Stronger Together: Highlights from FPSE’s 47th Annual General Meeting & Convention
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.
Delegates to FPSE’s Annual General Meeting and Convention, held May 15-18, 2017, demonstrated their ongoing support for FPSE’s leadership by acclaiming all four executive officers to their positions. Returning to their roles for another one-year term are President George Davison, Secretary-Treasurer Terri Van Steinburg, First Vice-President Frank Cosco, and Second Vice-President Leslie Molnar. Presidents’ Council also elected two Members-at-Large to serve on the Executive, Tim Walters (Local 9) and Shirley Ackland (Local 16), at the post-Convention meeting.
“I’m humbled to have once again received the support and confidence of the members of our Federation,” said Davison. “We have an exciting year ahead of us, full of opportunity with a new government poised to take office. We look forward to increased consultation with faculty and staff at our public post-secondary institutions, and working together to improve affordability and accessibility for post-secondary students.”
“It’s an honour to have been re-elected to the role of Secretary-Treasurer. Being part of our Federation’s leadership has been an incredible privilege,” said Van Steinburg. “FPSE is growing rapidly, taking on exciting projects and campaigns, and I’m committed to ensuring we have the necessary resources to support all our Locals and members across the province.”
This year’s keynote speaker was Jane McAlevey, who gave a rousing talk about the importance of building high-participation unions. McAlevey, an organizer, negotiator, author, and educator, works with unions all over the world to make a shift to more participatory approaches to our traditional work. “I want to talk about winning, because winning matters,” McAlevey said. “Some things that we do lead to winning, and some things that we do don’t. Taking risk is connected to winning.”
Delegates also heard from Aaron Ekman, Secretary-Treasurer of the BC Federation of Labour; Paul Faoro, President of CUPE BC; Anna Beukes, President of Alberta Colleges & Institutes Faculties Association (ACIFA); and Simka Marshall, Chairperson of the BC Federation of Students.
The convention featured robust and healthy debate on a variety of topics. Among the resolutions passed was a bylaw amendment creating a seat for the Chair of the Non-Regular Faculty Committee at Presidents’ Council, which governs FPSE between AGMs. Like the Executive Committee members, this position will have full voice but no vote. Delegates also voted to continue FPSE’s advocacy for tuition-free Adult Basic Education and English as an Additional Language; to build upon the Open the Doors campaign; and to prioritize decolonization, reconciliation, and indigenization on our campuses and in Canadian society – including the creation of a new FPSE Standing Committee to further these goals.
The 48th Annual General Meeting and Convention will be held May 14-17, 2018 in Whistler, hosted by Capilano Faculty Association, FPSE Local 1.