The TSSU Contract Committee has met with SFU Administrations in two bargaining sessions so far – April 3 & 11 – to negotiate for a new Collective Agreement. Here is a highlight of the sessions so far. You can read them in full by visiting bargaining.tssu.ca.

Session #1

  • TSSU Contract Committee began the day by stating, “We are here in solidarity as workers in different groups, united by a common thread: we all toil in precarious jobs.”
  • TSSU delivered a comprehensive package of proposals that ensures:
    * Protection against overwork for Teaching Assistants
    * Job security for Sessional Instructors
    * Equity in benefits for language instructors in ELC/ITP
    * Paid professional development for all TSSU members
  • Administration offered “a modest set of proposals” that broadly outlined their plans with goals including reducing TA base units for graduate students, removing job security for sessional instructors, and increasing ELC/ITP instructor workloads without additional pay.
  • TSSU secured Administration’s agreement in principle on two of our proposals: to replace the contract’s gendered pronouns (her/his) with gender-neutral pronouns, and to move the ELC/ITP articles from an appendix and into the main text of the contract.

Session #2

  • TSSU’s contract committee asked clarifying questions on SFU Administration’s proposals, which have the effect of: shrinking graduate student TA work and associated compensation by 20% through a modification to our priority system, increasing ELC/ITP instructors’ workloads without pay, and erasing sessional instructor job security and promotion language from our collective agreement.
  • TSSU’s Contract Committee responded: “We’re not just going to sit down and take significant cuts to each portion of our membership.” Reaffirming our intention to negotiate a collective agreement that improves our working conditions, the team highlighted the needs of TSSU members.
  • SFU Administration spent most of the day sorting our proposals into those with costs and those without, before asking a few clarifying questions about our positions.
  • The next negotiation is scheduled for May 8th on Burnaby campus and TSSU expects to hear clarifying questions from SFU Administration on our proposals. To attend, email tssu@tssu.ca 

Full details on TSSU’s proposals are available for any member to review in the union office on Burnaby campus: AQ5129, or email tssu@tssu.ca if you’d like to meet with a contract committee member – we’ll come to you! You can also email TSSU anytime with questions, or invite the contract committee to department or caucus events (we will bring donuts & coffee!)