CUFA BC Update on Bill 18

Bill 18, the Advanced Education Statutes Amendment Act, received Second
Reading in the BC Legislature this afternoon. As reported last November,
sections of this Bill will have the effect of excluding certain faculty
members from membership on the institutional board of governors. The
Bill would also give authority to the board of governors to recommend
the removal of an elected faculty, staff or student member of the board.

These provisions were roundly criticized last fall by faculty, staff and
student groups. University and college administrators said the
provisions were unnecessary. The Federation of Post-Secondary
Educators’, BC Government and Service Employee’s Union and the Canadian
Union of Public Employees have indicated they will challenge the
legislation in the courts if it is adopted in its present form (see news
release below).

The Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia
(CUFA BC) has been in discussion with the Minister of Advanced Education
and her officials about the shortcomings in the legislation. Based on
these discussions, CUFA BC provided the Minister with various options to
mitigate the problems in the Bill.

No amendments to the legislation were tabled today, but in her comments
to the Legislature, Advanced Education Minister, Naomi Yamamoto,
indicated that “further changes will be implemented based on
consultations that have taken place recently.” Such amendments would be
introduced at the Committee stage of the debate on the legislation.

In her response to Second Reading, NDP Advanced Education Critic,
Michelle Mungall, reminded government of the opposition to the
legislation from the post-secondary community, reading out excerpts of
letters from individuals and organizations. She also expressed her
party’s belief that the legislation is profoundly undemocratic because
it creates two classes of board members and it excludes from membership
certain faculty and staff members who are active in the their unions and

Second Reading debate will continue next week. It’s not yet known when
the Bill will be debated at Committee stage.

The transcript of today’s Second Reading debate on Bill 18 is available