June Bargaining Summary

July 04, 2023

SFU is currently engaged in collective bargaining with its unions and professional association, with a philosophy oriented to collaborative negotiations that meet the core interests of all parties and upholds the sustainable and best interests for the entire SFU community.

Negotiations are also guided by the Province’s 2022 Shared Recovery Mandate which applies to all public sector employers with unionized employees whose collective agreement expired on or after December 31, 2021. To date, about 93% of unionized employees in the province have tentative or ratified collective agreements settled under the Shared Recovery Mandate.

The university is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with Poly Party. Congratulations to the bargaining teams on this tentative settlement that reflects the mutual interests of both parties. The ratification process is now underway among Poly Party members, the SFU Board of Governors as well as the University Public Sector Employers’ Association.

A central web page and regular updates on the status of bargaining with all employee groups is part of a commitment to be transparent and provide regular updates about the collective bargaining process for everyone at SFU.

The Collective Bargaining team has recently updated the Frequently Asked Questions section of the website to answer your questions about bargaining, strike action and pickets.


Employee group


APSA (Professional Association)

Parties collaborating on protocol and scheduling bargaining dates for July 

CUPE (Union)

Bargaining now underway

Poly Party (Union)

Parties reached tentative agreement through March 31, 2025

SFUFA (Union)

Parties continue to make progress, negotiations continue into July

TSSU (Certified Bargaining Unit)

Parties returning to negotiate at the bargaining table on July 6, 2023

TSSU (Research Assistants)

Negotiations on hold during union card drive


The university and APSA are currently discussing bargaining protocol and setting bargaining dates for July. The basic agreement provides the parties with a 30-day negotiating period. SFU’s labour relations team is committed to the bargaining process and hopeful that a deal can be reached within the negotiating period, and looks forward to productive negotiations.


Bargaining between the university and CUPE Local 3338 began on Wednesday, June 28. In the first days of bargaining, the parties discussed protocol and concepts for bargaining, before moving into exchanging non-monetary proposals. The parties have worked collaboratively in the lead up to negotiations providing for a productive start.

Poly Party

Following months of productive negotiations, we are pleased to share that the University and the Poly Party have reached a tentative agreement, covering employees represented by 8 separate trade unions working on SFU’s Burnaby campus. This agreement covers the period April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2025.

This tentative agreement is aligned with SFU’s initiative in becoming a living wage employer, while staying consistent with the Province’s 2022 Shared Recovery Mandate. We have received confirmation this morning that the tentative agreement has been ratified by Poly Party members. It will be recommended for approval by the University’s Board of Governors this week with more details to follow.

The university thanks both bargaining teams for their hard work and collaboration in reaching an agreement that reflects the mutual interests of both sides, including its commitments to equity and reconciliation.


The University and SFUFA continue to make progress in bargaining. Up to the end of June, the parties were meeting twice a month in 2023. Many articles are now signed off with informal exchanges continuing over the summer.

TSSU Certified Bargaining Unit

The university and TSSU met on June 8 to discuss existing proposals and an initial proposal for how to spend the 0.25% flexibility allocation before TSSU tendered 72-hour notice of strike and began strike action. The parties have agreed to return to the bargaining table on Thursday, July 6 to resume negotiations.

The university recognizes how difficult strike action is for all members of the SFU community, and the university’s bargaining team is looking forward to resuming negotiations with TSSU leadership to find positive, sustainable and mutual interest-based outcomes that meet the core needs of both parties and help reach a settlement as quickly as possible.

TSSU Research Assistants

On May 29, TSSU launched a new campaign encouraging RAs to sign union cards. The Voluntary Recognition Agreement states that the TSSU may apply directly to the Board for a variance rather than continuing the voluntary recognition path to certification. More information will be shared on this topic as it becomes available.