The Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU) at Simon Fraser University stands in solidarity with CUPE 561 First Transit workers. TSSU is well aware of the struggles First Transit workers are facing and, more than anything, we are familiar with the employer dragging their feet in bargaining.
It is egregious that First Transit has, for so long, taken advantage of the difficult position transit workers face in not wanting to impact the public to achieve a fair deal. This difficult position has been used against First Transit workers to keep wages low, not provide pensions or other benefits, and maintain the precarity of transit workers. Given the rapidly increasing cost of living, it is disgraceful for First Transit not to increase wages as this effectively represents a pay cut for workers already struggling to make ends meet. Further, to leave workers without a new contract - one that represents the updated needs of citizens in an increasingly expensive city - since April 2020, throughout the height of a pandemic, is appalling.
As an independent union beginning job actions soon, we understand that striking is not easy, especially for workers in positions on which the public so heavily rely. For this, we commend your ambition to achieve a fair collective agreement and support you in striking. As well, we understand that striking requires endless and exhausting work on the part of the union. Thus, we admire and look to your strength and resilience, and share our support while you fight for a fair deal. We look forward to hearing of a well-earned victory, and look forward to celebrating alongside you.
The Teaching Support Staff Union
Feminist, directly democratic, and non-hierarchical since 1978.