2019 Bargaining has started. For the most updated bargaining reports, please go to: bargaining.tssu.ca
The TSSU has been meeting with the employer through a Joint Committee (for more information click here) to address issues that could not be resolved in the last round of bargaining.
Summer 2013 Joint Committee/Employer Meetings Report
– April 8th, May 27th, June 10th, & July 8th
TSSU began discussions by attempting to resolve issues with the Childcare Bursary and Union Facilities. SFU has been unwilling to negotiate new language on either issue. We are very concerned that the lack of progress made in the Joint Committee is a sign of things to come when we begin bargaining for our 2014 contract at the end of this year. Below is TSSU’s report on discussions around the Childcare Bursary and Union Facilities. To learn more, join us at the Highland Pub after every meeting (see dates on calendar) with the employer to debrief directly or come to AQ5129 to review the complete notes.
——————————————- Childcare Bursary ———————————————
TSSU issues with the current TSSU childcare bursary:
- Our members who are most likely to have children are denied access to the fund (e.g. Sessionals and ELC/ITP members).
- Members can only become eligible by demonstrating licensed childcare costs (the Cadillac of child care), which is too expensive for most of our members in the first place
- Even if you are a student with dependents in a licensed facility, then you are then subject to SFU’s assessment of need which is not tied to the language in the Collective Agreement but is based on their own, undisclosed criteria.
- Approximately 40% of otherwise eligible TSSU members are still not being awarded the bursary because of SFU’s ‘needs-based’ criteria
- SFU had been distributing the surplus of the Childcare fund for the 2011-2012 fiscal years without consulting the TSSU about how to disperse it. We have asked that SFU cease this spending of surplus until our issues surrounding the bursary are resolved
- SFU recognizes that the TSSU sees problems with the bursary. However SFU says that they do not want to negotiate solutions to these problems
- When asked to set up a two person committee consisting of a TSSU member and a representative from HR to jointly administer the fund, SFU questioned whether a TSSU member could legally manage confidential information.
- TSSU – Our members have access to confidential information on a daily basis (e.g. students’ grades)
- TSSU – We are a Union, not a student club. As a Union we have the same rights and responsibilities regarding confidential information as SFU. From a legal perspective we are equals. We have the right to access information that we need to do our job.
- The bursary will become a taxable benefit for non-students.
- TSSU – We recognize that non-students will be taxed and acknowledge that SFU already has a system in place to differentiate between students and non-students for tax purposes. We do not take issue with this item.
:: Other Conversation Details ::
Employer: Previously the employer’s argument was that non-students couldn’t receive the bursary as a bursary is defined as grant for students only.
TSSU accepted this argument and attempted to change the bursary into a fund until it was discovered, in April of this year, that a childcare bursary does exist at SFU specifically for non-students called the Emily Campbell Childcare Bursary, thus disproving SFU’s argument. This bursary is administered in an almost identical way to how the TSSU would like to see our Childcare Bursary managed.
Employer: SFU rejected a bursary administrated similar to the Emily Campbell Childcare Bursary. Furthermore, they ignored the main purpose of the TSSU Childcare Bursary which is to ensure that all our members have access to childcare.
Employer: The employer said there is no longer a problem with the fund getting to everyone as 22 people received it last year.
- Based on survey data from the GSS, the we know that at least 10% of our membership would be eligible for and could use the childcare bursary, this would be well over 100 of our members per semester
Employer: SFU feels they have fixed the problem by spending the surplus money sinu they are giving more money overall to our members.
- The TSSU was not consulted about how the surplus was divvied up or when to dip into the funds.
- The TSSU asserts that this does not offer a systemic solution to the existing problems (40% of people being deemed ineligible by a ‘needs-based’ criteria and lack of access for non-student members).
- The spending of the surplus must be done in a fair, open, and equitable manner in consultation with TSSU.
——————————————— Union Facilities ———————————————
TSSU issues with the current Union Facilities language:
Currently, the TSSU’s access to resources on satellite campuses is limited which prevents us from properly disseminating information to our members. The TSSU is seeking to update language in the collective agreement surrounding space and facilities at all SFU campuses. For instance, our Collective Agreement only recognizes the existence of Harbour Centre and does not include the Woodward’s, Segall, or Surrey Campuses.
Having bulletin boards and mailboxes at each campus may seem like a trivial matter but this is truly an important issue. The TSSU’s ability to represent and advocate for our members depends on our ability to communicate with those members and be an effective presence in their departments. The TSSU maintains that the easiest way to be denied your rights is when you are not informed about your rights.
Employer: SFU does not recognize the systemic nature of these problems and is unwilling to negotiate new language that would promote TSSU’s presence at satellite campuses.