ASPA Advocate

Campus Unions Hosting FREE Pancake Breakfast for Staff and Students

Pancake Breakfast Poster-Flyer

President’s Message August 31, 2016

president_dawnWelcome back! Hopefully you have had some time off over the summer. Now we leave the peace and solitude of campus in summer and enter the start of another school year. What a fantastic time of year. I love seeing the fresh faces arriving on campus. Those faces contain so many different expressions. Some are eager with anticipation, some with pure excitement and some with even shock and wonder as they start a new year of classes. Some have the zombie-like gaze of a Pokemon Go hunter. Whatever their expression is, their arrival is a great reminder of what our purpose is on this campus.

ASPA, CUPE 1975 and the University are close to completing work on the ASPA/CUPE scope project that has taken 8 years to complete.  This ends only to have us embark on another jurisdiction project.

The University has recently provided ASPA with a list of 111 people in positions that they believe meet the definition of ‘supervisor’ according to the Saskatchewan Employment Act (SEA). The SEA has created a new definition of “supervisory employee” which applies to anyone whose primary function is that of supervision. While the university has the option to grandfather our supervisory members into ASPA, they have elected not to and have indicated they intend to take this to the Labour Relations Board sometime in September to have them removed from ASPA. It remains to be seen whether the primary function of these members is actually supervision. Employees that have been deemed ‘supervisors’ can belong to a separate ‘supervisory bargaining unit’. ASPA will be in contact with all of our members that have been identified on this list.

I would like everyone to know that Jay Shanahan, one of ASPA’s Vice Presidents is leaving the university. Jay’s portfolio during his time as VP was that of member issues. He had also taken a lead role in the communications committee and spearheaded the years of service gift program that ASPA started this year. While we are sorry to see him go, we wish him all the best in his new endeavours.

For the past year or so the unions on campus have been meeting to discuss items of mutual concern or interest. It was at one of these meetings that the unions agreed to take on the Welcome Week pancake breakfast. You are invited to join us for breakfast in the bowl on Thursday, September 8 from 7:30 to 9:30 or until we run out of pancakes. Pop by to say “Hi” and to meet some of the ASPA Executive members. I look forward to seeing you on the 8th!


Dawn Giesbrecht
ASPA President


Brown Bag Session: Maternity Leaves

Are you a Supervisor?

A few years ago, the provincial Government undertook a review of a number of provincial statutes, including The Trade Union Act, The Labour Standards Act, and The Occupational Health and Safety Act to name a few.  They hoped to modernize and simplify the existing labour and employment legislation.  In doing so, they created The Saskatchewan Employment Act (SEA) which came into force and effect on April 29, 2014 (with the exception of a couple of Sections) Read More

You only have until August 10th to submit your photo!

David Stobbe / Stobbe Photography

David Stobbe / Stobbe Photography

Pull out your camera, phone and snap up a few photos of our great campus. Inside or out send us photos of a day in the life of USASK.

Executive Member Highlight – Jay Shanahan

For the past two years, Jay Shanahan has served as an Executive member of ASPA, in the role of Vice-President.  A few years ago, at a time of great need for ASPA, Jay responded to an ASPA call for volunteers, and he has been a tireless volunteer for ASPA ever since. Jay sums up his experience as an ASPA Executive in these words:

“The most interesting part of my volunteerism with ASPA has been the amazing people I have met from across campus and you really get to see the campus in a larger scope. Often we don’t see past our own unit or the bowl, so to see how all the different pieces come together to achieve the mission of the university is really fascinating to watch unfold.”

Read More





Voices of Saskatchewan’s Precarious Workforce

By Denise Leduc

In the 1970s a person working full-time making minimum wage would live 10 per cent above the poverty line. Today, that same person would be living approximately 12 per cent below the poverty line. In the past few years the Fight for 15 and discussions around living wages and a guaranteed basic income have been advancing dialogue about workers’ wages and economic fairness.

In 2015, 70 per cent of the people living in poverty in Canada were employed. Many of these people were taking on second or third job just to try to make ends meet. Read more!


ASPA Welcomes New Executive Members

The newest members to the ASPA Executive are Karen Onishenko and Lisa Bagonluri. Karen and Lisa were elected to the Executive at the ASPA AGM in April and are welcome additions to the team.

Not only is Karen new to the executive team, she is also fairly new to campus. Karen started working in the Disability Services for Students office in December, 2015. Karen is loving her position and feels fortunate to work with such intelligent, interesting, creative, wise, genuine companionate and REALLY fun people.  Read More

Officers Appointed for 2016-17

The 2016 ASPA Executive met for the first time on Thursday, May 12th. Under the ASPA Constitution the first order of business was to select the Executive Officers.

  • Dawn Giesbrecht will continue as President
  • Jay Shanahan will continue as Vice President
  • Peter Krebs will move to the role of Vice President
  • Sheila ffolliott will continue as Treasurer