Work to review contract vs. in-house cleaning and food services

September 10, 2021

This past May, I responded to the leaders of the Contract Workers Justice group about their call to transfer cleaning and food service staff to be employees of SFU. In the letter that followed our meeting, we committed to begin work on a case for change in the Fall of 2021, with more information about the university’s financial outlook. 

As a community-engaged research university, our expertise is in academics and research. Where we do not have expertise, SFU has been a progressive and innovative leader working with contracted providers, local entrepreneurs, and working with social infrastructure to make a positive impact. 

We wish to remain a leader with respect to progressive working conditions. Although we understand the desire to review contract service arrangements, replacing services or changing a service model must be considered with care and attention, and must also balance concern for tuition increases and the university’s multi-year recovery from the pandemic. 

SFU has hired Deloitte to conduct an analysis of in-house vs. contract sourced cleaning and food service options for the university. Deloitte is a leading global provider of audit and assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax, and related services. Their analysis will determine the value, risks, and impacts to university and relevant stakeholder groups for each of the service delivery models. This work begins this September and we expect a final report by later this fall.  

Both food service and cleaning employee groups are employed by companies that SFU has contractual relationships with. These employee groups are also represented by unions who have collective agreements in place with their respective employers.  We value these relationships, and we will consult with these contractors and unions as we consider the way forward.

Following completion of the final report, SFU leadership will discuss the findings and make a recommendation to our Board of Governors. We anticipate this will occur in Spring 2022.

SFU is committed to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive community where all feel welcome, safe, accepted, and appreciated. We care about both employees and contractors who work at SFU’s campuses, and we will continue to look for ways to encourage fair employment for all.