President’s Message

November 2019

We are now into November and it feels more like January.  As I write this, the forecast PB 2019 - Curt and Johnnext 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”

President’s Message

curtis 2Fall 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”

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 honouredcurtis 2 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”

President’s Message

Happy 2019!

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”

ASPA President’s Message

Welcome Back!

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”

Introducing ASPA’s new President

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

Enjoy a wonderful summer!

President’s Message

getportraitThe 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.

Continue reading “President’s Message”

President’s Message

August is coming to a close, and this presents an occasion to reflect on the not-quite-yet-done summer, and to anticipate the upcoming academic year.

I would like to welcome back all of our colleagues who had the opportunity to take some restful vacation over the summer months.  As the seasons change, a new academic year is about to begin, and soon our campus will see new and returning students, and there will be an increased excitement and busyness in the air.

To kick off the new academic year, ASPA together with other unions on campus is hosting the second annual free pancake breakfast in the Bowl, on September 7, 7:30 – 10:00am.  There will be lots of information about the employee unions, many giveaways, and a “door” prize. Please visit the ASPA Advocate (website) for more information. Continue reading “President’s Message”

President’s Message


My name is Peter Krebs and it is my pleasure to announce the recent decision made by the ASPA Executive members to appoint a new president/vice-president complement for the year 2017-2018.

I have accepted the position of ASPA President for this year.  I have done so in knowing that I will be supported by the two experienced vice-presidents, Lisa Bagonluri and Dawn Giesbrecht; that I can count on my fellow ASPA Executive members for their wisdom and guidance; and last but not least, that the all-important business of the association is in the capable hands of our staff members, Annetta Gellner and Darcy Hryn. Continue reading “President’s Message”

President’s Message

Happy New Year!

I would like to take this time to give a heartfelt thank you to the ASPA Executive Officers and the ASPA staff. They are a hard working group that keeps ASPA working for its members.  In addition to being on the Executive, many of them have joined committees, some internal to ASPA and some University committees. The following highlights just some of the work they do for ASPA and its members.

Elana Geller is our newest Executive Officer. She joined the executive in the fall to fill in a vacated position.

John Costa serves on the pension committee and was integral to getting online voting established that was used for voting on our collective agreement.

Sara Horseman has taken the lead on our communications committee.

Patrick Dice serves on the social, communications and nominations committees.

Brock Egeto attends weekly new positions meetings where we meet with the Employer and CUPE 1975. He also helps out on our communications and research committees.

Andrea Smida serves on the engagement committee and also sits on new positions.

Aaron Bird serves on our finance and research committees.

Sheila is the ASPA Treasurer. She provides timely financial reports in addition to working on the engagement committee and organizing our brown bag lunches.

Lisa Bagonluri is one of ASPA’s Vice Presidents and serves on the Employee Assistance Committee and the grievance committee.

Peter Krebs is also a Vice President and sits on the Employee Assistance Committee as well as the grievance, communications, finance and research committees.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the work that these members do for ASPA.  Hopefully it illustrates for you the numerous committees as well as the amount of work that is put into our organization.

I would like to also thank all of the other ASPA members that serve on a multitude of committees that help our organization and members. It is the collective work of all of these people that ensures the success of our association.

In addition, I must thank the ASPA staff, Darcy Hryn and Annetta Gellner, for their hard work and dedication to this organization. Darcy helps our members with contract interpretation and acts as a resource to the Executive. ASPA filed 17 grievances in 2016 and Darcy worked with the Presidents to ensure that they were handled as efficiently as possible. Annetta keeps us all organized and is also a resource to the Executive. She books our meetings, keeps track of our schedules and has the history of ASPA stored in her brain.

I am grateful to have the privilege of working with all of these talented and devoted people.

In preparation for our AGM in April, we will be looking for people to run on the ASPA executive.  If you are interested in learning more about ASPA, or more about our campus, serving on the Executive will give you tremendous experience. It is an opportunity to work with a fabulous group of people and is also a chance to give back to our organization. If you would like more information about giving back by joining a committee, writing articles for our website or serving on the Executive, you can contact any of the executive members, myself ( or email

Respectfully submitted,

Dawn Giesbrecht

ASPA President