Proposed Post-Secondary Legislation Will Strip Faculty Rights say Educators
Proposed Amendments Would Disallow Faculty Reps
from Election to Local Boards
"Premier Clark said she wants to do politics differently," said Cindy Oliver President of the 10,000 member Federation of Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE), "but her government tabled legislation yesterday that is more of the same old bully tactics that her former boss Gordon Campbell used all too often." Oliver was referring to the introduction of Bill 18, The Advanced Education Statutes Amendment Act. Under the proposed legislation, anyone who stands for election as the Faculty Representative on the Board of Governors of a college, university or institute cannot be a member of the local faculty association executive.
"If this legislation passes, Christie Clark will effectively be dictating to our members who they can and can't elect as their representative on the Board of Governors," Oliver stressed. "It is more than just an affront to our democratic rights; it's a full-on attack of our freedom of association rights that are spelled out in the Charter. We don't need to have another protracted battle at the Supreme Court to tell the Premier she is wrong, but if that's the only option available, that's where this proposed legislation will take us," Oliver added.
"What makes no sense at all is that faculty representatives on the Boards of Governors have been a long established part of collegial governance that has operated in post-secondary institutions across Canada for over a hundred years. Why the Premier has decided to torpedo collegial governance in BC is a question only she can answer, but her legislative attack will certainly infuriate faculty groups across Canada. Our national organization, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), has already contacted us to see what they can do to help on this issue," Oliver said.
"There are many things in BC's post-secondary education system that deserve the Premier's attention, but undermining collegial governance is not one of them. She seems bent on picking a fight with duly elected faculty representatives, a fight that is pointless, destructive and will only serve to polarize relationships on our campuses. She would do well to hit the pause button on this legislation and recognize the urgency of re-thinking this legislative misstep," 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.