President's Message

Dear colleagues: The beginning of the 2020-21 academic year has been marked by exceptional challenges. Indeed, these difficulties have been escalating since last March, affecting our economic, professional and personal well-being.

Nevertheless, addressing the workplace concerns affecting our members as a group, as well as concerns experienced by individual faculty members, before, during and after the pandemic, has been and will continue to be the main motivation for FAUST.

The work we do on your behalf in advancing collective and individual well-being in our workplace requires us to foster engagement with you. And we, in turn, promise to continue to be your advocate during this difficult coming year, and beyond.

Currently, we are negotiating a Letter of Understanding addressing workplace issues during the pandemic, preparing for our next round of bargaining, and working on a review of our Constitution. We will continue to reach out to each of you in different forms: including surveys, town halls, and newsletters. Your involvement, as much or as little as you are able to give, is vital in these challenging times.

Each and every voice counts – from attending our meetings, to participating in our surveys, to being involved in the various committees. This is how we can be there for each other – we are stronger together.

In solidarity,

Gül Çalışkan, President, FAUST

STU Cleaning Staff Laid Off

A number of you have been in touch with us regarding the layoff of cleaning staff at STU. Some of these workers have been at the university for fifteen to twenty years and they have developed personal relationships with many of us. In June, the contract for cleaning staff was awarded by STU to GDI Canada instead of Aramark. Unfortunately, it seems that GDI Canada does not work with unionized employees in any of their operations in New Brunswick. We are aware that some employees were offered interviews with the new company, and that some were re-hired, but not all.

FAUST is currently crafting a message to the Employer, expressing our displeasure that STU, a university with a “social conscience,” has hired a company that does not work with unionized employees. We have also been informed that many workers have been laid off at UNB as well. We recognize the importance of frugality at a time like this, but not on the backs of long-serving workers.

Update from Part-Time Faculty Liaisons

As reported in our last issue, the FAUST Executive has created a new position entitled Part-Time Faculty Liaison, in recognition of the special challenges facing Part-Time faculty in the transition to remote teaching in the current COVID-19 environment.

Since their appointment, our liaisons - Janice Harvey (Environment & Society) and Mike Fleming (Sociology & Criminology/Criminal Justice) – report having received many emails from Part-Time faculty in July and August, but that it has been quieter since the beginning of the semester. They wish to remind Part-Timers that their door is always open. In Mike Fleming ‘s words, if you encounter any challenges or difficulties, "please continue to keep us in the loop."

Janice Harvey & Mike Flemming

Update from Coalition for Post-Secondary Education in NB

FAUST, STUSAU (STU Support & Administration Union), AUNBT, and FNBFA (Federation of NB Faculty Associations) are amongst the founding members of a Coalition for Post-Secondary Education in New Brunswick that has been formed by unions and organizations representing students, staff and faculty in the province's colleges and universities. The coalition was formed to draw the attention of New Brunswickers to the state of post-secondary education in the province. The coalition argues that PSE is “an important and essential part of the solution for a prosperous New Brunswick, during and post-Covid pandemic."

You might be interested to know that the coalition has made enough noise to have received a reply from Premier Higgs. You can read the Premier's response here.

— Adrienne's Corner

(This is the first installment of a new feature in the newsletter: updates from the FAUST Office Team: Adrienne Wilson (Office Assistant) and Bonnie Huskins (FAUST Professional Officer). This will take the form of two regular columns: Adrienne’s Corner & Bonnie’s Corner. We begin with Adrienne’s Corner. Take it away Adrienne!)

You’re never too old to take classes! I’m currently in the middle of taking a CAUT Organizing Course called Engaging & Mobilizing Members. It’s been very interesting to hear from members across the country, especially to hear how everyone is keeping members engaged under pandemic protocols.

Since we were unable to host our annual Welcome back BBQ, FAUST is using those funds to supply members with some comfortable reusable masks. Keep on the lookout for more on that soon!

We’re also drafting a follow-up survey to see how things are going now that the Fall semester is off and running. That will be published and distributed in the coming week.

.

Adrienne Wilson

— Bonnie's Corner

This is a photo of Joe Blades, Bipin Kumar & I holding court at the annual Fredericton & District Labour Council Labour Day BBQ …back when we could have picnics! Do you recognize our guest?

I include this photo as a tribute to the spirit and energy of Joe Blades, who died a few months ago. Labour activists everywhere miss him!

It has been very strange trying to be a Professional Officer from home. Lots of Teams meetings! Including this past Wednesday, when I chaired the United Campus Labour Council for the first time in months. I am delighted that Sharon Smith from PSAC 60550 Members Services will be helping with the minutes and other admin duties, freeing me up to be a better chair. We chatted primarily about the impact of COVID-19 on union members. Speaking of various locals, FAUST has need of a new rep for the Fredericton & District Labour Council. Interested?

I will be working on various initiatives this year, including a revival of Know Your Collective Agreement, a layperson’s explanation of the significance of various articles. I am also going to share, beginning with the next issue, short excerpts from a history of FAUST that I have been working on for many years. Stay tuned!


Bonnie Huskins

Upcoming Events

• FRIDAY OCTOBER 3RD : FAUST WELCOME BACK TOWN HALL
• OCTOBER 19-23 : FAIR EMPLOYMENT WEEK
• WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 28TH, 2PM : COVID-19 FACULTY TASKFORCE MEETING

Faculty Association of the University of St. Thomas (FAUST) promotes the welfare and professional interests of the association and its members. It negotiates, obtains, and preserves employment conditions such as salary, financial security, working conditions, and all matters of employer-employee relations for members of the bargaining units. FAUST actively supports its members in attaining fair working conditions and benefits that foster quality teaching and research. FAUST also protects academic freedom, seniority, and tenure.

FAUST is a certified trade union under the Industrial Relations Act of New Brunswick. FAUST has two bargaining units: Full-time (certified in 1976) and part-time (certified in 1985).

Questions?


Our Professional Officer, Bonnie Huskins, and our Office Assistant, (TBD) preside over the FAUST office in Edmund Casey (51 Dineen Drive) , Room 211. They can help you with your questions about FAUST and your rights as a member of the bargaining unit. You are also welcome to direct questions to the FAUST President. Please contact Bonnie for further info.