News & Updates 

UPDATE:   345 Research Assistants have officially become employees of the university as part of this initiative.

October 14, 2020

This number will continue to rise as the RPI team adds the preparation and processing of Offers of Employment for RA appointments with end dates beyond March 1, 2021 to their activities over the coming months. Congratulations to our growing body of university employed research personnel!

Welcome to SFU Employment: Research Assistants

September 18, 2020

More than 160 Research Assistants (RAs) are now officially employees of the university! Many have held appointments in the past and many are new to SFU – congratulations to everyone! Thanks to those who completed the necessary documentation and to those who processed the appointments quickly. 

The first group of eligible RAs has been transitioned from being employed directly by the Principal Investigator to being employed by the university. Those in Fund 13 & the 30s who started or will start an appointment this semester received or will receive formal offers of employment reflecting the terms and conditions agreed to with their Supervisors.

This employee group will continue to be managed in alignment with BC’s Employment Standards Act and be entitled to statutory benefits (EI, CPP, WCB and EHT), and will now share the value of consistent application of university policies and practices and the rights associated with employment status. This includes the right to unionize; RAs who sign offers of employment may also be eligible to join the TSSU.

Compliance requirements supporting the new employment relationship means employment contracts and employee files need to be created based on information provided by their Supervisors and/or department administration staff, which involves a degree of time and effort. The project team is grateful for the contributions of Department leadership, a cross-department working group and members of Payroll, Finance and Research Accounting in shaping the necessary processes and documents, and to the faculty members and staff who participated in the onboarding steps required for this new employee group.

Together we welcome the first set of our valuable Research Assistants to SFU employment status!

What’s Next

The RPI project team will continue to process Payroll Appointment Forms (PAFs) and create contracts for new RA appointments under Fund 13 or the 30s for this semester, then will focus on transitioning existing RAs (those appointed prior to August with end dates beyond September).

We will also be reviewing feedback and suggestions received during this initial rollout, and will refine processes and documents as appropriate as we prepare to transition additional groups of RAs in the new year.

The information gathered throughout this process is being shared with Labour Relations to support their preparation for the collective bargaining process for those eligible RAs who become employees of the university.




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