Update #2: Questions & Cuts

TSSU’s contract committee, members, and allies met with SFU Administration on April 11 in our second negotiation session for a new collective agreement. TSSU’s contract committee asked clarifying questions on SFU Administration’s proposals, which have the effect of: shrinking graduate student TA work and associated compensation by 20% through a modification to our priority system, increasing ELC/ITP instructors’ workloads without pay, and erasing sessional instructor job security and promotion language from our collective agreement.

TSSU’s Contract Committee responded: “We’re not just going to sit down and take significant cuts to each portion of our membership.” Reaffirming our intention to negotiate a collective agreement that improves our working conditions, we highlighted the needs of TSSU members: stability instead of precarity, and compensation that matches decades of steadily increasing workloads. SFU Administration spent most of the day sorting our proposals into those with costs and those without, before asking a few clarifying questions about our positions.

Over the next month, your contract committee will be publicizing our proposals more widely, including on the bargaining website, so bookmark this page or add it to your RSS feed. The next negotiation is scheduled for May 8th on Burnaby campus and TSSU expects to hear clarifying questions from SFU Administration on our proposals. To attend, email tssu@tssu.ca

We’ll also be at other events to chat with members about the bargaining process and get feedback on TSSU and SFU Administration’s proposals:

MARKING PARTY! TWO DAY MARK-A-THON
Wed & Thu, April 17 & 18
10am to 3pm
AQ 5009

MEET YOUR CONTRACT COMMITTEE SOCIAL
*Burnaby session!
After Day 1 of Mark-a-thon, Wed, April 17
4pm – 6pm
Club Ilia, Cornerstone, SFU Burnaby

*Surrey session!
Wed, April 24
5pm to 7pm
Central City Pub, Surrey

(Vancouver session to come in May)

TSSU DAY: Summer Welcome BBQ & SFU Labour Walking Tour
Friday, May 10
12:30pm to 3:30pm (walking tour starts at 1:30pm)
Location: TBD, SFU Burnaby (we will update as soon as we confirm)

We hope to see you at one or more of these events. We can’t win anything at the bargaining table unless all of us work together! To get involved, come to the events or general membership meetings, stay informed, and let other TSSU members know what’s happening. Full details on TSSU’s proposals are available for any member to review in the union office on Burnaby campus: AQ5129, or email tssu@tssu.ca if you’d like to meet with a contract committee member – we’ll come to you! You can also email TSSU anytime with questions, or invite the contract committee to department or caucus events (we will bring donuts & coffee! 😉 ).

Update #1: Bargaining begins

TSSU’s Bargaining Committee met with SFU Administration Wednesday in the first session of negotiations for our new Collective Agreement. We began the day by stating, “We are here in solidarity as workers in different groups, united by a common thread: we all toil in precarious jobs.” As each side outlined their goals for the new contract, TSSU delivered a comprehensive package of proposals that ensures:

  • Protection against overwork for Teaching Assistants
  • Job security for Sessional Instructors
  • Equity in benefits for language instructors in ELC/ITP
  • Paid professional development for all TSSU members

The spokesperson for the Administration offered “a modest set of proposals” that broadly outlined their plans. Administration’s goals include reducing TA base units for graduate students, removing job security for sessional instructors, and increasing ELC/ITP instructor workloads without additional pay. TSSU is waiting for clarification on the Administration’s other proposals, which we expect to receive before our next session on April 11th.


TSSU did secure Administration’s agreement in principle on two of our proposals: to replace the contract’s gendered pronouns (her/his) with gender-neutral pronouns, and to move the ELC/ITP articles from an appendix and into the main text of the contract. Both TSSU’s and the employer’s proposals are available in the TSSU office (AQ 5129) for any member to review, and members are welcome in bargaining sessions. Please email tssu@tssu.ca for more information.

Solidarity,

Your Contract Committee

Notice served; it’s time to bargain

Your Contract Committee has served notice to our employer that we want to commence bargaining as soon as possible. Bargaining is our opportunity to work together to improve our wage & benefits, reduce our class sizes, secure our employment, and much more. Success at the bargaining table will come by all of us getting involved, getting organized and expressing our shared power. Over the coming weeks more information will be added to this website. For now, here’s how you can help:

  • all members are welcome to attend bargaining sessions, as often as they would like: for more details, email chief_steward@tssu.ca
  • if you want to become a departmental steward, crucial liaisons during bargaining, or get involved in another committee, email tssu@tssu.ca
  • bookmark this website!

Solidarity,

Your Contract Committee