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    Candidates: FSA Board Elections 2018

    Candidates: FSA Board Elections 2018

    Voting is open Noon, March 9 – Noon, April 6, 2018.
    FSA members have the opportunity to vote for candidates to represent their interests on the FSA Board of Directors for the 2018-20 term for President & Vice President and for the remainder of a 2017-19 term for a Director, Associate Members.

    Nominations were accepted from Feb 7th until February 23rd for one (1) President, one (1) Vice President and one (1) Director, Associate Members positions. The Director, Associate Members (below) will be acclaimed and there is now an election for the remaining positions.

    • Consider attending the All-Candidates meeting on March 7th
    • Please take the time to read over the candidate statements (below)
    • Vote starting on March 9th until April 6th!
    • Electronic voting information will be sent directly to members on March 9th.
    • If you do not receive your voting instructions please let us know. Voting will be managed by a 3rd party – Simply Voting.

    To see the full election timeline for 2018 please click here.

    We also encourage members to review our vision, mission, values, and key priorities when considering their selections. Questions can be directed to the FSA or to the Chief Returning Officer, William Oching.


    Two candidates for one position.

    Peter Fenrich (Instructional Development Consultant, Learning & Teaching Centre)

    Peter Fenrich

    Click photo to watch Peter at the All-Candidates Meeting

    Work History
    My commitment to BCIT began 35 years ago as a student in the Computer Systems Technology program. Following graduation, in 1985, I was hired by BCIT to work in the newly-created Computer Based Training department. When the department became a part of the Technology Centre, I worked in Applied Research as an Intermediate Systems Analyst and later as a Project Leader. In 2008, I joined the Learning and Teaching Centre (LTC) where I currently work as an Instructional Development Consultant (IDC).

    In the IDC role, I have had the good fortune to work on a variety of projects that range from supporting the design and development of course materials, curriculum reviews, program proposals, and program reviews, as well as facilitating faculty and staff professional development through Instructional Skills Workshops and other PD initiatives.

    Through my experience in the LTC, I have worked with faculty and staff in every School. My liaison duties have connected me with Student Services, Applied Research, BCIT International, and the BCIT Student Association. I am especially grateful to have been involved in teaching excellence, sustainability, and Indigenous Services initiatives at BCIT. Additionally, I have been teaching in Part-time Studies since 1986.

    Involvement with the FSA
    I have been an FSA Technology Representative for the LTC for the last ten years, which has helped me thoroughly understand and value our Collective Agreement. We need to protect our current rights and benefits.

    Involvement in the BCIT Community
    I am actively involved with the Diversity Circles initiative, and support BCIT International in allocating its International Mobility Funds. I have been a member of the Instructional Development Committee and served on School Quality Committees.

    Major Issues Facing the FSA
    Through my varied roles at BCIT and the people that I have worked with, I have become concerned about numerous issues, some of which contribute to employee disengagement. These issues range from our salaries not keeping up with inflation, the difficulties some departments have in hiring instructors both in full-time programs and part-time studies, excessive workloads, the lack of contractual professional development time for Specialized Faculty or the inability to take professional development time, and the precarious nature of working in part-time studies, including the lack of benefits.

    While working closely with the FSA staff, I will raise these and other issues in meetings with senior management and the provincial government. In these meetings, I will draw upon the skills that I have honed as a consultant to engage in constructive conversations. My approach is collaborative problem solving and negotiation.

    Policy Initiatives or Projects I Wish to Pursue
    If elected, I would pursue the major issues facing the FSA listed above and continue to support a variety of BCIT initiatives, including Diversity Circles. As well, I will be listening to you to ensure that I know which issues are important to our members so that your voices are heard.

    I would be honoured to serve you in the role of President of the Faculty and Staff Association.

    Kenzie Woodbridge (Web Services, ITS)

    Kenzie Woodbridge

    Click photo to watch Kenzie at the All-Candidates Meeting

    BCIT is my village and my community, and I have been honoured to serve it and my union in whatever way I may. I have worked at BCIT since 2000, first as a member of the BCGEU Support Staff and since 2007 as a member of the BCIT FSA, working in IT Services. The focus in my career has been on providing quality training, support, and documentation for BCIT’s faculty and staff, so that they can get on with the important business of supporting students and providing quality instruction. I’ve likely met many of you in training sessions over the years.

    My FSA involvement over the last seven years started with being a Tech Rep for IT Services in 2011. In 2013 and 2014 I volunteered to serve on the Collective Agreement Committee (CAC) and Bargaining Team. In 2014, I joined the FSA Board as Director at Large and I have served as FSA Vice President since 2016. I am also currently serving as the FSA’s representative on the BC Federation of Labour Executive Council.

    As a member of the FSA Bargaining Team in 2014, I helped to negotiate several important improvements to our Collective Agreement. Our successes were in spite of tight restrictions imposed by government in that round. In particular, we successfully negotiated for members on Maternity and Parental leave to receive a Supplemental Employment Benefit. We got this important benefit without giving ground on existing language despite many years of being told we had missed our chance.

    As the Policy Trustee chosen by the Board, I am continuing to maintain and update all FSA policies and to monitor and respond to BCIT policy changes that affect our members. I am leading bargaining for the FSA as an employer in negotiations with our unionized staff. I’m doing research for the FSA Board in support of the ongoing process of improving FSA business practices regarding labour relations and in support of the Board’s next Strategic Planning process.

    The most important issue for the FSA in the next two years will be preparing for the 2019 round of bargaining with BCIT. In this round we need to be ready to be bold so that we can correct longstanding inequities, especially for those working in part-time studies, and hold our ground on our important rights. We will need to identify key bargaining issues through research and consultation with members. We must continue to improve our communication infrastructure so that we can quickly communicate and consult about important issues with members. And we must continue to shore up our extended support network through our affiliations and connections with other faculty associations and unions.

    It would be an honour to serve as your president. I have a deep understanding of the Association and our issues and am ready to work for you on June 1st. Thank you for your attention.

    Vice President

    Three candidates for one position.

    Shannon Kelly (Faculty, School of Computing & Academic Studies)

    Shannon Kelly

    Click photo to watch Shannon at the All-Candidates Meeting

    I am very honoured and excited to put my name forward for FSA Vice President.

    We are entering a Bargaining phase (official Bargaining in 2019) and we need strong, experienced FSA leadership and a well informed, involved membership whose ideas and needs are heard and integrated into our strategic direction for Bargaining.

    For successful Bargaining, we need leaders and members who see and understand the “big picture” of how the moving parts of our great organization can work together to influence our employer to gain better working conditions.

    I will bring this “big picture”, strategic perspective to the role of FSA Vice President as we head into Bargaining.

    This will be my third term on the FSA Board. I have been at BCIT for over 15 years, as an instructor and program head in the Communication Department. Our Comm department, like many other departments, is taking advantage of FSA training on collegial decision making and departmental rights and responsibilities. The employer has a duty to consult with departments on academic matters, a key and extraordinary right which is in our Collective Agreement.

    For over 12 years I have been the program head for PTS in Comm. I care deeply about my peers who teach in PTS, and I would like to see greater gains for PTS faculty. I help lead the FSA’s Caucus on Part-Time Studies (COPTS) which is a great forum for our Associate Members (Part-Time Studies Members) to collectively share and strategize.

    I am also a researcher and have held various small and large research grants over the years. I am passionate about the benefits of applied research and advanced academics for our students and for educational excellence. I am the Board Liaison for the FSA’s Caucus on Applied Research and Advanced Studies (CARAS) and I also sit on the FSA-Management research negotiations team.

    I hope you will agree that big picture thinking, which comes from talking to our members from all over BCIT, from many Schools, divisions, departments, backgrounds, and employment categories, is key as we work collectively on strategic planning for the FSA overall, and for Bargaining in particular.

    Some of you may be familiar with the work of the FSA Diversity Circles (an initiative for which we received full federal funding from SSHRC) – an initiative which allows “us members, us educators” to take the lead on complex conversations about diversity on campus. Rather than being led, we are setting our own direction together – and our work is certainly noticed by senior leadership when we proactively take charge as a collective.

    As the subject matter experts in what we do, we all, as FSA members, need to take hold of our own strategic direction. We should stand together to demand what we need, in order to do our jobs even better. Let’s make our voices heard.

    Nancy Knaggs (Specialized Faculty, Applied Research)

    Nancy Knaggs

    Click photo to watch Nancy at the All-Candidates Meeting

    I am a BCIT alumni from the Robotics/Mechatronics Diploma program and have been working in Applied Research at BCIT for more than 12 years. Currently I am the Program Head for MAKE+ and thoroughly enjoy working with colleagues across campus as well as the many students who frequent our department.

    I have been quite involved with the FSA, first as a Tech Rep and more recently as a Director-at-Large. As a Tech Rep I helped to address member concerns and ensure my colleagues were aware of and understood their Collective Agreement rights. Member education regarding rights is important in creating and maintaining a healthy workplace.

    My participation as an FSA Tech Rep and a Director-at-Large coupled with my experience in leading multi-disciplined research projects across several schools and departments has provided me with an understanding of the issues facing FSA members campus wide.

    During my time as a Director-at-Large, I have fulfilled my duties through careful examination and research into the issues brought to the Boards attention. I have attended numerous events during this time to meet and hear from FSA members: Fair Employment Week, Tech Rep meetings, FSA General Meetings, Diversity Circles, CARAS meetings, among others.

    My interest in supporting the FSA’s Mission, Vision, and Values was strengthened after attending the CAUT Council Meeting in November 2017 in Ottawa. I met fellow colleagues from across Canada and deeply appreciated the opportunity to hear of the experiences and challenges they are facing. We share many common concerns and hearing how our colleagues are dealing with their issues helps me recognize similar issues that we may face at BCIT.

    For the past six years I have also acted as the ISO Quality System Coordinator for MAKE+. This role is one in which I work with staff to understand their jobs, then help them improve and update work procedures to meet the needs of all those involved. This work requires an in-depth understanding of department missions and objectives, as well as how to meet standards that apply to the our department.

    I enjoy finding solutions to problems and if elected, I will be committed to using my professional skills and experiences to help the FSA create an outstanding workplace for all members.

    Thank you for the opportunity to put my name forward as Vice-President.

    Vnit Nath (Faculty, School of Business)

    Vnit Nath

    Click photo to watch Vnit at the All-Candidates Meeting

    Hello everyone!

    I feel the most important issues to our membership are the terms of the collective agreement, and I want to play an active role in the formation of the strategy for the next round of bargaining with a new provincial government in place. I believe I can be of service to the FSA and our membership due to my years of experience in management and as an instructor in the School of Business (both full-time and part-time studies). I encourage you to feel free to send me your ideas, questions and comments so I can start to compile them and help ensure that the issues that are important to you are voiced.

    I am a BCIT graduate and am now a Faculty Member in the School of Business, Financial Management. Before teaching at BCIT, I earned a diploma in Avionics (also from BCIT) and developed a real appreciation for the trade schools we have here. Later in life, I went on to designate as an accountant and worked a senior manager for an environmental non-profit, where I managed budgets of $20 million CDN. This experience taught me a lot, including the importance of finding and communicating value to members, which serves to strengthen membership. I also experienced first hand how important it is to truly understand issues from members to be able to construct the best possible solutions.

    I am also nearing completion of a Masters of Public Administration and have spent a considerable amount of time studying labour relations, public policy, and specific union-employer issues.

    My interest in these issues extends beyond the classroom, and to that end, I have served as one of the Tech Reps for my department, actively attending FSA meetings, for the past three years.

    Over this time, I have observed that current teaching Faculty is underrepresented on the FSA’s executive team. I think this is an opportunity to diversify the executive team and to bring new ideas and perspectives to the good work that is already happening at the FSA.

    Thank you for taking the time to read and consider my application. Cheers!

    Director, Associate Members


    Charanjit (Chas) Bains (Instructor, Part-Time Studies, Digital Arts)

    I have always thrived on high-level challenges. From flying from the UK to the Middle East in my early twenties to set up a design studio for a London-based client, to co-founding two successful graphic design firms, one in the UK with zero investment and the other with $250 after emigrating to Canada. I was eventually able to grow the business into a successful award winning design firm.

    For the past 5 years I have taught part-time in Digital Arts at both Downtown and Burnaby campuses. I am a strong advocate of lifelong learning and one of the best courses I have taken at BCIT was the Instructional Skills Certificate, which greatly improved my teaching delivery skills, leading me to redesign my courses to great affect. My students have benefited tremendously and have gone on to work locally and in Toronto, Montreal, UK, New York, Sydney, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

    In a volunteer capacity, I served as president of Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH), a non-profit community group in East Vancouver. This gave me the opportunity to contribute, grow and learn in the community in which I lived. I learnt many new skills and gained valuable experience; chairing meetings, overseeing union negotiations, planning, developing policy, growth strategies and handling sensitive and difficult issues such as, programming cuts due to reduced government funding.

    One of the most important things I learnt during this period was using an intercultural approach to find common ground in difficult negotiating situations. This involved embracing diversity, creating awareness, connecting and building bridges. CNH continues to flourish, serving the community as it grows and changes. I am proud to have been a part of that growth.

    If elected: One of my major concerns is the enormous amount of time PTS instructors put in outside of the classroom marking, preparing course work etc. Further, the use of their own equipment and resources which is subject to wear and tear which is not compensated. I know these are on-going issue still yet to be resolved.

    Other issues such as extended health benefits being cancelled if teaching hours are not maintained and other additional holes in relation to benefits.

    Issues around the growing number of international students with no additional support or training for instructors. I believe we need support in this area especially with the plan to expand international enrollment. Students bring diverse backgrounds and therefore adjustments to how courses are taught and student engagement become necessary. Learning these skills will benefit instructors and students, creating a more effective and positive learning environment.

    I will work to improve communication between instructors and the FSA. Explore other effective means of communication to keep everyone engaged and not only look at challenging issues but also the positives in the work that we do educating, shaping careers and changing lives.

    Thank you.

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