ASPA Advocate

Potential CUPE 1975 Job Action – FAQ’s

As you are probably aware, CUPE 1975 took a strike vote at the end of September and the members provided the CUPE 1975 bargaining team with a strike mandate.  As an ASPA member you might be wondering what this means for you or how this might impact your work.

ASPA has put together answers to some of those questions that you might have.  If your question has not been answered or you require clarification, please contact our Member Services Officer Darcy Hryn – Bird at or 306-966-7392.

  1. How can I support CUPE 1975 right now?

You could send CUPE 1975 a note of support.  Messages should be sent to or you could consider signing CUPE’s petition at which will send a message to the employer that pension provisions should be negotiated.

In addition, the ASPA Executive has sent a letter of support to CUPE 1975.  ASPA is also in the process of drafting a letter to President Stoicheff expressing our support of CUPE 1975.

  1. When can CUPE 1975 go on strike?

CUPE 1975 is currently in mandated mediation that can last up to 60 days.  If an agreement cannot be reached through mediation then there will be a two-week cooling off period.   During the mediation and cooling off periods there is no ability for job action.   After this time however, CUPE 1975 would be in a position to strike.  CUPE 1975 would need to provide the employer with 48 hours’ notice prior to the commencement of any job action.   There is no way to know when or if this may occur.  We hope that the parties will be able to negotiate a fair and reasonable agreement during the mediation process.

  1. Can the employer lock CUPE 1975 out?

Yes. A lockout could not occur however, during the mandated mediation or the two-week cooling off period that follows an unsuccessful mediation process.  The employer would also have to provide the Union with a notice of 48 hours prior to the lockout commencing.

  1. Should CUPE 1975 go on strike or be locked out and put up a picket line can I cross it?

Yes.  ASPA members would not be on strike and therefore can continue to go into work.  We would ask that you only perform work duties that were normally part of your job prior to any CUPE 1975 job action or employer lock out.

  1. Can I refuse to cross the picket line?

Yes. Article 4.3 of the ASPA Collective Agreement identifies that you can refuse to cross the picket line and not face any disciplinary actions but you will also not receive any pay for this time unless of course you were working remotely from home.

  1. How can I support CUPE 1975 even if I cross the picket line to do my work?

You can support them by taking some time out of your day to walk the picket line with them, find out the issues, encourage the administration to get back to the bargaining table and most importantly only do work that was part of your normal duties.

  1. What if my supervisor asks for volunteers to do work that would normally be done by staff within CUPE 1975 and not related to your normal duties or your unit.  Should I do this?

Ultimately, you will have to decide but ASPA supports our Brothers and Sisters in CUPE 1975 and we would ask that you not do work outside of what is normally part of your duties.  Please do not volunteer to do work that would be in the scope of CUPE 1975.  ASPA supports CUPE 1975 in the actions that they deem necessary.  Volunteering to help out only diminishes the actions that CUPE 1975 has had to take.

  1. What if my supervisor requires me to do something that is not part of my normal duties but would have normally been done by someone from CUPE within my unit? Can I refuse to do this work?

First ask your supervisor if they are requiring that you do this work or if they are asking you to do it.  If they are asking then you have the ability to say no.  If they are requiring you to do the duties, then perform them and contact ASPA at to let us know who your supervisor is and the duties that you were required to do.

Volunteering to do the work of our CUPE 1975 Brothers and
Sisters diminishes the actions that they determined necessary to take.  It also heightens the unrest in the workplace.  ASPA supports CUPE 1975 in the actions that they deem necessary.    The ability for CUPE 1975 to reach a fair and reasonable collective agreement will impact ASPA when it is our turn to negotiate with the employer next year.  We need to support each other in these difficult times.

  1. I am in the CUPE 1975 pension plan. Can I switch plans now?

There is no ability for you to switch plans at this point.  You would have had to make this choice to move pensions when you moved from a CUPE position to ASPA.

  1. If I am in the CUPE 1975 pension plan will I have a say in what happens with it?

The CUPE 1975 bargaining team is attempting to negotiate how best to maintain the plan to ensure that those individuals will have a good plan when they retire.   As we understand it, one of the main stumbling blocks to not achieving a negotiated agreement to this point, is that the employer is not interested in looking at bargaining the pension provisions with CUPE 1975.

Ultimately, it will be the CUPE 1975 bargaining team and the members of CUPE 1975 who will determine what the pension plan will look like moving forward.

ASPA will do its best to provide our members who are in the plan with updated information.  You may however wish to frequent or follow the CUPE 1975 website at:

Did you know? – Pay Stubs

Written by Darcy Hryn – Bird, ASPA Member Services Officer

Do you check your pay stubs each time you get paid?  I am thinking that you might be among the majority if you do not.

Members should be getting into the habit of checking their pay stubs with each pay period.  Mistakes do happen and it is important for them to be caught early so as to not delay any necessary corrections. Read More

University of Regina academic staff vote overwhelmingly in favour of a strike mandate

Ashley Martin, Regina Leader-Post, November 7, 2018

The University of Regina’s academic staff members have voted overwhelmingly in support of a strike, but the union and university administration remain “optimistic” that one won’t be necessary.

About 87.4 per cent of these University of Regina Faculty Association (URFA) members support a strike, according to a strike vote taken last week.  READ MORE

U of R academic staff taking strike vote during “unworkable” bargaining

Ashley Martin, Regina Leader – Post November 1, 2018

The Union representing the University of Regina’s academic staff should know Monday whether its 1.050 members are in favour of a strike, after 16 months without a contract.  READ MORE

ASPA Member Highlight – Nate McKenzie, Team Lead Audio Visual Support Services (Zone Support)

Written by Karen E. Mosier

Nate McKenzie has a Diploma in Electric Systems Engineering Technology from Saskatchewan Polytechnic (formerly known as SIAST). He has worked on campus for 13 years.nate 2

Nate leads the team that handles audio visual classroom support campus wide – to every building on campus except for Innovation Place. This involves coordinating phone calls, remote trouble shooting, and dispatching technicians to provide aid on site. AV Support is a critical function of Information Technology Services. When a class is in session and technical problems occur, assistance must be provided in a time critical manner. Their overall goal is to provide AV support within a 2 – 10 minute time frame.

Read More

UFCW Workers at Saskatoon Coop – on Strike

Picketers outside the Co-op gas bar at Avenue C North and Circle Drive chanted “don’t shop Co-op” as vehicles drove by.

Shoppers at the Co-op grocery stores on 33rd Street West and in Stonebridge arrived to see signs stating “We’re Closed.”  Read More

ASPA 40th Anniversary

Click the image below to read the complete newsletter.Oct 31 Newsletter

October 23 Slide Show

Click HERE to view the slide show from the October 23rd Anniversary Event.

40th Anniversary Oct 23 Slide Show

Census Highlights

Written by John Costa, ASPA Research Committee Member

The recent census provided some insights into the composition of our membership.  Of the 637 census respondents, 66% report being alumni of the University of Saskatchewan. The majority of those (83%) have post-secondary degrees with 45% holding a bachelor’s degree, 30% with a Master’s degree, 7% with a PhD and 2% with a post-doc. The remainder have high school, diploma or certificates.

Capture Read More

ASPA Member Highlight – Jennifer Lutzko, Events Specialist, Culinary Services

Written by Karen E. Mosier

Jennifer Lutzko has a certificate in Special Events Coordination Management from Lakeland College. She has worked at the University of Saskatchewan for 4 years and has over 21 years’ experience in the hospitality industry.Jennifer_Lutzko_head_shot

Her primary role is to work with both internal and external groups to provide guidance and act as the main point of contact while using Marquis Hall Events Centre and/or the Residence rooms. Culinary Services books all types of events – from meetings for 15 people to 3 day conferences for 200 people. Jennifer has worked with visitors from all over the world, from as far away as Japan and New Zealand to coordinate their food and/or accommodations on campus. Read More