Salary Equity Agreement

The following message from Dan Laitsch, President, SFU Faculty Association and Peter Keller, SFU’s Vice-President, Academic and Provost, announces terms of an agreement between the University and the Association made in response to our joint gender salary equity process.


In 2013 SFUFA and Academic Women made a request to the Vice-President Academic that an Equity Audit be conducted of SFUFA member salaries. SFUFA and the University established a joint working group with a mandate to examine whether gender-based salary inequities were present at SFU.


The working group considered and analyzed longitudinal data over a number of years. Their report on the findings of this analysis was completed in July 2015. The report was publically released and open meetings were held with SFUFA and the Vice-President Academic to discuss the findings.


A second joint committee, the Salary Equity Recommendation Committee, was tasked with preparing a report that addressed: 1) possible methods of dealing with inequities identified in the previous report; 2) mechanisms for preventing future inequities from developing; and 3) establishing a process to monitor for emerging salary inequities on a continuing basis.


The Salary Equity Recommendations Committee presented its findings in early September 2016. The report including the recommendations can be found here.1


Regarding monetary adjustments designed to address the gap, the Salary Equity Recommendation Committee considered but ruled out both a compensation model based on a Below-the-Line Correction and a comprehensive Individual Case Review. They opted instead to recommend a Group Award, as has been the method of choice to correct gender salary gaps by many other universities in Canada. The University and the Faculty Association accept the reasoning supporting that recommendation.


The University and the Faculty Association have agreed to a Memorandum of Agreement as a negotiated settlement to address the identified pay equity issue attributable to gender based on the recommendations of the joint committee.


There are two components to the salary adjustments that will be made to address the gender-based salary gap:


  1. All female, full-time, research faculty members on tenure-track or in tenured positions will be given a 1.7% lift to their salary effective September 3, 2016.


This salary increase is a negotiated settlement to deal with the pay equity issue, and is unrelated to the collective bargaining process between the parties. Other across the board increases and biennial salary review increases are unaffected by this salary adjustment.


  1. The University will establish a fund of up to $4.8M to provide redress to female faculty members. The compensation will be paid by one-time lump sums, differentiated based in part on the number of years that a particular individual would have been affected by the identified salary gap. The method and details of the distribution of this fund will be agreed between the University and the Faculty Association, with individuals contacted about specifics as soon as they have been calculated in the new year (anticipated sometime in February).


The Final Report of the Salary Equity Recommendation Committee makes a number of additional recommendations intended to prevent continued issues with gender-based salary inequities. A new Collective Agreement was under negotiation between the University and SFUFA while the Committee was deliberating. This new Collective Agreement has now been ratified. The Agreement does address some of the additional recommendations, and begins to address others. Working forward, the SFUFA-SFU Joint Committee will therefore consider how the additional recommendations might be implemented where they are Collective Agreement matters to be negotiated between the parties.


The Final Report of the Salary Equity Recommendation Committee also discussed a number of structural institutional recommendations to prevent further inequities from developing, and includes a number of suggested administrative and process priorities that have implications reaching beyond the SFUFA bargaining unit and into institutional priorities, budgeting, and staffing. The University is committed to making changes in response to and consistent with the principles that animate these recommendations. In making these decisions, the University will consult with the Association and be guided by best practices and resourcing at other BC universities. The University will need to take time to evaluate appropriate structural adjustments, priorities, processes and resourcing. The Association will be consulted throughout this process. The University will report back on its evaluation and response to these recommendations by June 30, 2017.


Peter Keller                                                                                         Dan Laitsch

Vice-President, Academic and Provost                                    President, SFU Faculty Association