Current News In BC PSE


Weekly News Roundup


Disclaimer: This circulation is an aggregation of current news. The information provided is from original news sources and doesn’t reflect the views of CUFA BC or its member associations.
Week of March 20 – March 24, 2023

Cost-of-living adjustment confirmed under Shared Recovery Mandate

B.C. public-sector employees with ratified collective agreements will get the maximum cost-of-living adjustment for their year 2 wage increase. BC Stats has released the Consumer Price Index Highlights report for February 2023, which confirms that the general wage increase for the second year of the Shared Recovery Mandate will be 6.75%. This is comprised of the 5.5% guaranteed general wage increase and the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that is capped at 1.25%.

BC | BC Gov News


All K-12 support staff agreements ratified under Shared Recovery Mandate

More than 40,000 K-12 support staff are now covered by 69 local agreements ratified under the Province’s Shared Recovery Mandate. Unionized support staff work in a variety of positions across the province’s 60 school districts, including as education assistants, Indigenous support workers, custodians, trades and maintenance workers, clerical, accounting, and in information technology. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is the largest union representing support staff in the K-12 sector.

BC | BC Gov News


International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: UVic

Statement from UVic President Kevin Hall: Held every year on March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is a global call to action against racism, discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances. UVic’s new Equity Action Plan (EAP) is an important step toward change. The plan guides us, as individuals and as a university, in advancing equity, diversity and inclusion. It provides concrete goals by which we can create the conditions in which all members of our community feel a sense of belonging. Learn more about the events this week at UVic.

BC | UVic


TRU hires first vice-president of research

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) has its first vice-president of research following a search dating back to July 1. In a news release issued Thursday (March 16) morning, TRU says Dr. Shannon Wagner accepted the position after serving as the university’s associate vice-president academic. She has been with TRU since October 2021. TRU says the vice-president’s research provides a level of strategic leadership similar to what is found at its peer institutions within the Research Universities’ Council of BC, bringing increased attention and support to TRU’s development as a research university.

BC | CFJC Today | Education News Canada


Province invests in maternity care, expands UBC midwifery program

B.C. families will have improved access to maternity care as the Province increases seats in the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) midwifery program by more than 70%. The expansion at UBC adds 20 new seats to the program, bringing the total annual intake to 48. This includes 12 new seats in the bachelor of midwifery program, bringing the total annual intake from 20 to 32, and eight new seats in the Internationally Educated Midwives Bridging Program (IEMBP), bringing the annual intake from eight to 16. The IEMBP is an eight-to-10-month program that allows internationally educated midwives to become registered to practise in B.C. and is the only program of its kind in Canada.

BC | BC Gov News


Province cooks up new centre for tourism, culinary arts

Students and B.C.’s food industry will benefit from the new Centre for Food, Wine and Tourism once it opens on the Okanagan College Kelowna campus, a centrally located school in the heart of wine country. The centre will focus on addressing the labour shortage in food and tourism, supporting homegrown education in culinary arts, local food and beverage production, and hospitality services. The Province is providing Okanagan College with $44.8 million for the new Centre for Food, Wine and Tourism, which will include modern teaching spaces, food labs, beverage research and development facilities, and common spaces.

BC | BC Gov News


BCNet Connect Higher Ed & Research Tech Summit

The BCNET CONNECT Summit showcases new ways of thinking and innovative solutions in higher education IT! The premier event is an opportunity to celebrate our achievements and to explore innovative ideas for solving higher education’s  technology challenges of today and tomorrow. Join the higher ed tech community on April 25–27, 2023, for an in-person, 2.5-day technology summit at the Sheraton Wall Centre in beautiful, downtown Vancouver.



UBC not commenting on residence safety policy review amid calls from province, community

UBC is not commenting on whether it will review its safety policies after BC Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth said he expected a review following the death of a student in late November 2022.

BC | Ubyssey


Capilano University launches Assistant Director program for Indigenous filmmakers

Capilano University’s (CapU) Indigenous Digital Accelerator (IDA) program has launched an Assistant Director training workshop for emerging Indigenous filmmakers in response to an identified skills need in the film industry.  The program provides students with an Indigenized curriculum, on-set experience, and certifications required to prepare them to enter the Directors Guild of Canada Trainee Assistant Director program.

BC | Capilano University


Okanagan College students take second place at Royal Roads competition

A trio of Okanagan College students stand with the best in the world after placing second in the Royal Roads’ University Design Thinking Challenge. The competition offers teams of undergraduate business students an opportunity to contribute to a real-world challenge. Six teams of undergraduate students from post-secondary schools in Canada, the U.S. and France took part in the challenge. In order to win the competition, students were encouraged to think beyond typical marketing solutions and present new and innovative ways to redesign the thrifting experience to be more inclusive.

BC | Castanet


B.C. students call on province to cool rising tuition

The BC Federation of Students wants the provincial government to provide more funding to the post-secondary system to bring down what it calls sky-rocketing tuition. According to the federation, tuition fees have more than doubled since 2001. In 2000, the average fee was $2,500, while in 2019, the average was over $5,900, according to the federation. Those rising fees, paired with the rise in inflation, is putting graduation from a college or university out of reach for many, said the student group. The federation says $200 million is needed to stabilize funding for post-secondary institutions. In a statement, the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills said it recognizes the affordability challenges that students in B.C. are facing.



Burnaby–Vancouver, SFU bike route to get almost $10M in upgrades

The federal government announced $5.7 million in funding to upgrade the Vancouver–Simon Fraser University cycling route, along with up to $4.03 million from the City of Burnaby. The project, which will go to a design phase this summer, will be 8.9 kilometres of pathway upgraded to an all-ages-and-abilities standard.

BC | Vancouver is Awesome


Bursary applications open for early childhood education students

Students enrolled in early childhood education (ECE) programs at British Columbia post-secondary institutions can apply for bursaries to help pay costs. From March 20, 2023, until April 3, students can apply for winter 2023 semester (January until April) bursaries through the Province’s ECE Education Support Fund, using a new online portal managed by the Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC). The bursary amount varies depending on the cost of a person’s education, and ECE students may be eligible for as much as $5,000 per semester.

BC | BC Gov News


Vancouver Film School and KPU team up to offer degree opportunity

Vancouver Film School (VFS) and Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) have partnered to offer students the opportunity to obtain a diploma and degree in as little as three years of full-time study. After completing VFS’s advanced diploma in Writing for Film, Television & Games, students taking the VFS-KPU Pathway Program can obtain a bachelor of arts degree from KPU in two years in programs such as a creative writing or general studies.



Detailed technical design and planning set to begin for UBC SkyTrain extension project

Extensive work on designing and planning the extension of the SkyTrain Millennium Line to reach the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus will kick off early this summer. In September 2022, the provincial government took over jurisdiction of the UBC SkyTrain extension project from TransLink and is now leading concept planning and the creation of the business case.

BC | Daily Hive




Dr. Jonathan Moore is the recipient of the Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award. Dr. Moore is Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and School of Resource of Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. He is an international leader in the ecology and conservation of aquatic ecosystems, and a champion for salmon, rivers, and estuaries. His work advances the science underpinning key environmental laws and policies. His activities have contributed to significant legislative reform and public policy outcomes with tangible impacts for the conservation of wild salmon and their ecosystems, including on contentious energy development that affect aquatic environments. Dr. Moore fosters an exceptional approach to connecting management and policy-relevant science with collaboration, communication, and engagement.

Read more about the awards