ASPA’s Post-Bargaining Survey Results

Written by the ASPA Research Committee


ASPA Research Committee conducted an online survey in December, 2020 to gather ASPA members feedback on various aspects of the latest round of bargaining. The short survey gathered insights on level of satisfaction with ASPA’s communications during bargaining, the information sessions, the forced vote, tentative agreement, as well as what ASPA did well during bargaining and areas for improvement. A total of 432 surveys were completed, representing a 32% response rate.  This article provides an overview of the survey results. All averages reported are based on a 5-point scale, where 1 equals “strongly disagree” and 5 equals “strongly agree”.

Communication from ASPA

When asked about communication from ASPA during the bargaining process, 82% reported that overall, they were satisfied/very satisfied. Presented below are the average ratings pertaining to specific aspects of communication.

Forced Vote

Presented below are the average ratings in relation to the forced offer/voting.

Information Sessions

When asked about information sessions prior to the ratification vote, it was found that 75% of respondents attended at least one session. Of those who didn’t attend, over half (58%) indicated it was due to a conflict with their schedule. For those who did attend, a high level of satisfaction with the sessions was found.

Tentative Agreement

As shown below, results indicated a high level of satisfaction with the bargaining process specific to the tentative agreement.

Bargaining Process: Strengths

StrengthsNumber of Respondents
Communication (e.g.,process, progress, timelines, clarity of content)93
Outcome (e.g., achieving bargaining results, objecting to forced vote process, content of new collective agreement)34
Communication and use of technology (e.g., online information sessions, use of online tools for information sessions, online vote)13
Bargaining team (e.g., positive and assertive attitude of bargaining team, strongly representing the interest of ASPA members)15

Bargaining Process: Areas for Improvement 

Areas for ImprovementNumber of Respondents
Improved communications (e.g., more frequent updates, briefing notes, written summary ahead of and after meetings, focus on clarity, misleading, more professional)37
New agreement (e.g., wanted better deal, too many concessions, deal was worse than forced offer, gave up too much)34
Improve online meetings11
Analysis (e.g., Better analysis of wins and losses of terms, compare to other Collective Bargaining Agreements)11
Bargaining (e.g., not so adversarial, represent all members, long serving members missed out, bargain for all members, do not make recommendation to members, tougher negotiation/more courage, more visibility from all bargaining team)11

Additional Comments

Additional CommentsNumber of
Appreciative of the bargaining team60
Improved ASPA Communication (e.g., communication was one-sided/skewed/biased/ misleading, communication was not timely, need more consistent updates, communication too negative)25
Merit changes are negative (e.g.,disappointed to see add-to-base merit disappear, do not understand the merit system)14
Unhappy with new agreement (e.g., old agreement was better, conceded too much with new agreement, agreeing on a poor contract is not success, lost more than we gained)8
Process/technology issues (e.g., problems with receiving ballots, forced vote should have been online, use online technology better next time)7
Signing bonus (e.g., signing bonus not good for people on terms/contracts, signing bonus should only be one payment, signing bonus is humiliating)5
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