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    • 15 DEC 22
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    2022, The Year in FSA

    2022, The Year in FSA

    It was a busy year for the FSA with lots to unpack. We’ve assembled financial and labour relations years in review, yet our union was active on a number of other fronts. In what follows, Member Engagement Officer Matt Greaves tries his best to recount the year in FSA news, with apologies for any items he’s missed.

    It was a difficult start to 2022 for workers in BC post-secondary institutions. Efforts to strengthen safety provisions for the return to campus, including FSA members, were hampered by a lack of provincial support for things like improved ventilation or N95 masks. In a letter to Provincial Health officer Bonnie Henry, we were blunt in our assessment.

    • Return to class during the Omicron surge highlights lack of autonomy some provincial institution, a theme that will re-emerge later in the year with collective agreement bargaining. In an interview with the Burnaby Beacon, FSA President Colin Jones discusses the issue of autonomy, of lack thereof, in the provincial post-secondary sector
    • Seven bargaining themes announced at our January GM: equity and reconciliation, being valued, benefit refresh, working together, building back better, clear intentions, and no concessions
    • Published! Volume 53, Issue 2 of the FSA’s Voice newsletter


    Health concerns and policy also marked the second month of 2022.

    • FSA’s advocacy on paid sick leave. Then Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training Anne Kang announced on the fourth of January that five paid sick days would become the minimum for workers in BC. Soon after, however, the FSA was informed that because of a highly technical reading of the law by the employer, this policy would not in fact apply to our members working in Part-Time Studies. The advocacy of those who wrote to provincial officials, including our members, would force the government to amend in March to include all BC workers
    • Jackie Pierre hired as Junior Labour Relations Representative (JLRR), bringing to the FSA a broad range of experience across the union movement—as an activist and representative—and public sector, strengthening our labour relations team
    • Board of Directors approves FSA accessibility audit, recommended by the Equity Caucus


    March brought a number of staffing changes to the FSA.

    • Jackie taking over as JLRR, Andrea Matthews returns to her permanent position in Communications. Andrea’s nine-month interim role allowed FSA to search for a new JLRR while maintaining a high quality of service to the membership
    • Matt Greaves begins in March, replacing Kyla Epstein as Member Engagement Officer. Joins FSA from the Teaching Support Staff Union at SFU where he held a number of positions, also faculty in SFU’s School of Communication and Labour Studies Program


    The first part of a new year is election season at the FSA, with campaigns for Board President and Vice-President this year.

    • Membership acclaims Colin Jones (President) and Shannon Kelly (Vice President) for second terms on the Board.

      “A strong, focused, responsive, and operationally sound FSA will help us succeed together,” Shannon wrote in her candidate statement. Colin noted that he “looked forward to supporting our staff as they defend the longstanding tenets of academic freedom and shared governance that are cornerstones on which BCIT was established”

    • Members approve the 2022/23 budget at our April General Membership Meeting, the last (with any luck) to be held completely online


    Late spring and summer
    The summer semester saw a few notable events for the FSA, including changes in the provincial bargaining landscape and on our Board.

    • Board appoints Zaa Joseph in May, replacing Lisa Allen who moves to the Justice Institute of BC
    • Job action from one of the province’s largest unions, the BC General Employee’s Union (BCGEU). FSA President and Chief Negotiator Colin Jones, Treasurer Terry Gordon, Executive Director Michael Conlon and MEO Matt Greaves join striking workers at a BCGEU run Delta location
    • Shannon and Michael continue their Departmental Rights training. This training helps Departments develop robust practices around, among other things, the consultative process and democratic decision-making. Please reach out if your Department is interested
    • SPARC BC conducts physical equity audit of BCITFSA, report forthcoming in the new year


    Following a relatively light news season in the summer months, the autumn return to campus brought with it a flurry of notable Union activity.

    • Colin welcomes us back amid some uncertainty and excitement as the FSA heads into bargaining with Institute management
    • FSA bargaining begins in September and continues through the fall. The BCGEU and Hospital Employees Union, who sign for identical monetary terms earlier in the month, establish the public-sector bargaining pattern
    • New publications released by the FSA. Volume 54, Issue 1 of the FSA newsletter is the first under a new design. Articles explore upcoming bargaining, full and part-time member status, and seniority at the FSA, among other things. FSA’s New Member Handbook is also published
    • FSA holds an orange shirt-making event, led by our Board member and Indigenous Initiatives Advisor Zaa, who’s previously written for the FSA to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day


    October provided the first chance since 2019 for our members to gather at a General Meeting.

    • 2021/22 Annual Report published, containing a message from FSA leadership, a year in review, and labour relations update
    • Annual General Meeting takes place, our first in hybrid format, which saw participation greatly exceed what we expected during our in person era. Our 2021/22 financial statements are approved and we’re joined by Peter McInnis, President of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, a national affiliate of the FSA
    • The FSA suddenly and tragically lost member Kathy Nemis. Kathy worked in the Chemistry Department from 2004 and was a committed Tech Rep


    As the year winds down, a number of labour struggles in post-secondary (and elsewhere) bear fruit, including for workers at Dalhousie, McMaster, and Western, with workers at McGill and UBC forming and joining unions, respectively.

    • One of the most significant labour mobilizations in recent Canadian history takes place, targeting an obvious threat to all Canadian labour unions from the provincial Ford government in Ontario
    • FSA donates to striking CUPE 3912 at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS. The post-secondary labour movement rallied around the striking Dal workers, who achieved significant gains through job action, including between 23 percent and 44 percent wage increases over four years for part-time instructors, teaching assistant, markers, and demonstrators
    • FSA members provide feedback on the BCIT’s draft policy on student attendance, which raised significant concern among the membership
    • FSA attends BC Federation of Labour’s biennial conference, where a new leadership team is elected by and for the provincial body


    The year in FSA began with our advocacy for health and safety and it ends with our negotiation of a new collective agreement. The latter started with research in 2021 continues into 2023.

    • Final days of bargaining for the calendar year. There’s a great deal of hope that our next contract will alleviate some of the pay discrepancies our members experience when considered against comparable positions, which would in turn potentially help with hiring problems the Institute is experiencing.


    The FSA wishes our members and the wider community a happy holiday season!

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