Membership votes overwhelmingly for strike

The votes have been counted and TSSU members have decided with a 94 percent mandate to strike, with a total of 982 yes votes. The success of this vote was made possible by over 1000 members who showed up to cast a ballot, with dozens of volunteers who knocked on doors, worked shifts at the polls, put up posters, encouraged colleagues to vote, and did so many other tasks that made up the behind the scenes work. Thank you for this massive collective effort that has shown the employer our strength to mobilize and that we are seriously prepared to take action to get to a fair deal.

Members have received information through email about upcoming General Meetings and Greater Committee Meetings to elect and ratify a strike committee and decide how strike action will proceed.

How has the employer responded to our Strike Vote?

Rather than face our Collective Power, the Employer has used three desperate legal channels in the last 48-hours to slow down strike action. This is good news, as they can only do this one time throughout the strike, and they have used up these tactics early. The employer has:

  1. Obstructed implementation of Essential Services. The Employer has been required by the Labour Board to work with all Unions on campus to determine the very limited number of workers who are “necessary or essential to prevent immediate and serious danger to the health, safety or welfare of the residents of BC.” The Labour Board has had to intervene to start the process due to SFU HR’s long inaction. Now the Employer is trying to insist that about 10 times the number of workers are essential compared to what the Board set in 2015. 
  2. Sent a legal declaration claiming that our strike vote is void. The Employer claims that we have failed to bargain adequately, even though we have bargained for 37 sessions since March 2021. The employer thinks we should wait indefinitely and beg for their generosity, but TSSU members have shown through our strong strike mandate that we disagree. We will be going to the Labour Board soon to fight back and we will use all of our efforts to win.
  3. Sent a notice of mediation. The Employer has also filed with the Labour Board to call TSSU to a mediation session. We may be legally required to attend this mediation and cannot take strike action until this is resolved. We know that SFU HR will again come unprepared for mediation The membership is ready to strike, and this is how we will get to our contract.

We are not currently on strike, but we are one large step closer to having a strike as a legal option to get a fair contract. The Employer’s desperate union-busting tactics have revealed just how afraid they are of us, as they know the University cannot function without our teaching and research labour. We will not be deterred.

Since 1978

The Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU)