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Nominating Committee Seeks Volunteers

A voluntary organization such as ULFA can succeed in serving the interests of its membership only to the extent that the members participate in formulating and executing policy. At any given time, approximately two-dozen individuals are actively engaged in representing the interests of all the members. Your valuable experience and wisdom can help ULFA succeed at this!

We ask you to consider lending us some of your talent and knowledge in the coming years by offering your name for one of ULFA’s many committees.

This month the Nominating Committee has begun its task of filling vacancies on the Executive and standing committees. We hope that you will consider becoming involved and volunteering.

If you are interested in letting your name stand for nominations, please contact one of members of the Nominating Committee:
- A. William Smith ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
- David Kaminski ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
- Jennifer Mather ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
- Jo-Anne Fiske ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
- Robbin Derry ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
- Sandra Cowan ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
- Shahadat Hossain ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

 

ULFA's Provincial Concern

Dear Faculty Association Members,

It will come as no surprise that The Faculty Association is very concerned about what we fear may be funding cuts planned for post secondary institutions in Alberta, including our own University of Lethbridge.  We now know that the Provincial Budget will be released on March 26, 2015 (http://alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=3778730F11E6F-D426-3936-AE5C007B14DFB390)… we have time yet to continue to make our case, and we will be ready to respond, if necessary, if our fears are confirmed.  

ULFA President David Kaminski has sent a letter (link here) to MLAs Bridget Pastoor and Greg Weadick, and cc’d Premier Prentice, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Innovation and Advanced Education, and Opposition Party Leaders.  His letter recalls the damage that was done to Post Secondary Education in the 2013 five percent cut to the Campus Alberta grant and advises government that our sector has already endured harsh fiscal measures, and is in no position to absorb another drastic cut.  In fact, Post-Secondary education is best positioned to enable constituents to respond to society’s challenges ahead.  Environics Research Group conducted a poll in February 2015 that shows a very strong majority of Albertans (from 76% to 90% depending upon the issue) agree that investing in post-secondary education (PSE) helps resolve many key challenges facing Alberta. The poll also shows that right across the political spectrum, a majority of Albertans (67%) want greater investment in post-secondary education regardless of its current budget challenges, and only 30% would support cuts to PSE (https://pialberta.org/content/post-secondary-education-answer-poll).  

Public Interest Alberta hosted a meeting in Lethbridge on Thursday March 5 with the goal of encouraging University stakeholders and the community at large to get involved in advocating for increased government investments in PSE.  To see the Lethbridge Herald’s coverage of this meeting, click here (http://lethbridgeherald.com/news/local-news/2015/03/06/campaign-launched-to-fight-possible-post-secondary-cuts/).  You may choose to visit the Public Interest Alberta website at http://pialberta.org/pseistheanswer to learn more about the campaign Post Secondary Education is the Answer.  An associated 2-minute video has been created – please view the video and share widely via your contact networks and social media: link. 

We will continue to stay in touch.  

Best,

Amanda


--
Amanda M. Jensen, BMgmt, MA
Interim Executive Director
University of Lethbridge Faculty Association (ULFA)
403-329-2328

Express your Concern in Advance of the Provincial Budget Release

As you are aware, the Provincial budget is now set to be released March 26th.  There is time for us to make one more concerted push to express to our MLAs and provincial leaders that post-secondary educational institutions need stable funding if they are to serve their communities well.  The Sector took a harsh hit in 2013, and is in no position to do so again.  Are you concerned?  

We’d like to make it as easy as possible for you to send feedback to MLAs and provincial leaders.  Here are three great options:  

1.  Use the letter drafted by David Kaminski, ULFA President to send to our leaders, or use the letter as a basis from which to start your own letter to send.  Edit as you see fit.  Find the letter here (DOC) (PDF).   

2. From the attached ‘talking points’  (PDF) document, copy and paste a paragraph or two into a letter or email for your MLA. Choose a paragraph that resonates with you. There is nothing preventing you from adding your own concerns about the damage funding cuts are doing to the PSE system. The intent of the attached document is to help, not to limit.

3.  Perhaps you’d rather draft your own message of concern… great!  

Please see a list of contacts here.  If you are not in Lethbridge, visit http://streetkey.elections.ab.ca/skSearchPostal.cfm to get the name and email address of your MLA.

Before Signing a Contract

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has prepared a new handbook for prospective faculty to assist them in negotiating a starting salary. This is especially important because starting salary is a major determinant of lifetime earnings. Before signing on the dotted line, CAUT suggests that you ask 10 important questions.

Before signing you should ask:

  • What is negotiable?
  • Is the employer's salary offer fair?
  • Can I negotiated moving costs?
  • Are rank and tenure negotiable?
  • What are the processes for contract renewal and tenure?
  • What support can I obtain for research and creative activity?
  • What about teaching workload?
  • What about committee work and service?
  • What benefits and leaves are covered?
  • Should I worry about retirement and pensions?

The complete booklet may be viewed on the CAUT in PDF format or on their website here.