In the largest strike vote turnout in TSSU history, 92% voted in the affirmative to take job action.
“Our members have spoken with a unified voice, and they are demanding that SFU’s Administration engage in serious, good faith bargaining to address their concerns,” said Derek Sahota, spokesperson for the TSSU.
Sahota continued: “Like many post-secondary workers across Canada, TSSU members have identified urgent problems and brought solutions to the table. We saw an especially large voter turnout amongst sessional instructors, whose poverty-level wages, lack of job security, and lack of basic protections is invisible to the students they teach.
“These accomplished instructors have had enough and, with the support of the wider TSSU membership, are demanding fair treatment and recognition of their dedication to SFU. Every four months, these career teachers are forced to re-apply for their jobs. This is a broken system which SFU’s Administration can repair at zero cost.”
“Our agreement expired on April 30, 2014, and in the ten months since, SFU’s Administration has been unwilling to address or even acknowledge the problems each of our member groups face,” said TSSU’s Chief Steward, Reagan Belan.
“Our key issues include: job security for sessional instructors, benefits and equity for continuing language instructors at Harbour Centre, priority access to Teaching Assistant work for graduate students, and equal pay for equal work for all Teaching Assistants,” said Belan.
“Most Teaching Assistants balance the responsibilities of their jobs with full-time work as graduate students, while many Sessional Instructors maintain several jobs to earn a living,” said Belan. She concluded: “In addition, our members are spread throughout three campuses with disparate schedules. We expect SFU’s Administration to recognize this resounding mandate as a clear message that our members are invested in the issues and support the work of TSSU’s bargaining committee.” The TSSU membership will hold a Special General Meeting tomorrow to elect a Strike Coordinating Committee. That Committee will be responsible for coordinating job action.
The TSSU is scheduled to return to the bargaining table with the Employer on April 16, 2015.
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