David Agosti

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Vancouver and Surrey socials – it was great to meet all of you (and I still have my balloon lightsaber of power). Voting is open for the APSA Board, so make sure and vote.

A couple of months ago, we started talking about what APSA does for its members. This month, I want to talk to you about Advocacy and representation.

Advocacy is a big chunk of what APSA does for its members. We have an entire committee devoted to it. As administrative and professional staff, we find ourselves in a unique role when it comes to the workplace. Sometimes we're the supervisors — sometimes we're the supervised. Sometimes we're doing our best to create a positive work environment, and sometimes we find ourselves faced with bullying, harassment, or a toxic work environment.

We all hope for ideal working conditions and respectful treatment. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. If you feel something is wrong in your workplace or your rights are being violated, make APSA your first point of contact. APSA is here to represent you and your best interests.

APSA and our advocates are confidential.

Sometimes all you need to do is talk and get a sense of your rights. We don't report anything you discuss with us to the University, unless you choose to move forward. APSA will tell you if it falls under our jurisdiction and if you have a strong case. APSA staff have years of experience in BC Labour Law, our advocates are well-trained, and we retain one of the top labour lawyers in Canada.

Depending on the issue, if you move forward, APSA can represent you in several ways: finding a solution with HR, filing a grievance, or taking your case to arbitration.

If you choose not to do something, it's still helpful to talk to an APSA staff member or advocate. If we keep hearing about the same issues, we can look to see if there's an underlying problem and try to resolve it through policy changes, as a bargaining issue, or via anonymous discussions with HR about dynamics within a department.

So, if there’s something wrong at work and you’re not sure what to do. Call APSA. We’re here to help.

Next month: Education and Professional Development.