Advocacy Corner: The Value of Documentation

August 31, 2018

Each month, our Advocacy Committee answers your questions. Here is committee chair Andrew Boden on keeping your documents and keeping track!


Question:  I'm just starting out at the University.  Is there any documentation that I should keep?
Answer:  Absolutely!  We recommend that you keep a copy of your job posting, your complete job description and your appointment letter.  These can be vital for items such as job re-evaluations and confirming your start date and salary for your pension and other benefits. And if a disagreement or discrepancy should arise in the future, this documentation will be very valuable in supporting your case. We also recommend that if you made any side arrangements (for example, working from home for two days a week) that you get this agreement in writing.  Ideally, it would be best to have such a side agreement in your appointment letter.
If you make a side agreement later in your career at SFU, again it's still of benefit to you to have that agreement in writing.
Question: I've also heard that it's helpful to have documentation, if I need to consult an APSA advocate.
Answer: You're quite correct.  If, for example, you have a disagreement or similar challenge with a colleague, your supervisor or anyone else, do make a chronology of events -- note what happened, when, where and who else was present. And if you do have a meeting with your supervisor and it seems as if it might develop into something contentious, do write down your understanding of the meeting afterwards.