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Occupational Health & Safety: Summer FAQ

Dear Faculty Friends,

My name is Kristie Dukewich and I am your KFA OH&S Representative. 

With the new Restart Guidelines announced and the return-to-work in the fall growing imminent, faculty have a lot of questions. To address the workplace health and safety questions I have been hearing over and over again, I thought a Health & Safety FAQ would be helpful. Please see the attached pdf for questions, answers, and links to relevant resources.

List of questions that are addressed:

  • I have a health or safety concern about my specific workspace. How do I report it?
  • What if I have a workplace health or safety concern for the return-to-work in the fall?
  • Where can I find more information about our current campus safety plans?
  • What should I do if I am diagnosed with COVID-19 while working on campus?
  • What should I do if I hear about a COVID-19 case in my work area?
  • What are the Fall 2021 return-to-work plans?
  • There have been a lot of news report on the relative importance of good ventilation and indoor air quality to reduce the spread of COVID-19. What is being done at KPU to address ventilation?
  • What if I feel unsafe returning to work in Fall 2021?

I will provide an updated FAQ in August prior to the Fall return to campus. In the meantime, if you have any questions about occupational health and safety that are not answered in the FAQ please let me know.

thanks

Kristie Dukewich

KFA Member Engagement Survey

Dear Colleagues,

Please take two minutes to complete our short survey. Your feedback is important to us, and all answers are anonymous and non-identifiable, meaning that we have no way of associating your answers with you.

The survey will remain open until June 30, 2021.

Thank you for your time!

Your KFA

Asking for KFA Representation

Dear faculty;

As faculty, many of us enjoy very positive working relationships with administrators at KPU, including our Deans and Associate Deans.  There are times when we need to have frank and open conversations with our administrators.  Quite often, these can be enjoyable and personable chats.  However, there are times when your Dean or Associate Dean might reach out to you to talk, and you are not sure of the reason for the chat, or you do know, and you are not sure what it might mean for you.

If you are ever invited to a meeting with your Dean or Associate Dean and you are unsure of the reason why, always feel free to ask about the subject of the meeting before accepting the invitation.  Importantly, whether you know or don’t know what the meeting is about, or if you are concerned that the meeting may be related to the resolution of a dispute, be it formal or informal, the KFA wants you to know that Article 17.04 in our KFA-KPU Collective Agreement secures your right to be given every opportunity to have a Union Representative with you at the meeting.

To learn more about when you should ask for KFA Representation and the Collective Agreement,  read this KFacts Article.

Betty Cunnin, KFA Member-at-Large

New Video from KPAC

Dear Colleagues,

Want to learn more about holding effective meetings with administrators? What is the purpose of caucusing? How can faculty and faculty senators use caucusing strategically at KPU? Kwantlen Faculty Association’s Political Action Committee (KPAC) invites you to check out its second video: Preparing for Meetings with Admin.

If you missed it, you can find KPAC’s first video here: KPU’s Bicameral System.

In solidarity,

KFA Political Action Committee

LOU #13 Update May 25, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

We want to provide the following update on the status of the LOU #13 Joint Committee on Class Size Past Practice. This process has been a long, difficult, and disappointing one, and we thank you for your continued support.

Attached you will find the LOU #13 General Employer Responses document which contains the Employer’s general response to the information and arguments presented by the KFA on behalf of members. We are asking for faculty to read the attached document and provide feedback to Mark Diotte to assist us in our preparations for arbitration.

Employer’s Position

The Employer does not seem to see increases in class size as increases in faculty workload. Generally, they see no pedagogical or other reason why class sizes cannot increase. The suggestion of the Employer is that areas can manage a substantial increase to class size by simply adjusting pedagogical and assessment strategies.

The KFA has provided much information to the Employer directly from faculty, the subject matter and educational experts, and the Employer has provided responses that range from a comparison of KPU to U15 research institutions to information from an opinion blog; much of the Employer’s information can be found in the attached document. Further, the Employer has portrayed the research of area experts and discipline-specific research as “reflect[ing] the interests of discipline-based affinity groups.” In short, field-specific research cannot be trusted to be objective, according to the Employer.

In the preamble to their General Employer Responses document, the Employer seems to be pitting areas against one another in what appears to be a race to the bottom to achieve maximum class sizes. They do not seem to appreciate that such increases occur at the expense of the student experience and on the backs of faculty members struggling under immense workloads.

It is clear that our senior administration has much work to do in order to understand the realities we face in our classrooms, and to understand the effect that increasing class size will have on our workload. It has been difficult and frustrating to listen to the Employer articulate their positions.

It is clear to the KFA LOU #13 caucus that the primary motivation of the Employer is financial and not educational. Their concerns as expressed to us repeatedly are focused on increasing revenue. We do not believe this argument is a valid reason to change our educational practices, especially in the face of year over year over year surpluses. According to the 2019/20 KPU Accountability Plan & Report, KPU had an accumulated operating surplus of $122 536 000 dollars as of the 2020 fiscal year.

Summary of Developments

Since our last update on January 26th, 2021, the Joint Committee met approximately four times in the month of February. At that time, both Parties committed to an exchange of information by March 12th. The KFA provided subsequent information to the Employer on Monday March 15th. Despite promptings, the Employer did not respond with any further information until April 21st.

The Parties held a brief meeting on April 28th to discuss how to move forward. The KFA relayed to the Employer that we would be using the Employer’s updated rationale documents to consult with the areas and seek feedback. We further stated that we remain committed to working with the Employer as needed, but if we had reached a point of disagreement, we would agree to move to arbitration.

The Employer put forward their position that they believe that the KFA bargained LOU #13 in bad faith, that they are concerned that there is no interest in increasing class size, and that they wish to cease discussions on the matter.

The KFA clarified that there seems to be a profound misunderstanding of the nature of LOU #13. The KFA committed to reviewing past practice class size registration limits and discussing potential class size adjustments based on the factors listed in LOU #13. We have been having these conversations throughout the LOU #13 process, and we have brought forward the detailed, researched, passionate, and compelling rationales provided by faculty member experts across the institution. On the basis of consultation with specific areas, the KFA brought forward class size increases in one area with the potential of class size increases in other areas. 

The Employer has objected to hearing directly from faculty members about their courses, has been unappreciative and dismissive of arguments brought to the committee by faculty members, and has provided unconvincing, limited rationales. In short, the Employer is generally unwilling to listen to the subject-matter and educational experts on how best to deliver education to their students.

What comes next?

Moving forward, the KFA will be preparing for arbitration by reaching out to all of the LOU #13 contact-people to allow for everyone to provide further detail and/or rationales as to best educational choices for class size, in response to the information brought forward by the Employer.

As mentioned above, we are asking for faculty to read the attached document and provide any feedback they wish to Mark Diotte to assist us in our preparations.

 

In Solidarity,

Mark Diotte, on behalf of your KFA LOU #13 Caucus:

 

Mark Diotte

Gillian Dearle

Diane Walsh

Romy Kozak

Tim Armstrong (FPSE)

Mobilizing BC Post Secondary Education Members for the Climate Emergency – Tuesday May 18th 7-8 pm – Open Invitation for FPSE Members

Dear KFA Members,

You’re invited to a webinar with

FPSE AGM KEYNOTE SPEAKER SETH KLEIN – TUE, MAY 18, 7 PM.
All workers connected with the BC post-secondary education sector are welcome to attend.

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1vTXZMAUSj2t7IPPEO6mcg

Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: Keynote Speaker Seth Klein. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar.

We need a wartime-scale set of policies to confront the climate crisis in Canada. That’s the assertion of Seth Klein, renowned policy expert and author of the recently published book A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency. Join us on Tuesday May 18th for a keynote address from Seth Klein about the climate emergency and how we in the post-secondary sector can be part of the solution. The address will be followed by a moderated discussion period to dig into the answers to your questions. Join us! All workers connected with the BC post-secondary education sector are welcome to attend this free event. Please join us in spreading the word!

zoom.us
 

KFA Acclamations & Elections 2021

Hello KFA members,
 
We are pleased to announce the following acclamations to the KFA Executive and KFA Working Conditions Committee:

  • Diane Walsh to the position of Vice-President, Grievances
  • Emma Baggott to the position of Secretary-Treasurer
  • Rachelle Hollaway to the position of Member-at-Large
  • Stephen Dockery to the position of Trades & Technology Representative
  • Ann Marie Davison to the position of Disability Management & Rehabilitation Committee Representative
  • David Sadoway to the position Human Rights & International Solidarity Committee Representative
  • Seema Ahluwalia to the position of Decolonization, Reconciliation & Indigenization Committee Representative
  • Tanya Boboricken to the position of LGBTQ2S+ Committee Representative
  • Betty Cunnin to the position of Science & Horticulture Working Conditions Committee Representative
  • Seema Ahluwalia to the position of Status of Women Working Conditions Committee Representative
  • Kristie Dukewich to the position of Social Sciences Working Conditions Committee Representative
  • Robert Dearle to the position of Humanities Working Conditions Committee Representative
  • Rachelle Hollaway to the position of Business Working Conditions Committee Representative
  • Diane Walsh to the position of Qualifying Studies and Access Working Conditions Committee Representative.

As previously announced at the Annual General Meeting on April 29th, there will be an election for the position of Trades/Technology Working Conditions Committee Representative. 

The nominees for the position of Trades/Technology Working Conditions Committee Representative are Raphael Lagoutin and Bob Davis. Only faculty members from the Trades & Technology Faculty will be eligible to vote in this election.

Please go to: https://yourkfa.ca/about/executive-representatives/  for a full list of all current KFA Executive members. This list will be updated on June 1st, 2021 to reflect the newly acclaimed Executive members.

Please contact me with any questions.

Best,

Mark Diotte

KFA Update Regarding Policy AC15 Micro-credentials

Dear Kwantlen Faculty Association Members,

A new policy, AC15 Micro-credentials (MCs), is in development and is currently on the KPU Policy Blog. This policy and its procedures deserve fulsome input from faculty who are the educational and subject matter experts at KPU. Many faculty members are excited about the possibilities offered by Micro-credentials. At the same time, we need to ensure that Micro-credentials and the policies surrounding them work to the benefit of faculty and programs rather than against. The KFA has some questions and concerns about the impacts of this policy:

  • Unless handled properly, Micro-credentials may result in fragmentation of workload and the curriculum, course offering duplication, as well as competition and disputes between faculty and professional areas.
  • Although the constitution of the Senate Micro-Credential Committee (SMC) is broad, its currently proposed workflow is problematic because it does not include all members of the committee, and it may not provide enough time for careful consideration of whether MCs duplicate offerings in other areas. We are also concerned that the members of the SMC may not have the necessary breadth of knowledge or the tools to correctly identify the potential for overlap.
  • No process to address disputes about duplication or the “ownership” of course work has been defined. Currently, the KFA is in dispute with the Employer about work being done by Continuing and Professional Studies that, in our view, substantially duplicates bargaining-unit work. The Employer’s position appears to be that coursework that only partially duplicates an area can be treated as non-bargaining unit work. The potential for duplication of offerings is a significant concern.
  • AC15 seems to allow for any area of the university to create Micro-Credentials. According to the Collective Agreement, however, faculty are explicitly responsible for developing curriculum at KPU.
  • AC15 does not yet explicitly state that MCs need to go through Faculty councils and their curriculum committees. However, the KFA maintains that all curriculum development must be done by faculty and follow established procedures.
  • AC15 may allow for “educational offerings” taught by non-faculty. We need to ensure that instruction remains the responsibility of faculty.
  • “Disaggregated” or fragmented courses may force faculty to accept numerous course preps for multiple micro courses or micro-credentials. The Collective Agreement states that faculty will be assigned no more than three course preparations in one semester without their consent.
  • Compensation, benefits, FTE, workload, vacation time, PD time, and regularization are intrinsically tied to the current credit system. How will the fragmentation of credits affect this system? Do MCs have the potential to increase workload or to increase the number of non-regular faculty at KPU?
  • “Micro Course” is identified in the policy, but an insufficient definition is offered. A more thorough explanation of what a Micro Course is and how it relates to micro-credentials is required as such courses will have an effect on workload.

These questions and concerns are not exhaustive. This is new territory, and it is unclear what to expect. If you have concerns or suggestions, we encourage you to share them on the KPU Policy Blog. We thank those who have done so already. If you are not comfortable posting feedback on the policy blog, please share your views with Rachelle Hollaway, Member-at-Large. KFA representatives will be meeting with the Employer about AC15, and we will bring your concerns forward.

Faculty may also provide powerful feedback via Departmental motions, Faculty Council representation, and by reaching out to your Faculty Senators.

The KFA also wishes to recognize Rajiv Jhangiani’s extensive responses to faculty on the policy blog to date; we hope that all faculty feedback will be carefully considered and appropriately reflected in forthcoming revisions to the policies and procedures of AC15.

The KFA strongly supports the potential growth and creative work enabled by Policy AC15 Micro-credentials, but we want to ensure that this work remains the responsibility of KPU faculty and that it aligns with current workload and compensation models as defined in the Collective Agreement. The need to have a policy in place immediately with expedited procedures to create micro-credentials cannot be used as rationale for bypassing established processes or for not conducting a thorough risk assessment.

In solidarity,

Your KFA Table Officers

Gillian Dearle

Diane Walsh

Mark Diotte

Romy Kozak

Betty Cunnin

Rachelle Hollaway

 

KFA Online Open Office Hours Schedule for Summer 2021

Dear KFA Members,

We are pleased to announce the KFA Open Office Hours schedule for Summer 2021. Representatives from the KFA Table Officers and/or Executive Committee will be available on Teams (via the links in your Outlook Calendar) at the times designated to take questions, provide updates, and chat about anything that’s on your mind regarding your work at KPU. Please drop in if you’re around!

If these times don’t work for you, or your matter is more confidential, please remember we are also available by email (see https://yourkfa.ca/contact/, or send a message to a Table Officer or Executive rep directly) or phone (604-599-2200 – voicemails will be returned as soon as possible).

May:

  • Tuesday May 4th, 12:00-1:30pm, via Teams
  • Thursday May 20th, 4:00-5:30pm, via Teams

June:

  • Thursday June 3rd, 12:00-1:30 pm, via Teams
  • Tuesday June 15th, 12:00-1:30 pm, via Teams
  • Monday June 28th, 12:00-1:30 pm, via Teams

July:

  • Wednesday July 7th, 12:30-2:00 pm, via Teams
  • Thursday July 15th, 2:00pm-3:30 pm, via Teams

August:

  • Monday August 9th, 12:00-1:30 pm, via Team

September:

  • Wednesday September 1st, 12:30-2:00 pm, via Teams

 

We look forward to meeting with you!
Sincerely,

Gillian Dearle, Diane Walsh, Mark Diotte, Romy Kozak, Betty Cunnin, Rachelle Hollaway

Last Call for Nominations for 2021 KFA Elections and KFA Working Conditions Committee

Dear Kwantlen Faculty Association Members,

In accordance with Article 7 of our Constitution and By-Laws, this is the last call for nominations for the following positions on the KFA Executive Committee:

  • Vice-President, Grievances
  • Secretary-Treasurer
  • Member-at-Large
  • Humanities Representative
  • Trades & Technology Representative
  • Ombudsperson
  • Social Sciences Representative
  • Qualifying Studies & Access Representative
  • Learner Support Representative
  • Disability Management & Rehabilitation Committee Representative
  • Human Rights & International Solidarity Committee Representative
  • Labour Community Advocate Committee Representative
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two-Spirited + Committee Representative
  • Decolonization, Reconciliation & Indigenization Committee Representative

This is the last call for nominations for the following positions on the KFA Working Conditions Committee (WCC):

  • Faculty of Health WCC Representative
  • Learner Support/Co-op WCC Representative
  • Non-Regular Faculty WCC Representative
  • Qualifying Studies & Access WCC Representative
  • Science & Horticulture WCC Representative
  • Business WCC Representative
  • Trades/Technology WCC Representative
  • School of Design WCC Representative
  • Status of Women WCC Representative
  • Social Sciences WCC Representative
  • Humanities WCC Representative

This is the last call for nominations for the following positions on the KFA Labour Management Relations Committee (LMRC):

  • Richmond Campus LMRC Representative
  • Civic Plaza Campus LMRC Representative

Nomination Period – April 8-28, 2021
The nomination period runs from April 8-28, 2021. Nomination forms are to be sent to the Chief Returning Officer (C.R.O.), Mark Diotte. Three calls for nominations will be made during this time period. In the event that the call for nominations results in only one nomination being received by the close of the nomination period, the nominee shall be acclaimed at the Annual General Meeting on April 29, 2021.

The nominations received to date are as follows:

Nominee Nominator Position
Diane Walsh Gillian Dearle Vice-President, Grievances
Emma Baggott Erika Balcombe Secretary-Treasurer
Rachelle Hollaway Panteli Tritchew Member-at-Large

Raphael Lagoutin

Bob Davis

Gerard Laverty

Al Sumal

Trades/Technology WCC Representative
Seema Ahluwalia Cherylynn Bassani Status of Women WCC Representative
Seema Ahluwalia Betty Cunnin Decolonization, Reconciliation & Indigenization Committee Representative
Stephen Dockery Gerard Laverty Trades & Technology Representative

Betty Cunnin

Paul Adams

Kathy Dunster

Ann Marie Davison

Science & Horticulture WCC Representative
David Sadoway Leonora King Human Rights & International Solidarity Committee Representative
Ann Marie Davison Wendy Belter Disability Management & Rehabilitation Committee Representative

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can find more information about the election process on our website.

Mark Diotte, Vice-President, Negotiations

Officer Responsible for the Election