SWCC, TRU / TRUFA Consultative Committee or the TRUFA Executive or standing committees.
Extraordinary Resolution #4
The Executive was faced with a minor change in the by-laws—the name of one of our Faculties was unilaterally changed by the University, not by TRUFA—FOSHED to FEDSW. It was felt that in a case like this, TRUFA should not need to seek membership approval for every change that was initiated by the University. As a result, this amendment will authorize the Executive to make minor changes to the by-laws for changes not initiated by TRUFA.
I hope to see you at the AGM!