Solidarity in Post-Secondary Labour Movement

September 2, 2021

Photo of an empty auditorium.

With last week’s ever-changing landscape in COVID-related announcements affecting BC’s post-secondary sector we saw what’s possible amidst chaos. Union leaders jumped to action to represent their members in a variety of ways and one of those ways was that we, the undersigned unions, came together as a collective to keep each other informed and discuss strategies. While we all have different structures and memberships, foremost on our minds was the health and safety of campus communities.

As advocates for our members and crucial partners in post-secondary we made ourselves available to work with the government and employers to discuss measures based on what we were hearing from members.

At an uncertain time like this, with Labour Day approaching, we want to celebrate the power of solidarity.

As union leaders, we stand united with all workers across all post-secondary institutions. We support employers in being advocates for staff, faculty, and students. As unions we welcome communication, consultation, and clarity – these are key factors in the successful operations of our campuses. This is why we came together to share what we were hearing and why we will continue to fight for equitable, accessible, and well-supported public education in BC while honouring the different working realities for our memberships.

Signed by:

Colin Jones, President and Michael Conlon, Executive Director
BCIT Faculty & Staff Association

Cindy Battersby, Vice-President Component 7
BC General Employees’ Union

Daniel Laitsch, President and Annabree Fairweather, Executive Director
Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC

Brent Calvert, President and Sean Parkinson, Secretary-Treasurer
Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC

Christy Slusarenko, Vice-President and Nathan Beausoleil, Union Representative


BC Post-Secondary Education Sector Group

Representing over 24,000 faculty and staff, teaching and supporting 175,000 full-time-equivalent students in post-secondary across British Columbia.

BC Institute of Technology Faculty & Staff Association: BCITFSA 

The BCIT Faculty & Staff Association (BCITFSA) is a certified trade union and a member-driven association that represents 1,800+ full-time and part-time technological faculty and staff at the B.C. Institute of Technology (BCIT). The BCITFSA has worked since 1964 for excellent working conditions for all members through representation, negotiation, and advocacy. The well-being of BCIT as a unique educational institution in British Columbia is at the heart of our work.

BC General Employees’ Union – Component 7 

Component 7 is the Education, Scientific, Technical and Administration unit of BC GEU, and includes members who work in colleges and institutes as instructors and support staff, in private environmental testing laboratories, legal services, and other related fields. Employers include community colleges, the B.C. Institute of Technology, the Justice Institute of B.C., private labs, BC NDP Caucus and Constituency Offices, legal services to the public and many more.

Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC: CUFA BC 

CUFA BC represents over 5,500 faculty members, professional librarians, lecturers, instructors, and other academics at the five research-intensive universities in British Columbia, which include University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, Royal Roads University and University of Northern British Columbia. CUFA BC celebrates fifty years of working closely with the member Faculty Associations at each institution. Our purposes are to support high-quality post-secondary education and research in British Columbia and to advocate for the interests of our members.

Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC: FPSE 

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators is the provincial voice of 10,000 faculty and staff at BC’s teaching universities, colleges, institutes and private sector institutions.

Movement of United Professionals: MoveUP 

The Movement of United Professionals (MoveUP) represents more than 12,000 union members at public and private sector companies in Western Canada. MoveUP is Local 378 of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE-SEPB).