Staffing Quick Notes

These notes are provided for quick reference for SFU specific information. The collective agreement and policy provisions should be reviewed, where applicable, prior to making recruiting and selecting decisions.

For Positions Covered by CUPE Collective Agreement

Recruiting Process

  • Vacancies for Continuing or Temporary over 3 months must be posted (Article 13.02(a))
  • Vacancies for Temporary 3 months or less - call the Coordinator, Temporary Support Services at local 2-4366


  • For all part-time temporary, posted or not, wherever possible, students with the necessary qualifications and ability have priority without regard to seniority.
  • For temporary positions that are not posted and where student priority is not an issue, the Coordinator, Temporary Support Services assigns someone from the regular temporary pool based on the requirements in Article 13.01(b).
  • For posted vacancies the rules for selection are:
    (Note: the following does not apply to temporary part-time positions for which students are available.)
    • If one internal applicant has the minimum qualifications and is available, then externals are not considered and the qualified internal is selected (Article 13.01(a)).
    • If no available internal applicant has the minimum, then externals can be considered and one may be hired.
    • From an individual internal applicant perspective, if an internal does not have all minimum qualifications, then s/he is not entitled to any further consideration or comparison to other applicants.
    • If more than 1 available internal applicant has all minimum qualifications, then where there is a superior candidate that individual is selected even if s/he is junior to others who have all minimum qualifications (Article 13.04(c)).
    • If the available qualified internals are considered equal, then the senior qualified applicant is selected (Article 13.04(c)).

  • "Internal" for CUPE vacancies means:
    • Currently employed in the CUPE bargaining unit
    • On the CUPE temporary employees' seniority list
    • On the CUPE laid off list. (Article 13.01(a))

Work and study permits

  • Candidates on a work or study permit are eligible to be hired into temporary positions, provided they meet the following requirements:
    • The end date of the temporary assignment is prior to the expiry date of the permit
    • There are no conditions identified on the permit that restrict the candidate from accepting employment and working at SFU; and
    • The candidate will be able to provide a Social Insurance Number (SIN). IMPORTANT: We cannot ask to see the SIN until after an employee is hired and when the information is necessary for pay purposes.
  • SFU students on a study permit are eligible to be hired into temporary positions, provided they meet the above requirements and the requirements for working on/off campus which can be found at:

Process Issues

  • The selection process can be a two stage process where internal applicants are considered first and if none are found fully qualified, then external applicants are considered. Also note that late applicants (internal or external) can only be considered if there are no qualified internals in the timely group of applications.
  • The hiring supervisor is not expected to forget or ignore what s/he knows from working with an applicant, but must be genuinely prepared to be influenced and persuaded by the facts as they are revealed.
  • The hiring supervisor has a right to review the applicant's Employee File in Human Resources.
  • Always check References
    • Recommend a minimum of 3 - preferably supervisors where appropriate and possible.
    • Must have the applicant's permission prior to checking with anyone, including other supervisors at SFU.
  • Employee's request for Written Reasons under Article 13.02(e)
    • If did not meet all minimum qualifications, then list all not met and do not engage in a comparison with the successful applicant.
    • If met all, but successful applicant has superior qualifications explain how (with the successful applicant's consent).
    • If met all and considered equal to the successful candidate, indicate just that and explain that the successful applicant has more seniority.

Rules on the Length of Temporary Appointments

  • A temporary replacement may be hired in CUPE for leaves of absence of any duration. (Article 44.01(e) and Letter of Agreement).
  • Non-replacement temporary assignments in CUPE normally do not exceed 4 months, however in special cases a temporary, non-recurring position may be created for up to 12 months. A written explanation of special circumstances must be provided to the Union. (Article 2.01(c), final paragraph.)
  • For a temporary replacement resulting from a continuing vacancy, there is a 4-month limit if the employee has temporary status. If the employee is on a temporary transfer or temporary promotion from a continuing position, then the 4 month limit does not apply. (Letter of Agreement).

Start Rate

New employees are hired only at the "START" rate of the salary range and promoted employees receive the lowest step on the salary range that provides a 5% increase. (Appendices A-1 and A-2, Article 13.07)

Orientation, Probation and Trial Periods

  • The Department Orientation Checklist should be reviewed and completed at the start of the appointment.
  • The Probation Period is the first 4 months for new continuing employees or for temporary employees with appointments exceeding 4 months (Article 13.12(c)).
  • The Trial Period is 1 month for full-time and 2 months or 152 hours for part-time, and must be served in each position in which the employee has not already passed the trial period (Article 13.11).
  • Bi-weekly performance evaluations MUST be conducted during an employee's probation or trial period and you must review the evaluations with the employee.
  • Probation and Trial Periods may be extended by mutual written agreement between the University and the Union before the probation or trial period expires. Contact your HR Advisor at the earliest opportunity.

Positions Covered by APSA Policies (AD 10 Series) - How APSA Differs from CUPE

  • "Internal" means employed by SFU (AD10.1, section 3 - Definitions)
  • "Normally Administrative and Professional positions will be filled by 'Internal Candidates' "(AD10.3, subsection 5.03)
  • "A posting for a vacant Administrative/Professional Staff position requires a competition to select the best qualified candidate based on skills, experience and abilities" (AD10.3, subsection 2.02).
  • "An External Candidate may be appointed to an Administrative/Professional Staff position provided a thorough search for qualified Internal Candidates has been conducted". (AD10.3, subsection 5.04).
  • The selection process may not be a two step process for APSA positions. External candidates may be considered along with the internal candidates in order to select the "best qualified candidate".
  • For APSA positions, late applicants to postings are available to supervisors to review along with the timely applications.
  • For temporary positions in APSA, there are no time limits on the duration.
  • APSA salaries for initial employment or promotion can be set above the minimum step following appropriate consultation with or approval from HR. (Policy AD10.6, subsections 3.03 and 5.02).
  • The Probationary Period is the first 6 months of uninterrupted service in the continuing position (AD10.22).

Documentation of the Process

  • All resumes and cover letters, interview questions and notes, reference check notes or letters and tests (or any other written personal information) used in making decisions must be retained for a minimum of one year under FOI/POP legislation.