In today’s sunny negotiations, TSSU clarified our proposed changes to the contract’s general articles, including a new Staff and Member Development program and job posting. We also amended our TA and Sessional Instructor proposals to protect our contract from being undercut by changes to SFU’s Postdoctoral Fellows policy and secured agreement on three minor changes to our contract.
TSSU is proposing a comprehensive training article, which will guarantee that our members receive workplace orientation and opportunities for professional development. TSSU’s proposal would deliver paid training to all members, both when hired and throughout their time at SFU. TSSU members provide half of the in-person teaching at SFU, and building on existing training programs will improve the experience of students and the broader community.
One common theme for TSSU’s proposals is expanding best practices throughout the university; TSSU is asking that expected contact hours or base units be added to postings, so applicants have an idea of the amount of work they’re applying to do. We also request that applicants are notified if they don’t get a job. We secured a single posting date for all TA and TM jobs in the last round of bargaining, which simplified the timeline for people who work in multiple departments, and resulted in more jobs for graduate students. We think similar benefits could apply to sessional instructors, so now we’re asking for these jobs to be posted at the same time each semester.
Before the end of the day, TSSU secured agreement to three minor changes to our contract – changes which do not alter our rights, but do make them more clear. Next week, the committees meet on the 14th in Burnaby and the 15th in Vancouver (Harbour Centre) where TSSU will make our case for proposed changes for TA’s, Sessional Instructors, and ELC/ITP Instructors. We await a complete set of proposals from SFU Administration, but in the meantime we encourage members to share our updates, email with any questions, and attend bargaining to get the immersive, 3D, surround-sound experience of contract negotiations!