TSSU offers two forms of assistance for members with childcare costs: (1) a childcare subsidy to assist members who attend TSSU meetings, and (2) a childcare fund to assist with semesterly childcare costs. Both of these are detailed below. We also have included information on two additional childcare benefits: (3) the SFU General Graduate Bursary, and (4) The BC Government Affordable Child Care Benefit.
1. Childcare Subsidy for TSSU Meetings
For TSSU members who attend General Membership meetings and other TSSU committee meetings, a small subsidy is available to help offset the costs of childcare. For more details, see the TSSU Childcare Subsidy Request Form (doc or pdf). This form may be turned in at a TSSU meeting, at the TSSU office (AQ 5129), or by email to email@example.com.
2. TSSU Membership Childcare Fund
The TSSU Childcare Fund was changed in the last round of bargaining so we now control the fund. TSSU also won a large grievance settlement, as SFU was misappropriating money from the fund. Because of this, we now have access to a childcare fund that is easy to apply to and accessible to all members. The TSSU General Membership decided to disburse the large surplus won through the grievance before the expiry of the current Collective Agreement in April 2019. As planned, the money has now run out — through the fund we have disbursed more than $450 000 to hundreds of parents and children.
There have been important changes to the fund for Spring 2019.
We only receive $55 800 per year from SFU to replenish the fund. We now only have approximately $35 000 remaining in the fund. This would not be enough to fully fund all applicants as the previous semesters’ rates. As a result, for Spring 2019, the TSSU General Membership has elected to pro-rate the amounts disbursed to applicants — individual amounts received will be lower than usual.
This is something you, as a member of the TSSU General Membership, can address in the next round of bargaining — which is starting now. $55 800 per year is not enough to fund all applicants to the Childcare Fund. The average amount needed per semester (based on past disbursements) is $78 615.
Who can apply?
All TSSU members (as defined by the TSSU By-Laws) with children under the age of 13, or those with children up to the age of 18 requiring additional care due to a physical or developmental disability, are eligible to apply.
When to apply?
For disbursement in a given semester, applications must be received by the end of the third week of that semester. TSSU decisions as to disbursements will be made by no later than the seventh week of the semester. Late applications will be accepted, but disbursement will not occur until the following semester.
How is the amount I receive determined?
**See the handy chart down below**
(a) Funds will be provided based on SFU Child Care Society (CCS) rates as of September 1, 2017 (see table below).
(b) Funds will then be determined based on the age of each child on the first day of the semester. Example — Margo turned 11 on January 28, 2018. They will turn 12 on January 28, 2019. They are considered 11 years old for the Spring 2019 application.
Children are grouped into three age categories for the fund: 0-36 months, 3-5 years, 5-12 years. In the case of children with special needs, including those over the age of 13, funds will be provided based on the 0-36 month rate.
More info: the 0-36 month rate applies from birth until the day before the child’s third birthday, the 3-5 year rate applies from the child’s 3rd birthday until the day before their 5th birthday, and the 5-12 year rate from their 5th birthday until the day before their 13th birthday.
(c) For the Spring 2019 application period, funds will be prorated so that the total amount given out to applicants does not exceed $35,000. This will be based on whether an applicant is working this semester:
|TSSU member employed in a position covered by the Collective Agreement at any point during the semester||50% of one month’s CCS rate as at September 1, 2017||0-36 mo: $655.00
3-5 years: $465.00
13-18 years: $655.00
|TSSU member not employed in a position covered by the Collective Agreement during the semester||25% of one month’s CCS rate as at September 1, 2017||0-36 mo: $327.50
3-5 years: $232.50
13-18 years: $327.50
What information might I need to give the TSSU?
Applications may require supplementary documentation of each child’s age (birth certificate, passport, notarized letter, etc.), but these do not need to be provided during the application process.
Supporting documentation may be requested by the TSSU. If such a request is made, supporting documentation shall be one of the following:
- Canada child tax benefit (CCTB) notice
- Birth certificate
Applicants lacking these documents may present a duly notarized affidavit or sworn statement or similar official documentation supporting the existence of the child/children.
How will I receive my money?
Students will receive disbursements as a bursary deposited into their student account. Non-students will receive disbursements as taxable income facilitated by SFU’s payroll system.
Who decided on the Fund’s terms of reference?
The terms of reference are determined by the TSSU General Membership, and the information provided in the application will be used by TSSU to make disbursement decisions. A dispute over the amount of an award should be directed to the TSSU.
3. SFU General Graduate Bursary
TSSU members who are graduate students should continue to apply for the needs-based graduate student bursary through SFU’s bursary program. If you received money through the old childcare bursary, then you will likely continue to receive funding through the general graduate student bursary. The TSSU childcare fund is meant as a top up to this bursary, not a replacement. When completing an SFU bursary application you should NOT include the money you received from the fund as income.
4. BC Government Affordable Child Care Benefit (NEW!)
The BC NDP government has established a new Affordable Child Care Benefit. For non-international student members this can bring the cost of licensed care down to $0 for those families earning less than ~$45,000 / year (and then tapers out at $110,000 / year family income). Unfortunately, it doesn’t help international student members. Information is here: