Dear VIUFA Members,
Welcome back to the earliest days of the new academic year. I hope everyone was able to make the most of a summer break that seemed to be unrelenting in throwing challenges and uncertainties our way.
In particular, the Covid-19 Delta variant appears to be quickly upending what seemed to be a well understood return to our typical ways of working. In our sector, there are growing calls for mask and vaccine mandates. I am attaching some of the letters being written to Minister Kang and other leaders. FPSE, of which VIUFA is a member, submitted their own letter to the Minister in support of CUFA’s call for institutional autonomy to decide on mandates.
For its own part, the VIUFA Executive approved the following motion yesterday:
For the upcoming Fall 2021 semester, VIUFA supports implementation of a vaccine and indoor mask mandate for all employees and students on all campus
Accordingly, I am finalizing a letter to be sent to the president, either late today or first thing tomorrow morning. [Please find the letter here.]
I am also including a couple of links to provincial mandate petitions, should anyone want to add their name to them:
- Fall 2021 BC Post-secondary Health & Safety Petition
- Call on BC to protect university community members by implementing stronger public health measures in advance of the September return to campus – Action Network
Lastly, my own reminder of the All-employee Townhall Meeting scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday August 18th, 11:30 – 1PM.
Besides discussion of our immediate safety concerns, I will be listening for clarity on what we can expect when it comes to our Covid-related workloads and working conditions. Hopefully, several of our questions will be addressed there.
In closing, I understand individuals may continue to feel anxious about the next few weeks and months. Please know, I welcome receiving your thoughts and questions as we try to navigate what will likely be a very trying semester. You can reach me either through the firstname.lastname@example.org or the email@example.com email addresses. Of course, the other members of the VIUFA Executive and Area Stewards are also open to hearing from members too.