Tuesday, July 14, 2020 9:31 AM
To: apsa-members (apsa-members@sfu.ca) <apsa-members@sfu.ca>
Subject: Update regarding Salary and Benefits negotiations

Sent on behalf of Jo-Anne Ray, chair of the Salary and Benefits Committee and David Agosti, president of APSA. 

Dear APSA Members,

APSA reached out to the University on March 31, 2020, after the University had begun expedited negotiations with other employee groups. Recognizing the challenges of COVID-19, APSA suggested a similar approach outside the bargaining process in our Basic Agreement.

We put forward to the University the following:

  1. A general wage increase (GWI) of 2% per year for three years (consistent with the PSEC mandate)
  2. A service improvement amount of .25% per year over three years (consistent with the PSEC mandate)
  3. An agreement to negotiate non-GWI items (including, among others: benefits, hours of work, maternity top-up, etc.) in February 2021 following resolution of the Colin Taylor award arbitration
  4. A binding dispute resolution mechanism for item 3
  5. Implementation of the changes to the pension plan that APSA members voted overwhelmingly in favour of in December 2018

The University has offered APSA the general wage increase (item 1) and only the possibility of the service improvement amount (item 2).

The University will not agree to negotiate the non-GWI items (item 3), nor agree to a binding dispute resolution mechanism should APSA and the University reach impasse (item 4). The University agreed, however, to negotiate non-GWI items with other bargaining groups at a later date.

We withdrew changes to the pension plan (item 5) when we became aware that PSEC would not sign off on settlements that involved pension.

It is important to you, our members, that we be able to negotiate additional improvements that you have identified would benefit you most (item 3). It is also critical to our ability to negotiate the best possible agreement that there is a dispute resolution mechanism in place. Why? APSA does not have the right to strike or work to rule, so a process for resolving disagreements over these other key improvements is vital.

While discussions with the University have been collegial, items 3 and 4 are essential to our position. We are disappointed that we have not been able to reach an agreement with the University. APSA is committed to working on your behalf to negotiate the best possible agreement, and so we are proceeding to formal bargaining.

Formal bargaining means that we will follow the bargaining process in our Basic Agreement, which includes third-party arbitration.

We created a bargaining FAQ document, which identifies questions you may have and defines key terms with which you may be unfamiliar. We will send further updates as soon as possible.

David Agosti

Jo-Anne Ray
Salary and Benefits Committee