TRUFA President’s Report to the Membership – January 2017

Focus on Governance – Processes & Structures
January 15, 2017
Faculty Councils – Powers & Duties
January 21, 2017
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TRUFA President’s Report to the Membership – January 2017

TRUFA President’s Report to the Membership


Here is a brief update on activities and issues with which I’ve been involved since the December TRUFA Newsletter:

Meeting with CUPE 4879 Executives

TRUFA Table Officers met with the CUPE 4879 Executive to discuss issues of mutual concern. CUPE4879 represents all support staff at TRU. These issues included:

  1. Attempts by TRU administration to include employees performing what we believe is faculty bargaining unit work in CUPE contracts.
  2. The proliferation of “excluded” positions where work should be recognized as belonging either in CUPE or TRUFA bargaining units. The “excluded” employee category is used when the work involves hire/fire/discipline capacity (e.g. President, VPs, AVPs), major budgetary authority (e.g. VP Finance, Finance Director etc.) or confidential support for administration (e.g. the Deans’ administrative assistants). Some of the “excluded” positions CUPE is challenging might very well fall under the TRUFA bargaining unit jurisdiction.
  3. The loss of secretarial/clerical positions across campus. Many permanent positions have been eliminated and CUPE support staff have been hired on part-time, precarious contracts. In a recent e-mail exchange with TRUFA department Chairs, it has become apparent that many Chairs do not have adequate secretarial/clerical support.

Promotion/Tenure and Performance Reviews

TRUFA has reminded Department Chairs about their role in notifying members who are required to undergo performance reviews this semester, and asked Chairs to inform any members applying for tenure and/or promotion that three course evaluations and three sets of peer observation data will be mandatory for the September 2017 applications.

Consultative Committee

TRUFA and TRU senior administration met at the Consultative Committee on December 14th. These items were discussed:

  1. Every course, every time evaluations updated
  2. Williams Lake Working Group
  3. Course/Program approval processes—CurricUnet, Departments, Faculty Councils and EPC
  4. “Moving Forward”—creating an environment of mutual respect
  5. Joint priorities of TRU—request that the parties put their minds to achieving mutual goals before the next bargaining round.
  6. Office hours—conflict between TRU Policy and Collective Agreement
  7. Annual payroll – number of paid working days in 2017
  8. Governance bodies applications

I have updated all TRU faculty on a number of this issues, but will also be providing more details in the coming days.

Meeting with Faculty Representatives on Budget Committee of Senate

In preparation for the January 9th Budget Town Hall, I called a meeting of the faculty representatives on the Budget Committee of Senate (BCOS). I met with four reps and identified some key priorities that TRUFA has been told about by faculty. The faculty representatives appreciated the opportunity to meet with each other before the BCOS meeting. I will arrange for another get-together before the February BCOS meeting. Some key budget priorities identified by TRU faculty included:

  1. Need for full sabbatical leave replacement for departments
  2. Adequate supplies budget for teaching and instructional support
  3. Prior allocation of budget for required (often ongoing) contract faculty hiring
  4. Salaries of seconded faculty in administration charged to admin budget, not to instructional budget
  5. Adequate budget for regular maintenance and replacement of equipment and facilities
  6. Restoration of essential secretarial/clerical support for departments

Budget Town Hall

I attended the January 9th Budget Town Hall. The Provost and the VP Finance said that the surplus, which after Q2 stands at $6.4 million will probably be reduced to about $4 million. They reiterated that “no reasonable request for funding will be refused.”

Governance Video Series launched

The TRUFA Communications Committee is in the process of preparing a series of videos on TRU Governance.  Please see my January 15th message to TRUFA-L and view the first video–Focus on Governance: Introduction— by clicking one of the following links:

You Tube link:
Link on TRUFA.CA:
LInk on TRU Talk:

If you have any questions about these issues, please let me know.

Submitted in solidarity,

Tom Friedman, TRUFA President

Submitted in solidarity,


Tom Friedman, TRUFA President