President’s Letters & News

Summer message to faculty from the VCCFA President

by | Jul 3, 2024 | PRESIDENT’S LETTERS

National Indigenous People’s Day

Tomorrow marks National Indigenous People’s Day, a day to honour the history, resilience, and culture of Indigenous People. On this day, I renew my commitment to learning and growing in my understanding of Indigenous ways and culture, particularly for the nations on whose land I live and work, the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples, and I celebrate with them their strength, endurance, generosity, and patience with all of us who have so much to learn. 

Leaving FPSE 

We went through a thorough and complex process of making the decision to leave FPSE. I thank everyone for their engagement on that issue. During the process we made the commitment to you that we would begin work on a few key areas as soon as possible. First, we committed to building our defence fund up to one million dollars. To that end, we have created a separate, high interest account with our financial advisor, and we are poised to make our first deposit. Secondly, we committed to reviewing and refreshing our policies. At our June 6th General Meeting, we approved 2 policies (you can find them on our website), and we shared drafts of 9 more policies that we will approve at the September meeting. Finally, we committed to embarking on a process for improving member engagement, including surveying the membership about their relationship with the VCCFA. We have begun to investigate this and will be able to say more about it in the fall. 

Early Childhood Education 

We negotiated an interim agreement for the rights and conditions of the ECE faculty who moved from Continuing Studies into the School of Arts in Sciences, from non-union to union, back in April. Since then, and as per our negotiated deal, the group has elected its first department head, and we are working through the process of getting some of the group regularized and ensuring that folks are being paid on scale and receiving benefits where earned. We welcome the ECE faculty into our union! 

International Worries 

We are beginning to hear rumblings of potential cuts in departments that primarily teach international students. If you are in a department that is worried about potential cuts, please do reach out to the VCCFA. We are here to support you. 

2022-2025 Collective Agreement 

The edits to the 2022-2025 collective agreement are done, and we are awaiting both the digital version and the printed versions of each. We will certainly let you know once we have both! The digital version will be posted on our website, and we will have some hard copies available for those that prefer the old-school way. 

Next round of bargaining 

Crazy as it seems, we will have to begin bargaining in the fall. At our September meeting, we will elect our bargaining team, who will begin work almost immediately. If you are interested in learning about bargaining, please consider putting your name forward. 

Increasing Administrators 

Frank is doing another audit of the number of administrators at the college. Since 2023, the college has hired another 7 administrators who make more than faculty at top step. That’s a 10% increase. During the same time-period, the number of faculty has stayed consistent. It is galling that the college continues to make administration the focus, particularly since many areas that are directly student-facing are vastly understaffed. Take counselling, for example. There are only 5.75 counsellors to serve both campuses. They are run ragged trying to deal with the complex issues that students bring every single day. CTLR is another area that has recently seen an increase in the number of administrators, while the faculty compliment stays static. Disability Services faculty are also way under resourced, with only 4 disability counsellors for the entire institution. I could go on. The point is that hiring so many administrators is a choice, and it’s a choice with negative budgetary and educational implications. Asking for more counsellors or librarians is met with an incredulous response, an Oliver Twist moment – what? You want more? And yet, more administrators are deemed essential to our operations, even though they don’t interface with students at all. 


I don’t know about you, but I get tired about this time of year. Frank, John and I will be taking holidays this summer, but one of us will always be around to answer your questions and provide support. 

I want to thank the chairs and the members of the various PD funds committees. I thank the members of the community action committee and the anti-racism committee. I thank Jennifer Cummins for organizing the Angela Sterritt event for International Women’s Day. I thank the members of our bargaining team and the stewards. I thank Daniel, Orah and Illiana for bargaining alongside us to achieve the interim agreement for ECE faculty. I thank Alison Woods for her service as Pension Trustee. I thank all the folks who represented us on FPSE committees. I thank those who serve in governance, either representing us at the Board of Governors or at Education Council or any of its sub-committees. I thank Judith Wallace for organizing all the departmental elections. I thank Shantel Ivits for all their efforts co-chairing the EDI committee. I thank Amarys (our office manager) for taking on a big job and doing it with good humour. I thank the members of the FA executive for all their support and hard work this past year. And as always, I thank Frank and John for making me laugh every day, and for leading with kindness and always putting the members first. 

Wishing all of you a wonderful summer. 

Taryn Thomson 

VCCFA President