Update for September 16, 2020

The term is truly underway, and we acknowledge that it is anything but “normal” with many entering the term with fatigue. To best serve your needs, it is important (and necessary) that you engage with your union – whether this is by reading bulletins or communicating issues you experience and witness.

This bulletin offers some important reminders as well as a few updates:

  • Resignation
  • Vacancies
  • Call for Participation on Joint Committees
  • Changes to Municipal Pension Plan
  • Website Redevelopment / Call for Photos
  • Caring Work Stories
  • Orange Shirt Day

This will be my last bulletin as your VP Member Engagement. I have taken on the role of First Vice President for the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC – FPSE (of which you are all members) and I hope to continue my work as an advocate for educator and education staff rights. While I look forward to the challenge of this new role, I will deeply miss my work within the FSA executive and my work with members. I hope that some of you will consider participating in more formal FSA positions as there are a number of upcoming opportunities. It has been a privilege to meet and work with members and advance issues that can improve the well-being of those who work at UFV. In the meantime, if you are interested in initiatives that confront human rights, the status of women, education policy, climate change (among a few), feel free to reach out to me – there is some very interesting work taking place with the Federation. I am interested in enhancing member engagement within FPSE; the incredible wealth of knowledge embodied in our members (you) has the potential to move mountains.

There will be a call to fill a number of vacant FSA positions later this month. These positions have varied levels of union involvement so there is something for everyone – from the engaged labour activist to the novice who is curious about collective action. Even if you are not interested, please think about the people around you and consider who might offer an important voice for your union. We would love to have more representation from folks who have a connection to issues around racism, ableism, sexism, and/or offer other cultural perspectives. Speaking as someone who really didn’t know what to expect with union involvement, I can attest that it has been a very rich personal experience, with many opportunities to grow and learn.

Call for Participation on Joint Committees
Do you have things to say or concerns about staff evaluations, employment equity, class sizes, or compensation for sessional faculty and LTAs? Please consider putting your name forward to serve on one of the four temporary joint committees arising out of the 2019-2022 collective agreement. You’ll find descriptions of the purpose, membership, and more on the FSA web site (search through the ratified changes document): https://www.ufv-fsa.ca/collective-agreement/agreement/1.

We are current inviting expressions of interest and will be looking for broad representation on each of the committees. If you are interested in serving on one of these committees, please contact Colleen Bell, Chief Negotiator, negotiator@ufv-fsa.ca.

Changes to the Municipal Pension Plan
If you pay into the Municipal Pension Plan, you should be receiving correspondence from the FSA alerting you to proposed changes to the plan and actions we recommend you take to fully apprise yourself of what it’ll mean for you.

Website Redevelopment / Call for Photos
We are getting close to launching our new UFVFSA Website, complete with re-branding and improved navigation so you can find supporting documents, contact information, and links to resources easily. As a reminder, we are asking members for pictures of themselves (or group shots with colleagues) as part of our new platform debut. If interested, please send us files in high resolution jpeg format (the better the quality, the better you look) to admin@ufv-fsa.ca. Headshot photos with a minimal or plain background are ideal.

Caring work stories
A reminder to send us your stories of caring work as soon as possible. We need to hear from those who are facing the fall term caring for children, seniors, and people living with disabilities so that we can effectively work with the employer. We have heard from several members already, but our advocacy can be even more powerful and persuasive if we have a rich collection of stories. So please share with us.

Please title the subject of your message “Care Work” to vpengagement@ufv-fsa.ca and include a clear description of your situation, your specific concerns, and any suggestions you may have that would mitigate those concerns. This information will be kept confidential and anonymized by aggregating these concerns in a way that articulates the scope of issues and needs.

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Orange Shirt Day: September 21, 2020
You may have already seen the announcement for activities relating to Orange Shirt Day, but if not, there are two virtual events that you may wish to participate in (information below). If this is the first time you are hearing of Orange Shirt Day, we encourage you to learn more about the significance of this day by visiting https://www.orangeshirtday.org/2.

a) A presentation by Phyllis Webstad, Originator of Orange Shirt Day
Monday, September 21, 2020
Time: 12:30 – 3 pm
Location: Virtually on Zoom

b) A presentation by Bea Silver, A Recalling of a Residential School Experience
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Time: 1 – 2:30 pm
Location: Virtually on Zoom

In Solidarity,
Christina Neigel, VP Member Engagement, on behalf of the FSA Executive

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