Executive Working Committee Report 2024

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

This year saw the completion of over 14 months of bargaining with the ratification of our new Collective Agreement (2022-2025). Together we are able to improve conditions that have not been possible in 20 years. Our key gains included:

  • Substantial salary gains (thanks in part to the larger unions who secured the mandate) 
  • Workload reduction for studio faculty to 4/4 (75% of our membership)
  • Right to Qualified Work
  • Improvements for Lecturers (continuous contract status)

Other changes coming from the collective table include:

  • A new trimester model
  • Adjunct Opportunity Pathway
  • Decolonization & Indigenization audit of our collective agreement and associated university policies
  • Movement towards a Knowledge Keeper in Residence
  • Increases in some healthcare provisions
  • And improved language throughout the collective agreement for clarity and fairness

With such substantial changes in our collective agreement, the roll out has been taking time as HR and other departments endeavour to create and adapt to new systems. The roll out has included the development of a Seniority List as well as the development of a framework for creating the Qualified to Teach (QTT list) system that will help make hiring more of a transparent process. We have a number of committees still to fill including one for the Knowledge Keeper, the CA audit, and working conditions. We hope to fill these committees by the end of May so the work can begin. 

It may feel like we just ratified our new agreement, but pre-bargaining committees and the faculty survey will roll out in Fall 2024, as bargaining is coming up again in March, 2025.

We are extremely grateful to our FPSE representatives Tim Armstrong (2022-23) and Weldon Cowan (2023-24) as well as Robin Wylie who was with us from the beginning and saw us through to a successful ratification. Robin is one of the bargaining coordinators (originally from Douglas College) and his breadth of knowledge and experience in the sector has been beyond helpful at the table and we greatly benefitted from his participation.

We had some other highlights this year, beyond the work of bargaining, including a campus visit from our new Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills, Minister Lisa Beare. She was accompanied by local MLA Joan Phillip (Mount Pleasant) on Friday March 22, 2024. We only had 15 minutes scheduled (they were on campus a total of 45 minutes), and the minister was visiting 4 institutions that day. Recognizing the limitations of this brief official visit format, Cameron’s focus was to highlight the amount of work the faculty produce and contribute outside of the academy, and to express to the minister that we needed her to be our champion in government and other ministers. Given her former post as the Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, it was refreshing to not have to begin the conversation explaining the value of art and design in society. It was a very positive conversation, and both the minister and the MLA left with a desire to return to the campus for a longer visit in the future. The Minister’s chief of staff also left with a copy of Non-Regular!

We continue working to keep our financial house in order and the move of the FA defence fund to VanCity Credit Union has been a positive action. With that move has come ongoing financial training and info sessions with VanCity for members of the FA executive. Our treasurer, Sunny Nestler continues their amazing job, taking on the challenge of our FA finances and additional training from FPSE. 

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. 

Above: FA Garden Party in September; Below: FA Year-end Korean BBQ Potluck.

The FA Executive for 2023-2024 included: 

President: Cameron Cartiere 

Vice Presidents: Lindsay McIntyre and Ben Unterman 

Members at Large: Rubén Möller, Valérie D. Walker, Hillary Webb, Sue Shon, Sarah Samash, Alla Gadassik

Co- Stewards: Rita Wong, Nick Conbere 

Secretary: Patryk Stasieczek

Treasurer: Sunny Nestler 

Thank you to member-at-large Magnolia Pauker who served in 2023.

The Joint Consultation Committee (JCC) continued to meet monthly. Its purpose is “to promote the cooperative resolution of workplace issues” (according to our Collective Agreement 5.03). The committee includes the FA President, the FA Vice-Presidents, a Steward, our FA coordinator, the Provost, the VP of HR, the Director of HR, and HR staff. The FA team continued to pursue issues from 2022-23 such as impacts of ambiguous university policies on faculty, scheduling and hiring, and fair representation on committees. The FA President also has a standing meeting with the ECU President every month to discuss university issues beyond the JCC. 

Our stewards have still noted an ongoing increase in requests for accommodation by faculty and also complex and lengthy grievances, many of which resulting from University policies that are not clearly written and procedures that have escalated situations into multi-level grievance processes. This is relentless work and the approval, by the membership, of a second steward last year has gone a long way to lift the burden off the shoulders of our long-standing steward, Rita Wong. We are continually deeply grateful for the breadth of institutional knowledge that Rita brings to the role. Together, with Nick Conbere, our stewards are champions for the membership. Remember, you have support and if you find yourself in a position where you are asked to meet with HR or other areas of administration, you have the right to have steward support with you. 

The FA Executive Working Committee, during our Faculty Retreat this February (not picture, Lindsay McIntyre and Sarah Samash).