Dear SFUFA Members:
The Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU) has updated its planned picket lines for the coming week.
As announced previously, the Burnaby campus will be picketed tomorrow, Tuesday, October 3rd.
Pickets for the remainder of the week are expected to be as follows:
- Wednesday, October 4th – Surrey campus
- Thursday, October 5th – Burnaby campus
- Friday, October 6th – Vancouver campus
The withdrawal of all teaching work performed by TSSU members continues, regardless of where pickets may be.
The TSSU is asking for faculty support. Members who intend to respect the picket line should avoid any of the following:
- holding any classes on a campus that is behind a picket line;
- moving any class online to avoid a picket line;
- pre-recording lectures to be uploaded in event of a picket line.
With regard to committee work, the TSSU has indicated that committee meetings related to graduate student progress should be delayed if possible, but may be moved online if they are necessary for student progress. More general administrative meetings are intended to be captured by the picket line, and moving these to avoid the impact of the picket would be deemed a violation of the picket.
SFUFA members are reminded that they should not perform work that would be otherwise performed by a TSSU member, or re-organize work so as to bypass the impact of job action. If requested to do so by the University, please let us know.
Please note, also, that TSSU policy asks its members NOT to report their intentions regarding picket lines; please do not ask TSSU members whether they intend to work, but rather presume they will not be working. Research Assistance and many research support workers are also TSSU members and cannot cross a picket line. Faculty members should expect that research work will not be performed by these employees if pickets are up.
The TSSU’s overtime ban also continues to be in effect.
In the event of job action impacting the Burnaby campus, the SFUFA Office will be closed as we respect the TSSU picket line. No Association business will be conducted in any affected location.
Strikes can at times cause inconvenience and even friction. We would encourage you to remember that the TSSU is comprised of people who are both colleagues and students of faculty, and their choice to take job action arises from their own experiences with the University administration.
The Association is itself in bargaining right now, and works closely with other campus labour groups on areas of mutual interest, and we will be organizationally respecting any and all picket action.
As a matter of conscience and also under SFU policy GP05, members have the right to refuse to cross picket lines. Similarly, SFUFA Members cannot be required to modify their courses in order to minimize or mitigate the effect of job action. A guide to faculty rights and responsibilities in the event of job action is available on the SFUFA website at: https://www.sfufa.ca/agreements-and-policies/quick-answers/info-on-sfu-strike-policies/
We would encourage you familiarize yourself with it, and please do not hesitate to reach out to us with questions.
Please note: the University may deduct salary for work missed as the result of a job action. If so, they may deduct 1/10th of bi-weekly salary for each day missed, but generally deduct only for those specific days that classes or required on-campus duties are affected. For those members who have more regularly-scheduled hours, a picket may impact the workplace for only a portion of a day. In these situations, deductions are based on the hours missed. Please see the link above for further details.
Strike Pay may be available to SFUFA members after four days of wage loss resulting from one’s respect for a picket line. Paid at $88 per day with eligibility beginning as of the fourth day of salary loss, the benefit is not intended to replace one’s salary but to alleviate financial hardship and assist members whose pay is docked as a result of their refusal to cross a picket line.
For TSSU strike updates, members may see:
Information from the TSSU at https://bargaining.tssu.ca/
SFU’s labour update page https://www.sfu.ca/dashboard/faculty-staff/bargaining/updates/tssu.html
We will continue to update you with developments as they become available.