Bargaining, funding and outreach are critical issues in Convention debate
Delegates at the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators' 2006 Convention unanimously endorsed a proposed Action Plan that will ready the organization for 2007 common table bargaining while continuing to pressure governments to better fund the public post-secondary education system. Delegates also endorsed a proposal to build stronger working links with progressive international outreach initiatives designed to protect rights and standards in developing countries.
"The Action Plan sets some ambitious but very necessary objectives for the next twelve months," said FPSE President Cindy Oliver. "We know that the 2007 round of bargaining will be our first real opportunity at free collective bargaining since the BC liberals took office and we will be looking for major improvements in our contracts," Oliver noted. "We also know that the public post-secondary system needs to be a lot more accessible and affordable and this Action Plan lays out an agenda for making that case to both levels of government (provincial and federal) and the general public as well," Oliver said.
The Convention featured a number of keynote speakers including Maude Barlow, National Chair of the Council of Canadians, Ken Georgetti, President of the Canadian Labour Congress, Jim Sinclair, President of the BC Federation of Labour and Jim Turk, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers. The speakers stressed the important role that unions are playing in speaking out for critical public services like health care, education and child care. As well, delegates were reminded of the labour movement's important work in improving minimum standards, protecting rights and defending academic freedom.
The Convention also included a number of workshops cover a wide range of topic areas including mandatory retirement, organizing and the future of the labour movement, work-life balance, unions and international solidarity and facing management.
The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 19 public and 5 private sector institutions.