BURNABY—The Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) has been embroiled in controversy in recent weeks since the firing of CUPE 5396 president Hattie Aitken and an unwarranted investigation involving six other union members who were employed as support workers for the SFSS.
Aitken was fired following a five-hour interrogation by the employer after the seven CUPE members had been placed on leave, had their staff computers confiscated and were locked out of their offices.
At issue appears to be a history of animosity towards some active CUPE members and the current Society president’s displeasure over the health plan provider used for grad students at SFU. The plan was approved by grads last year and administered largely by Aitken in her role as Graduate Issues and University Relations Officer.
Aitken’s unjust firing is now being grieved, but the actions of the employer have set off a maelstrom of controversy at the university. Several student groups have officially complained to the Society and an ad hoc group has launched a petition to attempt to impeach the president of the Society.
The actions of the employer have led to the filing of several grievances, and CUPE is investigating the seizure of union files.