What is a Collective Agreement?
- A collective agreement (CA) is a binding legal contract between two parties – in our case the SFU Administration (the Employer) and the Union. The Union acts on behalf of all of its members in the bargaining unit, and the CA covers the terms and conditions of employment. One could consider it the rules governing the relationship between us and our bosses. As an example, you can see TSSU’s current Collective Agreement here.
Winning the right to a Collective Agreement.
Most RAs are unclear about what is expected of them once they start working under their supervisor, and we know that this has led to consistent problems, misunderstandings, and mistreatment. RAs should have a right to negotiate for legally-binding contracts that clearly outline the duties and expectations of employees (RAs), managers (supervisors), and employers (SFU).
Some of the TSSU’s Past Wins that have been secured in a Collective Agreement are:
- Automated pay accounting and clear, accurate paystubs: We know that a major issue for RAs is inconsistent, inaccurate, or unaccountable pay. RAs deserve the basic right of being paid on time, and knowing exactly how much they’re being paid, and for what work.
- Access to tuition deferment: Typically, you have to pay your tuition as a lump sum at the start of the semester. Many RAs take out loans to pay the sum, or face unfair interest fees for late payments. The TSSU fought for tuition deferment for all members, which is where you can pay your tuition over the semester bit-by-bit.
- Access to childcare resources
- Access to employer paid MSP.