SFU (Unit 1) Notice of Restructure

Dear Unit 1/SFU members,

On March 6, 2024, SFU served Notice of Restructure to the Union as per Section 54 of the Labour Relations Code and Article 14 of the CUPE 3338 Collective Agreement.

Since then, CUPE representatives have been in multiple meetings with SFU to advocate strongly against this action and continue to work hard in the background to protect members’ rights.  Ultimately, CUPE is not able to prevent the layoffs from happening, it is a management right.

We understand that many of you may have additional questions regarding CUPE’s decision to decline signing a Memorandum of Agreement with SFU on a “Voluntary Severance Program”.  Please be assured that this decision was not made lightly and all factors were considered before CUPE concluded we could not agree to the terms presented.

Discussions with the Employer

CUPE 3338 met with the employer on March 11, March 21, March 25 and April 10 to discuss a Labour Adjustment Plan, as provided for under Section 54 of the British Columbia Labour Code.

CUPE proceeded with the understanding that the employer thinks it is in a financial position that necessitated triggering Section 54.  Discussions centred mostly around their ‘Voluntary Severance Program’, where workers could submit interest to voluntarily sever their employment relationship with SFU.

Your Union’s discussions focused on the best possible terms for the membership as a whole.  Unfortunately, the parties were unable to come to an agreement on the terms of the program for the following reasons:

  • Approval to the Voluntary Severance Program would not be done by seniority. This decision would be based solely on operational requirements.  This led to concerns about the potential for arbitrary decision making by some departments.  Seniority is a fundamental union principle that cannot be bypassed.  CUPE could not agree to this.

  • The Employer to date has not provided concrete information about which departments will be  restructured and/or affected.  CUPE has requested actual layoff numbers at every meeting and the presented numbers were always “fluid”.

  • There was no union oversight with how the voluntary severance program would be administered or who would be “selected”.

What This Means

CUPE has told the employer to contact us again when they are prepared to proceed with the process outlined in Article 14 – Involuntary Transfer, Layoff and Recall.  Any further updates will be provided as we have additional information.

Questions can be sent to info@cupe3338.ca, which will be compiled for an FAQ on the website (and may not individually be responded to).

You can be assured that your union is working diligently to ensure your rights are protected and we will continue to advocate for the best interests of all our members.

In Solidarity and on Behalf of the Executive Board,
Shaneza Bacchus, President