This open letter was originally written by Chelsea Mackay and the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Student Student, published originally here and republished on PoliticsRespun.org with permission.
Dear SFSS Board Members and President Jeff McCann,
The Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Student Union (GSWSSU) has been blindsided by the recent lockout of CUPE 3338 workers at the SFSS General Office, Out On Campus, and the SFU Women’s Centre.
Firstly, we are shocked that you have justified this lockout on our behalf. We were not consulted on this issue, and we absolutely do not find a lockout to be an appropriate solution to the financial issues of the SFSS.
The GSWSSU received $100 in Core funding this semester, and have not requested any grant money so far. While we understand that other Student Unions and clubs use more money than we do, we still do not find the cuts you suggested for CUPE 3338 Unit 5 workers to be acceptable, nor justifiable. Full time staff, according to your website, get paid $30.48/hour, and you argue that they should take a decrease in pay to $26.66/hour. According to our calculations, if staff were to work 30 hours/week, and 48 weeks/year, they would be going from $43,891.20 per year before taxes to $38,390.40 per year before taxes. This is a pay decrease of over $5,500 per year. As a collective, the GSWSSU agreed that this is an unacceptable pay decrease, and that the refusal of this wage is absolutely justifiable. We are offended that the SFSS would suggest such a large wage cut for workers who we greatly respect, and we are especially offended that this has supposedly been done on our behalf.
Also, while we have heard from your office that the cuts were meant to be 12% across all workers from all areas, we have heard differently from CUPE workers. Specifically, we have heard that student part-time workers are facing cuts of 40%, and even 50% for recently hired employees. We have also heard that the staff of the Women’s Centre and Out on Campus on facing higher wage cuts than the staff from the General Office. Please correct us if we have heard wrong, but the GSWSSU does not support these unequal cuts.