Member education is a core piece of the FSA’s strategic plan for good reason. Union education helps members empower one another to build a stronger FSA. In our union, some of this work is being accomplished internally. We are, for example, expanding Article 14, Departmental Rights and Responsibilities Training and continue to work with and through area Tech Reps to foster a more agile and informed union. Some FSA education occurs through external representation as well. We appoint members to sit on committees organized by the BC Federation of Labour and Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT); we also send members to relevant labour conferences. The FSA Board of Directors has recently committed to further expanding our union’s external education possibilities by providing a number of resources to members to participate in training organized by affiliates like CAUT and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).
Training and development take a number of different forms, but some examples include:
- The CLC’s renowned Winter School, which takes place annually, each January and February in Harrison, BC. Winter School provides a week of intensive training toward creating strong leaders who bring back robust practices to their unions. Winter School is in-person and participants are required to attend for the entire week. Arrangements must be made well in advance so that any required leaves may be established.
- CAUT courses, which change each year depending on interest and demand, including job action and safety training. Organizing School 101 may be of particular interest to those hoping to foster consistent and committed member participation in their Departments. CAUT has organizing and equity training courses available in the spring.
- NUCAUT delegates to the CLC: on a more time-sensitive basis (until June 13), members may apply to represent the FSA and National Union of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (NUCAUT) on one of 18 CLC committees or working groups. Follow the link for more details and contact the FSA’s Member Engagement Officer if you’re interested.
By deepening our commitment to member education, the FSA hopes to not only follow through on our strategic goals but, in doing so, furnish our membership with the training necessary to strengthen our union in the immediate future and for the long term. Some of these development opportunities could require time away from your work, so it’s important to start planning early. If you’re at all curious about union training, reach out to your Member Engagement Officer.
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