ASPA Advocate

Mediator sought in faculty contract talks with University of Regina

The Canadian Press: updated February 6, 2019

The Saskatchewan government has been asked by the University of Regina Faculty Association to appoint a mediator to help reach an agreement in its lengthy contract talks with the university.

The association is the certified bargaining agent for 1,400 full- and part-time employees.

Their last collective bargaining agreement with the U of R expired in June 2017.

Negotiations on a new deal began in April of last year.  READ MORE

Social Media Survey Results

Written by John Costa on behalf of the Research Committee

Last January, ASPA members responded to ASPA’s 1 Minute survey on social media. Over 320 ASPA members participated with the vast majority of reporting overwhelming support for the current method of communication – email (96.8%) and website (57%) with Facebook coming in a distant third with 18.50% support.

When asked which social media tools respondents use, Facebook and LinkedIn were ranked among the most visited platforms with YouTube coming a close third. Reddit was the most cited social media site not listed (Website, E-mail, Texting, Hard Copy Newsletter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn). Read More

Canadian workers have a fundamental right to strike, top court rules

Wow, has it really been four (4) years since the Supreme Courts decision?  Doesn’t seem possible…..

The Supreme Court of Canada has declared the right to strike to be fundamental and protected by the Constitution, thus handing organized labour its second stunning victory this month.

The 5-2 ruling has wide implications across Canada for governments that limit the right of public-sector workers and others to strike.

Following a ruling that said Mounties and other Canadian workers have the right to unionize to protect their interests, the court has revolutionized Canadian labour law.

Saskatchewan had warned the court that the right to strike would be a change of “seismic proportions,” and several provinces had intervened to argue against that right, in support of laws that limit the right of public workers deemed essential to walk off the job.  READ MORE

Labour complaint against Amazon Canada alleges workers who tried to unionize were fired

The Canadian Press ·

A union representing Ontario couriers delivering packages for Amazon.com Inc., are alleging the e-commerce giant engaged in unfair labour practices that resulted in the termination of employees, the closure of one courier company’s Mississauga operations and the bankruptcy of another.

In a series of applications filed with the Ontario Labour Relations Board in July, initially reported on by The Logic, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Canada Local 175 accused Amazon subsidiary Amazon Canada Fulfillment Services Inc., of using its control over sub-contractors to create a “chilling effect” meant to influence them to not “support, assist or co-operate with” the organization of a union.  READ MORE

ASPA Member Highlight – LaVina Watts, Study Abroad Coordinator (College of Arts and Science Dean’s Office)

Written by Karen E. Mosier

LaVina Watts has worked on campus for over 12 years, having held 4 positions. LaVina’s LaVina 3current position gives her the opportunity to work with departments and faculty members to form new partnerships with international universities, and to create international study programs. Her primary duty is to support the offering of courses/programs within an existing degree programs, to allow Arts & Science students to study abroad and get credit for their course work. This work includes assisting faculty with course development, assisting with safety plans, looking under every rock for student funding, and reassuring students that the extra effort to participate in a study abroad program will be more than worth it in the end. Read More

“Bargaining is at a standstill”: Strike looms as talks between CUPE, Uof S break down

Contract talks between the University of Saskatchewan and the union representing its support workers have broken down, paving the way for a possible job action.

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1975 and the U of S began mediation in the fall, after the union gave its bargaining committee a strike mandateREAD MORE

Things to Consider when Starting your Career

By Karen E. Mosier – Reprinted with permission.  Original printed in CARA Connection Newsletter Vol 4 Issue 5 Sept 2016

I have worked in research administration for 13 years. Time flies by quickly. I wish someone would have told me to think of the big picture when I started my first job and to keep my career path in mind instead of focusing only on the job at hand. Read More

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. Read More

ASPA Member Highlight – Carla Zorn, Admin Coordinator, Faculty Engagement, College of Medicine (Dean’s Office)

Written by Karen E. Mosier

Carla Zorn has worked on campus in the College of Medicine Dean’s Office for 12 years. She has a secretarial certificate. Carla works with faculty in the College of Medicine Carla 2regarding annual reviews, tenure & promotion, salary review, and to ensure these collegial processes occur in a timely manner and proceed to the Vice Provost Faculty Affairs office. The College of Medicine has 15 departments, so Carla is regularly in communication with the Department Heads and their support staff to notify them of timelines, to assist with the processes and/or to answer queries for faculty-related topics. She also assists in processing appointments for new and existing faculty in the College of Medicine. The College currently has over 1800 faculty appointments. Read More

100th anniversary of Winnipeg’s 1919 General Strike will be marked with monument, movie, books

Darren Bernhardt · CBC News ·

The site of the bloodiest clash of Winnipeg’s 1919 General Strike is set to be cast in bronze and glass — and illuminated.

A tilted and half-sunken streetcar is being designed and constructed as part of a permanent art installation that will be placed at the corner of Main Street and Market Avenue, in front of Pantages Playhouse Theatre.

It will be steps away from the exact spot of the climactic, violent scene that underscored a defining moment in Canada’s history.  READ MORE