Fall term ABCs – advocacy, bargaining and committees

by Faculty Association | Filed under December 2014, President's Message.

– By Sandra Hoenle, Faculty Association President –

As I write this, we are in the midst of our new tenure and promotion process, with various Faculty Tenure and Promotion Committees (FTPCs) meeting every day. As you will remember, we recently bargained a new process bringing tenure and promotion together rather than having members apply for each separately. Because this procedure is new, there may be some glitches and we’re working with the Provost’s Office to resolve issues as they arise; trying to make sure no one is disadvantaged by the change. We’ve done our best to train our representatives on all of the FTPC committees. There’s a lot to learn and, especially in the larger faculties, sitting on FTPC is a large time commitment. We are very grateful to all of our representatives for their willingness to serve in this capacity.

Regarding assessment, we are currently still bargaining with the administration to negotiate an assessment process into the Collective Agreement; work that will hopefully be done fairly soon. Mainframe bargaining, the Collective Agreement and salary schedules, will begin in the New Year. You will be hearing more about this from our Principal Negotiator, Eileen Lohka.

The news at the provincial level is becoming bleaker as oil prices slide and the Premier repeatedly warns there will be “consequences.” Although he previously stated he will not cut health, education (it is unclear if that includes PSE), or social services, we are unsure what that assurance means in the current economic climate. Previously Premier Prentice had also promised to restore education funding cut by the previous government, but no specifics were mentioned. The Speech from the Throne contained little about PSE and the government continues to focus on skilled labour rather than PSE. The government seems to be particularly uninformed about the needs of research institutions, many of those needs being not related to job training. All together this seems to indicate a rather bleak picture in terms of support, financial and otherwise, from the current provincial government.

This newsletter will ‘go to press’ just before we break for the holiday season. During the seasonal closure of the university, however you celebrate (or not), my wish for everyone is time to spend with family and friends, as well as opportunities to spend downtime ‘recharging your batteries.’

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Eid Milad-un-Nabi Mubarak; and a Happy New Year to all.

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