Philosophy, Mandate and Process

Learn more about SFU's labour relations philosophy, the provincial bargaining mandate and step-by-step information on the bargaining process.

SFU Labour Relations Philosophy

  1. Engage in the spirit of collegial governance – joint conversation, dialogue and engagement of faculty members and university administration and meaningful engagement with all employee groups
  2. Centre reconciliation and equity in decision-making - ensure that bargaining commitments reflect the reconciliation and equity commitments that the university has agreed to
  3. Focus on interest-based outcomes – seek win-win collaboration to meet the core interests and needs of all parties
  4. Engage with mutual respect and reciprocity – recognize the contributions of each group and communicate in the spirit of mutual benefit
  5. Act with positive intent to uphold the sustainable and best interest of the university – expectation that all parties work to support and enable the university to fulfill SFU’s vision, purpose, commitments and priorities

Provincial mandate

Public sector bargaining in British Columbia is governed by the Provincial Government, through the Public Sector Employers’ Council Secretariat (PSEC). SFU’s collective bargaining mandate is set by the Provincial Government, through the 2022 Shared Recovery Mandate, as well as by SFU's Strategic Vision and the priorities laid out in the SFU Academic Plan for 2019-2024. 


Each of SFU’s employee groups has a collective agreement which expires either at the end of 2021 or during 2022. Once agreements expire, each union or professional association notifies the university of its intent to negotiate a new agreement.

In preparation for bargaining to begin, the university is required to submit bargaining plans to the Public Sector Employers’ Council Secretariat (PSEC) for approval, as they oversee all public sector human resources. The plans are informed by SFU’s Strategic Vision, the 2019-2024 Academic Plan, PSEC’s 2022 Shared Recovery Mandate, and extensive pre-bargaining consultations with the Provost, Deans, Deans’ Advisory Committees, and key administrative staff with involvement from the Vice-President, Academic and Faculty Relations.

The SFU employer collective bargaining teams for faculty and staff groups have a great depth of experience and knowledge, and include broad representation from each employee group.

  • The University’s collective bargaining team for faculty, laboratory instructors and librarians represented by the Faculty Association of SFU (SFUFA) is led by the Faculty Relations team with participation from representatives in decanal and associate decanal roles. 
  • The University's collective bargaining teams for staff groups represented by CUPE, TSSU, Poly Party and APSA is led by the Labour Relations team in Human Resources, with participation from representatives in supervisory and management roles across the University.