President's Message

ASPA President’s Message

Written by Curtis Larson, September 2020

Fall officially arrives next week but I think many of us thought it arrived a couple of weeks ago when it hit -6C overnight. The warm weather has come and gone and the new academic term has begun. It will definitely be a different academic year with the hybrid approach to program delivery, but we are all back providing the support and coordination to make it happen.

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Member Interest Articles

Working from Home Survey Results

Introduction

ASPA Research Committee conducted an online survey from July 20-29, 2020 to gather feedback from ASPA members about how working remotely from home as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted their lives. The short survey gathered insights on both the challenges and benefits members have observed while working at home for the last four months, after a rapid shift to work from home started in March 2020. Additionally, data were collected on members’ perspectives in relation to continuing working from home and returning to university offices. A total of 662 surveys were completed, representing a 46% response rate.  The ASPA Research Committee would like to sincerely thank everyone who took time from their busy lives and participated in the survey. This article provides an overview of the survey results.

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Bargaining Updates

ASPA Bargaining Update

We are very pleased to announce that your bargaining team has reached a new tentative collective agreement with the University of Saskatchewan, subject to ratification by the membership. We will be presenting the details of this agreement to you very soon by online town halls and making the presentation with details of the agreement available online so that everyone has a chance to review and make an informed decision prior to the online voting period. The bargaining team is recommending a yes vote for this agreement.

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Labour in the News

Indigenous Professors Cite Racism, Lack of Reform in University of Saskatchewan Exodus

Jason Warick · CBC News · Posted: Aug 30, 2020 2:00 AM CT | Last Updated: August 30

A group of Indigenous professors and staff say they’ve been forced to leave the University of Saskatchewan because of racism, a hostile work environment and the slow pace of reforms.

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Member Highlights

ASPA Member Highlight – Bonita Wong, Finance and Operations Manager, Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Science

Written by Karen E. Mosier

Bonita has been on campus for much of her adult life. From a young age, she had a strong interest in the natural world and came to the University of Saskatchewan to pursue that interest. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology (1989), and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (1997), both from the University of Saskatchewan. Bonita has worked continuously on campus since September 1989 but had worked as a secretary and an undergraduate student research hire prior to that time. In 1989, she started working as a Research Technician with the Crop Development Centre, followed by several years with the Department of Biology, and then moved over to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. In 2000, she accepted a new position as Administrative Assistant with the Department of Biology where she stayed for 12 years. She accepted a promotion in 2012 to become the Finance and Operations Manager with the Department of Chemistry. 

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Labour in the News

It’s Going to Take More Than The Courts to Stop Kenney’s Bill 32

Written by Cole Rockarts – Rank and File.ca – August 19, 2020

On Wednesday, July 29, Alberta’s United Conservative Party government passed the Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, which aims to control how union dues can finance political activities and legislate restrictions on where unions can picket. The bill claims it will save employers $100 million dollars per year by “reducing red tape”, and enhancing worker “choice” and “promote fairness and productivity”.  

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Member Interest Articles

Ways to Learn to Love Your Job

Written by Karen E. Mosier

What should you do if the job you thought you would enjoy is turning into something different than you expected? You may have had high expectations for your position but it has slowly turned into a struggle and now you just accept it because you need work. Do not be discouraged. It is possible to revive your relationship with your job. There are things that you can try to help change your perspective.

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Member Highlights

ASPA Member Highlight – Shari Thompson, Student Professional Development Strategist/Director of Career Development, College of Law, University of Saskatchewan

Written by Karen E. Mosier

Shari obtained her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina in 1988, attending the satellite office in Saskatoon.  Prior to acceptance into Social Work, she took two years of Arts and Science completing all pre-requisite coursework at the University of Saskatchewan.   In 1993, Shari became a Certified Job Finding Club Facilitator, completing a Human Resources Advanced Certificate in 2010, and the Mental Health First Aid training in 2018. Shari has worked at the University of Saskatchewan for almost 18 years, in the areas of career and employment with students in all colleges, having worked for 15 years as an Employment Coordinator in the Student Employment and Career Centre.    

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