The More Things Change…

This article is from the WLUFA Advocate April 2016 4.1.

Michele Kramer, WLUFA President

The Communications Committee asked me to provide a “message from the president” for this Advocate and so – being completely new to this type of a position – I looked at what past-President, Rob Kristofferson, did for his message last year. What surprises me most is that I could probably shamelessly plagiarise from Rob’s piece and the message would still be relevant.

As most of us know, budget cuts loom over our heads once again this year and the Administration’s movement towards “Responsibility Centred Management,” even while it continues to press for expansion (yes, Milton has not gone away) is – again – leaving departments, pro-grams, and the faculty and staff that support them, reeling to cover the work that needs doing, and to scrape for what’s available in an ever-shrinking pot of funds. The recent release of the White Paper: Strategic Academic Plan, 2015-2020 is yet another example of how immediate these pressures are. In this environment, it be-comes more important than ever that we continue to stand together as a strong, vocal and – above all else – united group. Finding a way to foster a united front, as most know, is one of the greatest challenges our Association faces. It’s not an easy thing to bring together such a diverse group of members and to address everyone’s concerns. Under Rob Kristofferson’s presidency, WLUFA began to take steps toward greater inclusivity for the Association, and I would like to see those steps continued and enhanced during my own term.

Please feel free to come and visit with me during my “open door” sessions this term that I am offering in various locations across our campuses (please see the schedule on p. 3). I’d love to hear your thoughts about what WLUFA does right, what you think it does wrong, and how you think we might do better. This year, WLUFA will be working not only on greater outreach to you, our members, but also to other union groups both on and off campus. The idea of “precarious employment” is one that is frequently connected only to our contract faculty. But the fact is, without diligent and active employees and their unions, “precarious” may become an adjective for us all.

I know how difficult it is to find the time in your now very busy workdays to volunteer any precious left-over minutes to WLUFA – but we need you very much. Please keep an eye out for our appeals to you this year. Any time, any contribution, however great or small would be welcomed and deeply appreciated.

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