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A Message to TSSU Members
I am writing to acknowledge that we received 72-hour notice of strike from TSSU’s certified bargaining unit. The university respects your right to take job action and appreciate the signal it sends, and I want to let you know that I hear you.
Negotiating a collective agreement is complex and I recognize it can sometimes put unintended strain on a relationship between an employer and employees. I acknowledge this and want to thank you for your important contributions to this university.
I also want to share information about the result of the strike vote. TSSU’s communication notes that “91% vote to strike.” SFU’s bargaining team requested the strike vote breakdown, and notes that of the 875 employees eligible to vote, 401 employees were issued ballots, 207 of those ballots were returned, with 188 in favour of a strike, 19 against, and 0 ballots spoiled.
SFU, like all universities in British Columbia, is governed by the Public Sector Employers’ Council (PSEC). Each bargaining cycle, PSEC creates a bargaining mandate that all public sector employers with unionized employees are bound to.
In our most recent proposal, SFU’s bargaining team tabled the maximum allowable monetary package under the PSEC mandate:
- Year 1 – a flat increase of $0.25/hour, plus 3.24%
- Year 2 – 5.5% plus a potential Cost of Living Adjustment to a maximum of 6.75% (Maximum 6.75% triggered as of March 21, 2023)
- Year 3 – 2% plus a potential Cost of Living Adjustment to a maximum of 3%
In addition, there is a negotiable Flexibility Allocation of up to 0.25% in years 1 and 2 to support mutually beneficial outcomes for both parties. In the absence of a proposal from TSSU on how to use the Flexibility Allocation, SFU’s bargaining team tabled a non-binding proposal on June 8. SFU’s proposal is to use the entire 0.25% Flexibility Allocation to create a learning and skills development program to enrich the development of TSSU members.
Despite this healthy offer, the parties were unable to reach agreement and TSSU has indicated their intent to pursue job action rather than continuing negotiations at the bargaining table.
SFU's bargaining team has offered to be available at any time to resume negotiations and work toward a fair deal that works for everyone. To date, TSSU has declined to schedule any further bargaining meetings. We invite TSSU back to the bargaining table to ensure these wage increases and Flexibility Allocation can be applied to you as quickly as possible.
In the meantime, SFU’s bargaining team continues to look for solutions to present to TSSU that could resolve collective bargaining, avoid job action and reach a fair deal with members when TSSU is prepared to return to the table and negotiate.
You can stay informed by reading TSSU updates on SFU’s Collective Bargaining website: https://www.sfu.ca/dashboard/faculty-staff/bargaining/updates/tssu.html
Thank you for your contributions to our university, and for your continued interest in this collective bargaining process.
Yabome Gilpin-Jackson, PhD
Vice-President, People, Equity, Inclusion
Simon Fraser University