Supporting as an Undergraduate Student

SFU has sent out many contradictory, inconsistent, dishonest communications, so we wanted to offer our students a space where you can ask questions and connect with us. We recognize that you are all busy and may not have the time to sort through all of this information, so we hope this website can serve as a one-stop shop for strike information and updates. We appreciate your support!

How can undergraduate students support the strike?

  • Respect and even join our picket lines (see below for details)!
  • Wear an “I <3 my TA” button! Support your TAs by showing them your solidarity. You can drop by Picket HQ to pick up a button.
  • Address misinformation and share updates about the strike with your friends and classmates
  • Encourage your peers to support TSSU and to join us on the picket line (messaging template here)!
  • Stay in touch with your TAs and encourage them to get involved with TSSU
  • Talk to your professors and share feedback about your TAs
  • Speak up about the rights of and issues faced by your TAs in your departmental societies, clubs, and any group involved with the SFSS
  • If you are attending events or conferences, let people know that TSSU members are on strike
  • Inform us if your professors, peers, or anyone else are misinforming students or others about the strike or TSSU
  • Write a letter to the Minister of Advanced Education about the strike
  • Sign an open letter from the SFU community in support of TSSU

What are some of the problems faced by TSSU members?

TSSU members do about half of the face-time instruction at SFU and often well over that in the summer!

Despite this, TSSU members still face the following problems:

  • TAs typically make $750-$850 biweekly (depending on if they are a MA/PhD student)
  • These wages are used to pay for housing, food, and tuition — all of which have increased dramatically in the past few years despite wages staying constant
  • Many members must take on multiple jobs in addition to our studies just to afford to live in this province
  • Members often have to work over weekends during midterms/finals to complete grading
  • Class sizes have increased with no increase in the number of teaching staff or support in adjusting to larger classes and, as a result, your learning suffers
  • We reapply for work every semester and don’t know if we’ll have a job until a month before the semester starts
  • These tight timelines give sessional instructors little time to update syllabi and prepare course materials for you

Despite these longstanding problems, SFU refuses to address any of these issues meaningfully in bargaining!

Respecting Picket Lines

  • Join us on our picket lines in solidarity! We would appreciate friendly support and a large part of our efforts have been to ensure that we are heard by the larger community, and not just SFU
  • Bring food and cold beverages for our members who will be picketing for long hours outside in the heat
  • Above all, DO NOT CROSS our picket lines! They are our greatest tools and best strategy for keeping pressure on the employer. As per the SFU Senate Motion S00-12 approved in 2000, “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.” So students shouldn’t be academically punished for respecting (i.e., not crossing) picket lines. Unfortunately, SFU Admin has deliberately chosen to not make a clear statement regarding academic punishment, so at the moment, what that right means is unclear. However, we have arranged resources to help you with this: