Happy September and beginning of term!
I’m very excited for everyone’s return to campus! The hallways are once again filled with students, staff and faculty and it’s so nice to see. Although the mask mandate is no longer in effect, masking is still highly recommended – especially while indoors.
Welcome week is going to be quickly upon us and with that we are once again having the Joint Unions Pancake Breakfast. This annual event is something I am personally looking forward too! It’s a wonderful opportunity to get together to see friends and colleagues (some in person for the first time in many months!). This year it will be held September 8th in the bowl from 7:30 am – 10:30 am.
ASPA and CUPE 1975 are continuing with the Joint Mental Health Awareness campaign and will have a booth at the pancake breakfast to once again sell the bright green t-shirts. So please make sure to stop by and say hi. All donations will go to the Canadian Mental Health Association – Saskatoon branch.
The Bargaining Team met through the summer and continues to meet into the start of the term to prepare to best represent the membership. Bargaining dates have been scheduled starting in late October, at which time we will begin to discuss substantive issues with the employer. The Bargaining Team will be working with the Research Committee to send out additional survey questions as needed. Please make your wishes known by sending your response!
Our Administrative Assistant, Angeline Hainstock, is in our general office and is available to help answer your questions. The ASPA office hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm 304 Kirk Hall. You can contact us any time at 306.966.2471 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Member Services Officer
Our Member Services Officer, Glenn Billingsley, joined us on June 1, 2022. Glenn previously worked as a Labour Relations Officer with SGEU for 13 years and is a great asset to our ASPA staff and to our entire membership. We are delighted to welcome Glenn to our team.
We continue to have a few outstanding grievances from 2021 that are waiting for arbitration decisions. ASPA was recently successful with a three-year long grievance process with a negotiated settlement.
If you have any questions or would like to information regarding what your union can do for you, please connect with Glenn. His office is in Kirk Hall room 302 and can be reached at email@example.com or 306.966.7392.
If you were a recipient of a Service award and have not had a chance to pick yours up yet, please contact Angeline Hainstock, Administrative Assistant directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since my last report, the ASPA membership continues to stay strong at 1334 members strong. The fluctuations in membership numbers is usually due to casual such as marker/proctors. We have only had one layoff in ASPA since June.
Overview of Membership Numbers
- As of March 1, 2022: 1445 Members
- As of June 1, 2022: 1296 Members
- As of August 1, 2022: 1334 Members
Standing Committee Updates
The role and function of the ASPA Research Committee is to develop and implement a member survey plan in support of the dynamic and changing needs of the ASPA Executive, Bargaining Team, and other committees as requested. With Summer coming to a close, we have seen few surveys since everyone is enjoying that we can be somewhat normal now.
The Research committee now has new Chair, Megan Fillatre, who has been with the ASPA Executive since this April 2022. She started at the University in 2015 as an International Student Recruitment and Liaison. In 2016 she moved into the International Office and supports facility members across campus with research and project proposals. Welcome Megan!
Please keep your eyes pealed for any surveys that may be heading your way this year.
Communications and Public Relations
The Communications committee has welcomed a new Chair as well. I would like to thank the previous Chair, Karen Mosier, for her volunteer time. She spent three years dedicated to creating and sharing articles with our membership.
I would like to welcome Brianna Groot, our previous Research Committee Chair, to the position. Brianna has been with our Executive since April 2021 when she was elected by the membership. She has 6 years of management experience working within ASPA and is passionate about social justice initiatives that support the community.
The committee is currently working on a communication strategy to plan the calendar for the year in conjunction with the other ASPA committees.
There have been many educational opportunities through the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) since restrictions and the pandemic have let up. Currently we have sent 3 members to the Spring School, 10 members to the Equity conference, 2 members to the Prairie women’s school, 2 members for the Occupational Health & Safety conference, and 4 delegates from the ASPA Executive to the 66th Annual Conference.
The committee is currently working on lunch and learn sessions for the year that you are interested in as a membership, so please check your emails for those updates.
Finance Committee – ASPA Standing Committee
There has not been much activity over the Summer, but our financial standing is healthy and on track for this year. We have set a strategic investment strategy with Private Wealth Management since January 13, 2022, to get interest back on our monies and keep it liquid since we are entering into a bargaining year. The committee continues to meet monthly.
The purpose of the ASPA Social Committee is to plan and execute social events to help ASPA members build a community and promote a culture of belonging, engagement, and fun among all members.
Since the last update, the committee has hosted the following events both virtual and in person:
- Remai Modern art tour and river walk May 14th – 15th: the art gallery was very kind in allowing us to set up three different dates and times for our members to see the beauty it offers; we gave away two individual memberships and two family memberships for the year to the art gallery as door prizes
- ASPA Annual Summer Family BBQ Aug 6th: this was held at the Forestry Farm and Zoo with over 120 attendees, ASPA covered the cost of parking and entrance to the Zoo
- The Annual Summer Fun Photo 31st was a great success, the voting for your favourite photos is open till September 15th with the prizes being gift certificates to SaskMade
- The first ASPA Cinema Under the Stars was rained out for June 25th and we had to postpone it to August 26th, this worked better as the sun set sooner and we can start earlier
- Cooking Videos: Sharing Culture Through Food is currently going on all year, ASPA is reimbursing participants for their ingredients
The committee also has a new Chair, Erin Walling, who was previously the Social Justice Chair. She has been a part of the committee since June of 2022 and part of the ASPA Executive since 2020. She has worked with the University for over 9 years with her career focus on health care and health care education improvement for the last 15 years. Welcome Erin to the Social Committee.
I want to take this opportunity to send out a huge thanks to our social committee volunteers and the ASPA support staff. The committee members take time out of their busy schedules to plan and organize all of the events.
Upcoming Social Committee Events:
- Holiday Social (Jan 2023)
- Pizza Social (Feb 2023)
- AGM Social (April 2023)
- Annual Summer Photo Contest (July 2023 – September 2023)
- Annual BBQ (August 2023)
- Prairie Lily Boat Ride (October 2023)
Social Justice Committee
This year has been a busy one for the Social Justice Committee, preparing some language for the bargaining surveys took up most of the beginning of the year. There will be more surveys through the year as the committee discusses important topics.
I would like to welcome Candice Pete-Cardoso as the new Social Justice committee Chair. Candice is a nêhiýaw-iskwêw (Cree woman) from the Little Pine First Nation, Treaty 6 Territory and has over 23 years of experience working within the post-secondary sector, within federal and provincial government, and has worked extensively with Indigenous organizations across Canada.
Mental Health Campaign
ASPA and CUPE 1975’s joint campaign to spread awareness and end stigma around mental health has been going strong since about February of 2022. The committee has been meeting once a month or as needed to discuss events to promote awareness.
Since then, the committee held a presentation on May 5th ft. Heidi Fischer from Mental Health YXE to discuss the types of mental health disorders and how to recognize symptoms. Awareness t-shirts have been created to sell at $10/each with all proceeds going towards the Canadian Mental Health Association, Saskatoon Branch in order to support the resources that are out there for our members and community.
Through May and June the t-shirts were sold in the Health Sciences E-Wing Atrium as well as outside by the College of Dentistry. June 15th was a free hotdog day in the Bowl where we raised a grand total of $1,322.63 which includes the donations from May.
We have held a virtual presentation August 24th featuring Colleen Dell and her therapy dog E-Jay on the benefits animals play on human’s wellbeing.
Be sure to take good care of yourselves and if you are having difficulties, please reach out to a family member, friend, co-worker, or access one of our benefit providers (EFAP, Lumino, etc.). https://wellness.usask.ca/resources.php We are all in this together.
ASAP President (2022 – 2023)