Education Faculty Council adopts motion regarding ongoing teacher strike
In its meeting in the morning of Monday, September 15, the Education Faculty Council, the governing body of the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University, approved a formal motion regarding the ongoing teachers' strike. In particular, faculty members expressed a sense of urgency regarding the hardships experienced by teachers enrolled in SFU programs.
Early on Tuesday, a tentative agreement was reached between teachers and their employer. While welcoming this development, the faculty is continuing its efforts to implement the measures listed in the resolution, recognizing that conditions of financial hardship will persist for some time for many teachers.
The resolution, adopted by unanimous consent, was worded as follows:
"The Faculty Council: expresses its concern over the ongoing impasse in the teachers' strike, which we view as harmful to children, families, teachers and trust in the political system in BC; affirms that, in a democratically elected, taxpayer-supported governmental system, education is a primary and essential responsibility which requires adequate funding and fair working conditions for teachers; resolves immediately to establish a subcommittee to undertake the following measures:
- providing information to our students and former students on the resources available to help mitigate the negative effects of loss of income;
- work with the SFU Faculty Association to establish a fund to help support teachers in financial hardship because of the job action;
- explore ways to bring our collective expertise to bear on the substantive issues at the heart of this dispute over the longer term, in partnership with stakeholders and concerned parties at all levels of the education system."
Following the adoption of the motion, the Faculty of Education began collaborating with SFU's Student Services and the SFU Graduate Student Society to establish an Emergency Teacher Graduate Student Fund. About 1200 graduate students, most of them practising teachers, are currently registered with the Faculty of Education. Faculty and staff are encouraged to contribute to the fund in response to the dire financial need currently experienced by many of these students.
In order to contribute to the fund mentioned above, make cheques payable to "Simon Fraser University" with "Emergency Teacher Graduate Student Fund" in the memo line. Contributions can be dropped off on campus in the Dean's Office (Education Building, Room 8523)
or mailed to:
Emergency Teacher Graduate Student Fund
The Graduate Student Society at SFU
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6
Note: please check back for updates on the status of the Emergency Teacher Graduate Student Fund.
In addition to this fund, SFU provides other services to students experiencing hardships during their studies. See a listing of resources and support here.