Each month, the Advocacy Committee answers your questions about the AD 10 policies (aka, your terms and conditions of employment.)

Tracey Ferris

Hello, I’m Tracey Ferris, APSA’s Members Services Coordinator and an advocate on our Advocacy Committee. I’m answering your questions related to our AD 10 policies. Questions? Submit them anonymously here. These questions will be answered in a monthly advocacy corner issue. For an immediate answer, please contact us.


When I return to work from maternity leave, when do I receive the lump sum reimbursement? Is it right away, or do I have to work for a period of time?

You should receive the lump sum payment on the first day you return to work. If you take vacation time or any other leave in conjunction with maternity leave (e.g. you take 12 months of maternity leave and then a one-month vacation), you will receive the reimbursement on your first day back at work. Remember that the lump sum top-up is for a maximum of thirty-five weeks, and you must submit your Employment Insurance stubs with your claim. Keep in mind the policy requires that you work at SFU for a year after receiving the reimbursement.

If you do get your lump sum and, due to unforeseeable circumstances, must resign from your position before completing the entire year, please contact APSA for advice.


I’d like to know why APSA represents bullies? Is this right, APSA?

As an organization, APSA has an obligation to represent any member who faces allegations of misconduct. We’ve represented both members who have filed bullying and harassment complaints, and we’ve also represented members who have received these allegations.

It isn’t a matter of APSA picking and choosing who it can represent in cases of workplace misconduct. All APSA members have a legal right to fair representation and procedural fairness regardless of whether they’re the complainant or respondent in a University workplace investigation. The duty of fair representation requires us to treat all members fairly and honestly and in a way that’s not arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith. 

An investigation by an unbiased third party (often a lawyer contracted by the University to specific terms of reference) is the first step in determining the facts in a particular case of bullying and harassment. An APSA advocate will support the member during that process and will intervene, for example, where proper investigatory or other related procedures aren’t being followed. APSA doesn’t adjudicate these cases; the University makes decisions based on solid evidence of bullying and harassment from an investigation. Even in these cases, APSA continues to have an obligation to represent members who have misconducted themselves. For example, such a member could face serious discipline: we’re obligated to ensure that that discipline is reasonable, proportional to the seriousness of the problem and considers any mitigating factors (such as the employee’s previous work record, for example).

If you have any questions or concerns about this or any other issue, please contact APSA. Your call or email is always confidential.