Bargaining Background

This site is designed to keep our members and the SFU community informed on the bargaining process and our issues. For those unfamiliar with the bargaining process there is also an overview of how bargaining works. Updates are posted on this website.

 Where we are

The current collective agreement between SFU and TSSU expired on April, 30 2014. Since then, TSSU and the employer (SFU Administration) have met repeatedly, including two days of mediation at the Labour Relations Board. TSSU presented a complete package of proposals in early June, 2014, and SFU Administration has tabled a package of significant concessions that would gut our current Collective Agreement. Since SFU Administration has repeatedly stalled the process, TSSU has taken two strike votes, both of which passed overwhelmingly (92% and 86%, respectively).

Why we are bargaining

Between Sessional Instructors, Language Instructors at Harbour Centre in the ELC/ITP programs, and Teaching Assistants and Tutor Markers, TSSU members provide more than 50% of the teaching at SFU. Outside of their teaching work, our members also produce much of the research for which SFU is internationally renowned, making TSSU members an essential part of the university.

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In the context of the rising cost of living and an ever changing university, it is essential that the Collective Agreement be negotiated to ensure the rights of our members are protected. Our members need fair and reasonable benefits, wages that allow them to survive in one of the world’s most expensive cities, the ability to earn job security so they know where their next paycheque is coming from and protections to ensure their class sizes, and thus workloads, do not get increased.

While our members have continually fallen behind inflation for the past decade, SFU has found significant money to increase budgets in other areas. Since 2006, the Human Resources (HR) budget has increased by 55%, significantly above the rate of inflation. Rather than using its HR department to settle disputes between its employees and the administration, SFU has continued to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on its external Human Resources lawyer. This money could have been better spent in the classroom, rather than the courtroom.


SFU’s annual expenditure on their external Human Resources Lawyer. These costs are a result of SFU being unable to come to an agreement with its unions outside of court or arbitration.

SFU HR Costs

SFU’s annual expenditure on Human Resources. The growth of 55% since 2006 greatly outstrips the rate of inflation and the rate of staff growth at SFU.

Core Issues

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