Contract Committee arrived at our 41st bargaining session yesterday with pens in hand, ready to sign a deal; the Employer, however, did not. Even on the precipice of a full and complete work stoppage, the Employer failed to meaningfully bargain on any of our fundamental issues. As a result, TSSU will begin a full and indefinite work stoppage on all campuses on Thursday Sept 28, with rotating pickets beginning at Surrey campus on Thursday then Vancouver campus on Friday.
Escalating Strike Actions:
As per the decision made by the TSSU General Membership at the September 13th GM, the following strike actions will commence this Thursday, Sept 28th:
- Indefinite full work stoppage: All teaching work done by TSSU members will be struck starting September 28th on all campuses and locations, including online. This means no tutorials or labs; no lectures; no office hours; no emails to students or course supervisors; and no marking. The complete teaching work stoppage continues until TSSU members get a tentative agreement with SFU that addresses our needs.
- Picket lines rotating between campuses: TSSU members will be picketing one SFU campus at a time on a rotating basis. No TSSU member shall do teaching work regardless of the location. Joining the picket line, even if it is at a campus other than the one you normally work from, is critical to the success of the strike and active participation at the picket line will allow members to access strike pay in the case of lost wages. Below are the pickets planned for the time being.
Surrey Picket: September 28th, 6AM
Vancouver Picket: September 29th, 8AM
Burnaby Picket: October 3rd, 8AM
Despite being informed that failure to reach an agreement by today would lead to indefinite work stoppage and a return to picketing, the best the Employer had to offer was a few minor changes which did not address any of our core demands. The Employer squandered their time, making proposals that had the appearance of movement but amounted to zero enforceable rights for our members. They couldn’t even sign off on something so simple as one additional office for our rapidly growing Union. Moreover, after a year of claiming that graduate students were outside the purview of our collective bargaining in the context of gradCOLA, they made a weak attempt at walking back their concession on the scholarship portion of TA pay by introducing a whole new article on Scholarships with academic eligibility criteria.
It is clear at this juncture that there is no point to bargaining with an Employer that is more committed to coming up with new excuses than finding meaningful solutions. Hence, the above escalating strike actions.