President’s Report – June 2019

Chief Commissioner Marion Buller Presentation on the Final Report “Reclaiming Power and Place”
June 24, 2019
Marion Buller, Chief Commissioner of the National Inquiry into Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls at TRU
June 27, 2019
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President’s Report – June 2019

Dear Colleagues,

TRUFA 2019-2020 Executive

Since the May TRUFA newsletter was published, here are the highlights respecting the TRUFA Executive:

  • On May 27th, the Salary and Working Conditions Committee (SWCC) re-elected Lloyd Bennett (Visual & Performing Arts) as VP, Salary and Working Conditions. As VP SWCC, Lloyd will continue to sit on the TRUFA Table Officers, the TRUFA Executive and will be part of the TRUFA team that meets with senior TRU administrators as part of the Consultative Committee.
  • Also on May 27th, SWCC members elected Amy Paterson (Library) to serve as TRUFA’s Performance Review Coordinator for the 2019-2020 academic year. Amy will be working with departmental Performance Review Committees (PRCs) to ensure that provisions of Article 7 of the TRU / TRUFA Collective Agreement are followed.   SWCC will be training other members on PRC processes so that a TRUFA representative can be available for all PRC meetings.

TRUFA Executive—Strategic Planning Retreat (June 12-13)

Twenty members of the TRUFA Executive attended the annual strategic planning retreat held at Quaaout Lodge on the traditional territory of the Little Shuswap Indian Band near Chase, BC.  The two-day retreat included the following activities:

  • Presentation on the history of trade unionism in Canada, the background to federal and provincial labour legislation and the obligations of TRUFA under the BC Labour Code.
  • Overview of TRUFA structure and Executive member obligations
    • Constitution & By-laws
    • Role of Executive members
    • Table Officers and Consultative Committee
    • Standing Committees
    • Constituent group representatives
  • Discussion of fiduciary duty, duty of care and avoidance of conflict of interest
  • Presentation by TRUFA president-elect Mónica Sánchez-Flores entitled “Mindful Leadership and Unconscious Bias.”
  • A discussion of “Decolonizing the Collective Agreement” and equity issues.
  • Strategic planning for the 2019-2020 year, including focus on research, the relationship between TRUFA and the TRU Open Learning Faculty Association (TRUOLFA), TRUFA communications policy, indigenization, academic freedom.

TRUFA Executive Meeting (June 13)

As part of the retreat, the new TRUFA Executive met formally for the first time.  Here are the highlights of that meeting:

  • Approval of revised terms of reference for the Salary and Working Conditions Committee
  • Presentation by TRUFA Communications Officer on faculty association communication policies at UBC, UNBC, SFU as well as FPSE and CAUT. The Executive has initiated communications training in the fall and an ad hoc committee to follow that training to make recommendations on developing a TRUFA policy
  • Decision by the Executive to increase the funding for the TRU Foundation TRUFA endowment to the $20,000 level recommended by the Foundation for ongoing student scholarship assistance.
  • Discussion of qualifications/experience needed for the TRUFA Communications Assistant position which will be vacant as of June 30th.
  • Approved financial support through the TRUFA Speakers’ Fund for the presentation on June 24th of Marion Buller, Commissioner of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. This presentation was part of the TRUFA Decolonization, Reconciliation and Indigenization Committee’s Indigenous Speakers’’ Series.
  • Review of the draft meeting schedule for the TRUFA Executive from September through April.

This is my final report as TRUFA president, a position that I’ve held since April 2014, and prior to that, from 2000 to 2007.  I want, first, to thank TRU faculty whose trust in my abilities has made it possible for me to do a job that I’ve found both challenging and rewarding.  Five years of Executive members and TRUFA table officers have done important work in promoting the goals of the faculty association and representing our members, and I’ve enjoyed working with all of them.  I salute the commitment of those who have recognized TRUFA service as a vital component in the governance of our university.

I want to acknowledge two individuals who have been instrumental in the work I’ve been able to do over the past five years.

First, Star Mahara—who has been good-naturedly called “the perpetual VP”—has been a trusted colleague and confidante, starting way back in 2000 during my first term as association president.  Star is spectacularly organized and efficient in whatever work she undertakes…and she undertakes a great deal!  I have thoroughly enjoyed partnering with her on so many TRUFA initiatives and I firmly believe that she has retirement plans solely to avoid having to step up to the “big chair”!

And I just cannot adequately express my appreciation for Marian Griffin, TRUFA’s extraordinary confidential administrative assistant.  I have worked with Marian since 1996 and there hasn’t a day gone by when I don’t remind myself that the work of the association could not proceed without Marian’s steady hand, her incredibly accurate institutional history, and her consistently calm demeanour.

I know that TRUFA and TRU faculty are in excellent hands under the leadership of Mónica Sánchez-Flores, who already has such a great track record of commitment to service at TRU.  I have offered her any assistance and support that she might need as she takes on this role.

Returning to teaching and research alongside my English and Modern Languages colleagues will be a new challenge for me, but one that I am certainly looking forward to.

In solidarity,

Tom Friedman, TRUFA President