February Update

Since last month’s newsletter, Basic Agreement negotiations have taken place but, unfortunately, have reached an impasse on several core items, so they will now proceed to non-binding mediation in April 2024. This agreement defines us as a collective group. It is enormously critical to our association’s future, so we have secured an extension of its expiry to December 31, 2024. I want to express my gratitude to Jeff Bryer and Nicole Manson, our APSA members on the bargaining team, for generously donating their time and emotional labour to this effort, as well as thanking our lead negotiator, David Harvey and our APSA staff for their continued support, expertise and professionalism. 

Last week, there was an SFU Town Hall, which proved to be rather disconcerting for many APSA members. There were comments made by some faculty members against staff that were disrespectful, divisive, and demonstrated a lack of comprehension regarding the spectrum of APSA roles and their worth at SFU. This is unacceptable, and it is my intention to write an open letter to Joy Johnson to communicate our concerns, make recommendations and ask what tangible steps the current administration will be taking to address the pattern of anti-staff sentiment that is becoming more prevalent on campus.

You will have undoubtedly seen the news about job losses at SFU, and I can confirm that there have indeed been eliminations of some APSA positions. This, combined with the hiring freeze and budget cuts, makes for some unsettling times for staff at SFU. We will ensure that APSA continues to provide you with as much information, protection and support during these precarious times as best we can. Don’t hesitate to contact the APSA staff if you need immediate support.

The wheels are now in motion for establishing the new APSA committee tasked with making recommendations to the board on social events and other community engagement initiatives – we’re still in the early stages of establishing this, but I am optimistic about having this up and running within the next month or so with the first order of business being our spring social. Our first “Conversations with the Board” of the year will be towards the end of this month in Burnaby, and we plan on holding these in Surrey and Vancouver, too – exact dates, times, and locations will be shared soon. Finally, the SFU Food Pantry newsletter piece will hopefully be shared in our following newsletter. Some of our APSA board members will be volunteering time to help them out with food pickup and deliveries over the next few weeks.

Upcoming Priorities

  • Open letter to the SFU President regarding the value of staff and respect in the workplace
  • Member surveys
  • Strategic Plan

Ongoing Work

  • Basic Agreement bargaining
  • New committee for organising social events and a member social gathering this semester
  • Conversations with the board – dates and locations coming soon
  • SFU Food Pantry support
  • Ongoing dialogue with the University on an important issue – we will be sure to share the details on this once concluded