Advocacy and Advising
If you experience a problem or need information to help resolve a difficulty in your working life at SFU, SFUFA is available to assist.
As bargaining agent, SFUFA can act as your legal representative in employment-related matters. This means that you have the right to
- consult with the Association at any time
- provide the Association with any information or documentation related to your work
- request that SFUFA officially represent you in employment-related dealings with the university administration
There can be no reprisal or retaliation from the administration for your having sought the advice and assistance of the Association.
The scope of issues we deal with is vast. Questions of policy interpretation, assistance with collegial matters, advice on overturning minor decisions, retirement planning, and so on – these are daily affairs. We also, however, deal regularly with promotion and tenure cases, biennial reviews and leave denials, and assist members with appointment negotiations or renewals. In terms of more formal complaints or legal processes, we assist in reaching agreements between members and the administration, address bullying, discrimination and harassment, help to arrange workplace accommodations, and deal with issues from misconduct investigations to scholarly integrity hearings to sexual harassment and physical threat. It is a very wide range of services we provide, from the everyday to the career-threatening, from assistance re-building collegial relationships to legal defense. Whether a simple clarification, an ear to listen, confidential advice on collegial difficulties or something more serious requiring professional advocacy, SFUFA can assist.
When you approach the Faculty Association, you will most likely be put in contact with our Membership Services Officer, a professional staffperson charged with advising and assisting members in need. Most questions and concerns are fairly easily resolved with an email or telephone call, but the Membership Services Officer can also accompany you to meetings with the administration, advocate on your behalf, or directly represent you.
Where a problem is not easily resolved through informal discussion, and where the issue at play arises directly out of a negotiated policy, agreement or legislative right, SFUFA may also be able to represent you in a formal grievance as laid out in the Collective Agreement. A grievance is a quasi-legal process to resolve disputes that cannot be settled informally, and can, where necessary and appropriate, ultimately lead to a third party arbitration hearing to address the matter.
Inquiries to the Faculty Association are held in strict confidence. In many cases our ability to assist you will be limited unless we can discuss the specifics of your situation with the administration. We will not, however, take this step without first consulting with you.