SFU is committed to providing a living wage for the entire SFU community

The community expressed the need to include the voice of workers in decision-making processes. PHOTO: Allyson Klassen / The Peak

By: Pranjali J Mann, News Editor

This month, the SFU Board of Governors passed a motion to begin the certification process for become a living wage employer.

According Living Wage for BC Familiesthe living wage is calculated by providing an estimate of the “minimum calculation” for wages as required speak employees to meet their expenses. Under this wage rate, “Employers consider the total salary of their employees plus benefits. If employees receive non-compulsory benefits, the living wage rate is reduced.

SFU announcement Goals to meet the eastcontinued low wages among their food and service workers and “will explore the creation of a program that supports educational opportunities for contract workers, provide access to additional on-campus benefits where appropriate, and find other ways to improve the inclusion of contract workers by as members of our university community.”

Living wage and benefits set to reach contract workers in a phased approach as contracts are renewed over the next three years.

To understand the ad and its benadvantages, The top rehurts Yabome Gilpin-Jacksonvice president of the SFU, people, equity, and inclusiveon. She said: “This decision underscores our commitment to listen to our people and take meaningful action that will have a positive and substantial impact on the lives of workers in our community. Moving to becoming a Living Wage Employer is an exciting step on our journey to greater economic equity and social inclusion. »

Justice campaign for contract workers

The top interviewed Kayla Hilstobmember of the Contract worker justice (CWJ) campaign coalition at SFU. She said, “Having a living wage is a very positive thing [but] wetsourcing is really the root of the problem. And so workers can get better wages, which is great, but their hours are usually reduced, they’re laid off seasonally, they have to ask [employment insurance] all the time. Their benefits are worse than their counterparts in different universities. So yes, that touches on one of the issues, but it’s not the main issue and there are all sorts of other issues that arise from outsourcing.

Explaining the underlying issues with outsourcing workers, she said universities will select the lowest bidder to cut costs when looking for an outside company. “What that means is cutting wages, cutting benefits. So whoever can provide essentially the cheapest college labor will get the Contract. This is in itself the problem and that is why workers are paid less, have fewer benefits and have access to far fewer facilities on campus or basically none.

Hilstob’s interview also highlighted the problem of invisible work and the poor “working conditions that have a lot of arbitrary power imbalances” contract workers are exposed to. Some key issues included lack of free time, inadequate uniforms and allegations of discriminationn, she explained.

Workers’ voices

Similar problems have arisen in That of the Peak conversation with cleaning and catering workersare. An unnamed worker alleged that they were given inadequate breaks due to the heat. The interview took place in another one language onend has been translated into English by a common languageuh. “They jugive us a five minute break. That too, we must call five minutes before taking the break. And after the five-minute break, you must inform themto.” They added that their request for 10-minute breaks was denied and given two to three floors per person. The top was unable to independently verify this due to the publication deadline.

The top also spoke with Nouha, a member of the dining room staff. She indicated that parking and daycare are major areas of concern for her. “I have a few wives at the moment. They did their job, but they do not have any child care. And they need it, at least for a day or two at daycare. Who do we approach for this kind of help? »

Nouha revealed that the current salary is unable to keep up with inflation. She said, “Even though they gave us a good salary, it is not enough without the living wage. Nouha added that they receive a $0.40 raise in their second and third year on the job, but that doesn’t take inflation into account.

Hilstob noted the lack of direct involvement of workers’ voices in the decision-making process. She said: “When they did a study on outsourcing at university, they published through Deloitte. They just published it. They did not speak to a single worker when they made a study on outsourcinging.” Another wsa workerid, “Someone should be there to listen to our problems. They should be resolved right away. Nobody listens to our problems. Who should we tell them to – senior officials or bosses? No one has ever made the effort to listen.

Finally, Hilstob said: “We consider this announcement a victory, but it is not enough. Our goal is to end outsourcing and we won’t stop until we achieve that goal [ . . . ] And so we hope that students, staff, teachers, no more contract workers, anyone else who wants to get involved in this campus community – we hope you will join us! »

It’s a developing story that The top will cover in future issues. For more information on the CWJ campaign, visit their website.

Michael A. Bynum