Since April 2012, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has produced an annual World Happiness Report. Canada has dropped a little to the seventh happiest country in the world (155 countries were studied for the 2017 report). What does this have to do with bargaining? Among the most important predictors of happiness is having employment, as well as the quality and security of the job.Keep reading
At the last round of bargaining, we changed the regularization language quite substantially. For example, we got rid of annualization. We now have new language as to how short-term members become regularized without annualization.
Bargaining is an interesting process. We come into it with a list of things that are wrong and need to change. At the end, we’ve talked about the majority of it, but quite a bit of the proposed changes never make it to the final document….that’s just reality.Keep reading
The work of the SCFA executive moves forward on several fronts.
Our local and common agreements have just over a year to run. We are beginning to plan for bargaining. This includes forming a local committee led by our VP Negotiations, Victor Villa, and participating with the locals of 20 other colleges and universities in the Federation of Post-Secondary Educator’s province-wide process. We have to consider the timing for bargaining, potential allies and partners, and our demands. Secondary scales, which often affect non-regular members, is emerging again as a major provincial issue. Secondary scales include employers paying for the same work on different salary scales, capping the pay of non-regular members, and limiting the access of non-regular members to the seniority list. These issues of equity affect many members in the post-secondary system and threaten all of our working conditions. The recent strike of college instructors in Ontario revealed that only 20% of faculty had regular contracts. We believe that parts of our local agreement include secondary scales.Keep reading
For the first time in sixteen years, we have a new party in power in British Columbia. The SCFA and our provincial body, the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators, are non-partisan organizations. However, we have supported change that would lead to more accessible, affordable post-secondary education delivered by institutions that emphasize teaching and research rather than “leadership” and “innovation.”
We saw immediate change with the removal of tuition on ABE, ESL, and Prep courses. We are hoping for more including a return to an entirely publicly funded system rather than one that relies heavily on rising tuition, extra student fees, and mounting (and precarious) tuition fees from international students. Our students pays too much for their education. They work too much while taking courses and start their working lives with unacceptably high debt. Van City reported that BC students have amongst highest average student debt in Canada, averaging $30,856 in 2015. This is not news to SCFA members. We see the effects of these pressures on our students every day in our classes. We often know about it first-hand from our adult children who are taking post-secondary education. Nevertheless, it is an issue that we can work on together with the SCSU and now is the time to push for change with a new government.Keep reading