As part of our current round of collective bargaining, SFUFA and SFU teams have been meeting regularly since May. In similar fashion to our first bargaining round in 2015/16, relations at the bargaining table have been amicable, with both teams committed to making constructive improvements to the collective agreement and seeking to identify common ground wherever possible. As some will have noticed, the start of bargaining at SFU was delayed due to the sudden departure of the previous Executive Director of Faculty Relations, and would have been held back further had John O’Neil, the former Dean of Health Sciences, not agreed to return early from administrative leave to step into the role of Chief Negotiator for the University.
To date bargaining has been productive, with agreement reached on over half the non-monetary articles to be opened this round, and important progress made on several more. Out of respect for the bargaining process and all parties involved, a detailed account of the provisionally agreed and outstanding articles cannot be provided at this point.
On the important topic of pensions, the teams have had several discussions, including a preliminary meeting with a representative from the College Plan at which the remaining steps were outlined. In short, the College Plan actuaries have recently completed the Plan’s triennial valuation and have now turned to the task of providing a final costing of the proposed SFU transition. Details of this costing are expected late in August and a joint meeting of the bargaining teams is planned for September. In the meantime, due to the limited August availability of some members of the bargaining teams, bargaining has been placed on hold for the next few weeks.
The existing SFUFA/SFU collective agreement, which expired at the end of June, will remain in force until the new agreement is signed and ratified. Monetary issues have yet to be discussed but we expect, based on previous agreements, that any negotiated salary increases will be backdated as necessary to the beginning of the new agreement.
We thank members again for their ongoing interest, support, advice and patience as we continue with these tasks.
The SFUFA Bargaining Team