ASPA Member Highlight – Lisa Thomaidis

Coach-ThomaidisLisa Thomaidis, the head coach of our University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s basketball team, was named the head coach of Team Canada’s Senior National Women’s Team in March of 2013. After leading the Huskies to the their third Canada West Championship last March, Thomaidis traded her Green and White for the national Red and White and spent part of her summer in Ankara Turkey at the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women.

Thomaidis led Team Canada to their best finish since the 1980’s, finishing in 5th place. Thomaidis, who has been on campus at the helm of the huskies for more than 16 years, has become a central figure helping to bring about the dawn of a golden age of basketball in our country.

ASPA’s New Brown Bag Lunch Series

ASPA is proud to announce a new series of events for members. This fall ASPA is launching the Brown Bag lunch series. These lunch-hour sessions are a place for members to come together and learn about different aspects of our collective agreement. Brown Bag events will happen several times a year and will address a wide array of issues that affect you, the member.

ASPA hopes that this special series will provide another avenue for you to raise questions and engage in conversations about the future of ASPA and the privileges that come with our collective agreement.

The first Brown Bag session took place November 26th when current ASPA President Paola Chiste and former President Chloe Corcoran spent time discussing the process of contract negotiations and why we should care. If you want to know more about the Brown Bag series email us at or call Annetta in the ASPA office at 306-966-2471. Also keep an eye on your email for the invitations to the different events as they become available over the next year.

USASK Employee Survey, Minimum Wage and Canada Post in the News

U of S Employee Survey “not about TransformUS”

• A new employee survey asking every University of Saskatchewan worker what they do all day is about improving services, not cutting jobs, a senior administrator says. Star-Phoenix

Why Raise the Minimum Wage? Just Ask Costco

• Ironically, research has consistently shown that businesses that provide wages considered fair by workers experience not only solid returns but active worker participation. Globe and Mail

Court challenge launched against the elimination of door-to-door delivery

• A challenge will be filed in the Federal Court of Canada under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, asking the court to put a stop to Canada Post’s termination of home mail delivery. Canadian Union of Postal Workers

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.