We returned to bargaining today and presented an updated monetary package of improvements to benefits, wages increases, TA wage adjustment based on UBC’s rates, paid maternity/parental leave, and pension for instructors. The Employer finally signed off on a package of articles (Preamble – Article 9 of the collective agreement) that have been almost fully agreed for months. Progress was more substantial than previous sessions, but still insufficient. We need to keep the pressure up.
The parties agreed to bargaining on Wednesday and Thursday next week, with the location on Burnaby mountain but in a building not behind TSSU’s picket lines. TSSU and SFU are also examining whether there is a mediator available who would be capable of pushing bargaining further forward.
The indefinite work stoppage continues. Picketing will return to Burnaby campus for the entire week beginning Tuesday Oct 10 and continue until we reach a tentative agreement. Strike Committee will send out picketing schedules this weekend, and also may announce pickets on other campuses in addition to Burnaby.
We are strengthened in our resolve and power to fight on by the recent $10,000 donation to our strike fund made by members of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) on the Toronto Raptors, who have been practicing in Vancouver this week. Garrett Temple, a vice president of the NBPA and player for the Raptors joined our picket line at Harbour Centre today to give further support. Temple, who graduated from LSU, said “for us, the teaching assistants were basically everything.”
SFU’s bargaining team agreed the following TSSU proposals at the table today:
- Additional prep pay for Sessional Instructors (SIs) teaching Writing Intensive “W” courses,
- Seniority protection for Sessional Instructors on sick leave,
- Allocating time on TUG forms for TAs to respond to emails when timelines are set.
Further, we also moved closer to agreement on a yearly teaching plan for ELC/ITP instructors.
Despite this progress, SFU’s team still refuses to bargain into the evening or on the weekend, just as they did last week and the night before convocation, and they declined bargaining on Tuesday. The Employer still refuses to budge on some key issues. It’s time for a full-court press.