The summer sessions will be on:
- May 14 – WMC 2533, Burnaby, caucus 8:30 am at WMC 2533
- May 15 – Harbour Centre 2945 (Management Studies Lab), Vancouver caucus 8:30 am at HC 2945.
- June 6 – WMC 2533, Burnaby, caucus 8:30 am at WMC 2533
- June 13 – WMC 2533, Burnaby, caucus 8:30 am at WMC 2533
- June 18 – WMC 2533, Burnaby, caucus 8:30 am at WMC 2533
- June 27 – SUR 2740, Surrey, caucus 8:30 am at SUR 274
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for attending any of the bargaining sessions
You can get involved and have your voice heard by:
- Telling others that TSSU is renegotiating our collective agreement.
- Send us an email email@example.com or call 778-782-4735 us with a question you have about bargaining!
- Invite us to your caucus meetings or departmental events to talk about bargaining. We will bring donuts, coffee and swag!
- Come to TSSU events and meetings! See tssu.ca/calendar/ for details
In today’s sunny negotiations, TSSU clarified our proposed changes to the contract’s general articles, including a new Staff and Member Development program and job posting. We also amended our TA and Sessional Instructor proposals to protect our contract from being undercut by changes to SFU’s Postdoctoral Fellows policy and secured agreement on three minor changes to our contract.
TSSU is proposing a comprehensive training article, which will guarantee that our members receive workplace orientation and opportunities for professional development. TSSU’s proposal would deliver paid training to all members, both when hired and throughout their time at SFU. TSSU members provide half of the in-person teaching at SFU, and building on existing training programs will improve the experience of students and the broader community.
One common theme for TSSU’s proposals is expanding best practices throughout the university; TSSU is asking that expected contact hours or base units be added to postings, so applicants have an idea of the amount of work they’re applying to do. We also request that applicants are notified if they don’t get a job. We secured a single posting date for all TA and TM jobs in the last round of bargaining, which simplified the timeline for people who work in multiple departments, and resulted in more jobs for graduate students. We think similar benefits could apply to sessional instructors, so now we’re asking for these jobs to be posted at the same time each semester.
Before the end of the day, TSSU secured agreement to three minor changes to our contract – changes which do not alter our rights, but do make them more clear. Next week, the committees meet on the 14th in Burnaby and the 15th in Vancouver (Harbour Centre) where TSSU will make our case for proposed changes for TA’s, Sessional Instructors, and ELC/ITP Instructors. We await a complete set of proposals from SFU Administration, but in the meantime we encourage members to share our updates, email with any questions, and attend bargaining to get the immersive, 3D, surround-sound experience of contract negotiations!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
MEET YOUR CONTRACT COMMITTEE SOCIAL
After Day 1 of Mark-a-thon, Wed, April 17
4pm – 6pm
Club Ilia, Cornerstone, SFU Burnaby
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 email@example.com 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! 😉 ).
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
Your Contract Committee
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- if you want to become a departmental steward, crucial liaisons during bargaining, or get involved in another committee, email email@example.com
- bookmark this website!
Your Contract Committee
Watch this space for updates on TSSU bargaining. Until then, check out www.tssu.ca for info on our next union meeting!