Bargaining Update – Parties at an impasse

Bargaining Report from the ASPA Bargaining Committee March 5, 2020

Your ASPA Bargaining Committee began meeting with representatives of the U of S on October 31, 2019 in an effort to bargain the improvement and renewal of our collective agreement that expired on April 30, 2019.

ASPA approached the U of S in advance of the bargaining meetings to suggest an expedited process in which the two parties would focus on short lists of their key bargaining proposals. The purpose underlying this approach was to focus collective bargaining on reaching a timely settlement without the drama, delay and frustration of previous years.

U of S representatives agreed to the expedited bargaining approach proposed by ASPA. Accordingly, your bargaining committee brought forward a handful of proposals on key (mostly monetary) issues identified by ASPA members.

Since October 31, 2019 we’ve met with our U of S counterparts on 10 different occasions. On each of these occasions your ASPA bargaining committee has taken steps to find compromise while securing a bargaining settlement that respects and reflects the contribution ASPA members make to the success of the U of S.

Most of the items canvassed at the bargaining table are related to wages and benefits. In addressing these subjects your ASPA bargaining committee has stressed the principles of comparability and equity in relation to the bargaining settlements negotiated by the U of S with USFA and CUPE 1975.

Your ASPA bargaining committee is mindful of the financial realities confronting the U of S, Nonetheless, we think it is reasonable to expect equitable consideration when it comes to wages and benefits.

At the March 5, 2020 bargaining meeting with U of S representatives your ASPA bargaining committee reiterated proposals for settling the bargaining. These ASPA bargaining proposals are set out below as an “Offer to Settle”.

We respectfully submit that ASPA’s March 5, 2020 Offer to Settle falls well within the University’s capacity to accept. Furthermore, ASPA’s proposals are consistent with the agreements that U of S settled last year with USFA and CUPE 1975.

Unfortunately, U of S representatives turned down ASPA’s Offer to Settle and the bargaining came to a halt. It now appears that U of S will serve notice of impasse under Part VI of The Saskatchewan Employment Act and will seek the services of a conciliator through the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety.

It is the sincere view of your ASPA bargaining committee that the proposed amendments and modest improvements to your collective agreement contained in the below Offer to Settle can and should form the basis for a collective bargaining settlement.

We are attempting to bring some fairness and equity back into the salary regime covering ASPA members while giving a measure of greater flexibility to the U of S on the subject of merit.

The other items covered in ASPA’s offer to settle are modest lump sum payment and wage increases as well as benefit plan improvements that are on par with U of S agreements with USFA and CUPE 1975.  

We intend to pursue the proposals in ASPA’s Offer to Settle through the conciliation process and we ask for your support as we move forward and will keep you updated throughout this process

ASPA Offer to Settle – Presented to the University of Saskatchewan on March 5, 2020.  

Article 9.5 Increments

Effective May 1, 2020

  • Introduce a differential increment percentage dependent upon placement within range
    • First quartile equals 2% increment
    • Second quartile equals 2% increment
    • Third quartile equals 1.5% increment
    • Fourth quartile equals 1.0% increment

Article 9.6 Merit

Effective May 1, 2020

  • Merit pool will decrease to 1.25% of ASPA payroll
  • Distribution (i.e.: adds to base, lump sum, or combination of the two) will be at the discretion of the employer but all monies must be distributed
  • Merit capped at no more than $10,000/member

Article 9. 11 – Adjustment to Salary Ranges and Salary

  • $1500 lump sum signing bonus in lieu of retroactivity.  All active members eligible based on FTE, including casuals.  The parties will look at a calculation to determine FTE for casuals.

Effective May 1, 2019

  • No changes to the minimum and maximum of the salary ranges

Effective May 1, 2020

  • 1.25% across the board increase
  • $3000 increase to the minimum and maximums of the salary range

Effective May 1, 2021

  • 1.75% across the board increase
  • No changes to the minimum and maximums of the salary range

Effective May 1, 2022

  • 2% across the board increase
  • 2% adjustment to the minimum and maximums of the salary ranges

Article 12.3 Pension

  • Effective the first day of the month following the date of ratification, an increase in both the employer and employee contributions to 7.0%
  • Effective May 1, 2022 – Both employer and member contributions increase to 7.5%

Article 12.5 – Salary Continuance

  • Extend the Salary Continuance period from ninety (90) calendar days to one – hundred and twelve (112) calendar days.
  • Extend the LTD elimination period from ninety calendar (90) days to one hundred and twelve (112) calendar days.
  • Eligible members who are 65 years or older will continue to receive salary continuance.

Articles 12.6, 12.7, and 12.8 – Family Dental Plan, Family Extended Health Care Plan, Flexible Spending Program

  • Increase eye exam from $100 to $150
  • Increase annual maximum for Psychologists/Social Workers from $350 to $2000
  • Expand to include coverage for psychotherapists, marriage and family therapists and clinical counsellors, all subject to a combined annual maximum of $2000 per person per year.

Article 23.2 Duration of the Agreement

  • May 1, 2019 – April 30, 2023 – Four (4) year agreement

All provisions will be effective the first of the month following ratification unless otherwise stated.

Parties will draft revised language corresponding with above articles to reflect the respective changes.  All other items not noted above would remain status quo.

%d bloggers like this: