Get involved in your labour union!

All TSSU members are welcome to join any of TSSU's standing committees. Each committee has a different area of focus or interest.

To join a committee, email or see below for contact details of specific committees. General Membership meetings run three times a semester, and you can be ratified to committees during any General Membership meeting. After ratification, you are a member of the committee and may claim a stipend if eligible. See our calendar for details of both General Membership meetings and committee meetings.

As a committee member, you decide how many tasks and responsibilities you'd like to take on -- the amount and nature of the work is up to you. You are also free to end your membership of a committee at any time.

Chairing and minuting

Participating in TSSU committees also provides you with the opportunity to chair and/or minute meetings, if you so choose. To help members understand what is required for these roles -- and hopefully make chairing/minuting a less intimidating prospect -- we have prepared the following guides:

Committee stipends

All members who regularly participate with a committee are eligible for a stipend. The stipend for most committees is $150/semester - see the explanation of individual committees below for more information. Additionally, members are welcome (and encouraged) to attend and contribute to any committee meetings, although they will not be able to vote on motions or claim a stipend unless they have been ratified to the committee already.

For requesting stipends, committee stipend forms can be found in the display outside the TSSU office (AQ 5129), or on the TSSU website. First-time volunteers with TSSU should also complete a Volunteer Information Form. Once completed, submit the forms in the office or by email to

General Membership 

All members in good standing sit de facto as part the General Membership, which sets the goals and priorities of the union. The General Membership is not considered to be a committee but rather a deliberative body. Participation in General Membership meetings is not stipended and is chaired by the TSSU Chair. Meetings normally occur three times a semester, and a free meal is always provided. Members in attendance can discuss and vote on motions to determine the union's activities. If you would like to propose an agenda item or motion for consideration by the General Membership, please contact Motions leading to a change in TSSU's By-Laws must be announced at a GM, to be voted on at the subsequent GM.

Contract Committee

The Contract Committee was formed by membership vote at the February and March General Membership Meetings. Its main role is to bargain for a new Collective Agreement with the Employer. Currently, the Contract Committee has designed and sent out a membership survey for RAs; based on the results, the committee is now developing proposals to reach a first Collective Agreement for RAs. Contract Committee meetings and bargaining sessions are open to all members, and details are available on the TSSU public calendar, alongside a website dedicated to updates on the process. The stipend is $150/month for the first 12 hours of work, and then $20/hour for each hour over to a maximum of $1200/month; hourly totals do not roll over between months. For more information about Contract Committee or the bargaining process, email

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee develops the yearly budget, suggests expenditures or investments for any and all surpluses the union achieves, and reports on the budget as requested by the General Membership. The committee meets one or two times a semester, and the stipend is $150/semester. For more information or to get involved, email

Grievance Committee

The Grievance Committee strategizes and researches grievance matters brought forward to TSSU. Complaints are dealt with via the grievance processes set out in the Collective Agreement. The committee meets an average of once a month, and the stipend is $150/semester. For more information or to get involved, email

Internal Relations Committee

The Internal Relations Committee (IR) develops and maintains the By-Laws and Policies as requested by the General Membership. The committee regularly reviews the By-Laws and Policies to ensure that TSSU's governing documents are consistent with its goals. Prior familiarity with the By-Laws & Policies is not required for potential members of the committee. The committee meets approximately once a month, and the stipend is $150/semester for the first two meetings, and $50 for each additional meeting within a semester. For more information or to get involved, email or

Membership Mobilization Committee

The Membership Mobilization Committee (MMC) educates, informs, and mobilizes the membership around priorities identified by the General Membership. These include the progress of bargaining, union drives, campaigns, and members' rights. The committee meets as often as once a week and works regularly together on outreach materials, door knocking, and other mobilizing activities, and has a special stipend schedule to reflect this: the stipend is $100/month for the first 6 hours of work, and then $20/hour for each hour over to a maximum of $1200/month. Hourly totals do not roll over between months. Monthly totals will not be allowed to roll over into next month's totals. For more information or to get involved, email

Occupational Health & Safety Committee

The TSSU Health and Safety Committee (THSC) is responsible for matters relating to TSSU members’ health and safety, including promoting the protection of the health and safety rights of TSSU members, identifying health and safety hazards and risks faced – or potentially faced – by TSSU members in their workplaces and promote specific actions to reduce them, as well as provide support and advice to TSSU Executive and General membership concerning health and safety. At SFU there are 11 different Local Joint Health & Safety committees (LJHSC), each representing a different area of campus, and the TSSU Health & Safety committee has a representative on seven of the SFULocal Joint Health & Safety committees (LJHSC). THSC meetings are held three times a semester, and the stipend is $150/semester from TSSU, along with hourly compensation from SFU for LJHSC work. The role involves reviewing health & safety reports, advocating for the health and safety of TSSU members at LJHSC meetings, and reporting back to the TSSU. For more information or to get involved, email

Executive Committee

The Executive committee consists of elected members, but as with other TSSU committees, any member can attend Executive meetings. Executive officers implement policy as determined by the membership, and their duties are outlined in the By-Laws & Policies. Executive officers must participate actively on committees (including the Executive). Executive committee meets an average of twice a month.

See here for more information on the duties and elected members of the Executive Committee. Elections occur twice a year for Executive positions. All TSSU members can vote and/or run for Executive positions.

Stewards Committee

The Stewards committee consists of a network of departmental stewards who engage and inform TSSU members in their respective departments (or schools or faculties). Stewards are elected by the TSSU members in their departments on a yearly basis, and are required to report to departmental caucuses (such as the Graduate Student Caucus) and to the Stewards committee. Stewards meet three times a semester, and the stipend is $250/semester. For more information or to get involved, email

Vancouver and District Labour Council (VDLC) representatives

The VDLC is a labour organization that represents approximately 60,000 workers from over 80 affiliated unions in the Metro Vancouver area. TSSU has four seats on the VDLC. Elections for these four TSSU representative positions happen at the January GM, with nominations opening at the November GM. Duties include attending and representing TSSU at these meetings, and reporting any relevant business back to TSSU. Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 PM, and the position is stipended at $150/semester. For more information, email

Solidarity and Social Justice Committee (currently on abeyance)

The Solidarity & Social Justice committee (SSJC) is temporarily on abeyance, but will be operating in the future. This committee promotes social justice opportunities and works with other activist groups, both at and outside of SFU, and makes financial donations to community organizations. SSJC meets an average of three times a semester, and the stipend is $150/semester. Many of SSJC's activities have been taken up by the Membership Mobilization Committee until the SSJC is back in operation. For more information, email

Anti-Harassment Committee (currently on abeyance)

The Anti-Harassment Committee is temporarily on abeyance, but will be operating in the future. The committee campaigns and works with other on-campus groups on bullying and harassment issues at SFU. The committee meets an average of three times a semester, and the stipend is $150/semester. For more information, please email

Since 1978

The Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU)