University of Winnipeg Faculty Association


COFAS Conference Report - Sandra Moore

COFAS Conference
May 31, 2007 – June 2, 2007 in Halifax

The Canadian Organization of Faculty Association Staff (COFAS) is an informal network of people who work for post-secondary faculty organizations in Canada. Its primary focus is an annual conference where faculty association staff come together to share skills and experiences.I attended the 25th annual COFAS conference this year and was surprised at how much of the agenda pertained to the day-to day operations of a faculty association office. Topics of discussion ranged from workload issues, website development and grievance file handling, to name a few. The participants were very passionate about these issues, which culminated in to some very lively discussion. I was thrilled to feel part of an organization that focuses on the needs of employees within my job description.

A brief summary:**
Salary Scale Survey:** members are sent this survey usually in late April. Results are tallied and presented at the conference.

Website Development: this break-put session was geared towards updating and refreshing the COFAS website. Many ideas were discussed and I was also able to gain some insight on the importance of the website as a tool for communication within our own faculty association.

Grievance Files management: this session focused on the viability of having a policy in place when dealing with member files. This is something I would like to pursue this at a later date in order to maintain consistency within the file management system at UWFA.

Member events/ new faculty orientation: we explored different ways to attract current and new faculty to the association i.e. special member events, communication and website development.
Retirement options: a lighthearted presentation by Jerry Singleton (Dalhousie University) on the benefits of retirement and how to make the most out of your Golden years.

“What’s new at the office?“: Lori Morinville (past-President) compiled suggestions from members on how to make the office run more efficiently. The session was followed by a slide show presentation featuring other faculty association office spaces around the country.