SFUFA Announces Collection of Cards for Certification

Dear Members:

At its meeting on January 16, the SFUFA Executive voted to proceed with the collection of cards to support a certification ballot, cards to be collected beginning in February.
Members who wish to assist with the collection of cards may contact the SFUFA office directly.

The process that now unfolds is governed by BC’s Labour Relations Code, which is linked to the SFUFA website at http://www.sfufa.ca/current-issues/unionization/resources/

Briefly, it runs as follows:

1) Members will be asked if they wish to sign a card in favour of a certification vote. Under the Labour Relations Code, the card must state that the signer wishes to be a member of the SFU Faculty Association, understanding that the Association intends to seek certification. This wording is a matter of law, and is required for a card to be valid.

2) If and only if at least 45% of members sign such cards may SFUFA apply to the Labour Relations Board for certification. All cards must be signed within a 90 day period; anything outside of that period will be deemed invalid.

3) The LRB would then appoint an officer to examine the cards and determine whether the bargaining unit is appropriate and the threshold for a vote has been met. If so, a hearing would likely be called to discuss the application with balloting to follow.

4) The certification vote would be conducted by secret ballot, under the authority of the LRB. The process and timeline would be set by the Board rather than by SFUFA, though we might make specific requests, i.e. that balloting take place at all campuses, and that it extend over more than one day. Ultimately, though, it is the LRB that will decide.

5) If the majority of members participating in the ballot vote in favour of certification, the Board would recognize SFUFA as a union under the law and we and the University would prepare to bargain a first legally-recognized collective agreement.

The collection of cards is by no means the end of the conversation. During this process, we will continue to offer opportunities for members to ask questions and discuss the issue in more detail, and will facilitate meetings of members who wish to discuss specific concerns or hear from a specific perspective. We will also continue with our general member outreach in order to hear from you on any issue that might be of concern, whether or not related to the topic of certification.

We anticipate that events will be held on all campuses in the first week of February to initiate the card collection process. Dates and times will be posted as soon as they can be confirmed.

Members seeking information on certification are encouraged to visit the SFUFA website; frequently-asked-questions are posted there, as are links to the Labour Relations Board, the Code itself, and a guide to certification produced by the LRB. The relevant page can be found here – http://www.sfufa.ca/current-issues/unionization/resources/

We thank you for sharing your opinions with us to guide our decision-making.