President’s Letters & News

President’s Report: June 2022

by | Jun 11, 2022 | PRESIDENT’S LETTERS

Pandemic to Endemic 

We have made it to the other side of the pandemic, however not in the way we imagined. Remember when we all talked about vaccines as if they would cure Covid? Remember when we thought Covid was something that could be avoided? How naive it all seems now! Some things have certainly changed forever, and among them the way we approach having meetings and delivering education. Many of you are teaching using a blended delivery model. So much has shifted in the way we think about teaching since the first rapid pivot to online delivery back in the spring of 2020! I hope that you, like me, are appreciating finally getting back to some in-person events, and seeing whole people rather than just heads, necks and shoulders! 


Funding Review 

The BC government has embarked on a review of Post-Secondary funding; this is welcome at VCC. President Ajay Patel has been advocating for fair and adequate funding for VCC since he started work at the institution, and now he is doing so in the context of the funding review. We understand that unions will also be consulted, and I am pushing hard to make sure that happens. Currently thirteen people in EAL have received layoff notices. We understand that folks in some ABE departments have been told to cut sections. Developmental programming at VCC has always been at risk, with layoff cycles coming and going at regular intervals. We need to be funded to do this work otherwise we won’t be able to keep doing it. It’s that simple, and it’s that important. 


Layoffs in EAL 

For the third time in a decade, over 10 layoff notices have been issued in EAL. The reason cited is low enrollment. We call on the College to put focussed effort into faulty systems in registration and marketing that fail to get classes filled, systems that often don’t take into account the unique needs of EAL students. We know that meetings with the Registrar’s Office and Marketing are now taking place, and we applaud these efforts.   



My thanks to the delegates that joined me at the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators AGM in Richmond a few weeks ago. It was nice to be together in person and to get to know one another more. Among our delegation there was solidarity, humour, wisdom, and a strong sense of both justice and fun. A proportion of your union dues go to FPSE, so we are obligated to advocate on your behalf for the direction we would like to see FPSE move towards. As well as passing the coming year’s budget and voting on the strategic direction of the organization, the following themes reoccurred: 

  • lndigenization and reconciliation
  • Climate justice
  • The current round of bargaining (preparing for engagement with inflation a concern)
  • Efficiency and equality versus justice and equity


Back to normal? 

It always feels like we lurch from one disaster to the next in our union work. Still, I do aspire to get back to some of the more normal activities. For example, we used to regularly have a department leader lunch, and we plan to have another one in the fall. We used to do the same for our governance reps, and we will plan one of those too. And it would be good to have a session for new faculty, in particular term and auxiliary faculty, so they can learn about our rights and benefits here at the college. In the mean-time and as a reminder, please do approach us with any and all of your questions and concerns. We are very happy to help. 


Community Action Donations 

Each month, 1% of our dues goes to support projects and charities in our community. Thanks to the community action committee who meet monthly to dispense the money. Here are the recipients of funding for May 2022: 

1. Immigrant Services Society of BC {ISS of BC) – $550 towards gift cards for refugees, such as grocery store cards, Trans Link compass cards, or department store cards (Walmart, Superstore). ISS of BC is an immigrant-serving agency, with a national and international reputation in the field of migrant issues and services for immigrants and refugees.

2. Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House – $500 for their Caregivers Connect program. Funding will be used to create and maintain Welcome Binders for caregivers which will include resources, referral and support group information, and contacts. Caregivers Connect provides services for non-professional caregivers, usually family members, caring for seniors at home. Services offered include one-to-one supports, information and referral, workshops and wellness activities. The staff provided the statistic that one in four Canadians act as a caregiver.

3. Mount Pleasant Family Centre – $500 to the Circles of Care and Connection Early Years Refugee program for gift cards for families, to pay for groceries and/or diapers. Circles of Care and Connection Early Years Refugee program provides early childhood development, family support and settlement services to refugee families with children up to age six. They have recently seen an influx of Afghan refugees, many with single parent households.

As always, my thanks to Frank and John, Audrey, the FA Executive and Stewards, the bargainers, and all who serve on governance and committees in service of the VCCFA. I am grateful for all you do. 

See you at the next General Meeting: June 16th at 3:00 (over zoom) 

Taryn Thomson
VCCFA President