Cast your vote now for your new Organizer, Chief Steward II, Treasurer, Secretary, Solidarity & Social Justice Commissioner, and Ex-Officio! Read more about your candidates below.
All TSSU members should have received an email with a unique voting token. If you are a member but did not receive this email, please contact email@example.com with your name and the semester and type of your most recent TSSU appointment (e.g. Summer 2018, TM in Education).
Organizer (Two Candidates)
Yi Chien Jade Ho 何宜謙 (Organizer)
Hello, dear fellow TSSU members 🙂
My name is Yi Chien Jade Ho- 何宜謙 – you can call me Jade or Yi Chien. I am so excited to be running for the Organizer position. I am an Education PhD student and have been a TSSU member for 5 years. Outside of the TSSU, I organize with Chinatown Concern Group, an intergenerational anti-gentrification and anti-racism group in Vancouver’s Chinatown, as well as with the Vancouver Tenants Union.
I became active in the TSSU during the GuardMe Campaign, fighting against the unjust mandatory insurance program for international students; this involvement then blossomed as we moved toward our successful strike in 2014. I am grateful to be part of an organization built upon non-hierarchical and feminist principles where I can be part of a collective effort to bring better working conditions for our members and fight for a more equitable and just world.
I have been a steward for my department. I am also a member of the Contract Committee, the Member Mobilization Committee (MMC) and the Solidarity and Social Justice Committee (SSJC), in which I am currently serving as the commissioner. Over the past year, the committee and I have worked hard to find ways to provide more social and environmental justice opportunities while building stronger relationships and solidarity with other grassroots organizations. We have held various events relating to solidarity with Indigenous Peoples, harm reduction, housing justice, climate change, disability justice and sex workers’ rights. We have also been part of several campaigns including the SFU Tuition Freeze Now Campaign, where students are fighting against the unjustifiable tuition hike for next year. It has been heartening and humbling to work with the committee and each organization as it has provided me a lesson in our strength through collectivity.
As we are on the cusp of bargaining, we need to come together more than ever. If elected as the organizer, I would work to have more face to face relationship and momentum building, keeping our members well informed, calling out any misinformation mobilized by the employer, using our connections with other groups for support, continuing to fight for member interests in the day-to-day operations of the union, and providing resources and space necessary to empower members in their own organizing efforts. In order to accomplish this, I would work to build closer working relationships between the union’s various committees, especially the two outreach committees, MMC and SSJC.
I have seen what we can do when we stand as one as we have won things such as paid MSP coverage, sick leaves, childcare, and sessional seniority, just to name a few. It would be my honour to work with you all through this process.
Thank you so much! 🙂
Dr. Adam Barlev (Organizer)
Greetings to the TA’s, TM’s, ELC-ITP instructors and sessional instructors of the TSSU. My name is Dr. Adam Barlev, and it would be my honour to serve the TSSU as Organizer. I’ve been a TSSU member since 2011, and stood on the picket lines proudly in both of our last job actions. I’m inspired by a long line of incredible former organizers, who have taught me the vital importance of solidarity within our union and outreach to our members.
Over the last two rounds of bargaining, the TSSU has made significant progress to protect and expand our members rights, most significantly winning sessional seniority and a centralized job posting system with one closing date for all TA positions. These victories are worth celebrating, leading to tangible benefits to the lives of our members. These victories are worth fighting to defend and enforce, and show the power of our united members to enact change, but many challenges lay ahead. If elected as TSSU organizer, I resolve to organize fearlessly, using my connections across all three campuses to bring TSSU members new and old together for our greater good. The role of TSSU Organizer is to serve as the public voice of the union, a responsibility I take very seriously. Clear communication between the union and its members and the administration is vital to maintaining our solidarity. In addition to our many undergraduate TSSU members, the greater undergraduate population at SFU has shared interests with the TSSU. By working together, we can hold the university accountable to all of its constituents.
During my time in the TSSU I’ve played many roles, with extensive experience as a TA and a sessional instructor for the Chemistry and MBB departments, as well as holding several research assistant positions. During these appointments, I’ve been an active Steward, participated in the Member Mobilization Committee, and since 2012 I’ve been involved with health and safety at SFU. When I started, I was the only TSSU member allowed to sit on SFU’s Faculty of Science Safety Committee. The TSSU recognized this safety committee structure as illegal, and brought regulatory scrutiny by Work Safe BC, forcing SFU to open 14 TSSU positions on new local safety committees across the three campuses. This greatly increased engagement between union members and SFU on vital issues to our health and well-being, including but not limited to toxic mould, snow closures, tank farm fire and pipeline spill safety, harassment and bullying, and compressed gas cylinder safety. My experience as the TSSU’s first Occupational Health and Safety Commissioner consisted of organizing and recruitment of safety committee members on all three campuses. This expansion of our presence in health and safety has correlated with improvements in the safety of our members work environments, and demonstrated that the people who know best how to improve working conditions are the workers themselves.
I have a vision of an even stronger, more engaged and proactive TSSU, drawing on its members’ collective strength, wisdom and integrity to continue winning new protections for its members. I would like to encourage all of our members to band together in solidarity and support the TSSU through another successful round of bargaining.
Dr. Adam Barlev
Chief Steward II (One Candidate)
My name is Lillian Deeb, and I am seeking re-election for the Chief Steward II position.
While in this position for the last year I:
– Began reinvigorating the Stewards committee through more regular training and including stewards more in the grievance process;
– Facilitated the Grievance committee;
– Have been responsible for more than 20 grievances, at the Informal, Step I, and Step II stages;
– Have been involved in the Finance, Internal Relations, and Membership Mobilization Committees; and
– Attended CGEU, the Coalition of Graduate Employees Union Conference in order to figure out how we fit into the larger academic labour movement.
During bargaining, Chief Steward II’s job is largely to maintain the bulk of the grievance load so that Chief Steward I and the Advocate can focus their energy on renegotiating our Collective Agreement. In the coming year, it is crucial that we have someone who is comfortable working on their own and is familiar with the job, so there is no gap in advocacy.
I have learned so much working with Scott (Chief Steward I) and Derek (our Advocate) about the grievance procedure, the employer’s tactics, and generally how to advocate for our members in more effective ways. I am prepared to take on more of the grievances so Scott and Derek do not have to split their attention. I would love the opportunity to continue the work I’ve begun in the last year in order to make sure things work as smoothly as possible and that TSSU is set up to build worker power while we renegotiate our Collective Agreement!
MA Student in the School of Communication
Treasurer (Two Candidates)
Charanjot Singh (Treasurer)
I am honored to be nominated to run for the position of Treasurer and look forward to the opportunity to serve the TSSU Executive Committee in new ways. I have been a member of the TSSU from last 3 years and have been impressed with the numerous accomplishments of our dedicated leadership. I am particularly motivated to work on supporting our efforts for the maintenance of an accurate and proper internal bookkeeping system and for coordination with the external bookkeeper.
I believe I have a number of valuable qualities I would bring to the position of Treasurer. First, I have experience as a Treasurer of a large organization. As the elected Treasurer to the Csnaps organization, I have experience managing the finances of a non-profit organization with an annual operating budget of over $45,000. I also served as Senate member in the Senate Graduate Studies Committee for a year. During that position I streamlined the proposal process, set-up standardized criteria for the amendments, and developed procedures for the decision making process for graduate programs,
Secondly, my experience with the Committee would allow me to step into the role quickly. I have served as Chair of the Senate Graduate Awards Adjudication Committee, as a member of the Committee, and worked with the Board to recommend to the Policy Committee changes or additions to the Award programs. These experiences give me a springboard from which my serving as Treasurer would start.
Finally, I have energy and passion to serve the TSSU Executive Committee. My professional home has been firmly housed in the group world since the beginning of my graduate studies. I can’t think of a better way to integrate my passion for groups and my dedication to service than through this Committee. The opportunity to be more involved in the TSSU by following Sima Jamali as Treasurer, with the solid budgeting she leaves behind, would be an honor. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments about my candidacy for this position via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ladan Fathi (Treasurer)
I am Ladan Fathi an MSc student at School of Interactive arts and technology at SFU. It is more than one year that I am an active member of the TSSU Member Mobilization Committee (MMC). During this time, I was involved in many mobilization activities include planning and running different training and informative events, data analysis, communicating with potential new members, etc. The reason that I get involved with TSSU was that I intended to do some voluntary activity to benefit the community and I found TSSU’s concerns aligned with my values and mindsets. Considering my familiarity with the structure, rules and perspectives of the TSSU, I believed that being in one of the executive positions is a great opportunity to be more involved with the union. Based on my skills, knowledge and interests I chose to be nominated as the treasurer and I hope my abilities to work with data, presentation skills, and strong sense of responsibility assist me in doing my duties in the best way. I hope that by working together we achieve our goals which is having a fair and safe working conditions.
Secretary (One Candidate)
Hi! My name is Ed Graham, a second-year PhD student in SFU’s English department, and I am running for position of Secretary. I have been involved in TSSU since arriving at SFU in the Fall of 2017, serving as a departmental steward and on the Solidarity and Social Justice Committee. I am really passionate about all the great work TSSU does, both for its membership and in supporting social movements on and off campus.
As someone with a background studying and teaching effective writing practices and textual interpretation, I can be relied on to ensure consistent clarity of communication for recording minutes in General Membership and executive meetings. Overall, I am eager to take greater part in the day-to-day mechanics of the union and support its fantastic, tireless executive members. As well, as chair of the English graduate caucus, I am hoping that more sustained involvement in TSSU will allow me to mobilize members within my department effectively for the upcoming bargaining.
I’d be honoured to serve as TSSU secretary. Thank you for your consideration!
Solidarity & Social Justice Commissioner (One Candidate)
Seamus Bright Grayer
Hello TSSU members,
My name is Seamus (he/him) and I’m running for Solidarity & Social Justice Commissioner. I’ve been a TSSU member since 2017 but only last year did I get involved, becoming a steward in the Communication department and joining the Solidarity & Social Justice and Grievance committees. Since then I’ve been active, especially with the SSJC where I’ve helped plan and co-ordinate a number of events and solidarity initiatives with the rest of the Committee.
I’m running because I think the SSJC is one of the best things about our union. So often trade unions get criticized (sometimes fairly, sometimes unfairly) for being insular and self-serving, looking after their members and their members alone. The SSJC stands in direct opposition to this tendency; it makes me happy that our union has a firm commitment to solidarity and social justice within and beyond SFU, and the work the SSJC does is so important to our members and the people around us – and I’m proud to be a part of it.
I’ve really enjoyed watching the SSJC grow over the past year and I think the direction it’s headed is the right one. We’ve increasingly pointed our efforts not only to making donations and attending actions, but to building relationships with groups on and off campus, holding workshops and dialogues that more actively Engage™ with the communities around us in the name of ongoing solidarity. As Commissioner, I want to help the Committee continue this work and I hope that you will put your faith in me!
In solidarity (and social justice),
Ex-Officio (One Candidate)
Dear fellow TSSU members,
My name is Zachary Williams, and I am running for the position of Ex-Officio of our Union. I have been a member of the TSSU since September 2015, during the last strike. Since then I have served the TSSU in numerous capacities, including as a Steward for the School of Communication, as a member of the Membership Mobilization Committee, and most recently in the position of Organizer.
The role of the Ex-Officio is unique within the overall structure of the TSSU. Unlike the other positions on the Executive Committee, which are open to all Union members, only those who have previously sat on the Executive during the past year are eligible to run for Ex-Officio. According to our By-Laws, the Ex-Officio is an “advisor to the Executive” who “helps to ensure the non-hierarchical nature of the TSSU by maintaining an institutional memory based on lived experience.”
As TSSU ventures forth into our latest round of collective bargaining, I hope that the many unique institutional lenses I have had the privilege of viewing the work of our Union through will provide me with a holistic perspective and voice so that I will be able to fully carry out the duties of the Ex-Officio. The TSSU has been a tireless advocate for all of us—not only the membership, but our students, as well as our colleagues and fellow workers with whom we share in the struggle to make SFU a more equitable and just place to work and live. I hope for the chance to continue doing my part in building on this foundation with all of you.