ASPA Advocate

Introducing ASPA’s new President

Happy 40th Birthday, ASPA!

My name is Joanie Crandall and it is my pleasure to introduce myself to you as the newly appointed ASPA President for 2018-2019 following the end of Peter Krebs’ term. I look forward to working with returning Vice-Presidents LaVina Watts and Dawn Giesbrecht, staff members Annetta Gellner and Darcy Hryn-Bird and, of course, my Executive sisters and brothers.

Some of you know me already through my work as Coordinator for the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Justice Studies, particularly through the Violence and Aggression Symposium. Prior to arriving in Saskatoon, I taught on a remote northern reserve, worked as an Instructional Designer, an Educational Media Assistant, an accounting clerk with an international law firm, and was active as a volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross. While working on my PhD I also ran a small business, taught as a Limited Term Appointment, and was a principal of a school in Nunavut. Besides my work as Coordinator and my new ASPA role, I am also a sessional lecturer with the Colleges of Education and Arts and Science and have acted as a consultant for the Gwenna Moss Centre as a facilitator of Instructional Skills Workshops.

I look forward to working with ASPA members and the other unions here at the U of S in the year ahead. You can contact me at

Enjoy a wonderful summer!

Postdocs at the University of Saskatchewan

by Issac Armstrong, PSAC Regional Representative

The Postdocs of the PSAC 40004 Local have been bargaining with the University for our first collective agreement since October 2017. We are into the hardest part of bargaining – negotiating improvements to salaries and benefits.

Did you know?

University of Saskatchewan Postdoctoral Fellows (Postdocs):

  • Are highly educated researchers, often with greater than 10 years of post-secondary education;
  • Are full time staff;
  • Contribute to the academic success of the University through innovative research and publications, grant income, graduate student mentorship and training, and production of intellectual property.

These contributions are essential to the University’s status as a U15 research institute. Read More

Introducing one of the University’s newest Unions.

By Issac Armstrong, PSAC Regional Representative

We are Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Local 40004. Our local represents approximately 1100 members on campus. Our membership is comprised of three main groups:

  1. The graduate workers (Teaching Assistant/Research Assistant/Student Assistant), who negotiated a first contract that went into effect in Oct 2017. This group has around 850 members across campus.
  2. We also proudly represent around 200 Post-doctoral fellows, who are currently in first contract negotiation with the employer. (see info sheet below)
  3. Recently, we certified around 50 new members working as veterinary residents at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. This group is currently in the process of selecting a bargaining team.

Read More

ASPA 40th Anniversary Monthly Pizza Social – June

Help us celebrate ASPA’s 40th year of service and commitment to administrative and supervisory personnel. 

Date/Time: Tuesday, 19 June 2018 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM (CST)

Location: Health Sciences D-Wing Atrium

Please register here, prior to June 18 and select your preference for toppings (Variety, Gluten Free or Vegetarian):

Door prizes include Amazon gift cards. Follow us on the ASPA website at (look for it at the bottom right)

Presenters: Edwards School of Business Executive Education, Retail Services and Connection Point

On behalf of the 40th Anniversary Committee

University, postdocs headed to mediation for first collective agreement

By Alex MacPherson, Saskatoon Star Phoenix

The union representing some University of Saskatchewan researchers and instructors is calling the institution’s approach to bargaining “unfair,” and urging the provincial government to get involved.  READ MORE

How your workplace is killing you.

An Uber software engineer making a six-figure income killed himself in 2016, with his family blaming workplace stress. A 21-year-old Merrill Lynch intern collapsed and died in London after working 72 hours straight. When Arcelormittal closed a steel plant that it had taken over, a 56-year old employee died of a heart attack three weeks later. His family said it was the shock. And the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has reported that over half of the 550 million working days lost annually from absenteeism “are stress related”. 

In 2015, an analysis of almost 300 studies found that harmful workplace practices were as bad for mortality, and as likely to lead to a physician-diagnosed illness, as second-hand smoke, a known – and regulated – carcinogen.  READ MORE

Keeping a Positive Attitude at Work

By Karen E. Mosier  – Reprinted with permission. Originally printed in CARA Connection Newsletter Vol 5 Issue 6 Nov 2017

I like to keep a positive attitude at work. It isn’t always easy to maintain a positive frame of mind amid the daily stressors of a busy workplace. Being unhappy is not only bad for our health but it is also detrimental to our productivity.

Read More

The SFL Labour Reporter

The SFL Summer edition of the SFL Labour Reporter  is now available.  Check out page 5 where the SFL acknowledges ASPA’s recent affiliation.


Saskatchewan workers celebrate the repeal of Bill 40, vow to continue protecting Crown corporations


The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) is celebrating a hard-fought victory – the full repeal of Bill 40. Bill 40 was the Sask. Party government’s Crown corporation privatization law. It allowed the government to circumvent voters by selling-off 49% of any Crown without asking Saskatchewan people.

“Workers and the SFL fought the Sask. Party government’s Bill 40 from day one,” said SFL president Larry Hubich, “we held townhall meetings, small rallies, big rallies, and worked with coalition partners to keep our Crown corporations 100% public for Saskatchewan people,” he added.  READ MORE

May Pizza Social

Big thanks once again to all the volunteers including Pat Dice and Donna Teszeri for another flawlessly executed pizza social last week. We registered 155 attendees and if you believe the plate count, closer to 200 attended. Pizza was as good as always.

The two Amazon gift card winners had completely different numbers and happened to be seated next to each other when they won.

40th Anniversary Committee

Amazon Gift Card Winners

May Social 1

May social 2