Next Steps

Photo by Abbas Nakhlband

In Fall 2019 a grassroots team of Research Assistants (RAs), with head organizers Vince Tao and Yi-Chien Jade Ho, ran a successful organizing drive that resulted in ~1,500 workers being voluntarily recognized by SFU as members of TSSU. As part of our voluntary recognition agreement with SFU, the campaign organizers decided that setting an early bargaining date was crucial to getting a fair contract for all RAs as soon as possible. TSSU set its first bargaining date with SFU for May 2020.

At a January 22, 2020 Special General Meeting, the TSSU General Membership formed an ad hoc contract committee named the RA Contract Proposal Development Group (RACG). The RACG has the following structure:

  • Chaired by Chief Steward I, Katie Gravestock
  • Composed of up to 15 members who have been nominated and ratified at a General Membership meeting
  • Members are able to claim stipends for their work
  • Works in parallel with the existing TSSU Contract Committee (see what they’re up to here!)

The RACG is tasked over the next few months of developing the first proposals for an RA Contract to bring to the bargaining table in May 2020.

The first step in this process is to consult extensively with RAs across SFU. Despite being in violation of our voluntary recognition, SFU has not yet provided us a comprehensive list of all RAs at SFU. All information gathered in our card signing process is confidential, so it is extremely important that if you are an RA you sign up to our RA list. Developing this list will allow us to get feedback from members on what is working well, what is not working, and what we want to fight for in our new Contract.

What can you do to help?

  1. Sign up to the RA list!
  2. Get your friends & colleagues to sign up to the RA list!
  3. Get in touch with the RACG with your ideas, feedback, or interest in joining the committee (email us at
  4. Join us at a focus group!
  5. Complete our RA Contract Survey about your job, your ideas, and your priorities! Our short survey just closed on Feb 29th, but keep your eyes peeled for a longer survey coming in March 2020.