Written by Peter Krebs, Research Committee
Lunchtime ASPA Brown Bag (ASPA BBs) sessions can be a useful vehicle for ASPA to bring ASPA members together, to become informed about various elements of their employment at the University, and to discuss such matters in a group based interactive format. In ASPA BBs, we explore and interpret details of important elements in our collective agreement. ASPA BBs also provide direct person-to-person Q&A opportunities. Recordings from various past BBs are available for viewing on the ASPA Advocate website, under “Categories – Brown Bag Sessions”.
The recent ASPA member survey about our BBs provided some insights into how well received these sessions are.
Almost 250 members of the over 1200 ASPA members replied to the survey.
Only a little more than 30% of these 250 respondents had attended at least one ASPA BBs in the past. Of those respondents who remembered the discussion topics, “Collective Bargaining”, “Benefits”, “Supervisors”, and “Voluntary Exit “ came up most frequently in the responses.
Although the BBs events draw a small audience overall, they seem to be impactful: those who rated the quality of the BBs found them very useful (37%), somewhat useful (51%), as opposed to: not memorable (12%). No respondent felt that the BBs had been “a waste of time”.
Thanks to the survey responses you provided, we can now re-think our approach to ASPA BBs. We now better understand….
- …what gets in the way of members’ ability or motivation to attend ASPA BBs. In the survey, the reasons given for non-attendance include:
- …what we can do to make it more convenient for ASPA members to participate. Here is what the respondents said:
- ..what the most popular topics for future BBs are.
A range of other additional topics were suggested, including:
- Achieving a healthy Work-Life Balance
- How to address challenging workplace relationships; turning around “negativity in the workplace”
- Employment status (permanent, term, seasonal) versus Job status (permanent, term, seasonal)
In closing, the ASPA Brown Bag survey provided the Research Committee, and the ASPA Executive, with valuable feedback for the design and implementation of future Brown Bag sessions.
Thank you very much again for participating in the survey.