Dear SFUFA Members:

This bulletin includes information on the following issues:

–       SFUFA’s commitment to making equity work substantive and materially-grounded

–       Recent Senate news related to collegial governance

–       Member socials and collective bargaining consultations

–       Upcoming SFUFA General Meeting (April 27th)

–       Reminder – alternate contacts

SFUFA Comment on EDI and Substantive Equity Issues:

SFU has in recent years positioned its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) mandate at the centre of its branding[U1] , if not its decision-making. In the initial work on EDI, SFUFA worked closely with SFU and with organizations such as Academic Women in hopes of making equity a core principle guiding the university’s operations. That collaboration, however, proved frustrating for many participants who found their substantive contributions ignored. The institutional EDI agenda that emerged, then, has largely ignored the contributions of the faculty members most active in this area, and has increasingly appeared to be more branding than substance.

A SFUFA statement on our commitment to equity and what that means can be found here:

Senate and Collegial Governance:

SFU has been conducting a review of many of its policies of late. The regular revision of policy to meet changing legislation and changing needs is important to the functioning of any institution. There have been concerns, however, with the rapidity with which these are brought forward, with procedural oversights, and with substantive matters, most often related to an increasing centring of administrative rather than faculty needs. For all of these reasons, the policy review process underway raises serious questions about the long-term impact on collegial governance at SFU.

On February 10, the Senate Committee on Agenda and Rules (SCAR) brought forward a motion to revise its own guidelines regarding policy review. Under the proposal, the existing policy – which ensured that all policy changes were to be reviewed by SCAR if not by the full Senate – was to be replaced by a system in which SCAR would only take up its role when a policy was sent to it by the relevant policy authority. That is, the policy would only come to SCAR if the responsible administrative office believed it important to send for review.

It is not common that Senate votes down a proposal brought forward for its consideration. In this case, however, Senators spoke up regarding the serious negative impact on collegial governance of a proposal which essentially would have stripped Senate of its right to oversight. And after debate on the matter, Senators rejected the proposal, defending the principle that no policy related to the academic work of the University should be altered without the approval of the University’s highest body of academic governance.

Member Socials and Collective Bargaining consultation:

In the coming weeks and months, the SFUFA Executive and Bargaining Team will be reaching out to you, our members, through a variety of means to hear your priorities for the upcoming round of negotiations. A bargaining survey is being developed, and bargaining information sessions will be scheduled on all campuses.

We are beginning that process with member socials. These events are not meetings but opportunities for members to gather informally. They will, though, be attended by members of the bargaining team, and provide an excellent opportunity to ask questions or raise concerns in a more social environment. The schedule of socials is as follows:

Burnaby Social #1: Wednesday, March 23rd , 4-7.  Biercraft, UniverCity.

Surrey Social: Wednesday, March 30th, 4 to 7 .  Central City Taphouse and Kitchen.

Vancouver Social: Wednesday, April 6th, 4-7. The Rogue Kitchen, 601 Cordova in the Waterfront Building.

Burnaby Social #2: Thursday, April 7th, 4 – 7 at Biercraft, UniverCity.

SFUFA Spring General Meeting and AGM:

Save the date!

The Association’s Spring General Meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 27th, 2:30-4:00 pm. The meeting will be held on Zoom.

A proper announcement will be forthcoming, as will a full agenda.

Members who wish to bring motions to the General Meeting are encouraged to submit these well in advance so that they can be included on the agenda and all members can be aware of the issues likely to come forward for discussion.

Reminder – Alternate Contacts:

Given increasing disruption with SFU’s internet and email systems, the Association is collecting alternate contacts (email or phone) for members, to be used only in the event that we need to reach you during a time that the University’s communications systems are not functioning. Members can send alternate email addresses and/ or phone numbers to SFUFA Executive Director, Brian Green, at [email protected]