Update #17: News from Negotiations

The News is Bad, the News is Good: 

TSSU’s Contract Committee reporting! In this post you’ll find a bullet-point breakdown of the good and bad news from our most recent bargaining session, then a summary of the day, and detailed info on TSSU proposals. First, though, help spread the word: we’ve secured MSP for International Students! Thanks to our members’ tireless efforts and faculty and community support, we’ve pushed SFU Administration back to fulfilling their promises. Thanks to everyone who helped to protect our health!

Here’s a quick summary of the subset of issues we discussed on January 27, and what TSSU is asking on these issues:

  1. Codify *Academic Freedom* for all TSSU members; 
  2. Guarantee *four (4) days paid time off* around thesis defense and time off for degree-qualifying exams;
  3. Build a stable workplace for Graduate Facilitators and protect their autonomy;
  4. Share the *data* about our work and our members that SFU Administration collects;
  5. Provide space at *all* SFU campuses for us to share with other Unions and employee groups;
  6. Post all jobs on a regular schedule, and include an estimated workload so we can plan our lives and a system for notifying our members when work is available;
  7. Create a separation student evaluations and hiring decisions, and only use student evaluation as a feedback for teachers to use to improve our teaching;

After 9 months of negotiations, SFU Administration has finally offered serious responses on these key issues, but the news isn’t all good.  On Monday, 27 January 2020, we received counter-proposals. SFU Administration’s responses would, if accepted:

  1. Codify Academic Freedom for Sessionals and ELC/ITP instructors;
  2. Guarantee *two (2) days* off work for thesis defense and time off for qualifying exams, if authorized by department chairs; and
  3. Provide some of the data about our work, and “endeavor” to provide us offices.

This isn’t all we want, but it’s movement toward agreement on these issues. However, the good moves were tempered by other offers, ones which are not so nice:

  1. Exclude TAs, GFs, and TMs from Academic Freedom protections;
  2. Make GF work in the Student Learning Commons more precarious;
  3. Reduce the priority of GFs who take time off for their studies;
  4. Continue posting jobs without workload estimates;
  5. Do not notify out-of-work GFs when there are new jobs;
  6. Keep the timesheet model for some GF Pay, rather than a salary model (like all other teaching positions at the University); 
  7. No regular date for Sessional Instructor postings;
  8. Use student evaluations to gauge employee performance (but not alone).

Other updates: SFU Administration has yet to withdraw their proposal to gut Sessional Instructor job security, and we have yet to discuss pay and benefits.

Brief Summary of the Day:

The day began with the Union presenting the fourth position for the article on Graduate Facilitators. While there has been some progress on attaining rights for Graduate Facilitators, SFU Administration is still insisting that GFs are to be paid hourly with timesheets rather than through a salary system (as all other teaching staff at SFU are paid). SFU Administration agreed to consider our proposal and reply, so part of their committee spent the rest of the day in caucus to work on a response. 

Next, we presented a revised position on Teaching Assistants and Tutor Markers, which proposes a merger of the two job categories while moving closer to SFU Administration’s position on a few issues. The Union is waiting for a detailed response from SFU Administration; they were planning to offer a counter-proposal Monday, but have delayed it until they consider our revised offer. If you’re a TA or TM, you’ll want to watch the next session.

Details

The bad news comes first, in four parts:

1) SFU Administration doesn’t want TAs, GFs, or TMs to have Academic Freedom protection in our Collective Agreement, and they’re doing it by defining “academic staff” as Sessional Instructors and ELC/ITP instructors *only*. In effect, this would put a large portion of our membership in a more precarious position in their classrooms because it doesn’t provide protection through the Collective Agreement. We need to stand together and oppose this attempt to divide our union: all TSSU members deserve to have Academic Freedom — the basis for members of the University community to examine, question, and criticize society and the University — protected in the Collective Agreement. Interpreting “academic staff” to exclude hundreds of teachers from this protection shows SFU Administration’s attitude toward teaching and teachers: we’re a class below academics.

2) There’s an offer on the table for Graduate Facilitators, and while it lines up with member goals in some ways, SFU Administration’s proposal leaves GFs without job security and would pay them by request via timesheets, rather than a regular salary (something other teachers at SFU don’t have to do). Their proposal ties keeping your job to evaluation of your performance as a GF, but doesn’t define exactly what criteria can be used to measure your performance. We’ve seen how these systems can be abused to target specific workers. The icing on this particular cake is that if a GF takes time off work for their studies, there’s no guarantee they’ll have a job when they return. 

3) Administration rejected our proposals for a common posting date and more notice for Sessional Instructor jobs. Negotiations continue.

4) SFU Administration continues to maintain the current situation with regards to student evaluations. This is despite quoting the findings of a recent arbitration decision in Ontario that specifically outlines the problems with practices which are similar to practices at SFU.

But there’s good news, too. In Academic Decisions (Article 12), TSSU’s proposal for four (4) days off around thesis defense and time off before a “degree-qualifying exam” would be a new right for student-workers in our CA. SFU Administration countered with two (2) days for thesis defense and each day off for qualifying exams, but only if the Chair approves. We hope this will help members align their work and studies, and their counter-proposal is a show of progress towards a new collective agreement. They have, however, included a “no cost” clause, which means other TAs will probably end up substituting on these days. The other piece of good news comes from SFU Administration’s attitude toward TSSU; they’ve offered to “endeavour” to keep TSSU on Burnaby, Vancouver, and Surrey campuses by providing office space, but no promises. And they’re not going to give us much notice before eviction. If we take this deal, we might need to organize a union moving party on short notice, so start saving boxes.

Our members’ demonstration of their resolve through the MSP campaign and RA organizing drive have begun to move Admin at the bargaining table. To help keep up the pressure and get the contract we need, come to a union meeting, get involved with the Membership Mobilization Committee, or have us visit your club, group, caucus, or department. We’re reachable via tssu@tssu.ca or in the office(s)!

In solidarity,

Contract Committee

Update #16: Bargaining takes off, but hits a roadblock

This week saw the most promising and effective bargaining session this round. Both sides started the day keen to get an agreement concerning the Graduate Facilitators. TSSU tabled a proposal in response to the Employer, and the first ninety minutes were spent in productive discussion and exchange of questions, particularly around the area of qualifications for the different GF teams.

The Employer took much of the day to caucus and to try to draft their own response, but here the cracks began to show: their lack of familiarity with the work and working conditions of the Graduate Facilitators introduced roadblocks. On several occasions, concerns and issues TSSU presented were met with denials and dismissals. For example, when TSSU mentioned that Graduate Facilitators need to design workshops and sometimes work on evenings or weekends, these points were flatly denied, and we were asked several times to provide the specific example of where an individual GF was obligated to have such an experience. 

Ultimately, the Union and the Administration moved much closer to agreement on the language for the GFs, and we did receive a revised position.

This morning, on December 12th, we were to move to discussing the University’s response on our proposals for Teaching Assistants. We proposed solutions on April 3rd that addressed our member’s critical issues around overwork, ever increasing class sizes, and the growth of mixed online and in-person teaching models. We still have not heard a full response. However, this bargaining session was abruptly cancelled by the Employer following unforeseen circumstances, so your Contract Committee retired to AQ for a workday.

Bargaining will resume in January.

Updates #14 and #15: Welcome to SFU: where teachers are “consultants,” and students are “customers”

November 13

In negotiations November 13, the Contract Committee presented a proposal package to SFU Administration. This group of proposals illustrates to SFU Administration that we are willing to negotiate and happy to update our workplace. For example, we proposed, and have now agreed, that Administration can deliver members’ Union check-off forms in electronic form, which will decrease the University’s reliance on paper and save administrative time and money.  

The Contract Committee’s proposal package shifts our position toward agreement in an attempt to gain momentum at the negotiating table and to focus SFU Administration’s attention on the mandate delivered to us by TSSU members back in February. While we may adjust our position, we will never negotiate cuts to our rights or our security of employment. We heard our members loud and clear: you need us to decrease uncertainty,  assure the basic right to paid sick leave, create equitable and consistent pay systems, and make sure work does not negatively affect our studies and / or our health. 

At the session, SFU Administration presented a second counter-proposal to TSSU’s proposed Graduate Facilitators (GFs) article that continues to present GF work as piecework compensated on an hourly basis, while refusing to recognize this work as teaching. GFs joined TSSU in order to see their conditions codified and improved, and the committee will not agree to cuts in these workers’ first negotiated agreement. The session was cut short for contract committee members and other organizers from the Research Is Work Campaign to meet with SFU Administration to negotiate voluntary recognition for Research Assistants, read more about that here.

November 27

On November 27, SFU Administration presented counter-proposals on Graduate Facilitators, Job Postings, and Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET). 

Our proposal on Graduate Facilitators seeks to ensure that the only hiring qualifications for a position are those necessary to conduct the work. This basic proposal would not infringe Administration’s hiring process, but would recognize that a teacher’s competence is not represented by their GPA. 

At this session, SFU Administration revised their November 13 counter-proposal on Graduate Facilitators: one of the key changes was to connect the definition of “excellent” with SFU’s grading system, further raising the qualifications from their previous proposals from August 22 and November 13 from “a GPA of 3.5 or above” and “demonstrated strong academic performance,” to “excellent academic performance,” which, by their new definition, would be a 3.67 GPA or above. If we agreed to SFU Administration’s proposal, it would ensure that qualified graduate students would be denied access to this work.

Also at this session, SFU Administration’s spokesperson presented a summary of a 2018 Arbitration decision regarding student assessments. During this presentation, they referred to students as their “clients” or “customers.” Reading from SFU’s Teaching Assessment Working Group’s final report, SFU Administration recognized that:

  • SETs have value because they capture the student experience
  • SETs are easy to administer
  • Numerous factors – including personal characteristics, response rates, and course characteristics  – skew the results  
  • Averages of SET scores establish nothing relevant or useful about teaching effectiveness, and should not be  compared across course formats, levels, topics, or disciplines
  • If SETs must be presented, they should be presented as a frequency distribution with response  rates and as a source of information about the student experience, and not as a measure of teaching effectiveness
  • Deans, Chairs and TPCs should be educated in the inherent and systematic biases in SETs  
  • The best way to assess teaching is through the use of a teaching dossier and in‐class peer assessment  

Despite affirming these conclusions, which were based on the conclusion of expert academic witnesses in a major arbitration case, SFU Administration still insists that student assessment is a valid measure of teaching and should be part of employment evaluation for TSSU members. The contract committee is puzzled by this dissonance, but we will continue to press for a fair evaluation system in future negotiations. Our proposal recognizes students’ ability to evaluate the student experience and encourages teachers to consider the feedback provided by students to enhance their teaching. However, we refuse to implement a flawed evaluation system that has students rating teaching ability, especially since research has shown that SET results allow students’ social prejudices to impact the hiring and promotion process, often with demonstrably sexist and racist results. For more information, reach out to tssu@tssu.ca and set up a time to meet with someone from the contract committee! If you would like one or more of us to speak with your department, lab, or caucus, please get in touch! We’re happy to answer questions about bargaining.

Upcoming Bargaining Dates

On December 5th, SFU Administration has offered to demonstrate how their proposals for ELC/ITP will affect annual scheduling and the assignment of teaching work.

Our next formal negotiation sessions are scheduled for December 10th and 12th from 9 am-5 pm at SFU Burnaby in room SWH 10051. Though our proposals are still far apart, SFU Administration stated that they want to reach an agreement for Graduate Facilitators on the 10th. The parties agreed that negotiations on the 12th should begin with a focus on Teaching Assistants. The contract committee requests any available members to attend on December 10th and 12th. Let’s show the Administration what it means to be a union!

Update #12 and #13 : Seven months and counting

After seven months of negotiations and six months without a contract, bargaining progresses at a snail’s pace. In our meetings, SFU Administration shows a strong attachment to the bargaining positions they took back in April, but no willingness to address TSSU members’ needs as expressed through our proposed contract language and reiterated at the table. With our memories of the last bargaining round and the ensuing strike, we hoped the Administration would hold to their commitment to bargaining differently this round. Nevertheless, their tactics are consistent with those used bargaining previous contracts, when negotiations dragged on for more than a year. Not only have they so far refused to address the needs our members mandated us to meet, where they have offered improvements, they have done so in an attempt to divide our membership. They have tied deep cuts to Sessional Instructors’ rights to unspecified improvements for TAs, for example. Our committee has consistently rejected such divisive notions.

On 24 October, SFU Administration tabled a three-item package proposal. This “package” entirely removed Sessional Instructors’ access to rights to promotion (Article XIV.F.3) without offering a replacement, effectively returning long serving Sessionals to an endless cycle of four-month contracts. Our members made it clear before negotiations that this was an unacceptable situation, and we refuse to concede hard won promotion language without a suitable replacement. The other two items included paying Sessionals for Directed Studies courses, and compensation for Sessionals “invited” to participate in departmental governance, but neither gave sessionals any right to access this work. In practical terms, those proposals, if agreed to, would remove access to this work.

On 29 October, negotiating for language instructors in ELC/ITP, SFU Administration offered three proposals. One would define and possibly limit the work-year to 40 paid weeks for continuing instructors, most who currently work 48 weeks to make ends meet—TSSU argues for a 52-week year, reasoning that three months without access to pay is untenable.  Another sets out a scheduling procedure for the departments’ instructors, which asks both continuing and temporary instructors to commit in advance to a full year’s paid and unpaid months, that also proposes that “temporary” employees unable to provide such a plan would not be assigned hours. The Contract Committee stressed the contradiction in classifying instructors as temporary while simultaneously asking them to plan for a year of work in the department. The Employer has also proposed that “Special Assignments” that include curriculum development and substitution, which currently are part of scheduled workload, would be posted as separate as yet undefined positions.

While SFU Administration keep reiterating their desire to rely less on a precarious workforce, their proposals do nothing to limit the precarity or improve the working situations of Sessional or Temporary ELC/ITP instructors in any way.

Update #10 and #11: Levelling the power imbalance between employers and employees

Monday, September 16, 2019 & Thursday, September 19, 2019

This week’s negotiations focused on Teaching Assistants, more than 1,000 teachers who deliver laboratory, tutorial, workshop, and studio instruction at SFU every semester. TSSU had previously presented our proposals for TAs multiple times, including a detailed explanation May 14th, but this week SFU Administration brought their counter-offers to the union. In total, their proposals dramatically undermine the pay structure for Teaching Assistants at SFU, cut financial support for graduate students, and show little appreciation of the power imbalance that exists between TAs and their employers, or graduate students and their academic departments. SFU Administration also said no to TSSU’s proposals to address TA overwork, ensure a fair compensation system, and improve the transparency of the hiring process, among others. We ask members to attend our next General Meeting on Tuesday, Sept 24, 11:30-1:30 pm in the SFSS Forum Chambers (MBC 2901) on Burnaby Campus for further information, or to ask any questions they may have about bargaining.


The proposals brought forward by SFU Administration on Monday:

  1. Cut TA pay for appointments with fewer than 13 weeks of teaching— after pushback from TSSU on September 16, on September 19 this proposal was withdrawn;
  2. Decrease graduate student priority for TA work by 20%;
  3. Allow appointment cancellation 3 weeks into the semester, with negligible compensation;
  4. Assign TAs additional work to mentor other TAs without increasing compensation.
  5. For Sessionals, Administration also proposed allowing courses to be cancelled up until the end of week 3 with minimal compensation. 

The negotiating team of Human Resources continues to lack an understanding of the everyday working conditions of teachers in TSSU. Monday, for example, the SFU Administration insisted that a TA substituting for a lecture required no time to prepare and that TAs have the responsibility to be vocal when asked to perform an excessive workload. When pressed by TSSU to explain the reasoning for such sweeping changes to TA pay, SFU Administration claimed that, in some cases, they did not “intend” to decrease compensation, while in other sections of the contract they suggested that decreases in compensation would be offset by gains in other areas. Our membership has been clear that a “net-zero”  bargaining environment is unacceptable and that we need real improvements in our working conditions. 

TSSU has proposed to improve TA work by:

  1. Ensuring that increased class sizes come with more hours of work and pay;
  2. Mandating the University to provide training and support;
  3. Increasing the available hours for laboratory and other appointments where overwork is a systemic issue;
  4. Compensating for overwork without requiring TAs to appeal to their departments;
  5. Creating a right to time free from work around thesis defences; 
  6.  Reserving time in contracts to attend lectures and respond to student email;
  7.  Excluding exam creation from TA duties;
  8.  Compensating TAs who prepare and deliver lectures;
  9.  Regulating departmental priority systems that determine access to TA work; 
  10. Allowing TAs to turn down substitution duties within a course; and
  11. Ensuring appointments to hybrid, flex and blended classrooms are paid on a comparable basis to other appointments with student contact.

Hundreds of members had input on our proposals through a detailed consultation and approval process, culminating in a unanimous vote at a general meeting in February 2019. We believe that strong membership involvement in bargaining will give us the best chance to reach a fair collective agreement. SFU Administration has yet to propose solutions to, or often even to acknowledge the existence of, the problems facing TAs, but our membership is committed to achieving real improvements in our working conditions, as we did through collective bargaining in 2012 and 2015.

Update #9: Negotiations for Graduate Facilitators continue; hopeful response from Admin on “No Harassment” proposal

Today’s bargaining session illustrated the benefits of involving informed decision-makers in negotiations. SFU Administration delivered a counter-proposal for Graduate Facilitators (GFs), TSSU’s newest members. While the contract committee is happy that SFU Administration is negotiating, unfortunately their proposal does not address the concerns that led Graduate Facilitators to unionize. Admin’s proposal:

  • requires facilitators to apply for their jobs each semester
  • maintains the hourly time-sheet system, leaving facilitators without predictable pay
  • expects untestable qualifications, some unnecessary to conduct the work
  • reduces the time a GF may remain in their position after graduation
  • refuses to recognize this work as teaching

With the Head of the Student Learning Commons and the Associate Dean of Libraries present for negotiations, TSSU explained the necessity of recognizing the crucial teaching work that facilitators deliver to SFU students. Administration responded with promises to reconsider their proposals in several areas, while TSSU also amended our GFs proposal in several areas, moving towards agreement.

SFU Administration responded positively to TSSU’s “No Harassment” proposal, which will increase Admin’s responsibility to protect members targeted by harassment, but Administration has yet to give definite agreement. We also signed an agreement to update union access to bulletin boards now that jobs are posted online, so more TSSU posters are coming to a board near you, soon!

These conversations will continue in September, as we have tentatively scheduled two bargaining dates for the 16th and 19th. Members are invited to attend; email tssu@tssu.ca to let us know you’re coming!


Update #8: Graduate Facilitators gain temporary healthcare and tuition deferment for fall semester; “flexibility” causes tension in ELC/ITP negotiations

July 26, 2019 – Harbour Centre

Less than two months after joining TSSU, the Student Learning Commons Graduate Facilitators have access to temporary healthcare and tuition deferment for the fall semester! TSSU’s contract committee also presented contract language for our newest members, and discussed SFU Administration’s proposal for the English Language and Culture and Interpretation and Translation Programs (ELC/ITP). SFU Administration has not yet explained the contradictory financial reports they provided for the ELC/ITP programs, but negotiations are set to continue on August 22nd in Saywell Hall 10051 (Burnaby campus). 

Graduate Facilitators: now with tuition deferment and extended healthcare 

At the outset of the session, SFU Administration agreed to provide Graduate Facilitators with tuition deferment – like other student members of TSSU – and access to group health benefits. While healthcare costs will not be paid by SFU Administration, this temporary agreement provides short-term access to extended medical coverage for members who need it. This agreement was made without prejudice – meaning that it cannot be referred to in other legal matters – and at no cost to the University, after sustained pressure from TSSU members. 

TSSU also tabled our first proposals for graduate facilitators; our proposal maintains the salary system that pays most (but not all) facilitators, removes the timesheet system that facilitators in the Back on Track program have rightfully criticized, and provides benefits in line with other TSSU members. In this session, SFU Administration’s bargaining team was pared down to its members from Human Resources and ELC/ITP; the Head of the Student Learning Commons was unable to attend to hear our first proposals for the Graduate Facilitators.

TSSU welcomes workers who seek the protections and equalization of power which collective bargaining brings, in accordance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Student Learning Commons Graduate Facilitators joined the union in June, 2019 only the second certification since December 3, 2004, when, in the middle of a contentious round of bargaining, the teachers in ELC/ITP voted to join the union. 

ELC/ITP and the problem of “flexibility” 

SFU Administration characterized the precarity and job insecurity of temporary and part-time instructors in ELC/ITP as “flexibility that both sides have been enjoying.” Members in attendance were unimpressed to hear SFU Administration argue that the lack of job security in ELC/ITP was a result of instructors “wanting” too much “flexibility.” SFU Administration stated in bargaining that they aim to limit this “flexibility” with “rigidity”: their proposal would require ELC/ITP instructors to commit to a set number of hours of work, while amending the classification system so “continuing” teachers would be reclassified as “temporary” if their hours of work decrease – and thus lose access to benefits. 

ELC/ITP members in attendance immediately understood the negative implications of the proposal, wondering why teachers should commit to an institution that will not provide basic stability or benefits to their teachers. The advantage of having members in the room with direct experience was immediately apparent, as Sessionals in attendance were also critical of the proposal in light of their own experiences with precarious work at SFU.

TSSU members are encouraged to attend and participate in bargaining; as an independent, feminist, non-hierarchical, and directly democratic union, our power depends on our members’ involvement. For more information on bargaining, visit a TSSU office near you – proposals are available for members! We’re in Burnaby at AQ 5129, Vancouver near the ELC/ITP program at UM134, and in Surrey across the hall from the library. Email tssu@tssu.ca to set a time that works for you, or have us come speak to your department, caucus, lab, or club about negotiations!

Update #7 SFU Administration explains delay in negotiations:

On June 27, 2019, over thirty members of TSSU joined the Contract Committee at SFU Surrey for negotiations with SFU Administration. Responding to TSSU’s observation that negotiations have been going three months with little progress, SFU Administration argued that our proposals require extensive research and consultation. Citing their workload as cause for delay, SFU Administration continues to stall negotiations. 

SFU Administration’s lack of action delays improvements in our working conditions and our students’ learning conditions. TSSU has now presented our proposals twice; Administration has been made aware of our members’ needs, and we have proposed ways to solve the problems our new contract must address:

  • TAs are working without pay because contracts contain too little time for preparation and training: in our last membership survey, 48% of TAs reported that they worked over their hours without compensation;
  • Sessional Instructors are “always temporary,” are not compensated for numerous aspects of their work, including new course development and directed studies supervision, and new instructors receive little to no mentorship or training;
  • More than half of the instructors in the ELC/ITP programs are “temporary,” despite years of service at SFU; they receive no sick leave nor other benefits, nor step increases in pay.

SFU Administration has promised to make counter-proposals that address our members’ issues, but has yet to deliver. We also await responses to several questions, including some involving discrepancies in budgetary data provided by SFU Administration to the Union. Two bargaining dates remain before Fall classes start: July 26 at Harbour Centre in Vancouver, and August 22 in Burnaby. 

When asked about past freezes, including the last round of bargaining in which SFU Administration blocked improved benefits for ELC/ITP instructors, Administration admitted that they had the money, but that their hands were tied by the Provincial Government Mandate. We know, though, that similar workers at UBC have received substantive improvements in the past, under the same mandate. After years of freezes, the new Provincial Government Mandate allows for “conditional and modest funding that can be used to drive tangible service improvements.” 

During June, TSSU also took part in the Provincial Government Budget Process,  to try to deal with the employer’s current allocation of resources, outlining how we need the government to mandate changes in three areas: precarity, housing, and tuition. The high costs of precarious work and housing, from working sick to declining mental health, are borne by workers, students and the public healthcare budget, and the government has the power to ameliorate the situation by mandating increases in continuing positions over temporary ones, allotting more student housing, and freezing tuition.

This was the sixth negotiating session, after the previous two sessions were cancelled by SFU Administration. We are bargaining downtown at the Vancouver Harbour Centre Campus on July 26th; the agenda includes proposals for the English Language and Culture, and Interpretation and Translation program instructors, and fresh proposals integrating rights and working conditions of our newest members, facilitators in the Student Learning Commons, into the Collective Agreement.

 To attend all or part of the day, email tssu@tssu.ca or call the office at (778) 782 4735.

Update #6: Negotiations “Postponed” – Time to Mobilize!

June 18th’s bargaining session has been postponed by SFU Administration. Since bargaining was adjourned at noon on June 6th, two bargaining sessions in a row have been cancelled by SFU Administration with less than 72 hours notice. TSSU has already presented our proposals in detail, and we await responses and questions from SFU Administration; in the meantime, we need you to help us motivate Administration to bargain! Here are four things you can do to help over the next 10 days:

  1. June 18 mobilization day: Burnaby Campus AQ 5135 from 10am-5pm; on Surrey Campus in SUR 351 10am-4pm. If you can spare 30 minutes, drop by and talk about what’s going on and help inform other members!
  2. Power Building School: Thursday June 20, we have a series of workshops at Vancouver Campus HC 1315 9:30-5:00pm; register here https://forms.gle/C9bVXP5FyePvpowz6
  3. June 27 Bargaining: Come see negotiations in person! We’re in Surrey (SUR 2740) from 9:30-4:30pm, followed by the Stewards Meeting at 4:30 (SUR 5140)
  4. Schedule a department meet and greet: find a time and place, we’ll bring coffee and snacks; ask us about anything related to bargaining! Ask your steward(s) to help arrange a time or email tssu@tssu.ca

On June 27, we’ll be back at the bargaining table to demand action on members’ five key priorities for this bargaining round:

  • equity in pay benefits, and conditions for our members; including fixing broken pay statements.
  • better support for instruction including paid training & class size limits;
  • job security for long-term teachers including a path to continuing faculty positions;
  • better work for students including addressing TA/TM overwork, removing equivalencies, ensuring time off for thesis/dissertation defenses, and obeying the Employment Standards Act;
  • strengthening our union by streamlining the grievance procedure and more.

The contract committee will continue to assert our members’ demands in negotiations with SFU Administration, but it is only through collective power that we’ll be able to improve our working conditions. Attend bargaining, hear other members’ needs, share this update; every action to build solidarity increases our strength at the bargaining table.