SFU Admin chooses ultimatum over negotiation

You can find a complete copy of the Employer’s Final Package here.

TSSU’s Contract Committee spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at mediation, working to find a path to a settlement with SFU Administration. Throughout the weekend, your Contract Committee was hopeful of reaching a deal, since SFU Administration’s spokesperson expressed interest in TSSU’s positions and distanced himself from SFU’s proposed concessions and cuts. However, the language of SFU Administration’s proposals did not deliver on this hope. Rather than following TSSU’s lead by moving toward a settlement on each issue, SFU Administration proposed an all-or-nothing Final Package with numerous poison-pill proposals.

Members who are interested in organizing to get a fair deal should attend the next Greater Committee Meeting:
Monday September 14 on Burnaby Campus 5:30-6:45pm – meet at AQ 5129 (TSSU office).

To discuss this offer, we have called a Special General Membership Meeting for:
Wednesday September 16 on Burnaby Campus from 11:30am-1:30pm in MBC 2290.

At this meeting, the Contract Committee will propose the membership hold a vote on SFU Administration’s Final Offer. SFU Administration’s Final Package will be available in full to members at this week’s Special General Membership Meeting.

SFU Administration’s Final Package includes a fix to the Childcare Fund, they are only offering this fix if TSSU accepts extensive takeaways.

SFU Administration’s Final Package cuts pay for the following members:

  • For Sessional Instructors who team-teach, their preparation pay will be cut 50%,
  • For ELC/ITP members, their work week will increase from the legal standard of 40 hours per week before overtime to 47 hours,
  • For TMs, SFU Administration did not clearly propose a wage cut, but their language on the mixed-delivery classroom opens a potential loophole for a cut to current distance education Tutor Markers.

SFU Administration’s Final Package removes existing rights:

  • strips all rights of return (including ROFR) from Sessional Instructors; while their proposal claims to offer seniority, it delivers less right of returns than our current Collective Agreement,
  • removes the right of members to receive a physical copy of the Collective Agreement.

Particularly, SFU Administration singles out our language instructors from ELC/ITP for numerous cuts. Their Final Package:

  • delays the review of ELC/ITP instructors for consideration from continuing status,
  • demands more weeks of work from ELC/ITP Instructors,
  • makes it easier to remove ELC/ITP Instructors from the laid-off list,
  • allows the department to convert continuing ELC/ITP Instructors to temporary instructors via layoff,
  • cuts ELC/ITP sick time from 72 contact hours (12 days) to 36 contact hours (6 days)

Additionally, SFU Administration’s Final Package fails to address TSSU’s core issues as defined by our members:

  • does not address TA priority or access to work for graduate students,
  • undercuts the law on the Health and Safety training required by Worksafe BC,
  • undercuts the law on the Employment Standards Act for payment of wages,
  • claims to address the increased workload of in-person/online classes without guaranteeing additional compensation for increased work,

In addition, SFU Administration’s Final Package requires TSSU to report to Human Resources any time we meet with a Department Chair to discuss a problem. This step would erode current rights of Department Chairs to decide when to involve HR in disputes, and would bring the same bargainer who has stalled our Contract Negotiations for 16 months into every step of the informal problem-solving process.

SFU Administration’s Final Package includes the following general Monetary & Benefits provisions:

  • 5 year agreement with a term from May 1, 2014 – April 30, 2019
  • the standard public sector wage increase of 0% for May 1 2014, 1% for May 1 2015, 0.5% for May 1 2016, 1% March 1 2017, 0.5 May 1 2017, 1% March 1, 2018, 0.5% May 1 2018, 1% March 1 2019.
  • offers an option to delay the above wage increases slightly to create a professional development fund for ELC/ITP instructors
  • proposes an “economic stability payment” which, in the opinion of your Contract Committee, will deliver nothing to members
  • increases the portion of salary maintenance that TSSU has to pay for ELC/ITP instructors who are on the Contract Committee (estimated cost to TSSU of $10,000 per bargaining round)

If you want to take part in this discussion of our next contract, covering a five year period, come to the meeting!

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