TSSU issues 72-hour strike notice

June 09, 2023

This message was updated on Monday, June 12 at 10:30 am to include answers to frequently asked questions. 

Following continued negotiation efforts and mediated sessions with the BC Labour Relations Board, the Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU) has issued the university 72-hour strike notice on Friday, June 9.

A resulting strike could begin as early as 11:21 AM on Monday, June 12. TSSU indicates that intended job action is a ban on overtime to commence Monday morning, and no picket lines or work disruptions are expected at this time. The university has invoked the Strike Steering Committee and the University Strike Plan in preparation for job action.

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.

A TSSU strike has the potential to significantly disrupt SFU students’ academic pursuits and adversely impact other members of the community. That is why SFU’s focus is to pursue all avenues that restart productive negotiations.

In our most recent proposal, SFU’s bargaining team tabled the maximum allowable monetary package under the PSEC mandate. 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 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 bargaining table and continue negotiations.

We recognize that this is a challenging time and want you to know that supports are available, even during job action.

  • Employees who are concerned about job action can connect with their supervisor to learn about business continuity and essential services requirements and connect with their union to learn more about their rights and responsibilities during a strike. The Employee and Family Assistance Program is also available. 
  • Students who are feel uneasy about the impacts of a TSSU strike can connect with SFU Health and Counselling and MySSP for 24/7 mental health support.

We care about the academic success of our students, supporting our outstanding faculty and staff and nurturing a thriving, world-class research environment. We are focused on resolving this challenging situation as quickly as possible.

Stay informed about Collective Bargaining with TSSU and SFU’s other unions and professional association by visiting the Collective Bargaining central hub.


Yabome Gilpin-Jackson, PhD
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Vice-President, People, Equity, Inclusion
Simon Fraser University

TSSU Strike FAQs

What was TSSU’s strike vote process?

The University cannot comment on TSSU’s strike vote process. The result of TSSU’s strike vote was shared in the spirit of transparency and provided without interpretation, and is the same information provided by TSSU’s receiving officer to the BC Labour Relations Board. 

TSSU has also informed us that no eligible employees were denied ballots. 401 ballots were the number of ballots issued to the polling stations and additional ballots are made available as needed. This is standard practise for in-person votes. 

Why am I seeing two different times indicated for when the strike will begin?

Under the Labour Code, 72-hour strike notice must be filed with the BC Labour Relations Board before a legal strike can occur. The LRB contacted both the university and TSSU’s chief negotiator indicating that they received 72-hour strike notice at 11:21 am on Friday, June 9, 2023, and the notice requirement will be complete at 11:21 am on Monday, June 12, 2023.