2021: Hold my beer.
Since our AGM at the end of November and my last “Conversations with the President,” it seems like the world has taken two steps backwards instead of one step forward:
- SFU is at COVID level H1 (still) and delayed class start by a week.
- The Province has extended COVID restrictions until February 5th.
- Our southern neighbours are living in interesting times.
Having said all of that, I’m going to put on my rose-coloured glasses and continue to assume that our work environment will be 80% back-to-normal by September. Here are some of the things APSA will be doing over the coming year to work towards that return-to-normal:
Education (and networking):
We will continue with our professional development offerings (in a virtual environment). Please login to apsacentral.ca to see our future offerings, and feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have suggestions for professional development topics.
As we return to normal, we are also looking at offering “coffee and conversations” as a smaller, more frequent offering to supplement our bi-annual social events. More details will follow in the coming months.
The University is still unwilling to begin contract negotiations (see advocacy section below). Having said that, our bargaining committee is “ready to go,” and we have an arbitration on this topic coming up in the near future.
APSA doesn’t set University policy; SFU does. For this reason, I tend to think of advocacy in terms of “formal” (individual grievances, items that could go to arbitration) and “informal” (lobbying the University).
On the informal side of things, for the first time in my memory, APSA provided commentary on SFU’s Budget. While we have yet to meet one-on-one with President Joy Johnson, we will also be advocating for proper funding to address the Employment Standards Act arbitration results and other University policy initiatives.
On the “formal” side of advocacy, I already mentioned the arbitration surrounding bargaining (and our bargaining committee has Employment Standards as one of the issues to address). In addition, we are shortly heading into arbitration on items related to the Job Evaluation system and a Market Survey (the Colin Taylor award).
COVID scenarios (hours of work, working from home, etc.) tend to involve all aspects of APSA’s education, negotiation, and advocacy role. I continue to encourage you to contact APSA if you have any questions or concerns on these items or any suggestions on how APSA can better represent you as we transition to a “COVID-free new normal”.