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Approved by the FSA Board of Directors on June 6, 2018
As per FSA Policy 2.4.5 Equity, the FSA is committed to securing equity for members of marginalized groups disproportionately excluded from full participation in both the FSA and BCIT. The goal of equity is to achieve inclusiveness and social and economic justice through recognition, respect, numerical representation, accountability, responsibility, and the development of balanced, healthy, and harmonious working environments.
The FSA Equity Caucus exists to:
- Promote, advance, and advise on implementation of FSA Policy 2.4.5 Equity;
- Represent the interests of equity-seeking groups within the FSA membership;
- Provide input to the FSA on how the FSA can incorporate the needs of equity-seeking members into its work;
- Provide guidance to the FSA on how to encourage and enhance participation by equity-seeking members in the FSA; and
- Facilitate participants working together to articulate their interests to the FSA and, through the FSA, to BCIT and other stakeholders who influence equity at BCIT.
Note on Terminology
Language evolves. The terminology used in these Terms of Reference will be amended as terminology changes to become increasingly inclusive of equity-seeking groups. Please contact the FSA if the terminology used in this document may have evolved.
While the mandate of the Equity Caucus is primarily concerned with advancing the equity of members of historically marginalized groups as identified in FSA Policy 2.4.5 Equity, membership in the Equity Caucus is open to all FSA members who support this mandate and the goals set out below, regardless of identity or membership in those groups. The Equity Caucus will prioritize outreach to members in the following groups:
- Indigenous members;
- Visible/racialized minority members;
- Neurodivergent members;
- Members with disabilities;
- Socio-economically disadvantage members; and
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, transgendered, queer, genderqueer, non-binary, and 2-spirited members.
In addition to an unlimited number of FSA members, membership in the Equity Caucus will include:
- The FSA President, as an ex-officio member of the Caucus;
- A liaison to the Caucus from the FSA Board of Directors, appointed annually at the Board changeover meeting in June (the “Equity Caucus Board Liaison”);
- The FSA member representatives on BCIT’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee;
- The FSA Member Engagement Officer, who will provide staff support to the Caucus (non-voting); and
- A representative from the FSA Labour Relations team (optional, non-voting).
The Caucus shall annually select two co-chairs from within its membership. The co-chairs must be FSA members who are not current FSA Directors and both must belong to at least one of the prioritized groups above.
Current membership will be updated on the Caucus webpage in the FSA Member Portal.
In keeping with the objectives of the committee, members will maintain respectful and collegial working relationships so as to ensure the effectiveness of the Caucus.
The Equity Caucus is a consultative body within the FSA. The Equity Caucus may make recommendations to the FSA and to the FSA Board of Directors through the President and Equity Caucus Board Liaison. The FSA and the FSA Board of Directors will give particular attention to the recommendations of the Caucus on such matters so long as the Equity Caucus continues to operate within these terms of reference. The Equity Caucus is not authorized to speak for or bind the FSA in any way unless that authority is otherwise explicitly delegated to it by the FSA Board of Directors.
The FSA Equity Caucus will meet regularly, either in person or virtually, and has the following duties and tasks:
- To monitor the FSA’s implementation of FSA Policy 2.4.5 Equity;
- To identify, consult, and represent members of equity-seeking groups;
- To serve as a forum in which Equity Caucus members can exchange information on issues and trends that have significance for equity-seeking members;
- To advise the FSA Board of Directors concerning policies, guidelines, best practices, negotiations, actions, and campaigns in regards to equity matters, and in particular to advise the FSA Board of Directors on any needed improvements to FSA Policy 2.4.5 Equity;
- To review the FSA collective agreement through an equity lens and make recommendations to the Collective Agreement Committee and/or Bargaining Team on possible changes or additions to the Collective Agreement;
- To review and comment upon policy proposed from BCIT in light of equity and inclusivity concerns;
- To advocate for the elimination of sources of inequity and systems that discriminate against equity-seeking members, both within the FSA and within the broader BCIT community;
- To reduce barriers to participation in the FSA for equity-seeking members;
- To identify and recommend appropriate awareness, education, and training opportunities regarding equity, diversity, and inclusiveness;
- To work collaboratively with other individuals, groups, and initiatives taking place at BCIT to advance the rights and interests of equity-seeking groups;
- To advise the FSA Board of Directors on solidarity with and participation in external organizations and events advancing equity issues;
- To ensure that an equity analysis is applied to data collected both by the FSA and through the FSA by BCIT.
The Caucus has the following responsibilities:
- To be inclusive of all FSA members who identify as having an interest in advancing the mandate of the Caucus;
- To determine an appropriate structure for participation and deliberation that is respectful of all members and satisfies the other responsibilities of the Caucus;
- To report to the FSA Board of Directors at least annually about its activities through the Equity Caucus Board Liaison;
- To follow all existing relevant FSA policy, including but not limited to:
- 2.3.5 The Loop and Social Media
- 2.4.5 Equity
- 3.1.1 Donations
- 3.1.11 Endorsements
The FSA will provide the Equity Caucus the resources normally provided to a committee of the FSA. Upon request, the FSA will assist the Equity Caucus to:
- Secure space for meetings and activities;
- Provide copying and printing;
- Publish information on the FSA website, subject to the approval of the FSA President or Executive Director;
- Provide catering for special events, subject to the approval of the FSA President or Executive Director; and
- Provide administrative and professional support as made available by the Executive Director in consideration of other priorities for FSA staff.