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Second 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 second 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 second 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 second 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 Positions
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
     

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

First 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 first 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 first 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 first 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.

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

KFA Consultation for Bargaining Update, February, 2021

Dear KFA Colleagues,

KFA Consultation and Bargaining Update

While it may seem as if the ink is still wet on our new 2019-2022 Collective Agreement, the next collective bargaining round is quickly approaching. Preparations are well under way, and there are many ways you can participate. It is only in standing together that we have the power to make much needed gains.

We want to hear what is important to you. Bargaining in a unionized context is a democratic and collective process.

In April, we will elect the Working Conditions Committee (WCC) from the various Faculty areas/groupings. The WCC is responsible for developing the KFA bargaining survey as well as the KFA bargaining priorities.  Consultation, current issues, and the bargaining survey inform these bargaining priorities, which are then approved by a vote of the general membership. This is how the KFA brings your concerns to the bargaining table.

Opening Consultations

To facilitate this process, we are hosting two drop-in meetings in March (information below) where you can share with your KFA the issues that matter to you most.

Possible Topics for Consultation:

  • Workload concerns
  • Wage increases
  • Support for research & scholarly activity
  • Protections for intellectual property
  • Title
  • Benefits
  • Protection of regularization rights
  • Professional development

Meetings

  • Thursday, March 4th, 2:00-3:30 (drop in is fine)*
  • Tuesday, March 9th, 1:00-2:30 (drop in is fine)*

*Zoom invite will follow in the next few days.

Please come out and participate in the consultation meetings, and please stay tuned for your opportunity to run for the Working Conditions Committee.

 

In solidarity,

Mark Diotte

KFA President’s Update to the Membership February 2021

Dear Colleagues,

I hope this email finds you well and bearing up under the pressures imposed on us by the pandemic.

This is the sixth month of my term as your President, and I want to reach to update you about some of the work your KFA is doing.

I’d like to begin by acknowledging the work of all faculty in keeping the lights on during the pandemic. We know how challenging the pivot to online teaching has been. I’d also like to acknowledge the team of dedicated faculty that make up the KFA Executive and Table Officers. I appreciate all of the work you do in serving our members.

The pandemic has brought no respite from work for us; if anything, we have seen a multiplication of issues needing our attention. In what follows, I’ll identify a few of these issues and provide a brief update on where the conversation is at.

Layoffs

The pandemic has had a differential impact on individual areas, and it has deepened a crisis that already existed in the English Language Studies department, a crisis created initially by the institution’s lack of support for the area and by the institution’s decision to cut off enrolment for international students in ESL. The KFA works with the Employer to minimize layoffs whenever we are notified that the security of the workforce may be impacted. This work is occurring on behalf of the ELS department, and we are also working on behalf of all faculty to negotiate a pandemic-related variance to the Collective Agreement to extend the recall period. On a positive note, there are several other areas in which we were able to mitigate pandemic-related layoffs.

LOU #13 Joint Committee on Class Size Past Practice

Letter of Understanding #13 states, “the committee discuss, review, and adjust class size for classes with registration limits lower than thirty-five.”  This matter has been occupying a great deal of our time and the time of faculty helping us to review existing course caps. We will update you about the committee’s progress at the end of February.

The KFA and the Research and Scholarship White Paper

As many of you know, a White Paper on the topic of research and scholarship circulated through faculty councils and other groups in the institution. The White Paper arrived at Senate in October of 2020, and in January 2021, the KPU President brought to Senate a response to the White Paper that proposed actions to each of the paper’s 25 recommendations, many of which relate directly to collective bargaining. When this occurred, the KFA had no choice but to assert its right under the Labour Code as the exclusive bargaining agent for Kwantlen faculty and insist that those parts of the White Paper that pertain to working conditions be withdrawn from the Senate discussion.

Why did we do this? 

Labour law required it. Senate is not the appropriate venue to theorize how working conditions might be altered to facilitate research and scholarship. This is work that must be undertaken through collective bargaining to ensure that your rights and responsibilities are agreed to and protected, and that the interests of a majority of faculty are represented. Promises and agreements made outside the collective agreement—as we are currently seeing with class size—are not protected. There is no guarantee that the promises of one administration will be honored by another.

What was the Employer’s response?

The Employer agreed to remove parts of the White Paper from discussion, but they were not pleased to do so. Consequently, you may hear the Employer refer to the KFA as the “faculty trade union,” taken from the language of the Labour Code. What the Employer intends by using this name is not exactly clear, but we are proud of this certification and the protection it provides. We are not alone. Increasingly, faculty at traditional universities across Canada (including UVic and SFU in 2014) are coming to realize that true power over their working conditions comes from certifying their faculty associations as trade unions with exclusive bargaining agent rights.

What is the KFA’s position on Research and Scholarship?

The KFA has always supported research and scholarship at KPU, but we do not support placing additional research and scholarship expectations on already heavy workloads. And the Collective Agreement is clear that research and scholarship is part of faculty work. Article 12.01 Normal Duties divides faculty workload into three different categories: 1. Teaching or Professional Practice, 2. Service, and 3. Scholarly Activity and Professional Development.

Article 12.17 Scholarly Activity also recognizes research and scholarship as part of faculty workload. The article states, “research and scholarship have always been an integral component of faculty work at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Research and scholarship inform teaching, curriculum and teaching practices, enhance the knowledge of faculty and students, and enable faculty members to remain intellectually stimulated and current in their fields. […] Nothing in this provision shall be construed as increasing a faculty member’s assigned workload.

Article 12.17 also contains a definition of scholarly activity: “Scholarly activity is a dynamic process consisting of the following interrelated components: discovery, application, integration, teaching and learning, and creative artistry.” We look forward to discussions around how research and scholarly activity can be supported at KPU.

What is the KFA’s position on Rank and Tenure?

The KFA does not have a position on rank and tenure. We represent the position of the faculty body as a whole. The typical model of rank and tenure is incompatible with the system of regularization at KPU, and it is not favored by a majority of KPU faculty. The Employer, in its response to the White Paper, seems to agree. However, the question of title is separable from the discussion of rank and tenure. Based on the input of faculty through the bargaining surveys, the KFA supports permissive use of title, especially as a way to support faculty whose funding applications may be negatively affected by the absence of a typical academic title. Recently, VIU moved simply to designate all of its regular faculty members Professors. A similar move is possible at KPU.

Who ultimately decides the KFA position?

You do. The KFA represents and takes its direction from you. Our bargaining surveys are where you tell us what your priorities are. We will soon be preparing for the next round of bargaining, so you will have the opportunity to make your views known.

Bargaining

This term, we will be preparing for our next round of bargaining by electing a Working Conditions Committee, readying the bargaining survey, and engaging in other preparatory work. Mark Diotte, Vice President, Negotiations, will shortly provide an update on this matter. In the meantime, Mark is already starting bargaining preparations by attending frequent FPSE Bargaining Coordination Committee meetings. As well, four Table Officers attended the FPSE Bargaining Conference on February 6.

Micro-credentials

On Monday, February 8, the Minister of Advanced Education announced the provincial government is providing $4 million as part of pandemic recovery to fund 24 micro-credentials across 15 BC post-secondary institutions. The specific micro-credentials and institutions involved were not disclosed. The announcement presented micro-credentials being delivered completely or partially online, taking weeks as opposed to months or years to achieve, and as potentially combining toward substantial credentials.

Policy AC15: Micro-credentials is currently being developed. We will be speaking with the Employer at LMRC this month about the link between micro-credentials, workload, and remuneration.

Upcoming Workshops

The KFA is offering the following workshops this semester:

  • All faculty are invited to the Robert’s Rules/Effective Meeting Participation workshop today from 1-4 (Wednesday, February 17).
  • All Chairs and Coordinators are invited to the Chair/Coordinator Lunch Meeting on Thursday, February 18.
  • All faculty are invited to attend the College Pension Plan Retirement Workshops being offered later this month.

Staying Connected

  • If you would like to follow KFA Executive meetings, please log into the Members Only area of our website. Table Officers and Executive members provide written reports, which you can read in the minutes.
  • You can always connect with us at Online Open Office Hours. The next office hours are today from 4-5:30.
  • Your area representative on the Executive Committee are your first point of contact with your Union, should you have any questions about your working conditions. You can find your area rep here.

In solidarity,

Gillian

30th Annual Feb. 14 Women’s Memorial March

30TH ANNUAL FEB 14 WOMEN’S MEMORIAL taking place in the unceded xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories (please scroll down for meeting place and starting time details)

My name is Seema Ahluwalia and I am your KFA representative for Decolonization, Indigenization and Reconciliation. I would like to inform you about an important community event that is happening this weekend.

This is the 30th year of the February 14 Women’s Memorial March, a space for Indigenous families and community members to come together and grieve the devastating loss of their beloved women and girls, and to remember the precious women and girls whose lives have ended in violence and destitution in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver and across this continent. The event has resonated with communities around the world, is recognized internationally by UNESCO, and is widely endorsed by the labor movement,  including your KFA, as well as governments,  and other local and national organizations.  

In an interview with The Tyee today, Myrna Cranmer, a member of the Women’s Memorial March organizing committee, mourned the deaths of more than 50 women in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver in 2020 alone, and decried the way their lives and suffering are rendered invisible. Evidence from Reclaiming Power and Place: Final Report of the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry (2019) and a report commissioned by the BC government entitled In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care (2020) confirm the ongoing racism embedded in Canadian institutions that results in experiences of dehumanization and discrimination for Indigenous people. Yet the reality of ongoing colonial oppression is often met with willful ignorance,  denial and racist backlash.  Meanwhile, little action on decades of promises has been taken to address the catastrophic consequences of colonization and gendered violence against Indigenous women and girls on their families, communities and nations.

At this year’s March, COVID-19 protocols are in effect and masks and social distancing will be required.  There will be no indoor events, and volunteer guardians of the March will be handing out masks and reminding participants to maintain social distancing.  

The Women’s Memorial march will take place on Sunday, February 14, 2021 in the unceded xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories. Family and community members will gather first at 10:30 am (Main and Hastings) The March starts at 12 pm from Carnegie Community Centre (Intersection of Main and Hastings in Vancouver).

If you cannot attend but would like to support in another way, or if you want more information, contact:

Juanita: 604-616-7922
Carol: 236-512-4511
Wendy: 604.725.3953
Summer-Rain: 604-652-1867
Myrna Cranmer: 778.869.7200 

KFA Open Office Hours Schedule for Spring 2021

Dear KFA Members,

We are pleased to announce the KFA Open Office Hours schedule for Spring 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).

January:

  • Monday January 25th, from 2:00-3:30 pm, via Teams

February:

  • Friday February 5th, from 12:00-1:30 pm, via Teams
  • Wednesday February 17th, 4:00-5:30 pm, via Teams

March:

  • Wednesday March 3rd, 12:00-1:30 pm, via Teams
  • Thursday March 18th, 4:00-5:30 pm, via Teams

April:

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

May:

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

We look forward to meeting with you!

Sincerely,

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

LOU #13 KFA Update for January 26, 2021

Dear colleagues,

We want to provide you with an update on the status of the LOU #13 Joint Committee on Class Size Past Practice.

Summary

The Parties have agreed to extend the deadline for LOU #13 until February 28th. There has been agreement by the parties on maintaining current class sizes for some specific courses; in other areas, we continue to discuss courses with the Employer and to consult with faculty.

The Parties have agreed to arbitrator Ken Saunders should arbitration prove necessary under this LOU, and tentative holds have been placed for dates in September 2021. While the Employer is looking for a hard deadline of February 28th for the work of the committee, the KFA is advocating for work to continue until the potential arbitration dates in order to reach agreement on as many courses as possible.

The Employer has started to present some information for their position on class size, and the KFA is continuing to request the Employer provide fulsome rationales for the significant class size increases they are seeking.

The KFA firmly believes that class size ought to be determined on the basis of recommendations from faculty, who are the content area and educational experts.

Further information and context informing the KFA position are as follows:

Timelines

  • The work of the committee continued up to January 15, 2021.
  • On January 15, the Parties agreed to extend the deadline to February 28th.
  • If arbitration is needed, tentative date holds have been put in place for September 2021.
  • The KFA position is to continue to do the work of this committee up until the point of arbitration.
  • The Employer’s position is currently focused on a deadline on February 28th.
  • The parties have agreed to take a break from meetings between January 16th and February 7th to allow the KFA to consult with faculty areas affected on information provided by the Employer

Committee Work to Date

  • The KFA has presented most of the rationales for courses under consideration by this committee.
  • There are a few areas that have not yet been discussed by the committee.
  • For some specific courses, the Employer has agreed to maintain current class size based on the rationale provided by the area.
  • So far, no class size registration limits have been changed through the LOU #13 process.

KFA Actions

              The KFA is continuing to

  • Follow up with faculty in each area with information provided by the Employer
  • Urge the Employer to continue the work of this committee up until the point arbitration may become necessary
  • Prepare for a potential arbitration

 

In Solidarity,

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

Mark Diotte      

Gillian Dearle    

Diane Walsh     

Romy Kozak

Tim Armstrong (FPSE Staff Rep)

 

KPU’s Bicameral System

Sent on behalf of the KFA’s Political Action Committee

Want to learn more about KPU’s governance structure? Have you ever wondered how Senate, Faculty Council, and the Board of Governors intersect? How do faculty make their concerns known in a bicameral system? Kwantlen Faculty Association’s Political Action Committee (KPAC) invites you to check out its inaugural video: Bicameral System of Governance.

 

 

The KFA’s Political Action Committee (KPAC) has been active for several years in various contexts and was codified in the KFA’s Constitution and By-Laws in 2002 (Section 11).

Enjoy and stay tuned for more content in the near future!

 

In solidarity,

KPAC