Executive Working Committee Report 2023

The following is an abridged summary of the Executive Working Committee Report. Please find the complete report here.

We began this year, once again, in full preparation mode for bargaining. In the summer of 2022, Ben Unterman devoted extensive time in gathering much needed data on workload, spending ratios, and other key work condition patterns across our sector. That data has proved extremely valuable at the negotiation table. We remain focused on the mandate of priorities as voted on by the membership last year, including workload and job stability (list attached at the end of this report). We prepared 20 robust proposals to submit at the bargaining table. These proposals not only clearly outlined the changes needed, but also provided where possible, the steps for implementation, and clear rationale as to the benefits of these changes, not just to faculty, but also to the larger university community. 

We began bargaining on August 31 – the first in our federation (Federation of Post-Secondary Educators) to begin. Our FPSE representative is Tim Armstrong. He has been at the table with our faculty association before and he is our liaison with FPSE legal support, working with our stewards on grievances so he knows our situation well. Being first out of the gate at FPSE also meant that we were able to request additional bargaining support, and we have had one of the two bargaining coordinators that FPSE contracted this bargaining round. These coordinators have been working with the 20 unions in FPSE to analyse their collective agreements and compare all of the agreements. This is a huge advantage. Robin Wylie is one of the coordinators (originally from Douglas College) and his breadth of knowledge and experience in the sector has been beyond helpful at the table. He has not been able to be at every session, but he has been at most and we have benefitted from his participation.

We have had 15 bargaining sessions since August and we will be walking into session 16 immediately following our 2023 Faculty Association AGM. It has been a long, long haul, with many additional days dedicated to bargaining prep, ongoing training, continued research as we develop counter proposals to administration’s proposals (of which there were three) and counter proposals to their counter proposals to our 20 initial submissions. It is a detailed process and we have done everything possible to provide the language needed for the administration to communicate our proposals to the provincial government. We are also updating our job action policy.  Thank you to all the faculty who’ve dropped in to observe a bargaining session; your presence helps, and we encourage faculty to drop in when they can, to learn more about how the bargaining process works.

We continued working to keep our financial house in order and implemented the membership-approved motion to move the FA defence fund to VanCity. With that move has come additional financial training and info sessions with VanCity for members of the FA executive. Our secretary and treasurer, Sunny Nestler has done an amazing job, taking on the challenge of our FA finances with additional training from FPSE. 

We held several Faculty Affairs discussions with topics including a three-term academic calendar (proposal from the University), definition of anti-semitism and academic freedom, the faculty exhibition, faculty organizing, climate action task force, and how to better sabbatical allocations.

Ahead of all the committee reports and summaries, we wanted to thank all of the faculty who served on the wide range of committees that are required to support our collegial governance. We are hugely grateful for your time, thoughtful consideration, tireless dedication and support. Your work is essential to our membership and to the University community. We also want to thank all of the faculty and staff who continue to show up – show up to meetings, to workshops, to training sessions, to hallway conversations that lead to new ideas and solutions that make a difference to our working lives. You have shown up in countless Zoom rooms, in person, and via email. You have shown up for each other. Thank you. 

We would like to thank and acknowledge Art Perry and Arni Haraldsson, who will be retiring from Emily Carr this year. Thank you for your many years of service to this community, and for reminding us how important it is to connect with and celebrate each other.

The FA Executive for 2022-2023 included: 

President: Cameron Cartiere 

Vice Presidents: Lindsay McIntyre and Ben Unterman 

Members at Large: Rubén Möller, Valérie D. Walker, Hillary Webb, Sue Shon, Magnolia Pauker 

Co- Stewards: Rita Wong, Nick Conbere 

Secretary and Treasurer: Sunny Nestler 

Thank you to members at large who served in 2022: Gilly Mah and Vanessa Kam