Today, SFU Administration requested that TSSU agree to mediation at the Labour Board. This process can take months. Under BC Labour Law, a union cannot serve strike notice or commence strike action during mediation unless their employer has agreed otherwise in writing.
Trusting that this offer was made in good faith, TSSU provided SFU Administration a letter of agreement to protect our members’ right to strike during mediation. SFU Administration refused our offer and cancelled bargaining for July 9th. We have previously scheduled bargaining dates on July 22 and 23, and we need a strong “yes” strike vote and collective action from our members to put the pressure back on to achieve a fair Collective Agreement.
Other news from the table today:
SFU Administration’s committee has added a new faculty member, so we began bargaining with a brief recap of our core issues. They had no new responses or questions on our core issues, and reiterated their position on payment of wages—still less than the protections provided under the Employment Standards Act.
In the afternoon, we signed three short proposals, lifted from Articles with larger outstanding issues. They regard (#1) union representation on the central health and safety committee, (#2) marking guidance provided to TAs, and (#3) access to TA or TM work for members with partial Graduate Fellowships.
Agreement in principle was originally reached on (#3) two years ago, as part of the efforts of the Joint Committee of Faculty, TSSU members, and representatives from Human Resources. It has finally been signed.