Where it all Starts: Our Locals

The CFF, CIEA and FPSE all share one basic feature. They are the creation of autonomous locals. First Faculty Associations, then unions since the mid-70s, locals have retained their autonomy in almost every respect. The provincial body can only do what its constitution and guiding principles allow it to do. (See 3. Purposes and 4. Principles in the constitution)

To loosely quote one past president, who admittedly was being a bit jocular, in the early years local presidents behaved ``like Balkan warlords: for a meeting, they’d all arrive on their horses and they would sit around in a circle and as soon as somebody disagreed with what someone else had suggested, they hit their horse and they’d be gone.”

Most colleges were established after the regional vocational schools were set up, often adjacent to or near each other. All the vocational school employees were government employees (BCGEU), and when colleges started, faculty associations were set up. A big issue in the early years was whether the two institutions would merge: it was called `The Meld`. Several worked a merger out; others did not. That`s why the BCGEU still represent vocational faculty at Camosun, VIU, BCIT, Okanagan, Selkirk, Northwest (now Coast Mountain), and Northern Lights. 

So in the 70s and 80s, there was a little bit of in and out, committed but not committed. BCIT Staff Society watched closely but didn`t join until 1980 and pulled out in 1986. Camsoun joined in 1972, but pulled out a year later, rejoining in 1980 when CIEA was set up. Langara was one of the founding locals of both the CFF and CIEA, but they pulled out on October 31, 1981 while one of their own was the first CIEA President; they rejoined in 1990. The Vancouver Vocational Instructors (or Vancouver Instructors Association, later VCCFA) were not a member in the 70s, but paid a fee for service and maintained close ties until they joined in 1990. Northwest faculty joined just after their college was established, but pulled out in 1979, rejoining in 1982. And finally, in the modern era, Okanagan University College FA pulled out of CIEA in 2003, after negotiating a local university collective agreement: the then-government fired the Board and President, UBC took over the north campus as UBC-Okanagan, and the college was left with the vocational component and 2 year university transfer programs in Kelowna and at all its regional campuses; OCFA rejoined in 2009 after losing many faculty to UBC-O.

Some of the in and out was undoubtedly related to personality differences between federation and local leadership. But more often it was some basic principle that was perceived to have been violated: a difference of opinion in the early years between professionalism and trade unionism, or lack of support for something that hit a local hard. Through it all, though, common goals and a desire to work with like-minded colleagues around the province kept the federation together, and allowed it to adapt to changing times (and governments).

The list below is for the join dates for current & former FPSE locals. Each local will have their own blog post with more detailed info.

1970 CFF`s 6 Founding Locals: Faculty Association of the College of New Caledonia, Okanagan College Faculty Association, Selkirk College Faculty Association, Capilano College Faculty Association, Vancouver City College Faculty Association (Langara), & Malaspina College Faculty Association (318 members)

1971: Cariboo College Faculty Association; BCIT Staff Society & Columbia College Faculty Association applied for associate membership

1972: Camosun College Faculty Association and Douglas College Faculty Association 

1976: NWCC (the Academic Workers' Union) and East Kootenay College Faculty Association

1977: North Island College Faculty Association and Fraser Valley College Faculty & Staff Association

By the end of the 70s, the CFF had 1217 members in 11 locals (and VIA and BCITSS had a fee for service arrangement)

1980 CIEA`s 9 Founding Locals: Camosun, Cariboo, Douglas, East Kootenay, Malaspina, New Caledonia, Okanagan, Selkirk, VCC (Langara)

1981: BCIT SS and Fraser Valley (associate members); Douglas was now called Douglas and Kwantlen Faculty Association; VIA and Capilano attended the AGM as observers

1982: AWU at NWCC and Emily Carr were observers

1982: Langara withdrew (CIEA represented 2,200 of 2,800 potential members in the colleges and institutes)

1986: provincial union model established (a federation of unions); BCIT SS withdrew

1987: Pacific Marine Training Institute (Local 13, after locals were assigned numbers) (certification cancelled in March 2001 as the Justice Institute took over)

1988: UBC Centre for Continuing Education (Local 14); Langara (Keith Gilley) and VIA (Frank Cosco) were observers

1989:  Establishment of University Colleges at Okanagan, Cariboo and Malaspina initiated name changes for two locals: Local 9--Okanagan University College Faculty Association (OUCFA) and Local 2:  University College of the Cariboo Faculty Association (UCCFA). The Malaspina College Faculty Association kept its name until 1999, when they became the Malaspina Faculty Association. 

1990: Langara (14) and Vancouver Instructors' Association (Vancouver Community College FA) (15)

1991: North Island College FA (16)

1992: Open Learning Agency Tutor Association (17) (certified Nov 1991); now TRUOLFA

1993: Local 99 established (Private Colleges & Institutes)

99-0: Royal Oak College FA (May 1991)

99-1: Richmond International FSA (March 1992)

99-3: Kootenay School of the Arts Co-operative (Dec 1997; amalgamated with Selkirk College 2002-6)

99-4: Alliance Francaise Employees`Association (Feb 2001; certification cancelled by the LRB March 2002)

99-5: Vancouver Film School FA (Dec 2002; certification overturned by the LRB in Sept 2003)

1998: Institute for Indigenous Government Staff and Faculty Association (18) (May 1998; cancelled June 2002)

1999: Nicola Valley Institute of Technology Employees`Association (19) (certified 1998)

1999: Association of BC Education Professionals (20) (Certified in 1974, part of a govt branch; C2T2 est in 1986, housed at Camosun College; amended in Sept 1999; dissolved 2003)

2000: Local 99 renamed Local 21, Private Colleges and Institutes  (Education and Training Employees`Association)

ETEA-1 - English for a Change Language School (now International Language School of Canada) (certified in1995 by the ILWU, Local 517; varied in 1996 to ETEA)

ETEA-2 - EC English Language Centres

ETEA-3 - Kaplan

ETEA-4 - Bodwell Langauge School (closed 2009)

ETEA-5 - New York Institute of Technology

ETEA-6 - Sprott Shaw Language College (formerly King George International)

ETEA-7 - inlingua Vancouver

ETEA-9 - Vancouver English Centre (closed 2015)

ETEA-10 - Pacific G Int`l College Van (certified Dec 2013; receivership in 2017; taken over by Sprott Shaw)

ETEA-11 - Hansen International

ETEA-12 - Cloud Nine College

2002: Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design Faculty Association (22) 

2003: OUCFA withdrew from CIEA

2004: CIEA cahnged its name to FPSE

2005:  Local 2 (UCCFA) changed its name to Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association (TRUFA) in light of conversion of University College of the Cariboo to Thompson Rivers University.  This change led to the adoption of the new name for CIEA-- Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC (FPSE-BC). Local 17 changed its name to TRU Open Learning FA.

2005: OUCFA changed its name back to OCFA in light of the split with UBC-O.

2008: The change to Special Purpose Teaching Universities (SPTU) led to more name changes: Malaspina FA became the Vancouver Island University Faculty Association; the Capilano College FA became the Capilano Faculty Association; Kwantlen University College became Kwantlen Polytechnic University, but the union had already simplified its name to the Kwantlen Faculty Association (2000); UCFVFSA became the University of the Fraser Valley Faculty & Staff Association; and Emily Carr IADFA became the Emily Carr University of Art + Design Faculty Association.   

2009: OCFA rejoined

2020: Quest University Faculty Association (certified Aug 2019)