Contract Worker Justice: Creating a Fairer SFU

July 13, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the inequities that exist in our communities and in our workplaces. Simon Fraser University has publicly committed to “creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.” But is this community built on the backs of our most precarious workers? 

While food and cleaning service workers are an essential part of the SFU community, they are outsourced to third-party companies, and not directly employed by SFU. This outsourcing practice results in a workforce with lower wages and less job security than other workers who are part of the campus community. Unlike other staff at SFU, this workforce, which is primarily comprised of women, racialized people, and immigrants, doesn’t receive a living wage, extended health benefits, or an appropriate health and dental care plan.

Join us to hear from frontline workers and community leaders about contract worker justice at SFU and strategize about how to bring food service and custodial workers back in house as full members of the campus community.

This event is presented with support from the SFU Labour Studies Program.

Learn more about the campaign.

Get in touch with the Justice of Contract Workers organizers.


Jade Ho (she/her)

Yi Chien Jade Ho 何宜謙 is currently an education PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University and a steering committee member of the Vancouver Tenants Union. Jade has been a housing-justice organizer for the past 6 years working primarily in Vancouver’s Chinatown fighting against gentrification and racism. She is also a labour organizer with the Teaching Support Staff Union and working as a research assistant with Contract Worker Justice. In 2019, she was part of a successful unionization drive for research assistants and grant employees at SFU, making RAs at SFU the first unionized research workers in West Coast Canada. Her doctoral work centers on developing a radical pedagogy of place through decolonial lenses focusing on settlers of color and their connection to place, land and identity.


Mitch Hoganson (he/him)
Senior supervisor with catering services at SFU's Diamond Alumni Centre

Mitch is a twenty two year veteran of food services at SFU. He is the senior supervisor at Diamond alumni centre. His duties include running special events ranging from weddings and conferences, to VIP events for SFU. Over his years at SFU, Mitch has been a strong proponent for bringing food services in-house. He has had many conversations with the university on this topic, that were always met with the same response -"We are not ready to take it on. That is for sometime down the road". Mitch believes there is no better time then now for SFU to do the right thing. 

Fun stuff: Mitch considers himself to be a fair and honest truth teller, who is sarcastic, funny, and a bit of a rebel.

Hon. Katrina Chen (she/her) 
NDP MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed & Minister of State for Child Care

Katrina Chen was elected as the MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed in May 2017 and re-elected in October 2020. She was sworn in as the Minister of State for Child Care in July 2017 and serves as a member of the Cabinet Committee on Social Initiatives and the Cabinet Working Group on COVID. 

Prior to her election as an MLA, Katrina served as a Trustee on the Burnaby Board of Education, and worked in both provincial and federal constituency offices for over 10 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Simon Fraser University with a major in political science and a minor in history, as well as a certificate in Immigration Laws, Policies and Procedures from the University of British Columbia. 

Katrina has also worked as a community organizer with ACORN, emceed for major cultural festivals, and has volunteered as an executive member for several local non-profit organizations. Katrina was born and raised in Taiwan, and moved to British Columbia many years ago.

Jim Sinclair
Adjunct Professor of Labour Studies at Simon Fraser University

Jim Sinclair current positions include; Chair of the Fraser Health Authority, Director, Canada Post Board and Adjunct Professor of Labour Studies at Simon Fraser University.

Jim Sinclair previously served on the BC Hydro Board and the Vancouver/Richmond Health Board. Jim was the president of the BC Federation of Labour from 1999 – 2015 and vice-president of the United Fisherman and Allied Workers’ Union from 1982 to 1999.

Jim Sinclair holds an honorary doctor of laws from Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Karen Ranalletta (she/her)
President of CUPE BC

Paul Voykin (he/him)
Cook at the Diamond Alumni Center and SFU's Catering Department 

Paul Voykin has been a cook at the Diamond Alumni Center and SFU's Catering Department since 2007, and his work has contributed to the success of hundreds of weddings and thousands of on-campus events. Paul emerged as a union leader during the SFU Dining Services job security fight of 2017, where a majority strike vote secured the jobs of Unite Here Local 40 members against the threat of a contract flip. Since then, his growing passion for labour activism led him to work more closely with Local 40, where he has been organizing full-time since their Vancouver hotel strike in 2019.