Here are some of the key issues with which I have been involved during the past month.
TRU / TRUFA Labour Management Consultative Committee
The parties met twice—on February 27th and again on March 21st. Here are some of the issues discussed:
The parties will next meet on Wednesday, April 18th.
Williams Lake Update
In January, the Provost agreed to the appointment of an Associate Dean who would be responsible for overseeing academic programming at Williams Lake. A posting is being prepared and a search committee has been established to short-list, interview and recommendation appointment of the administrator. Until such time as the new Associate Dean is appointed, an interim Associate Dean has started work. She is Kathy Lauriente, counsellor and HUMS instructor, who previously chaired the Williams Lake Faculty Council. There are two new co-chairs of the Williams Lake Faculty Council: Rhonda McCreight and Donna Bentham. TRUFA Table Officers are planning our next trip up to Williams Lake in early May and will meet with the interim Associate Dean, the WLFC co-chairs and consult with all Williams Lake faculty about bargaining priorities.
The TRUFA Executive met on March 2nd and March 16th. Here are some of the highlights:
Launch of FPSE produced volume “Whose Land is It Anyway? A Manual for Decolonization”
The Kamloops launch of this book was held on Monday, March 19th in the Mountain Room of the CAC. Approximately 70 faculty, students, staff and members of the community celebrated the publication of this work, which was initiated by the TRUFA Human Rights Committee and published by the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC. Human Rights Committee chair and co-editor Nicole Schabus MC’ed the event. Special guests included FPSE President, George Davison, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology Employees’ Association President, Sharon McIvor, contributor Russel Diabo and contributor Kanahus Manuel. “Whose Land is It Anyway? was inspired by an FPSE-sponsored 2016 speaking tour by Neskonlith leader and indigenous activist, the late Arthur Manuel.
To download a digital copy of this book in .epub or .pdf formats go to: http://bit.ly/2FzmDVs
Meeting with local MLA’s
On Friday March 2nd—along with TRU Student Union representatives Cole Hickson and Leif Douglas—I met with Kamloops North Thompson MLA Peter Milobar and Kamloops South Thompson MLA Todd Stone to discuss funding for TRU. Both TRUSU’s “Fund the Future” and TRUFA’s “Fair Funding for TRU” campaigns have highlighted the need for a fundamental review of how BC post-secondary educational institutions are funded. Rather than merely a call for “more money,” these campaigns are designed to convince the Ministry of Advanced Education and the provincial government as a whole that funding needs to ensure that institutions such as TRU can provide a wide range of programs and courses, can ensure a sufficient number of faculty with ongoing job security and can provide adequate supports for student success. Additionally, both TRUSU and TRUFA support measures that will allow for access to post-secondary education without imposing huge financial burdens on graduates. Both Milobar and Stone were very receptive to the messaging and will be pursuing a call for a review of the funding formula in the legislature.
Federation of Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE)
Due to heavy ground fog in the valley on the morning of March 15th, my flight to Vancouver was canceled and Air Canada couldn’t get me on a later flight. As a result, I was unable to attend the March 15/16 FPSE Presidents’ Council meetings. However, I will receive the minutes and will report on them in the next TRUFA Newsletter.
Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)
The next meeting of the CAUT Council will be held on April 27th to 29th in Ottawa.
TRUFA Annual General Meeting—April 24th
The TRUFA AGM will be held in the Mountain Room (CAC) in Kamloops and ITV Room 1251 in Williams Lake on Tuesday April 24th. Lunch will be served at 11:30 am and the business portion of the meeting will begin at 12 noon.
Please consider putting your name forward for an Executive position or a position on one of TRUFA’s standing committees. Closer to the AGM date, you will receive an updated list of all vacancies on TRUFA standing committees.
If you have questions about any of these issues, please contact me.
Submitted in solidarity,
Tom Friedman, TRUFA President