Last Thursday we picketed Harbour Centre campus while the SFU Board of Governors was meeting. A TSSU delegation spoke at the start of the Board of Governors and was joined by BCGEU Secretary-Treasurer Paul Finch, who unequivocally delivered a message that one of the largest unions in the province would not allow the SFU executive to starve out TSSU members. He urged SFU to get back to the table to bargain the deal TSSU members deserve. SFU admin did not respond in their Board of Governors Meeting.
Outside the meeting, TSSU members were joined by members of many local unions in solidarity while BCGEU announced a downpayment of $200,000 in financial support for TSSU’s strike fund. In total, the labour movement has already committed over $250,000 to ensuring we have the support we need to outlast SFU’s attempts to defeat our strike!
Job action continues this week with an overtime ban and teach-ins using our updated materials. We are not announcing any picket lines at this time. However, on Thursday July 6, TSSU’s Contract Committee will return to the bargaining table to respond to the paltry additional 0.01% wage increase SFU added in their last offer. Following bargaining, the Greater Strike Committee will meet at 6:00 PM in AQ 5020, where TSSU members will be discussing next steps and strategy for the strike. As a directly democratic union, member participation is the only way for us to succeed; your voice and presence is essential at both bargaining and the Greater Strike Committee Meeting.
SFU’s threats to our health benefits and pay remain as they were last week. SFU has taken no further action to demand we pay or they cut benefits, but they also have not withdrawn their threat. To our knowledge, no members have yet had their pay deducted for striking.
We continue to get reports that various SFU managers and professors are demanding information about whether you will cross a picket line. Under TSSU’s Strike Policy Y.4.e you must not indicate in advance your willingness to cross a picket line. This is consistent with SFU’s GP-05 Strike Policy which says: “Members of a certified union which is legally on strike, or legally withholding services in support of another certified union on campus, which is legally on strike, are entitled to follow the policies of their union.”
You do not need to respond to a request regarding your willingness to cross a picket line. These requests are not the fault of individual supervisors but the Deans who have likely been instructed to disseminate them by the SFU Executive.
Finally, if you’re an RA and haven’t signed a union card so that RAs become both union members and certified by the Labour Relations Board, get in touch! Look for more emails this week with new ways to get involved and sign. If you want to sign, have any questions, or know someone who is eligible to sign, reach out to email@example.com!