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Message from the President

News

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.

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President’s Message

News

President’s Message

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.

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