Labour in the News

University of Calgary to Slash 250 Jobs After Provincial Funding Cuts

Written by Sarah Rieger, CBC News

The University of Calgary says 250 jobs will be impacted by recent provincial funding cuts.

Of those, 100 jobs will be cut through closing vacancies, retirements and resignations — meaning there will be 150 layoffs.

“Of course, this is painful for all of us to talk about,” said U of C provost and vice-president Dru Marshal during a budget town hall meeting Monday on campus. 

She said there will be two rounds of layoffs, the first starting at the end of this month and the second in mid-January.

Continue reading “University of Calgary to Slash 250 Jobs After Provincial Funding Cuts”
Member Highlights

ASPA Member Highlight – Helanna Gessner, Administrative Coordinator, Diefenbaker Canada Centre

Written by Karen E. Mosier

Helanna Gessner has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Archaeology & Classical Medieval & Renaissance studies from the University of Saskatchewan completed in 2016 and a Masters in Museum Studies through the University of Leicester in 2018. She recently started working on campus in May of 2019 at the Diefenbaker Canada Centre as an Administrative Coordinator.  

Helanna’s duties are to provide support between the Curator and the Program Manager, and to liaison with the Executive Officer, who does all the planning for the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. She also does bookings for programs and develops events for the Centre. The Diefenbaker Canada Centre provides educational programs to schools in and around Saskatoon in alignment with the curriculum (e.g., Social Studies) for students from kindergarten to Grade 6. In addition, campus tours and gallery tours are available to the public. Helanna is also responsible to train, mentor, and oversee the duties of the student staff at the Centre.

Continue reading “ASPA Member Highlight – Helanna Gessner, Administrative Coordinator, Diefenbaker Canada Centre”
Labour in the News, Member Interest Articles

The Case for A 4-Day Workweek

Written by Alexia Fernandez Campbell

Americans once worked 100 hours a week, six days in a row. Then, in 1940, came the five-day workweek.

Now labor unions are making the case for even less work: dropping days worked down to four.

That’s one of the changes unions are proposing as part of their vision for the future of work, which is outlined in a report to be released Friday by the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of labor unions in the US. (Disclosure: I am a member of the Writers Guild of America East, which is part of the AFL-CIO.) The report, which was shared in advance with Vox, focuses on finding ways to make sure workers can best benefit from automation and other technological changes.

Continue reading “The Case for A 4-Day Workweek”
Bargaining Updates

Bargaining Update

ASPA Bargaining Update

Your ASPA bargaining team met with the employer on November 21 and 22, 2019. This is the second meeting we have had to date and we will be meeting with the employer again on December 19 and 20, 2019. We are still in the early stages of bargaining but it is clear after the first two meetings that we have a lot of work ahead of us before reaching a new collective agreement.

Continue reading “Bargaining Update”
Labour in the News

UNBC’s Chief Strike Negotiator Talked of Plans to Permanently Close University

Written by Amanda Follett Hosgood, November 20, 2019.  |

In an address to peers last year, a senior administrator involved with the ongoing faculty strike at the University of Northern British Columbia described the challenges of running a university in the north as “pretty scary stuff” and alluded to a 10-year plan to shut down the institution.

“Universities don’t typically die, but there’s always a first,” says Barb Daigle, UNBC’s interim vice-president of finance, people, organizational design and risk, during a presentation called “Leading from the Middle” that she gave at the Canadian Association of University Business Officers conference in Vancouver in June 2018. The talk was recorded and posted online (under “Concurrent Sessions 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.”).

“We have all these wakeup calls that would indicate UNBC’s in trouble,” she says 27 minutes into the talk. “We were at the beginning of developing the 10-year plan to shut UNBC down, because we had some significant issues that needed to turn around and budget, certainly, was one of them.”

Continue reading “UNBC’s Chief Strike Negotiator Talked of Plans to Permanently Close University”
ASPA Updates

Vacation Purchase Program and Partial Leave Initiative

On November 13, 2019, the employer communicated to ASPA members, in Finance and Resources, that they were offering a Vacation Purchase Program (VPP) and a Partial Leave Initiative (PLI) as a pilot project to all staff within this portfolio.

We felt it was important for ASPA members to know that the Employer did not speak to ASPA in any detail about either the VPP or the PLI.  They mentioned in passing that they were looking at some initiatives back in September, but had no further discussion with us.  The first time ASPA was provided with the details of the VPP and the PLI was on November 12, 2019. Continue reading “Vacation Purchase Program and Partial Leave Initiative”