Happy Academic New Year to all our members and the whole BCIT community!
I feel like we’ve barely caught our breath since bargaining concluded in June and already the campus is bustling once again. I’ve been delighted to see so many new and familiar faces as I visit different buildings and walk around campus. I’m looking forward to meeting and greeting even more of you at our General Meeting in October (please contact Member Engagement Officer Matt Greaves if you haven’t received an invitation).
The 2022/23 academic year was an exciting one for the FSA and its members. Not only did we conclude our 19th round of bargaining with the employer, we also received and are assessing an accessibility audit of the FSA, completed the biennial FSA member survey with a record number of responses, educated almost a dozen Departments on their Article 14 rights, expanded training opportunities, completed Board of Directors elections, changed our bylaws to facilitate hybrid General Meetings, and won a national labour media award.
Last, but certainly not least in terms of importance, we lost our Executive Director (ED) to the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC. With the business of negotiating our 2022-25 Collective Agreement in the rearview mirror, my attention has turned toward hiring our next permanent ED. I was sorry to see Michael Conlon leave us in February 2023; however, I am excited at the prospect of bringing new expertise to the union and look forward to the process of identifying that individual.
More broadly, I’m anticipating a year in which we can build upon our gains and assess the areas in which we still need to improve. The job of a union is to make the working life of its members better, not just at the bargaining table, but through robust labour relations, operations, member engagement, and other member services. I look forward to putting in this work with the FSA Board and staff to better your experience of working at BCIT!