Each month, our APSA Advocates answer your questions about workplace challenges, the AD 10 policies and how they’re applied.
Questions? Submit them anonymously here.
Hello, I'm Mike Peragine, an advocate on APSA's Advocacy Committee. On behalf of the Committee, I'm answering your questions about APSA's Duty of Fair Representation.
My job is being modified, and I'm not happy with the changes. Should I have my lawyer speak to the University and file legal proceedings on my behalf?
As an APSA member, APSA is your sole representative per its Basic Agreement with the University. If you have any problems with your terms and conditions of employment, it is APSA who must represent you. APSA also has legal counsel available to help you if needed.
APSA also has a responsibility to fulfill the duty of fair representation. This means that APSA must act in good faith and fairly when representing you in an investigation, grievance or other issues affecting your terms and conditions of employment. You can consult with your lawyer to get a second opinion on any matter for which APSA is representing you. APSA is, however, your representation for any formal resolution with SFU (for more information, see Problem Resolution AD 10.17).
I'm having problems at work, but I've been the manager in a grievance before, and I'm not sure APSA will look out for my best interests in my case. What can I do?
While APSA does its due diligence when resolving issues with the University, that due diligence must be exercised in good faith, objectively and honestly. APSA has a duty of fair representation to all of its members. This representation must be fair, genuine, undertaken with integrity and competence, without serious or major negligence; and without adversity toward our members' interests.
If you have an issue that we need to bring forward to the University, it doesn't matter if you represented the University in a grievance before. APSA will be sure to represent you fairly. We have several ways to do this, including appointing an advocate to work on your current issue who did not work on the previous grievance.
I would encourage you to speak to APSA in more detail about this issue.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact APSA. Your call or email is confidential.