Steward Training Workshop

What: Open to all department shop stewards who are looking to better understand unions, contract language, grievance/arbitration processes in Canada, and good ways to communicate in one-on-one and group situations. This workshop is flexible in that we will cover any question you have or concerns you would like to learn more about – feel free to email us so we can put it on the agenda.

Lunch and coffee provided. (When you RSVP include any dietary needs)

Next Steward Workshop:
Saturday October 25th, 10am – 4pm. Harbour Centre 1315
** Please bring your steward binder if you have one, if you don’t have one let us know so we’ll bring you one **

For more info or to RSVP: Email tssu(at)

TSSU 5 Minute Bargaining Survey

If you have TA/TM/SI/ELC/ITP in the last 3 semesters you should have gotten an email today (October 15th) in your SFU inbox containing a survey link.

Please take the time to answer the three questions, it is directly going to influence how we are bargaining at the table. Results will be announced at the October 22nd GM at Surrey 2740 (4:30-6:30pm).

If it’s not in your inbox, email tssu(at) so you can be added to our mailing list and not miss any other important emails.


Bargaining Update – October 7, 2014

The TSSU met with the Employer for a 5th and 6th day of bargaining on September 30th and October 7th.

TSSU focused on improving the working conditions and job security of Sessional Instructors, and ensuring Teaching Assistant (TA) and Tutor Marker (TM) jobs go first to graduate students. Sessional Instructors deserve real seniority rights, and graduate students need work that allows them sufficient time to complete their research. The employer disagrees with these basic principles, and proposed steps that reduce job security for Sessional Instructors, and increase graduate student workloads (see below for more details). TSSU does not accept that increasing insecurity and pressure on employees is a real solution to the problems facing our members.  Continue reading

Final Indoor Air Quality Report of the Education Building Available!

Did you know that the Education Building has had a comprehensive study completed about air quality and safety?

Summary: This report (consisting of a five page executive summary at beginning and eighteen page report) has found that there were many point of water ingress, and issues with communication between departments and services at SFU. It also has found improvements in many areas due to fixing deferred maintenance, and specific rooms that are deemed unsafe. It makes specific recommendations for SFU to enact to fix and monitor these issues.

Download the Final Indoor Air Quality Report (without appendix) HERE!

Mould peak cover

(for full report with appendix, download directly off of SRS’s website here)


FYI: All workers in BC have four basic Health and Safety Rights

  1. The Right to Know (about potential hazards in the workplace)
  2. The Right to Participate (in the process of identifying and resolving workplace health and safety concerns)
  3. The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work (any work they believe is dangerous to their own health and safety or to another worker)
  4. The Right to No Discrimination (You cannot be fired or disciplined for participating in Health and Safety activities)


Mould in West Mall Complex_SFU BBYPhoto: Mould found in the West Mall Complex and International Students Update from Townhall

“On this week, we talk to the Teaching Support Staff Union and international students about the exploitative tuition and medical plans international students are facing at SFU.”

(Excerpts from this story were aired on the national grassroots news program GroundWire September 15)

Bargaining Today! (Update: October Dates Announced)

~TSSU’s Contract Committee is in Bargaining Today~

- Sessionals
- Bargaining Process



October 7th  ||  10am – 6pm
- TA language
- Payment of Wages

October 21st  ||  9am – 5pm

Agenda: TBA

For more information, contact the office, talk to your steward, or check out our website here:

CUPE’s university locals call for end to funding cuts

The campaign encourages people to take action by sending a letter to the Minister of Advanced Education, Amrik Virk, at:


BURNABY – CUPE’s Universities Coordinated Bargaining Committee (UCBC) has launched a new campaign to draw attention to the BC Liberals’ abysmal record on funding post-secondary education.

Earlier this year, the Christy Clark government announced a three-year budget plan that will see the total operating grant for post-secondary institutions drop by almost $50 million.  By 2016, per-student operating grants will have dropped by more than 20 per cent since 2001, when the BC Liberals took office and changed how universities and colleges receive core funding.  Meanwhile, tuition fees have increased more than 80 per cent under the BC Liberals. Continue reading

Fall Election Nomination Period now open, closes Oct 22nd

Five executive positions are now open for nomination
(Organizer, Trustee 1, MMC Commissioner, Chair, and Coordinator).

  • Nominations close on Wednesday October 22nd at the October GM at Surrey.
  • Elections will be in early November.
  • Positions start with training in December (or January depending on schedules).
  • One year term for all positions.
  • All positions are paid or stipended.

To nominate yourself, download a nomination form HERE.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

More details:

Continue reading

Bargaining Update: Sept. 16th Meeting

TSSU met with the employer for a fifth day of bargaining on September 16th. TSSU completed the presentation of all of our language proposals and answered all the questions posed by the employer’s bargaining team. TSSU is now awaiting a reply on our package, which was originally tabled on June 4th, 2014. This package contains significant proposals which are designed to meet the current issues of our members on the ground and the future issues that will occur as SFU’s instructional model evolves.

The employer has finally provided TSSU with an enunciation of most, but not all, of its proposals. TSSU’s bargaining committee is now able to commence analysis and examination of the enunciated proposals. TSSU is still waiting for the employer’s bargaining team to provide sufficient clarity, or produce actual contract language, on several items.

TSSU is committed to bargaining a new collective agreement that moves SFU forward, not backwards, in its treatment of Teaching Assistants, Tutor Markers, Sessional Instructors and ELC/ITP Instructors. TSSU’s proposed package includes:

  • a sustainable solution to the administrative problems of the childcare fund that gets money into the hands of parents, Continue reading

“More Ladders, Less Snakes!”

Do you remember Snakes and Ladders as a kid?

P1190548We had a very successful Week of Welcome on September 2nd with our Snakes, Ladders, Sessionals, and You game that talks about the real-life circumstances and cconsequences of tenuous adjunct labour such as Sessionaling.

Right now 1 in 4 classes at SFU are taught by a Sessional. These highly qualified individuals usually have a PhD, with a number of publications and research projects to their name. They are doing the same job as faculty in the classroom, however they are being paid pennies on the dollar comparatively. This effects not only their own lives, but their classrooms, and academic freedom itself.

Universities relying on these poorly compensated and overworked individuals is a growing trend in Canada and around the world. The CBC has released a few excellent articles on the topic.

CBC: Most university undergrads now taught by poorly paid part-timers

CBC: Exploitation in the ivory tower

P1190546We are working towards a system in which there is a system for sessionals to earn a way into a more permanent position with benefits and security. Many sessionals have worked for SFU for ten years, yet don’t have any benefits, job security, and even have to take on additional teaching jobs at other universities just to pay the bills.

More more information on our proposals and the research that we have completed on this topic, contact us. Also look for our research report that will be coming out later this semester.

Together we can do great things.




Good News Update: Tuition Deferment and Not Being Paid on Time

Hello TSSU,

Thank you for those who have responded to our previous poll, unfortunately it looks as though around 18% of our members where not paid on time this semester. Further this would mean that these members could not sign up for Tuition Deferment without financial penalty.
We have received assurance that this will not be the case, and all members who were not paid on time will be able to sign up for tuition deferment with no financial penalty!
As a reminder for those who are on payroll now, today (the 15th) is the last day to sign up for tuition deferment without financial penalty (as tuition is due by the end of the 15th). If you have not been paid, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help get you paid ASAP.
More info on wage theft:
More info on tuition deferment:

Successful BCTF Solidarity Event Sept 12th: Photos!


On Friday Sept 12th, TSSU joined SFU’s Education students to show our solidarity with the BCTF Teachers in their effort and sacrifice to make BC classrooms better, negotiate honestly, and stand up to governmental bullying and illegal actions (twice found illegal by the BC Supreme Court).  Continue reading

Solidarity with BCTF teachers on SFU Burnaby Campus, Friday Sept 12th

Did you know there is a elementary school on BBY hill across from Nesters?

BC teachers are STILL locked out, and they’re on the picket lines every day.

TSSU and the SFU’s Education Student’s Solidarity Committee are inviting all SFU community members to join them in solidarity tomorrow (Sept 12th) around lunch.

  • 10am – meet at Archaeology Museum Atrium to make signs
  • by 11am – march to Elementary school across from Nesters Market.
  • (Should be done by 1pm, come for as much or little as you can, all solidarity is greatly appreciated)

BCTF Solidarity Poster




Tom Kertes (SFU Education Student) sfueducationstudents(at)
(604) 600-4926

Future Teachers at SFU to Demonstrate Solidarity for Public Schools and the BCTF

Bargaining Update – September 8, 2014

TSSU met with the employer for bargaining on August 26th. TSSU gave a thorough presentation of our proposals on Teaching Assistants (TAs), Tutor Markers (TMs) and Sessional Instructors (SIs). Despite having received TSSU’s package of proposals on June 4th, the employer again did not come prepared with their proposals. At the table, SFU’s bargaining team committed to finally providing TSSU with a full enunciation of their proposals via email by September 12th. The parties next scheduled bargaining date is September 16, 2014.

To find out more information on TSSU’s bargaining position, please follow our bargaining website at Members can also come by our office on Burnaby Campus at AQ 5129 to discuss bargaining with one of our contract committee members.

Members who are interested in getting involved are encouraged to join one of our committees. Please email tssu(at) or see for more information.

Did you get paid on time??

Many of you will remember the series of emails last fall semester asking if you have been paid on time. We found that an incredible 20% of our members were NOT paid on time a year ago. Here is a simple 4 step process to see if you did in fact get your first paycheque today.

  1. First find your paystubs. Log on at
  2. Click “Payroll and Compensation Home”
  3. On the next page click “View Paycheques”
  4. You are now viewing your most recent paystub.
  • If on your paystub the date circled on the below screenshot reads Sept 5th, 2014 (2014/09/05) you’ve been paid on time.
  • If the date does NOT read Sept 5th, 2014 you have NOT been paid on time. Please email our member representative at kdean(at) with the subject line “Not Paid On Time” and we can help fix the issue.

3 view paycheque


(Note: you do NOT have to have signed your contract to get paid on time, if you are international there may be a work around to get paid even if you don’t have your SIN yet.)

Union accuses SFU in Burnaby of gouging international students

Union accuses SFU of gouging international students

International students at Simon Fraser University are being gouged on their health insurance premiums, says the Teaching Support Staff Union.

Derek Sahota, of the TSSU, says international students at SFU are paying, on average, more than double for their health insurance than students at other post secondary institutions in the province like the University of British Columbia, Kwantlen Polytechnical University and the University of Victoria.

In the fall of 2013, there were more than 4,000 international students enrolled at SFU, representing about 16 per cent of the school’s total student population.

Sahota says the $353 international students pay for health insurance provided by is almost triple the cost of the university’s previous health insurance provider, which charged $126 per student.

“We have clear evidence of a public institution who forced their students into the most expensive option when students would have chose a different option,” says Sahota.  Continue reading