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”

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”

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

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

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”

ASPA Updates, President's Message, Uncategorized

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, Uncategorized

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

President's Message

July President’s Message


Dawn Giesbrecht

“Never a dull moment.” This is how I can best sum up the last two months since I started as ASPA President. By now you should have heard that the U and ASPA have reached an impasse in bargaining. In an effort to keep our members well in- formed, here is a little of what I know.First, I would like to take this time to thank ASPA’s bargaining team. The team is led by Ken Glover and Jim Coller. They are joined by Chloe Corcoran, Paola Chiste, and assisted by Darcy Hryn and Annetta Gellner. They have all worked hard and put in countless hours to put together a package deal that balances the needs of our membership with the requests of the university. As you can imagine, this is no easy feat.I officially joined the bargaining team in late May. While I had been told that it was proving to be a difficult process, I honestly had no idea how challenging. I joined our ASPA team for two days of dis- cussion following the university’s offer to settle that they presented on May 11th. We, as a team, spent a great deal of time deliberating over the points of their offer to massage it into something accept- able to our members. As a result, we drafted our own package deal and presented it to the university on June 9th.
Our next meeting was set for June 12th. In that meeting the uni- versity told ASPA that we stay in our jobs too long. You can imag- ine our shock. I didn’t realize that it was a goal of the university to have us leave our jobs. It has been my understanding that employee retention was a goal of any employer. Even going back to my first job as a teenager, I understood that it is far less expensive to keep an employee than it is to have to hire a new one. That has not changed. There are many articles written on this very topic. If for no other reason than money, it is better to retain an employee than to have to hire a new one.They also came back with a “Best and Final Offer to Settle”. Very little had changed from their previous proposal and next to nothing had been incorporated from ours. It didn’t take us long to see that this was not in the best interest of our members and as a result turned it down. They did ask us to ruminate on it but we could only let it churn around so long before saying no.The cost of living in Saskatoon has gone up 2.5% in the last year alone and our property taxes are set to go up once again. With an offer of 0%, 0% and 2.25%, we are losing ground even with a small signing bonus. The two parties are too far apart in expec- tations and are at an impasse. We are now mandated under The Saskatchewan Employment Act to go to mediation. Both par- ties have requested mediation and we await a response from the Minister of Education, Labour Relations and Workplace Safety.We appreciate the outpouring of support from our members. Keep your comments and questions coming. Any and all feed- back is appreciated.
President's Message

December President’s Message

Paola Christie

Paola Chiste

One of my favourite childrens’ stories is called “Hurry, Hurry, Mary Dear” about a woman who is run off her feet with all the chores she must do before the advent of winter when, in an act of final desperation, she throws a teapot over her husband’s head as he has been the one assigning all the tasks. I’m starting to sympathize with  Mary more and more these days (not the husband part fortunately). The list of things I need to get done seems to be growing, despite my best efforts to minimize it.

The recent Service Delivery Survey that apparently many of you have not filled out, has started me thinking about the work I actually do as opposed to the work I am supposed to do, as per my job description. Is what I get done during the day the important tasks or is it the low-lying fruit that I can easily get done between meetings and satisfy my need for a sense of accomplishment?  How many assignments are given to us to fulfill the administrative needs of the University, as opposed to my position accountabilities? When will I find time to plan my projects? Schedule my time? Do research? Manage in a meaningful way? Mentor junior staff?

Is anyone else feeling the same way? If you are, I’d love to hear from you and start a dialogue on what “work” looks like for ASPA members and how well we are managing with all the things that need to get done. What pressures are you feeling? Are you doing what you should be doing? Are you pulled in different directions? Do you have direction? Perhaps there are some solutions that we can come to and make the workplace a better place for ASPA members.

On that note, the holiday season will soon be upon us and the ASPA Executive and Staff would like to wish you a safe, happy, and most importantly, restful holiday.