The Simon Fraser Student Society lockout has ended after 94 days. “I think both sides compromised,” President Jeff McCann told The Peak student newspaper. The Canadian Union of Public Employees staff signed a new collective agreement with the SFSS board on Oct. 11 and went back to work.
The major relief for current employees in the new contract is that permanent staff will keep their current wages, which average $30.48 per hour. The SFSS had originally proposed a wage cut of roughly $10 before the lockout began in July. New permanent employees will start at $25 per hour—lower than the union wanted—but more in line with the average hourly wage in Canada, which was $24.71 in August, according to Statistics Canada.
The board won concessions too, in that new student employees can be paid a much lower $14.50 per hour. That could save money. McCann had long argued that wages were so high that the SFSS was being forced to cut services and bursaries. Another win, as far as the board is concerned, is that they’re not obligated to replace staff when they leave, so long as they maintain a complement of at least six full-time and two part-time staff. There are currently 12 full-time employees.