Lethbridge College Faculty Association

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Lethbridge College Faculty Association News and Updates

Nov 2018 - News Letter

A message from your LCFA President.

Faculty Newsletter          November 2018

Your faculty association has been working quietly behind the scenes. Here are some highlights.

Faculty executive have been meeting with members of the Executive Leadership team. We have discussed many topics including improving the phone access from outside the college.

We have talked at length about the impact of the dramatic increase in foreign students. ELT recognizes the challenges for students, faculty and staff of the college. They are working hard to provide the infrastructure and support required for student success.

There has been some discussion around Canvas. Some faculty have asked that Canvas be closed in order to restrict student access until faculty have prepared the course materials. Others feel quite restricted waiting for the shell to open. It appears the solution is to open the shells earlier and ask faculty to close their own until they are ready. We would appreciate any feedback you may have on this.

There has been a lot of work on scheduling in an effort to provide fixed days for classes that suit that model. We will keep you updated as that process unfolds.

There has been a great deal of discussion around the new Code of conductpolicy. We distributed a joint statement in an attempt to answer questions that have arisen. A FAQ statement will also be distributed.  The faculty office continues to work with members of the executive leadership team to understand this policy, representatives of ELT are prepared to answer questions at the general meeting in January if required.

The distributed leadership model is close to half a year old now. The faculty association will be sending out a very short survey to ask your impression of the results so far.

The ACIFA survey has been circulated. So far about 65% of faculty have responded, while that is better than most other institutions we can do better. Please take a moment to fill out the survey.

I attended ACIFA president’s council October 22nd in Calgary. There was a great deal of discussion around the negotiating process across the province. Many institutions are dealing with administrations who are handcuffed by government policy and political uncertainty. Settlements across the province generally offer 0% increases, many are taking three year contracts with wage reopeners built in. LCFA is participating in the development of the ACIFA defense fund which will provide some financial support to our members in the event a job action develops in the future. The president of Norquest College, Leslie Sayer, has produced a very good video which provides some historical context and related information. Visit their web site NCFA.ca and watch the video Building a Capacity for Bargaining.

There was some discussion around the Local Authorities Pension Plan. Most important the plan is strong financially. Now they are discussing a change to joint governance. This would limit involvement by the minister and make employers and employees the stewards of the plan.

Johnson Insurance did a presentation, they offer an insurance alternative to ACIFA members.

The ACIFA conference is scheduled for April 28th to 30th 2019 in Lake Louis. For more information see the ACIFA web site, ACIFAweb.com.

You will have a notice from Mike Mayo and Donna Kalau about a by-election. We have openings for a representative for Constituency 6 on the executive council,  A member of the Student appeal committee, an alternate for academic council and a member of the by-law committee. We have some good candidates who have allowed their name to stand but we are always looking to get members involved. If you are interested in one of the elected positions or you have someone in mind please get nominations to Mike in the office by Tuesday November 27th. The election will take place November 28th, 29th and 30th by paper ballot in the faculty office.

We also have an opening for a faculty member to serve on the Convocation advisory committee. If this sounds interesting please contact Mike or myself.

The board of governors meet November 27th in the exhibition board offices. The open portion of the meeting starts at 4:30 in the Saddle Room for anyone who might wish to attend.

Cheryl has provided the following financial update;
The Lifeboats Have Landed
Further to my report at the last general meeting, where I compared our financial situation to a sinking ship, I am happy to report the lifeboats have found their way to solid ground.  I am grateful that you supported the re-establishment of steadfast LCFA finances and by working together we have accomplished some pretty significant things. First, the amount you committed to founding the internal defense fund has been fully allocated and locked into an 2.75% interest bearing GIC for 18 months. This fund is protected with a new LCFA policy on internally restricted funds and their acceptable use.  Second, the ACIFA defense fund has been accepted by all member colleges and went into effect this year.  With collective contributions we will be fully funded to support job action in a way that would otherwise not be possible in such a short timeframe.  Third, our financial house is in order and enjoying a strong phase of rebuilding. 
 
Everyone on executive council has been mindful of our finances and the combination of less spending and more saving has landed us in a good place.  I look forward to giving you a full financial report at our next general meeting January 28, 2019. 

Thank You to Cheryl for her diligence and devotion to getting our financial house together.

Negotiations are ongoing. The faculty association has directed our ACIFA representative to initiate a complaint with the labor board concerning the reduction in casual contracts. If you have been personally affected we would be interested in your story for the labor board package. We will provide more information once the formal portion is resolved. We have 2 days scheduled November 21st and 22nd and a further 2 scheduled for December 5th and 6th. Kerry will update you where he can.

Dic Charge is once again trying to grow a moustache in support of men’s health. He and his team will be offering a bowl of chili and corn muffin with cheese and sour cream for $5, Wednesday November 28th from 11:30 to 2.

I don’t know the quantities or varieties just yet, but Mo Chili Day will be Wednesday, November 28, from 11:30-2:00 (or until the last bowl sells).  $5 for a bowl of chili and a corn muffin, with cheese and sour cream.  All proceeds to Movember – Do you know a man?  Are you one?  Encourage them to better health through exercise, good nutrition, and regular medical visits to their/your doctor.  AND – when mental health issues crop up, be a man and get the help you need.

Leslie McCoy will be heading up a book sale December 7th in support of the Ronald MacDonald Emergency fund. For those who may not be aware, Ron MacDonald was a respected Faculty member who passed away too young, Linda Sprinkle offers the following description of the fund;

It evolved in 2003, when the Faculty Association voted in favour or renaming the “LCC Faculty Association Emergency Grant Fund” to the Ron MacDonald Emergency Fund. 
The intention was to recognized financial need – a departure from the purely academic based scholarships they had been limited to previously. (Though there is the expectation that students who receive the fund are likely to graduate so if there are no grades in Colleague I look up instructors and ask via email what their opinion of the student’s likely success it. The response rate has been great.
 
At that time (2003) it was also determined that the Financial Aid lead be the person to administer and track – I send a report with numbers and basic demographics to the FA office each year – as that person would also be able to advise around loans and awards and general financial management. I require a budget and meet with each person who is identified by my staff as needing more than an emergency loan, or who would be in an even worse position if they were granted an emergency loan by the College. It can be pretty intense though I am friendly enough. 
 
While I don’t give a lot of these away I do hit it every year (I also have access to an endowed fund for nursing students so I always take from that one if dealing with NESA or PNG students). Usually the amounts are not very high and the average number of hits is around 4-7 though this past year I only accessed it twice.
 
I have directed students at risk to Linda personally and have been very pleased with the assistance they received. If you have gently used books you could donate please drop them off in the library, and be sure to support the book sale.

Dic and his crew will also be raising funds for the Ronald MacDonald emergency fund through a taco in a bag sale. Dic hopes to have things ready for the end of classes, watch for more information.

The new LCFA website is updated regularly, the latest Board of Governors report from the association is included there.

Mike Mayo