First agreement at private language school: FPSE’s organizing strategy at work
This week faculty at the recently organized Language Studies Canada (LSC) unanimously ratified a tentative collective agreement. The two-year agreement was negotiated by representatives from the LSC faculty along with the help of a Labour Relations Staff Representative from FPSE.
"It's an important first step for this newly organized faculty group," said Cindy Oliver, President of FPSE. "The fact that it was a unanimous vote in favour of the tentative agreement tells me that the faculty had a lot of confidence in the work done by the negotiating committee," Oliver added.
The new agreement includes a number of provisions that were high priorities for the faculty at LSC. Job security provisions, accountable layoff procedures, recall rights, a grievance procedure, statutory holiday, and sick day benefits were all identified early on as critical items in any new agreement.
"This agreement is the result of tremendous courage and hard work by faculty who were organized less than eight months ago," said Oliver. "FPSE is proud to have been the catalyst in making that certification possible and a new first agreement acceptable to the members at LSC. The new agreement also says a lot about FPSE's organizing strategy. We have the talent, commitment and resources necessary to make that organizing effort work for everyone involved. I'm certain that the success we have seen at LSC will encourage other faculty groups in this sector to see unionization in a very positive light," Oliver concluded.
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 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.