The Education and Training Employees’ Association (ETEA) is a union of teachers — organized by us, accountable to us and driven by a constant effort to ensure our collective well being. The ETEA’s roots are in the ESL industry with the founding local unionizing in 1995. The early vision of these teachers has brought improvement in working conditions and compensation to several other schools in BC and represents over 250 teachers in Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria. Our aim as an association is to maintain a progressive environment of open negotiation between teachers and the employer. Our union is an organized collective of workers united to negotiate better working conditions for themselves.
From 1995 to 2007, ETEA was comprised of only one local. However, we identified a strong need in private post-secondary education for improved working conditions, and members of ETEA began doing outreach to other private post-secondary schools in Vancouver. The result was, between 2007 to 2015, teachers at 12 other schools voted in favour of certifying with ETEA.
ETEA, through its organizing and outreach, has become a voice for post-secondary teachers in the industry in BC. There continues to be a strong need to grow ETEA to stabilize the industry and improve the professional standards within private post-secondary education in BC and beyond.
Due to the efforts and volunteer work of ETEA members, several committees have been created to serve the broad interests of the membership. ETEA has professional development events for members, as well as public events. Starting from grassroots movements, ETEA has become more politically active. We have taken a stance on human rights violations with the work of the Human Rights and International Solidarity Committee. ETEA members have also told their stories, and done political lobbying in various media outlets.
The ETEA is part of a larger organization, the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE) (ETEA is FPSE Local 21). FPSE provides services for over 10,000 faculty and staff at most of the colleges, universities, and institutes in the province. FPSE provides BC’s educators with a wide range of labour relations and professional services.