BUFA Announcements & Press Releases

  • For older announcements, visit the old BUFA web site
[1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 ...Next
February 02, 2017
  • A Message from the BUFA Executive.

    In response to the hate-filled attack on the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec, the Brandon University Faculty Association (BUFA) extends its condolences to the families and the victims of this horrific crime, including the loss of Dr. Khaled Belkacemi, a Professor at Laval University. We want to express our solidarity with the Muslim community in Québec and across Canada. In Brandon, we express our support and solidarity for our Muslim faculty, staff, and students on campus, and for all people of Muslim faith in our community. BUFA condemns Islamophobia and xenophobia, hateful prejudices to which university campuses are worryingly not immune. BUFA will continue to work individually and with other unions and faculty associations to fight for equity and equality for all. We will continue to be strong in our stands against such hatred in our society.

September 06, 2016
  • August Newsletter.

    In April 2016, BUFA began releasing newsletters to our membership. We are pleased to announce the second newsletter just in time for the new academic year. Both BUFA Newletters can be found at the following:

    April 2016

    August 2016

April 21, 2016
April 15, 2015
  • Four-Year Deal at Brandon University. Joint press release from the Brandon University Faculty Association and Brandon University

    Bargaining Committees

    Back row (left to right): Dr. Derek Brown, Dr. Steve Robinson, Dr. Doug Ramsey, Dr. Gervan Fearon, Dr. Heather Duncan, Professor Heather Gillander, Mr. Tom Brophy; Front Row (left to right): Dr. Meir Serfaty, Ms. Sharon Hooper, Ms. Kristen Fisher, Dr. Dion Wiseman.

    In a demonstration of commitment to students, faculty, staff and the community, the Brandon University Faculty Association (BUFA) and Brandon University (BU) have reached a four-year Agreement for the period of April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2019. The Agreement will take effect immediately, having been ratified by both the BUFA membership and the University’s Board of Governors.

    BUFA Membership voted 95% in favour of the Agreement. “The overwhelming support we’ve received in ratification is a clear indication that all of BUFA’s many constituent units are happy with the agreement,” says Dr. Meir Serfaty, President of BUFA. “We are proud as a Union that our negotiating team was able to achieve several important gains including enhancements in program stability and in working conditions, both of which will foster the pursuit of research, teaching and service to the community. The outcome will benefit not only our Members but also the students and the University as a whole.”

    The negotiating teams reached a tentative agreement prior to the March 31, 2015, expiry date of the last Collective Agreement; a move that is unprecedented in the University’s recent history. “The fact that it was accomplished in record time following hard and intensive work on both sides is proof that our objectives in negotiations were fair and reasonable, and helped both sides reach an agreement through discussion and often vigorous debate” says Dr. Serfaty.

    “Brandon University is an excellent institution for post-secondary education with many accomplishments,” says BU’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Gervan Fearon. “The strong support for the Collective Agreement affirms the future that we are building together in support of student success, teaching and learning excellence, and research innovation. I am very proud of this accomplishment, which reflects a concerted effort to improve faculty and staff relations at the University.”

    “The Collective Agreement emerged from the hard work of the BUFA and University negotiating teams who had frank discussions aimed at resolving issues and exploring opportunities for the mutual benefit of all parties. We will continue to work together to make Brandon University an outstanding university for students, faculty, staff, and the communities we serve. We are all very optimistic about the future of Brandon University,” says Dr. Fearon.

    Dr. Fearon and Dr. Serfaty agree that “this four-year deal is a springboard to stability, growth, and continued excellence at Brandon University.”

    The Agreement provides salary increases of two percent in each of the first three years and two and one-half percent in the final year.

    BUFA is the bargaining agent for all full-time and part-time teaching staff, sessional contract workers, as well as professional, instructional and administrative associates that include librarians, counsellors, and laboratory instructors.

    The BUFA negotiating team included Dr. Derek Brown (Chief Negotiator), Professor Heather Gillander, Dr. Doug Ramsey, Dr. Meir Serfaty, and Dr. Dion Wiseman. The University’s negotiating team included Ms. Sharon Hooper (Chief Negotiator), Mr. Tom Brophy, Dr. Heather Duncan, Ms. Kristen Fisher, and Dr. Steven Robinson.

    Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship; educating students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.

April 30, 2013
November 20, 2012
  • Tribute to Errol Black in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly. Drew Caldwell

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012
    Members' Statements
    Errol Black

    Mr. Drew Caldwell (Brandon East): Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Errol Black, a principled politician, outstanding trade unionist and advocate for social justice. Errol passed away this month after a lengthy battle with ALS.

    Errol grew up in the east end of Brandon and was always a fixture in the neighbourhood, particularly at the East End Community Centre where he played as a child and where he was a community steward as an adult. Errol spent his career supporting the rights of workers. During 30 years at Brandon University, he was respected across Canada as a labour economist and wrote about everything from the trade union movement to the minimum wage to gender parity in Manitoba politics, to name just a few. He was also an active member of both the university's faculty association and the Brandon and District Labour Council.

    Errol's passion for improving the lives of people in Brandon and beyond showed in his lifelong political activism. He was a founding member of the Manitoba office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, an institution that conducts collaborative social and economic research. An NDP supporter and candidate, he signed me as a party member when I was a teenager and taught me the values of independent thought, integrity, principle and speaking truth to power.

    I was privileged to sit for a time with Errol on Brandon City Council where he advocated on behalf of his constituents in Riverview ward for 12 years, always with a view towards making the entire community a better place to live. His work was instrumental in the creation of the Brandon General Museum and Archives, the continued construction of the eastern access route and the development of the Assiniboine Community College campus on Brandon's North Hill. His initiative to ban public smoking in Brandon ultimately resulted in provincial legislation that made Manitoba an anti-smoking leader in Canada.

    Errol was not only unflagging in his commitment to the less powerful, throughout his life he was also an inspiration, mentor and friend to all. To me, he was all of these and more. He was like my father and I loved him dearly.

    Mr. Speaker, it is a rare person who works so tirelessly their whole life to build a better world. I ask all members to join me in remembering Errol Black and in offering condolences to his wife Margaret, his sons Sean, Dennis and Thomas, and the entire Black family. We will not see a man like Errol Black again.

    Thank you.

    Hansard, November 20, 2012

November 09, 2012
  • Man of action. Brandon Sun Editorial

    “A man of integrity, sound in his thinking, clear in his values and willing to act on them.”

    — Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger said of the late Errol Black

    The funeral of former Brandon councillor and Brandon University professor Errol Black drew a large number of mourners to the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium on Thursday afternoon.

    Among the hundreds of people who came to celebrate the life of one of Brandon's most renowned citizens were Greg Selinger and several former and current NDP MLAs, Brandon Mayor Shari Decter Hirst and most of Brandon's councillors, several Brandon School Division trustees, a large number of union and labour activists, and many friends, peers and acquaintances from across the province.

    There was much to say about the long-serving political and social activist. His friend Len Evans noted that following his 12 years on council, Errol was still writing and mentally engaged in his community until the end of his life.

    Another longtime friend of Errol's, Brandon and District Labour Council president Jan Chaboyer, noted that “Errol's commitment and legacy to the city will never be forgotten.”

    And Jim Silver, who was his friend, associate and co-author for nearly 25 years, called Errol a “man of the left,” who would be dearly missed by the community and the province.

    All of these public facts about Errol Black rang true, of course, whether you agreed or disagreed with his politics. But what was most poignant about the service, in our opinion, was the private facts that the family offered to the litany of folks who were there to share their grief.

    He was a dedicated East Ender who fought bullies, not only those he perceived in politics, but those more immediate threats to his friends, his community and his family.

    He dearly loved those closest to him, which was made very clear through the video presentation of his life.

    And through the speechs of two of his sons, Thomas Black and Dennis Black, and his granddaughter Kyla Shoemaker, we learned more about his humour, his courage, and the dignity and grace with which he faced his death from ALS.

    It was remarked that he even did a little Irish jig upon his return home from the hospital last weekend.

    We will long remember Errol Black as a humble scrapper from Brandon's East End who offered this community his best and expected better from the rest of us.

    Whatever our lot in life may be, may we do the same.

    Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition November 9, 2012

  • Final farewell for Errol Black. Keith Borkowsky, The Brandon Sun


    Brandon East NDP MLA Drew Caldwell speaks during a memorial service for Errol Black at the WMCA on Thursday afternoon. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)


    Premier Greg Selinger speaks during a memorial service for Errol Black at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium on Thursday. Black died on Saturday at the age of 73 after a lengthy battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)


    Thomas Black speaks during a memorial service for his father at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium on Thursday. Errol Black, the former city councillor, Brandon University professor and lifelong Brandon booster, died over the weekend. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)


    Former Brandon East NDP MLA and fellow economics professor Len Evans speaks during a memorial service to Errol Black at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium on Thursday. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)

    While Brandonites and Manitobans from all walks of life celebrated the life of former Brandon city councillor Errol Black Thursday, nothing could better describe how much Black meant to them than the actions of his son Thomas.

    At the end of the service, with the John Lennon song "Imagine" playing over the sound system, Thomas Black was handed the urn containing his father’s ashes on the stage at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium. He grasped it with both hands solemnly, as though to hug the patriarch of the family one last time.

    Black, who died on Saturday after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease at the age of 73, was remembered by longtime friends, trade unionists, New Democrats and his beloved East Enders for his contributions to the city and province.

    With his voice breaking often from emotion, Premier Greg Selinger shared with the approximately 600 people who attended the service that Black played a significant role in creating positive changes to public policy and fighting for what he believed in.

    "I thought he always had a unique character of being able to be outside the situation pushing you while at the same time being inside and trying to make it better," Selinger said, with voice shaking. "He called to our better angels. He acted as a role model on how to get things done."

    In what Selinger called a "classic Errol Black" moment during his time as Riverview ward councillor, the Premier recalled how Black had pushed to have players from the Brandon Greys senior men’s baseball teams from the 1940s and 1950s recognized. Not were these teams Black watched as a youth, but many of the players had been part of the Negro Leagues and the Greys even had a Cuban player. As he kept in touch with the players, he brought them to an August 2005 city council meeting so they would get the recognition he believed they deserved. However, in one of the many times then mayor Dave Burgess ruled a Black motion out of order, it led to this exchange.

    "The Mayor ruled the request out of order and this of course led to a classic moment where Errol challenged the chair and in a moment probably surprising even Errol, winning the challenge and getting to introduce the players to city council and getting city council to note in the minutes the players were recognized, given pins and introduced to the community," Selinger said. "It was a good example of Errol challenging authority and at the same time being engaged in the governing process."

    Selinger later noted that Black had not only helped to get the Brandon Greys team inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame.

    "Not being satisfied accomplishing that much on a point of privilege, he moved that the (city) council contribute $1,000 to bring them all to Morden for the induction ceremony and got the money out of city council," Selinger said.

    "And any of you on city council know that’s no easy accomplishment either. I’m not sure what the Brandon Sun had to say about that, but I have a feeling I’ll hear about it right after this."

    While Black is remembered as one of Manitoba’s best-ever trade unionists, and several top members of the province’s union movement were in attendance,

    Black’s children fondly remember their dad and the family time he shared with them. After his diagnosis with ALS, Black made a trip east to visit family and they went to Niagara Falls this past summer.

    "We went to the butterfly museum, which him being the nature guy, he really appreciated," Thomas Black said. "And if you have been to Niagara Falls, you are familiar with the Maid of the Mist, a boat ride, so we decided let’s do that. It wasn’t really good weather and if you have been on the (boat) there are only two possibilities. One, you get soaked, or the other is you go and hide, look at the falls and stay out of the water. Well of course my father grabbed my mother and brings her out on to the deck and proceeds to get completely soaked. I’m thinking he’s insane, but he’s having a blast nonetheless. That really was my father. It sums him up. He’s embraced life under whatever circumstance there may be, took on challenges, constantly pushed the envelope at every opportunity and had a lot of fun doing that."

    Black’s longtime friend, Wayne Fines, said his pal was "100 per cent East End."

    "Hard-working, blue collar, honest," Fines said of his friend, who had the nickname Blackie.

    Fines said there were several instances where Black attempted to get his friends out of sticky situations where neighbourhood rivalries were factors and would back them whatever the cost. At one teen dance when a neighbourhood rival entered the hall and spoke ill of the neighbourhood, Black defended it.

    "In flies in our fearless leader, Blackie," Fines said. "Bang. Boom. Thump. Ouch. And it’s over. It’s not good, Pummeled. Blackie got pummeled. I’m proud to say it wasn’t the last time he got pummelled. But whatever the odds were against him, he never backed down if the cause was right."

    In one instance, that also meant jumping on to a slow moving passenger train with Fines to avoid a sticky situation, where they were approached by the train’s conductor.

    "Where did you boys get on (the train)?" the conductor asked the duo.

    "Regina, good sir," Black confidently replied.

    "We have not been to Regina," the conductor said, leaving the two to scram from the train to head back home.

    Other speakers included members from the trade union movement and left-wing political colleagues such as Jim Silver and Brandon and District Labour Council president Jan Chaboyer, former Brandon East NDP MLA Len Evans, and family members Dennis Black and Kyla Shoemaker.

    Black is survived by his wife Margaret, sons Sean, Dennis and Thomas, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

    » kborkowsky@brandonsun.com


    Statements were read from dignitaries unable to attend the Errol Black memorial service in person, such as former governor general Edward Schreyer, former Manitoba premiers Howard Pawley and Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer.

    The service was well attended by Black’s political contemporaries such as former mayor Reg Atkinson and former city councillors Arnold Grambo, Don Jessiman and Doug Paterson. Current NDP MLAs also attending included Premier Greg Selinger, Drew Caldwell (Brandon East), Speaker Daryl Reid (Transcona), Rob Altemeyer (Wolseley), James Allum (Fort Garry-Riverview), Labour Minister Jennifer Howard (Fort Rouge). Brandon West Progressive Conservative MLA Reg Helwer and Winnipeg Centre NDP MP Pat Martin were also in attendance.

    Brandon’s current city council contingent at the service included Brandon Mayor Shari Decter Hirst, Coun. Jeff Fawcett (Assiniboine), Coun. Corey Roberts (Rosser), Coun. Murray Blight (Victoria), Coun. Jeff Harwood (University), Coun. Jim McCrae (Meadows), Coun. Garth Rice (South Centre), Coun. Len Isleifson (Riverview) and Coun. Jan Chaboyer (Green Acres). Coun. Stephen Montague (Richmond) and Coun. Shawn Berry (Linden Lanes) did not attend due to work commitments.

    Many others from the Brandon University community, where Black was an economics professor for three decades, and the labour movement were in attendance.

    words of tribute

    "There is a theme that runs through everything Errol did. He had a belief in people. He had a belief in community and the power of us all acting together for the collective good."
    — Jim Silver, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

    "He remained (at Brandon University) for 30 years, over which he became an outstanding economics professor. But he also became a social activist dedicated to helping others and he was always on the side of the underdog."
    — Former Brandon East NDP MLA Len Evans.

    "Errol and I may both have thought when I rejoined city council in 2006 that there would be lots of opportunities for a donnybrook, but it didn’t happen. … I think if the cause was his, he didn’t care who he worked with as long as he could advance it forward. I felt I was getting respect from him and I hope he felt he was getting mine."
    — Coun. Jim McCrae (Meadows)

    "He’s done a lot of really good things. You talk about the social justice issues, but we also talk about environmental issues and … a lot of the legacy Errol left behind, we are still working with. I learned from him you never give up."
    — Coun. Len Isleifson (Riverview)

    "He was extremely skilled at presenting material to the general public in a manner they could understand."
    —Brandon University professor and Brandon University Faculty Association member Bill Paton

    "(I learned) to be constant in your principles, integrity, to have firm convictions and to always stay true to your principles. Errol Black and Len Evans are the two most important people in my life in terms of politics."
    — Brandon East NDP MLA Drew Caldwell

    "With all of the years Errol and I worked together, trying to convince people in power to change their ways, to the power of word and strongly-worded letters, I have had an extremely difficult time trying to find the words to express the loss of my dear friend and the words that capture the love and respect I have for Errol."
    — Coun. Jan Chaboyer (Green Acres), President of the Brandon and District Labour Council

    Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition November 9, 2012

November 05, 2012
  • Errol Black (1939-2012). Todd Fugleberg, BUFA President

    It is with profound sadness that the Brandon University Faculty Association bids farewell to an honoured colleague, trusted friend and a truly remarkable man, Errol Black. Errol passed away at his home on November 3rd after a lengthy battle with ALS.

    Errol was a professor of Economics at Brandon University from 1970-2002. He was one of the leaders of the drive to certify BUFA (in 1978) as a union representing all full-time and part-time members of the academic, instructional, and related staff at Brandon University. He was very active in BUFA, serving in many different roles on the executive including President on a number of occasions. He played a major role in BUFA's development into a principled and effective union which promotes and protects the rights and interests of faculty members. Errol was named an honorary lifetime member of BUFA in October 2001.

    Errol was elected to Brandon City Council in 1998, was twice re-elected and served until 2010. He was ever an energetic proponent of social justice in Brandon.

    Errol was a prolific scholar and writer when it came to social issues in Brandon, Manitoba and Canada in general. He was one of the co-founders of the Manitoba branch of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) in 1997. According to the Brandon Sun "[this] organization is concerned with issues of social and economic justice and is considered one of the country's leading progressive voices in public policy debates". Errol was recently (October 28th) honoured at a brunch at the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg intended to raise money for the Errol Black Chair in Labour Studies at the CCPA Manitoba office. This research chair is designed to honour his contributions by ensuring that the work he has been engaged in will be carried on long into the future.

    On behalf of the BUFA Executive and all members of BUFA, I would like to extend condolences to his family and to his many friends for the loss of such a great man.

    Todd Fugleberg, BUFA President

[1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 ...Next