New collective agreement and referendum looks to secure LSU staff wages

The Langara Students' Union is working to maintain their salaries and vacation times with a new collective agreement with CUPE 15


Reported by Perrin Grauer

The Langara Students’ Union’s collective agreement with CUPE 15 – which comes up for renewal at the end of November – secures its staff a wage that totals more than $35 per hour.

In terms of the new agreement, the LSU was unable to provide an update and CUPE were unable to give a response.

Paid time off

Currently, LSU staff annually receive 23 paid holidays off, plus three weeks paid vacation in the first year of employment. After four years with LSU, staff receive five weeks paid vacation.

Student union staff at Camosun and Douglas colleges get similar benefits. Kwantlen’s student association managers have similar wages to LSU’s.

They can accumulate up to 200 paid sick days off, and receive extended medical benefits for themselves, their spouses and dependents.

This is paid for by Langara students. The details of the new agreement have not yet been disclosed.

Student fee referendum

This past June, the LSU held a referendum to increase student fees, which came at a time where minimal student activity took place on campus. While the referendum was approved during the summer,  the LSU Media Committee said only part of the total approved increase will be invoked, amounting to $6.55 per credit, per student.

With more than 21,000 students attending Langara as of 2015, this increase works out to a minimum $137,550 per credit, per term.

In an emailed statement, the LSU said the funds would be used “to expand the LSU building, advocacy initiatives, bursaries and scholarships for LSU members, and provide the students of Langara a much more active and fun Student Union Building.”

However, some students have questions about where their fees are going. Gurlal Singh, member of Langara’s Student Education Council, said he and his friends can’t point to anything outside of Compass cards and healthcare the LSU provides.

“The thing is, I’ve never even seen anyone who has been helped by LSU,” said Singh.

Another Langara student, who didn’t want her name published for family reasons, said “I think we’re very uninformed about how [LSU] works and where payment goes,” but felt “it would be nice to know what their primary job is.”







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