“With 90% voting in favour of taking job action, the TSSU has a mandate to fight for an equitable collective agreement. We are serious about being treated fairly, and clearly TSSU members are prepared to take action for that purpose,” said Derek Sahota, spokesperson for the TSSU.“After two frustrating years of bargaining, no offer to increase wages, and not a single agreement reached, it is time for the Employer to acknowledge our concernsand engage in some real bargaining,”said Sahota. “This vote is a loud message from our members to the employer at SFU – enough is enough. We have brought solutions to the bargaining table, and we expect the employer to participate constructively.”

Mr. Sahota was commenting on the results of the TSSU’s strike vote, completed today. “We have lost significant ground in the last few years between inflation, tuition increases, and no
wage increase in over three years. Our members do valuable teaching work at the University and that ought to be reflected in their working conditions and wages.”

The TSSU represents Teaching Assistants, those who deliver distance education, Sessional Instructors, and Instructors delivering English Language and Interpretation programs. TSSU
members provide the majority of classroom hours and teaching time to the undergraduate population at SFU.

“Teaching Assistants balance the demands of working with heavy responsibilities as Graduate students. Many Sessional and other Instructors must combine several jobs to make a living. In addition, our members are spread throughout three campuses, with disparate schedules. The fact that so many of them made the effort to come and vote ought to motivate our employer to come to the table and get serious about addressing their
concerns.”

The results are preliminary as a few ballots remain to be verified.
The TSSU membership will hold a Special General Meeting early next week to elect a Strike Coordinating Committee. That Committee will be responsible for coordinating job action.

The TSSU is scheduled to return to the bargaining table with the Employer on July 10th and 13th, 2012.