There are many rights and benefits in our Collective Agreement, however below is a summary of some of the relevant ones for members who are parents and are expecting to be soon.

Note: It is also important to look beyond the Collective Agreement for additional perks. One example is people working for for a supervisor funded via an NSERC grant are entitled to up to 4 months of PAID maternity or paternity leave. These funds are not even taken out of your PIs grant, but come directly from NSERC itself! (See below for more info)

1. TSSU Collective Agreement Benefits (All TSSU Employees)

2. TSSU Collective Agreement Benefits (TA/TM/SI Exclusive)

3. TSSU Collective Agreement Benefits (ELC/ITP Exclusive)

4. Beyond the Collective Agreement

1. TSSU Collective Agreement Benefits (All TSSU Employees)

ALL Employees: Maternity Leave or Parental Leave (pp 51-52)

a. Birth Mother
A pregnant employee shall be entitled to up to eighteen (18) consecutive weeks of maternity leave and up to thirty-five (35) consecutive weeks of parental leave, without pay. If the birth mother has not taken maternity leave, she is eligible for up to thirty-seven (37) consecutive weeks of parental leave. The parental leave must immediately follow the maternity leave unless she and the employer agree otherwise.
In the event the birth mother dies or is totally disabled, the remaining parent of the child shall be entitled to both maternity and parental leave without pay.

b. Birth Father and Adoptive Parent
An employee who is the birth father, the adoptive father, or the adoptive mother shall be entitled to up to thirty-seven (37) consecutive weeks of parental leave without pay. The employee shall commence the leave within fifty-two weeks of the child’s birth or the date the child comes within the care and custody of the employee.

c. Extensions – Special Circumstances
An employee shall be entitled to extend the maternity leave by up to an additional six (6) consecutive weeks leave where a physician certifies the employee is unable to return to work for medical reasons related to the birth, provided however, that in no case shall the combined maternity and parental leave exceed fifty-five (55) consecutive weeks following the commencement of such leave.

An employee shall be entitled to extend the parental leave by up to an additional five (5) weeks leave without pay where the child is at least six (6) months of age before coming into the employee’s care and custody and if it is certified by a medical practitioner or the agency that placed the child that an additional period of parental care is required because the child suffers from a physical, psychological or emotional condition.

** NOTE: There are a variety of notice requirements and commencement of leave regulations, read more on pages 52-53 in our Collective Agreement.

(ELC/ITP ONLY): Additional Maternity Leave or Parental Leave 

Instructors on maternity/parental leave will be entitled to the continuation of paid Health and Welfare benefits by providing post-dated cheques to the university for the employee portion of the benefit cost, on the same cost sharing basis as before the instructor commenced their maternity/parental leave, during the period of maternity/parental leave. (p 53)

ALL Employees: TSSU Member Child Care Bursary

Childcare Bursary access ($50,000 a year to be divided up each semester between eligible applicants). For how to apply click HERE. (pp 86-87)

ALL Employees: Canada Pension Plan, Workers’ Compensation, Employment Insurance

Provisions, payment of premiums, payroll deductions and eligibility shall be as per Govt of Canada and BC regulations. (p 54 & p 82)

ALL Employees: Short-term Leave

An employee may arrange to exchange duties with another employee for a period of up to one (1) week only with the approval of the person responsible for the course, the Department Chair and the consent of the employee(s) involved. (p 54)

ALL Employees: Court Appearances

The University shall grant paid leave to any employee called upon to perform jury duty, or required by subpoena to appear in court. The employee shall inform the Department Chair as soon as she/he is advised of such requirement. The employee shall pay to the University any moneys, other than expenses, paid to her/him by the Crown for those times when the employee had scheduled teaching assignments. (p 54)

ALL (Student) Employees: Tuition Deduction

Pay your tuition over the course of the semester with no late fees to help ease the burden of expensive months. (More info HERE). (p 78)


2. TSSU Collective Agreement Benefits (TA/TM/SI)

– 100% MSP Coverage of all employees, dependents, spouses, and partners. (pp 46-48)

– 1 month paid sick leave. (pp 49-50)
– Compassionate Leave: 5 paid business days leave for death or serious illness in a close family member or close friend. (p 50)
– Family Care Leave: 5 days unpaid leave per year to meet responsibilities related to care, health or education of a child in the employee’s care or for the care or health of any other member of the employee’s immediate family. (p 50)

3. TSSU Collective Agreement Benefits (ELC/ITP)

Page 48-49 in Collective Agreement
– 40% of MSP cost is covered by SFU for all employees, dependents, spouses, and partners
– 100% coverage of their Extended Health Plan for all employees, dependents, spouses, and partners
– 100% coverage of their Dental Care Plan for all employees, dependents, spouses, and partners
*** Note: An employee may apply or re-apply for health insurance coverage when the employee acquires new dependents, when a spouse or partner loses coverage under her/his plan, or when an employee no longer belongs to a spousal or partner’s plan, provided that such application or re-application is made within sixty (60) days of the event causing the application or re-application.

Pages 50-51 in Collective Agreement
– 12 paid sick days of sick leave per calendar year for full-time instructors and pro-rated paid sick days for part-time instructors. (Note: unused time cannot be rolled over).

– 12 months unpaid personal leave
** Note: If unpaid personal leave is for Academic Purposes which benefits the employer this time off shall be treated as continuous employment for the purposes of seniority. Instructors on unpaid leave may arrange to pay the cost required to maintain benefit coverage.
– 5 days working days paid compassionate leave.
– 5 days unpaid Family Care Leave per each employment year to meet responsibilities related to the care of health of any member of the ELC/ITP instructors immediate family.


4. Beyond the Collective Agreement

If a student (or postdoc) is being paid out of NSERC or CIHR grant for an RAship and is ineligible for EI, then they are eligible for 4 months (NSERC) or 6 months (CIHR) of 100% paid paternity leave (if they are the primary caregiver). Unfortunately SSHRC isn’t part of this.

The money for the leave is extra money from NSERC/CIHR so it doesn’t take away from the grant.

For maternity leave, in some ways 4 months of 100% might be preferable to some students, as after the 4 months you could come back to school / work part time without having to worry about EI clawbacks.

For paternity leaves, 100% for 4 months is pretty close to the maximum 55% for 35 weeks (assuming a consistent wage of course).

The starting place to find the information is here: