We are over halfway through term 1 of the 2020-21 academic year and more than 8 months along dealing with the pandemic with most of us still working from home. As I am writing this the province is experiencing rising COVID-19 positive cases across the province with Saskatoon being particularly hard hit. The province also has announced mandatory mask wearing in all public indoor spaces for the city until at least November 28, something those of you that have been coming on campus have been doing since the beginning of September. I hope all of you are keeping well and taking the time to stay healthy both physically and mentally, as the stress and anxiety of the pandemic, working from home, social isolation, etc. can be overwhelming at times. Remember to make the effort to reach out to talk to people and access the many resources we have available to us through programs like the employee and family assistance program or just talking to a trusted co-worker or friend to get a different perspective on an issue that you may be dealing with.Continue reading “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.Continue reading “ASPA President’s Message” →
Happy New Year to all of you and I hope you were able to have some down time over the break and recharge as we head into another year!
In January our treasurer Garett Federko was successful in obtaining another position on campus but unfortunately it is an exempt position so he has had to step down from the executive. We will miss Garett’s expertise with our finances and his insight into all the items we discussed as an executive as he brought a valuable point of view to ASPA. I want to thank Garett for all of his work with us and wish him the best in his new position!Continue reading “President’s Message, Welcome 2020” →
We are now into November and it feels more like January. As I write this, the forecast next week looks more seasonal and I’m hopeful that we all get to enjoy a little more fall weather before we must go into hibernation mode. The holiday season will be here before we know it and even though this is a season to be happy and socialize with family and friends, it can also be a season for more stress and demands on our time. Please remember to take time for yourselves to recharge your batteries every so often and take advantage of the Employee and Family Assistance Program if the need arises. Remember that all ASPA employees have time off between December 25 and January 1, 2019 and you do not need to make up this time for that. Continue reading “President’s Message” →
Fall will soon be upon us and I hope all of you have had a chance over the summer to take some time away from work to reconnect with family and friends and take a break before we are inundated with the work that comes with a new academic term and all of the students returning to classes. I know the two weeks I spent away in August already seem like a long time ago but it was great to just disconnect (as much as you can these days) and focus on something other than work. It is important that all of us remember to use the vacation benefits we have in our collective agreement as it allows us to recharge and maintain our physical and mental health. This is not only benefit to ourselves and our families, but also benefits our employer as we come back from vacations recharged and more productive. Continue reading “President’s Message” →
Hello fellow ASPA members! My name is Curtis Larson and the ASPA executive at the May 2019 executive meeting selected me to be president for 2019-20. I am both honoured and humbled to be able to serve you for a second time in the role of President. For those of you that have been here a long time you may recall I was previously on the ASPA executive from 2001 to 2004 and served as President in 2002-03. Much has changed since that time, not least of which the ASPA membership has grown from under 500 members to almost 1400 members today, which probably means the workload will be a little heavier and the issues more complex than last time, but being able to hopefully make a positive difference, no matter how small, in the working lives of our members is one of the most satisfying and rewarding things I have done in my career. I am looking forward to working with our new executive and our members as we go into a very busy year. Joanie Crandall and LaVina Watts are your vice presidents and I will be looking to them for guidance and support as they have built a great foundation for ASPA over the past several years and I want to thank Joanie for her service as president in 2018-19. If you ever have any questions about ASPA, your rights in the workplace, or just want to have a discussion about an idea you have about how ASPA can make a positive difference in our members work life please don’t hesitate to contact the ASPA office or myself. Continue reading “President’s Message” →
I hope you had the most wonderful and joyous of holidays with family and friends.
Looking back on 2018, it was a wonderfully busy year celebrating ASPA’s 40th anniversary of certification. Thank you to everyone who made the year a success and thank you to each of you who took the time to participate in the celebratory activities. As we look to the year ahead, preparations for collective bargaining are already underway. In February, ASPA will be sending out a pre-bargaining survey. We are hoping that you will take the time to fill out this out as it is will be important information for the bargaining team. Your executive will keep you updated as we get closer to the end of ASPA’s current collective bargaining agreement, which expires on April 30. We remain hopeful that CUPE 1975 and the University can reach a settlement without job action becoming necessary. We will, of course, support our colleagues just as we would want them to support our efforts at reaching a fair agreement. (Read the letter to President Stoicheff.)
Looking ahead, this year we will be holding our first social in February. An Eventbrite invitation in your inbox with the details. Come mingle with colleagues and your executive and enjoy some lovely appetizers. Continue reading “President’s Message” →
Welcome to a new academic term. As we settle into the routines of fall, we would like to welcome our newest ASPA members and welcome back our returning ones. I hope that you were able to enjoy some time away from work over the lovely summer months. The ASPA Executive team will be meeting monthly over the coming year. We are looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you at our upcoming events as we mark our 40th anniversary of certification.
To kickstart the fall term, ASPA, in solidarity with the other unions on campus, hosted the third annual free pancake breakfast. Congratulations to the winners of the ASPA door prizes: Kevin Bitinsky, Mike Dietrich, Cindy Farrar, Leah Lozinsky, Jonathon Nicklin, Katelyn Sarvas, John Shelling, James Shewaga, Brenna Stuckel, Graham Wisser, and Eileen Zagiel. Continue reading “ASPA President’s Message” →
Happy 40th Birthday, ASPA!
My name is Joanie Crandall and it is my pleasure to introduce myself to you as the newly appointed ASPA President for 2018-2019 following the end of Peter Krebs’ term. I look forward to working with returning Vice-Presidents LaVina Watts and Dawn Giesbrecht, staff members Annetta Gellner and Darcy Hryn-Bird and, of course, my Executive sisters and brothers.
Some of you know me already through my work as Coordinator for the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Justice Studies, particularly through the Violence and Aggression Symposium. Prior to arriving in Saskatoon, I taught on a remote northern reserve, worked as an Instructional Designer, an Educational Media Assistant, an accounting clerk with an international law firm, and was active as a volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross. While working on my PhD I also ran a small business, taught as a Limited Term Appointment, and was a principal of a school in Nunavut. Besides my work as Coordinator and my new ASPA role, I am also a sessional lecturer with the Colleges of Education and Arts and Science and have acted as a consultant for the Gwenna Moss Centre as a facilitator of Instructional Skills Workshops.
I look forward to working with ASPA members and the other unions here at the U of S in the year ahead. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy a wonderful summer!
The holiday season will soon be upon us and at this occasion, the ASPA Executive and Staff would like to wish you a safe, happy, and most importantly, restful holiday.
2017 is almost over. It has been an eventful year, for the ASPA Executive and staff, but also for many of our members. Most notable was the Voluntary Exit Program that the employer proposed, and which ASPA accepted. We regret that we will lose many, mostly long term, members, but take satisfaction in the fact that the departing members, for the most part, have arranged their personal and/or professional destiny on their own terms.