Report on the 2018 FPSE Annual General Meeting
TRUFA sent 12 delegates to the 48thFPSE AGM, held in Whistler from May 14thto 17th. The theme of this year’s AGM was “Mobilizing our Power: Together for an Equitable Future.” The 21 faculty associations belonging to the Federation sent 137 delegates to the AGM and a number of solidarity guests also attended including representatives from CUFA-BC, CAUT, the BC Federation of Labour, the Canadian Students’ Federation, the Canadian Labour Congress, and retired CIEA/FPSE Executive members.
Keynote and Other Addresses
The AGM opened with a keynote address by “recovered lawyer turned feminist comic,” Candy Palmater, creator of the “Candy Show” on APTN. She is Mi’kmaw from Nova Scotia who completed her law degree at Dalhousie and practised labour and Aboriginal law before directing First Nations education for the Nova Scotia Department of Education and currently is teaching at Dalhousie University and working on a Master’s of Education at St. Francis Xavier.
Other speakers included Irene Lanzinger (BC Fed of Labour President), James Compton (CAUT President), Hassan Yussef (Canadian Labour Congress President), Jim Johnson (CUFA-BC President)
FPSE Executive Officer Reports
Next, FPSE Executive Officers presented their reports, which included developments in the wake of the new government backed by the NDP-Green supply and confidence agreement, trends in post-secondary education in the province, institutional governance, funding, secondary scales and upcoming bargaining. FPSE President George Davison made special mention of FPSE’s role in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and TRUFA’s initiative in developing the Decolonization Manual. He also spoke about FPSE’s affiliation with CAUT, BC Fed of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress. Terri Van Steinburg, FPSE Secretary-Treasurer, reviewed the work of the Grievance and Arbitration Review Committee, the International Solidarity Fund, FPSE campaigns, the work of the National Union of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (NUCAUT), over which she presides as President, and the FPSE bargaining conference. The Vice Presidents, Leslie Molnar and Frank Cosco, and the Members-at-Large, Shirley Ackland and Tim Walters, reported on the work of the FPSE standing committees on which they serve as Executive liaisons.
On the second day of the AGM, two series of workshops were held.
- The History of Bargaining
- Decolonization and Reconciliation
- Bargaining 101: Basics for New Bargainers
- Workplace Stress
- Developing Intra-Union Harassment Policies
- Secondary Scales: What We Know Now and How Can We Move Forward?
- Mobilizing the Message: Effective Communications through Social Media
- Intercultural Development
Strategic Priorities (2018-2019)
The AGM approved Strategic Priorities for 2018-2019 including
- Preparing for 2019 bargaining
- Advocating for improved rights and benefits for all members
- Lobbying the government to implement comprehensive post-secondary reforms
- Democratizing post-secondary governance structures
- Supporting decolonization and reconciliation on our campuses
- Fulfilling ongoing action commitments and providing member services
- Labour relations and legal support services
- Research on bargaining, contract and labour issues
- Building high-participation unions through member education and engagement
- Advocacy on major and emerging public policy issues
- Strengthening the role of our standing committees in implementing our strategic priorities
A motion originating with TRUFA’s Decolonization, Reconciliation and Indigenization Committee (DRIC) did not reach the floor at the AGM, but was referred to FPSE Presidents’ Council for consideration. At the June Presidents’ Council retreat, FPSE unanimously approved the following motion:
FPSE will support the granting of a tuition waiver to Indigenous students by all public British Columbia colleges and universities.
The granting of this tuition waiver is widely seen as a much-needed response to the special obligations on post-secondary institutions identified in the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Both TRUFA and the Aboriginal Education department at TRU have endorsed this tuition waiver initiative. Outside of TRUFA lobbying for such a waiver at our own institution, we can expect lobbying by FPSE on the provincial level so that the Ministry of Advanced Education will recognize the great value of adopting this policy.
Two resolutions debated at the AGM originated from TRUFA’s Human Rights Committee:
- Calling on FPSE to continue to publicize Whose Land is it Anyway: A Manual for Decolonization and work with labour partners to have the work translated into French and made into an audiobook. The motion requested $25,000 from the FPSE to do this work and print additional copies of the book.
- Calling on FPSE to allocate $12,000 to a fall speakers’ tour that will include contributors to the book who will present at FPSE locals.
Both resolutions were approved by the delegates.
FPSE Standing Committee Reports
The AGM Handbook contained reports from each of FPSE’s standing committees detailing their work during the previous year.
FPSE 2018-2019 Budget
The Secretary-Treasurer presented the financial statements for 2017-2018 on Tuesday. They showed a surplus of $213,00 as opposed to a projected deficit of $239,000.
On Thursday morning, the AGM approved the budget presented by Presidents’ Council with one major revision. PC had originally proposed suspending the normal 5% transfer to the Defence Fund during bargaining years (it’s 10% in all other years). The rationale was that FPSE needed additional resources in its operating budget to support bargaining and local labour relations and grievances. Delegates, however, reinstated the 5% transfer ($230,000). The result is that what would have been a projected surplus of about $90,000 will now be a deficit of about $140,000.
Elections of FPSE Officers for 2018-2019
President—George Davison (Local 3, College of New Caledonia)
Secretary-Treasurer—Terri Van Steinburg (Local 5, Kwantlen Polytechnic University)
1stVice President—Frank Cosco (Local 15, Vancouver Community College)
2ndVice President—Leslie Molnar (Local 6, College of the Rockies)
TRUFA delegates enjoyed two team-building, socializing dinners on the Monday and Tuesday evenings. On Wednesday, the AGM banquet was held followed by the TRUFA hospitality suite, which hosted dozens of delegates from our and other locals.
In the above photo FPSE member Joanne Quirk from Capilano University Faculty Association poses with ‘Smokey’ the Bear for the annual FPSE AGM meme contest. Secondary scales refers to differential salary grids for contract faculty that FPSE has identified as an important issue.
Submitted in solidarity,
Tom Friedman, TRUFA President