When Justine Sacco tweeted before a long-haul flight to South Africa in 2003, she didn't think anything of it. Her twitter following was approximately 170 people, most who knew her personally. Her misguided tweet blew up over Twitter, cost her her job and marked her as a racist. This story is a profound cautionary tale about using Social Media. In this new landscape where people post personal thoughts publicly, where everyone records every minutia of life makes you wonder if there is any privacy left at all.  
Feeling safe to come out as transgender can be daunting. There remain risks like the possibility of harassment, permanent changes to relationships, and fear of losing one's job. Being able to express your gender identity is a human right in Canada. It is up to us to make sure that transgender people feel safe in the workplace. Here are some tips for understanding the difficulties of being transgender and encouraging empathy in your workplace:
The Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) provides information support and counselling to SFU community and campus visitors. They help students, staff and faculty with a documented or suspected disability visible or otherwise in a variety of ways.
APSA is pleased to announce the new officers for the APSA Board of Directors. Wanda Dekleva has stepped down as APSA President and David Agosti was voted in the new President of APSA and Jeff Bryer was voted in as the new Vice President on January 23, 2019. Please take a moment to congratulate both appointees. We know that they are dedicated and will be working hard for the interests of APSA members.  
Each month, our Advocacy Committee answers questions about the AD 10 policies (aka, your terms and conditions of employment, SFU’s Administrative Policies 10) While today’s topics mostly fall outside of the AD 10s, they are no less your rights under the BC Human Rights Code. Human Rights law applies to employment contracts, or collective agreements, even if it’s not mentioned within the agreement itself.
When John Wilson retired as the President from the Capilano Faculty Association, they wrote a song about him. They sang about all of the things that John has done for them including an improved pension plan and a unique flexible benefits plan. They further honoured him by renaming one of their awards for retired faculty the John Wilson Award.
For further information on Maternity and Paternity leave please see this news item and this advocacy corner. We also have a Personal Tax Planning Tips workshop that you can sign up for! Resources:
The short, rainy winter days in Vancouver often mean we don’t see the sun for days, sometimes weeks. Many of us feel a bit sluggish after two weeks without sun, but for 3-5% of Canadians, the dark days can mean battling with despair, low mood, irritability and depression, all potential symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.
Welcome to 2019! I hope you all enjoyed your time off over the holidays with family and friends and feel refreshed for our new year. I'm very excited to be leading my APSA team of Angela Vass and Lakshmi Gosyne and working with the APSA board to tackle our priorities for the coming months. At the forefront of these is assembling a bargaining team to negotiate salary and benefits for you later this spring. Several of you have already applied to join our bargaining team, but if you haven't and you're interested, you'll see a reminder about how to apply elsewhere in our newsletter.
Currently, Temporary Employees who are new to the University and CUPE employees who move into an APSA position in either a continuing or temporary basis do not attend HR’s monthly New Employee orientation sessions.