CUPE support workers to "shut down" SFU with picket lines

Striking support workers at Simon Fraser University will set up picket lines at the main Burnaby campus on Thursday (November 1).

The Canadian Union of Public Employees says the one-day strike, which will not target the daycare on campus, will last from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Thursday's picketing will be followed by a walkout at SFU's Surrey campus on Friday (November 2) and a "shutdown" of SFU Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver on Saturday and Sunday (November 3 and 4), according to the union.

In a news release today (October 31), CUPE Local 3338 president Lynne Fowler noted the union met with SFU president Andrew Petter and university executives on Monday (October 29).

“We received no indication from the administration that they are willing to return to the bargaining table to negotiate a settlement,” Fowler said in the release. “That leaves us no alternative but to ramp up job action to pressure them to bargain in good faith until we have a deal.”

CUPE 3338 is seeking a collective agreement "in line with those other settlements" recently reached at UNBC, UBC, Royal Roads University, and Thompson Rivers University, according the release.

On its labour-update website, SFU says the Burnaby campus will remain open on Thursday during the one-day strike but "some operations and scheduled classes may be impacted".

The university informs students that they "may need to cross a picket line" in order to get to class, and goes on to offer tips for crossing picket lines.

"It is important to note that picketers can be in an emotional state and may act out of character," the SFU site says. "You may be nervous about crossing the picket line, so remember to remain calm and take extra care to avoid confrontation."

However, the SFU site notes that TransLink buses will not be crossing picket lines.

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Comments (14) Add New Comment
guest
well, how about students just don't cross the picket line. How about teaching them some "radical" thinking to "engage" the community?
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Don MacLachlan, SFU
You could have noted SFU also says: "However, the University respects the right of students or course instructors, as a matter of conscience, to refuse to cross a picket line in a labour dispute."
(http://www.sfu.ca/srs/labourupdate/studentlinks.html)

Don MacLachlan
Director, Public Affairs and Media Relations
Simon Fraser University

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Dianne
SFU president Andrew Petter and university executives - stop dilly dallying- time to take it on!

You have a responsibility to bargain in good faith and that means going back to the "table" and settling very soon.

And in reality that means ensuring that the province/feds are adequately funding public education. Student fees are already at unaffordable rates.
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Graduate student
You could have noted SFU also requested information whether TSSU members would cross a picket line if one was to be set up -- a request not legally allowed to make. Dr. John Driver, VP Academic could attest to that.

http://bargaining.tssu.ca/tssu-files-lega/

Quite amazing that a university - an institution relying on graduate research to promote it's name - is being the aggressor against it's own graduate students that are doing the TA work. The smug arrogance among the administration is suffocating.
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Dominic
Could you provide a link to SFU saying translink buses will not cross the picket line?
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Timothy Cooper
Why would the buses not cross the picket line? Is the picket line in the middle of the road or something?! Where would the buses drop passengers off then?
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Unimpressed
Normally buses would not cross picket lines as drivers are unionized, and to be effective all unions must express solidarity.

As I understand it, since SFU buses now serve a community which is unrelated to SFU (UniverCity and others) they will continue to drive up the hill, as the mountain itself is not being picketed per se.
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Richard Roe
Good to see that trade-unions are more important than students.
Remember the union motto: Me First, Fuck Everyone Else!
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bowser
How arrogant of the union. They aren't getting what they want, so make the students suffer. The students have nothing to do with the situation. But hey, whoever expected logic and compassion from a union. No wonder most working people think unions are bullsh*t.
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Richy Sanchez
It is us, the students who will pay the money for this agreement in the end!!!! So I fully support SFU and I say do not go to the bargaining table with these unions!!! all of your students are behing you SFU!!!!
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SFU Instructor
Don MacLachlan- You neglect to mention that SFU will also dock the pay of any instructor who refuses to cross the picket line. Doesn't sound like "respecting their rights" to me. Sounds punitive. I find the university's actions throughout this 2 year dispute to be utterly appalling. Get back to the table and NEGOTIATE with your employees!
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CUPE Guy
It's OK SFU, I don't mind you forcing me to lose pay on the picket line. There are ways for me to recoup my losses. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.
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Puzzled
I would love the pay increase and perfect pension and benefits, but and I don't hear where the money will come from to achieve it. My seniority is low and if they need to cut, I am likely to be bumped out in the cold. I don't hear what exactly either party wants to settle for. I pay expensive dues, I lose money on strike. Do we get to see what went on in the meetings. It is actually very difficult, having to agree with any point of view right now.
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Mark Inga
This entire protest has got to be the biggest waste of time I've ever experienced. The majority of TAs and workers I've come in contact with are only there because they know they will need to pay off their loans once they move on from University work.

As a student, I do not support nor have sympathy for any of the protestors. In fact, I would like to see the TSSU disbanded completely. They've done nothing but waste time and money for students. If everyone wants a lower tuition, we should stop looking at the government for support and start cutting back pointless unions that do nothing but make student-life more difficult.

--a student of Communications
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