Campaign Overview 

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Right now the TSSU is helping to organize  RAs and have them included in the union. This would give RAs the power of advocacy (from filing grievances to professional representation) and the right to bargain for a collective agreement among others. This would also help put an end to the unfair treatment and job precarity of Research Assistants across the university.  You can read more about the benefits of unionizing for Research Assistants under Resources and FAQ on researchiswork.com .

Before RAs are unionized, there is a three month long campaign that has to take place. Each step of the process is outlined below and you can read more from the Labour Relations Boards here.

Card Signing

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In order to hold a vote on whether or not workers will unionize, employees have to sign union cards. These physical cards require your name, address, job title, phone number, and signature  and they express your desire to unionize. This information is completely confidential and neither your supervisor nor the university has the right to know. 

Signing a card does not mean you are now a union member. It signifies is that you want to be and/or want to partake in a vote on unionizing.

To hold a vote, 45% of RAs (approx. 800) need to sign a union card by November 21st. Our goal is to have 1000 cards signed by this date. Come by AQ 5129 or contact us to sign a card.

 

Labour Board Review

On November 21st, card signing ends and the TSSU has to submit an application to the BC Labour Relations Board with all of the signed cards. They will count the cards and randomly select a few cards to verify the overall validity of the set, which is why your personal information is required on the card. Again, this information is confidential and won’t be used for anything outside of this process. If they find 45% of RAs have signed, they will set up what is called a representation vote.

Representation Vote

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After the Board approves the card signage, they will come to the university campuses to set up a representation vote within 10 days of the union’s initial application. In order to unionize, all that is needed at this stage is a ‘yes’ vote of 50% plus one. There is no minimum number of votes needed, and so every vote is important!

After you have signed a card, be sure to look out for information on the vote, or give your email to a union organizer to remind you when the date is set! If we secure a vote, we expect it will be held in the last week of November.

Yes vote = Union! And collective bargaining begins! Research Assistants now have an official body to represent and fight for them in all negotiations with SFU.

No vote = RAs do not join the TSSU. RAs must resign all cards and re-submit a new application in order to hold another vote.

A yes vote of 50% plus one means that RAs will join the TSSU who will begin negotiating the first ever RA collective agreement.