Joint Benefits Committee (JBC)

The Joint Benefits Committee (JBC) is comprised of three stakeholder groups:

  • The Faculty Association
  • The MacEwan Staff Association
  • Out-of-scope employees 

The goal of the Joint Benefits Committee is to support MacEwan University’s Integrated Strategic Plan objective to be a preferred employer for both new and existing employees by establishing and maintaining effective benefits plans. The design of a cost-effective benefits plan is a responsibility that is shared between the university and all employee stakeholder groups. The Joint Benefits Committee has been delegated the authority to make decisions and implement changes to the university’s benefits plans.



The Joint Benefits Committee will make collaborative decisions that ensure employee needs are met by a benefits plan that is easy to understand and access. The committee will design, implement, and monitor a benefits plan that promotes employee wellness, financial protection and sustainability.



Jasmine French

Jasmine French is a native Albertan working in post-secondary education labour for the Grant MacEwan University Faculty Association (GMUFA). As Executive Director, she ensures the GMUFA Board and membership have the essential resources to negotiate and apply the collective agreement.  Her experience includes negotiations of contracts, settlements and as a member of bargaining committees.

Previously, Jasmine provided members services for the academic staff at the Association of Academic Staff, University of Alberta. This included representation at tribunals and appeals, preparation of grievances and conflict resolution. Jasmine also provided training and expertise to school councils and fundraising societies through her work with Alberta School Councils’ Association.

Jasmine is trained in mediation, negotiations and restorative practice with a specialized degree in psychology, she has also completed graduate work in the field of organizational development and design.

Jasmine has over 25 years as an advocate providing representation and assistance as well as training, development and facilitation in education and post-secondary education.

Rafat Alam

Rafat Alam is an economist and associate professor in the department of Anthropology, Economics and Political Science. Rafat loves to serve the university community and has been involved with the Faculty Association, department, faculty and university level committees and AGC for many years.

Rafat is a member of the current FANC. He also served on three different FANC committees after joining MacEwan University in 2006. The negotiated contracts of his three terms with FANC contributed to the transition of MacEwan as a university and improved faculty work conditions. Rafat has also contributed in the transition to the bicameral academic governance at MacEwan.

He was elected member of AGC for 2 three-year terms and vice chair of AGC for a year. In 2011-12, Rafat co-chaired the AGC review task team on faculty school council that led to the expansion of academic governance to the department and faculty level. He also served as a member of the ‘AGC ad-hoc committee on faculty standards for the interim titling of assistant professor’ in 2009-10 that developed and introduced the first ever MacEwan University Titling in 2009.

Rafat looks forward to contributing to the full transition of the University and GMUFA under the new PSLA.  

Julia Russell


Julia Russell, M.Ed, is a registered psychologist and counsellor for Student Affairs, Wellness and Psychological Services. She has worked for MacEwan University since September 2016. As a professional resource faculty member, Julia provides individual counselling and workshops to students, in addition to consultation. Working from an integrated mindfulness and cognitive behavioral approach, Julia enjoys working with a variety of issues, but specifically mood and anxiety disorders, relationship concerns, health psychology, and trauma.

Prior to working at MacEwan University, she worked at the University of Alberta Counselling and Clinical Services, and Millard Health Rehabilitation Centre, specializing in biofeedback and relaxation training for chronic/complex pain, traumatic psychological injuries, and traumatic brain injuries.