Our Demands & Principles
What we stand for
SFU staff, students and faculty have come together to fight an injustice at the University. Currently, food services and cleaning staff on our campuses are employed by private companies: they’re contracted out.
What does contracting these workers out mean for them? The answer is clear: it means low pay, weak benefits, a lack of job security, and exclusion from the SFU community. Because they’re not directly employed by the University, food service and cleaning workers have no access to child care, school libraries, campus recreation facilities, or tuition waivers for family members. They also make poverty wages, and their private employers grant them little or nothing when it comes to sick days, parental leave, pensions, and other important benefits.
Many food service and cleaning staff at SFU are already marginalized in terms of gender, race, and immigration status. Contracting them out brings another level of oppression to their lives, and perpetuates many of the injustices the University claims to oppose.
The solution to all this is clear: these workers must be employed directly by SFU. Staff and faculty at the University are paid fair wages, receive fair benefits, and are allowed to be members of the campus community. There is no reason that food service and cleaning workers shouldn’t get the same deal. Their services are vital for the community, and their well-being should never be compromised for the sake of private profit.
The companies that employ these workers exist to make money, and that’s all they care about. SFU, however, stands for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion–and that’s what we want. We want Equity of pay, benefits, and access. We want campus Diversity to include the racialized and immigrant workers who clean and serve food. We want Inclusion of these vital workers in the SFU community.
- Simon Fraser University must bring food service and cleaning staff into direct employment at the earliest time possible based on current contracts.
- In the process of transition to direct employment, not one food service or cleaning worker may lose their job.
- During the transition to direct employment, SFU must recognize the unions who are currently representing food service and cleaning workers: UNITE HERE Local 40 and CUPE Local 3338.
- The transition to direct employment must be done in coordination with UNITE HERE local 40, CUPE 3338, and representatives from Contract Worker Justice @SFU.
- Food service and cleaning staff must become full members of the campus community. They must receive fair wages and benefits, and they must be given access to decision-making boards; health and safety committees; child care; and facilities including libraries and gyms.
Contract Worker Justice @SFU recognizes that contracting food service and cleaning workers out is unfair, unethical, and unsustainable. We know the University can do better.
Mike Hurley, Mayor of Burnaby
“The City of Burnaby is a Living Wage Employer and I believe every worker deserves to be treated equitably!”
Hon. Katrina Chen, MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed
“SFU’s food service and cleaning workers, including many IBPOC and women of colour, provide vital services for the university community. These workers deserve respect, job security and the stability to provide for their families. For them, we can and must do better.”
Vancouver & District Labour Council
“All workers deserve living wages, good benefits, fair treatment, and respect on the job. Far too often contracting out of work has been utilized to undermine good jobs and promote low pay and precarity. SFU must act to ensure decent work, safety, and inclusion for all who contribute to the success of the university. The demands of the Contract Worker Justice campaign present a clear path to achieve this.”
Christine Boyle, Vancouver City Councillor
“SFU needs to live up to their promises to pay food service and cleaning workers living wages. And they should employ these workers directly so they can be full members of the campus community. Earning a living wage is about more than just surviving, it’s about dignity and a place where all of our work is respected.”
SFU Philsophy Graduate Caucus
“We sincerely hope that the university administration could work with CWJ@SFU in good faith to create a working environment that truly reflects the university’s own purported values and commitments, and to give our food and cleaning staff the proper recognition that they deserve.” Read their full statement here.