Welcome to the 2021 FPSE AGM

In mid-March last year, our lives at work and at home turned outside-in with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every one of us has been impacted by it, which is turn has impacted our federation. Last year necessitated that we hold our first-ever online AGM (unfortunately the convention was not possible due to our focus on responding to arising working condition issues). It was not the way we expected to commemorate the 50th anniversary of FPSE, however ours was among countless other celebrations and events that had to be postponed or cancelled.

Since then, you and your coworkers have kept the post-secondary system working in BC, supporting thousands of students in beginning, continuing, and completing their studies. This is a huge accomplishment given that the vast majority of this learning shifted online, with little support or acknowledgement of the true demands of this transition from employers. Thank you for giving so much of yourselves to your students and coworkers this year.

It’s been a year of conflicting emotions – exhaustion, burnout, a sense of gratitude for colleagues, frustration with employers – that have built up over a year of teaching remotely, and living in pandemic bubbles. The real new normal is that everyday is Blursday! It’s important to know that you are not alone in experiencing this range of feelings.

Reach out to help when and where you can, and reach out for help when and where you need it.

We’ve adjusted and re-adjusted our online AGM and Convention plans to make sense in this moment. Although we can’t be in Prince George, our AGM host Local 03, the Faculty Association of New Caledonia, has devised a bunch of fun ways to bring Prince George to you. We made the program shorter, but have opened up some sessions to take advantage of the online setting to expand the reach of our event. We won’t have workshops, but we will have a series of conversations led by committee chairs and executive members to connect what we’ve done over the past year to what we want to do in the year ahead.

This handbook contains much of the information you will need for the AGM proceedings including the AGM agenda and convention program. Online, you’ll find more digital materials than ever as a kind of online ‘convention floor’. I hope you’ll have a look around.

We’ve also scheduled abundant time to discuss the resolutions passed by PC, committees, and locals. These resolutions cover a wide range of topics, and
challenge us to have some difficult, yet necessary conversations.

This is why we landed on the AGM theme “FPSE in Transition: Revisit, Revise, Relaunch.” We’ve accomplished a lot in 50 years, but our working conditions need attention to improve, and inequality and injustice remain in our institutions. After a year of conducting meetings and connecting with each other in completely new ways, it’s a fitting time to take stock of what works and what we need to change. It’s time for fulsome discussions and actions about what we want the next 50 years to look like, and how we’re going to get there.

Thank you to those who are facilitating our nominations and resolutions processes:
Nominations Committee members Gillian Dearle (Local 5), Sharon Mansiere (Local 9), Lui Marinelli (Local 10) and Chris Ayles (Local 12), and the Resolutions Committee members Joan Kaun (Local 6), Taryn Thomson (Local 15), Shirley Ackland (Local 16), Sean Parkinson (Secretary-Treasurer) and Resolutions Committee chair Chris Jaeger (Local 08) who is assisted by Staff Representative Weldon Cowan. Taryn Thomson (Local 15) and Lui Marinelli (Local 10) have been appointed as ombudspersons for the duration of the AGM.

Once again, welcome to our online AGM and Convention.

In solidarity,
Brent Calvert

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