How we get an agreement is that the parties (ASPA and the University) enter into negotiations and the document is created. The Collective Agreement ASPA currently enjoys was created and refined over the last 30 years. It continues to be refined and improved upon with each round of negotiations. Collective Agreements and the rights and benefits that exist within them are only as strong as the members that ensure these rights and benefits are maintained.
This question seems quite simple, but there are people who have no idea where to find the agreement. How many in this room have looked at the agreement? How many have read the agreement? How many have read the entire agreement?
You may wish to contact a member of the ASPA executive or the Member Services Officer or just call the ASPA office Your supervisor may also be of some assistance We are here to assist you with questions so please make sure you call if you have questions.
You may think that asking “how do I read it” is a silly question. But what many people do when they read the agreement is that they tend not to look at it from a holistic approach, which sometimes causes problems. For example – when we look at the term Years of Service one might think that this would mean my years of employment with the university, seems quite logical. In our case however “service” is defined within the collective agreement under the definitions section of the agreement and it refers to it as “time spent by a member performing the duties assigned by the employer……except when calculating vacation accrual rate where service refers to all continuous employment with the employer.” Member is also defined and that of course relates to our certification order and the individual being a member of ASPA. So really what years of service refers to when it appears in the agreement, with the exception of vacation accrual is the years that you have been a member of ASPA. This has a very different impact on the interpretation of the articles.
The easy answer to this is yes, there could be. Everyone is different so their priorities might take on a different focus. Also the Executive members may find Articles like 5.2 Deduction of Dues or 5.4 Time off for Association Business ones that they would need to be more familiar with then the general membership. It is safe to say that the majority of our members would most likely find Articles around Hours of Work and Benefits, including vacation, sick time and salary probably the Articles that are of the most interest to them.
Your rights are enshrined in the Collective Agreement and other provincial statutes. When the employer makes decisions they need to be done in good faith, they should be fair and not done arbitrarily. If a provision of the collective agreement is violated you have a right to file a grievance. The Union maintains carriage of the grievance and would file this on your behalf if there was a violation. Members need to be aware that there is a box around when grievances can be filed. Generally we would need to file a grievance within 30 days of the violation being identified. Members should speak to us as soon as possible. A safe work environment is one which is free from harassment, bullying, discrimination, physical and mental safety issues. This is mandated by The Saskatchewan Employment Act and The Human Rights Code. If a member is disabled the employer has an obligation to accommodate the member up to the point of undue hardship. This right is protected in The Saskatchewan Employment Act and The Human Rights Code. If you are uncomfortable meeting with the Employer alone or believe that the issue being discussed could progress to something bigger, you have every right to request to have a Union rep present. This is your right. You should be free to belong to the Union and participate in its activities without repercussions.
Article 9 is an Article that many might find of interest. This is where the ability to have your family and/or phase of your position reviewed if you think through restructuring or the evolution of time that your position is not accurately placed in the correct phase or family. Where the agreement speaks to hours of work, that an ASPA member works 1950 hours per year, on average 37.5 hours per week and the core hours are from 0830 – 430pm. This also speaks to the need for a work plan to be in place and reviewed regularly. It notes that performance reviews should happen at least once a year. Merit is also discussed in this Article. Speaks to increments and how and when they occur and also the across the board salary increases. Also that should your position require you to be a member of a professional association then the employer would pay for this membership if you meet their eligibility requirement. Examples of this might be a registered nurse.
Benefit plans include, Group Life Insurance, Extended Health and Dental and Flexible Spending Program. Eligibility for things vary slightly but if you have a permanent or seasonal status and are in a position of .5 FTE or greater or if you are in a .5 FTE or greater position for a term that is greater than or equal to 6 months you are eligible. If you don’t fit either of these there is a chance that you are still eligible for some benefits but this will depend on how many hours you work. Contact us if you are unsure. One criteria related to the Flexible Spending Program that isn’t part of the others, is that you also must be a resident of Canada and be eligible for provincial government health care benefits. The Flexible Spending Account is broken into both the Health Spending Account and the Personal Spending Account. Members can allocate the full amount to one or divide it between the two. This allocation can only be done once a year and will continue in that fashion until you advise them otherwise. Please be aware that the Personal Spending Account is a taxable benefit. Pension – The pension plan is a defined contributions plan and you are eligible for this if you have a permanent or seasonal status and are in a position of .5 FTE or greater or if you are in a term appointment greater than or equal to .5 FTE and greater than or equal to one year. Again, if you don’t fit either of these categories you might still be eligible. Contact us if you are unsure. These three items I won’t go into any detail on given our last brown bag series had these as topics.
This allows members to have a salary advance for purposes of buying a house for personal use. The advance is up to $12,000.00. Members who have a status of permanent or seasonal and in a position of .5 FTE or greater are eligible. If you are in a term position greater than or equal to .5 FTE you also might be eligible, it would depend on the length of your term. There is a promissory note attached to this advance. This is for those people who have a permanent or seasonal status and are in a position of .5 or greater. If your years of service are 25 years or more you can either take 6 weeks of paid vacation immediately prior to your retirement of receive 6 weeks of additional pay. If you have 20 - 24 years of service you would receive 4 weeks. This is for those all members who retire after having reached the age of 55 and have a min of 10 years of service. You will receive $1000.00 for the immediate two years following your retirement to purchase private health benefits. This is for all members no matter what your status is or the position you hold. You have access to the Kinesiology Facilities. This is a taxable benefit. EAP is available to all members - Family Services is the service provider
Important to note that completed years of service means – number of years as an ASPA member Also need to consider if you have taken any personal LOA’s during this time. This will impact your years of service. Extended Health, Dental and Life Insurance Benefits continue if you take your notice in monthly installments instead of a lump sum.
This is the chart that identifies what you would be eligible for under notice. We have only seen the employer use working notice occasionally and in those instances the majority of time it was for a month.
Service is defined as it is for Notice – based on your years as an ASPA member Reach the maximum amount of notice and severance once I have been employed on campus for 24 years. Would receive 24 months. Severance is paid to you in a lump sum. There is some tax sheltering options available.
Vacation is accrued in one year to take the next but you can take your vacation as you earn it. Requests for vacation are done through your PAWS in most instances. Years of service for calculation of vacation accruals is based on your employment with the University of Saskatchewan. Vacation accruals for the month are based on a formula. It still gets you to the same entitled number, just that each month there might not be the same amount. In PAWS just to make things more confusing this is then turned into hours.
Although ASPA does not have a sabbatical like that of faculty we do have some provisions that would allow people to be off with pay. A Special Leave means that you could be off for up to 12 months with full or partial pay. You must have at least 6 years of continuous services and it must be for a “suitable” purpose. The employer decides what is “suitable”. I am not sure of anyone who has actually accessed this. Deferred Salary – basically you set aside a portion of your wage for a period of time so that when you do go off you are able to do so with some pay. The leave length can be between 3-12 months. It would be best to get approval from your department head in advance. Education Leave – there is both a paid and unpaid. I won’t go into any detail on this as this was one of the topics from the last brown bag series. If you want more information contact us. LOA – can be up to a maximum of one year. Will need to be approved by your department head. Should submit request at least four months in advance of the time off. LOA – without pay to hold a political office. If summoned for court attendance or directed by the University to attend, will receive no loss of salary. Will have to turn any monies you receive from the court back to the university. This applies mostly for someone who has been called for Jury Duty, there may be other instances where someone has been summoned.
Not going to go into any detail about the Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leaves. Know that they exist and that there is a supplemental benefit for a period up to 21 weeks that provides you with 95% of your salary while you are off. The key with this is that will have had to have had 12 months of continuous service and be in receipt of EI in order to be eligible for the supplemental. Have access to time off for urgent personal reasons such as bereavement and serious family illness. This could be with or without pay. This discretion is left with the employer. Have access to three days of paid leave per year. These are so that you may attend to emergent personal or family situations. These days are not cumulative from year to year. Salary Continuance – most ASPA member would have access to Salary Continuance - If you have permanent or Seasonal status and work in a position of equal to or greater than .5 FTE or if you are in a term greater than or equal to .5 and greater than or equal to a one year appointment your are eligible for salary continuance. Otherwise you should be accruing 1.25 day per month pro – rated to full time. If you are unsure, you should go to your PAWs and see what it says you have there. If you still have questions give us a shout.
As a general statement you need to be aware that if you are taking an unpaid Leave of absence for greater than 15 calendar days that this will impact your benefits. In addition, if you take an unpaid leave of greater than 30 days this will impact what your years of service are calculated at. There are exceptions to this so if you are unsure please contact us.
These are some of the other Articles you will find in the agreement that might be of interest.
If you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Collective agreement rights and benefits april 2015
Rights & Benefits
ASPA Member Services Officer
April 13, 2015
What Is A Collective
A collective agreement is a written
contract of employment covering a
group of employees who are represented
by a trade union.
An agreement contains provisions
governing the terms and conditions of
employment. It also contains the rights,
privileges and duties of the employer, the
trade union and the employees.
What do I need to know
about my Agreement?
Where do I find it?
Who do I need to go to if I have questions
How do I read it
Are there some Articles more important
What are my rights?
What are my benefits?
Where do I find it?
University website -
ASPA website – still working on a new site
Ask ASPA for a copy – email@example.com or
Who do I go to if I have questions?
Member of the ASPA executive
Member Services Officer
Darcy Hryn – firstname.lastname@example.org
ASPA Office – email@example.com
How do I read it?
Collective agreements should be read as
One sentence or word cannot be looked
at on its own it needs to be taken into
context with the sentence, article and
agreement as a whole.
Are there Articles that might be
more important to me than
What are my rights?
The right to belong to a Union
The right to be treated fairly, reasonably
and not arbitrarily
The right to file a grievance
The right to a safe work environment
The right to work in an environment that is
free from discrimination and harassment
The right to be accommodated if you have
The right to have Union representation
present at any meetings with the Employer
The right to actively participate in Union
activities without fear of retribution
What are my benefits?
Article 9 – Assignment and Assessment of
Review of position Job Family/or Phase
Appeal of Position Review Decisions
Work Plan Development including Hours of Work
Adjustment to Salary Ranges and Salary
Membership in Professional Associations
What are my benefits?
Article 12 – Benefits
Group Life Insurance
Extended Health Care
Flexible Spending Program
Health Spending Account
Personal Spending Account
Accountable Professional Development
Tuition Reimbursement Fund
Article 16 – Layoff
Notice – could be working or pay in lieu
Based on completed years of continuous
Permanent or seasonal members are
Term members whose term ends early are
given one (1) months notice
Paid at your current monthly salary
Length of Service * Notice Period
One to 5 years 1 month
6 years to 10 years 3 months
11years to 19 years 7 months
20 years 8 months
21 years 9 months
22 years 10 months
23 years 11 months
24 years or more 12 months
Members with permanent or seasonal
status are eligible
One (1) month’s current salary for each
completed year of continuous service to
a max of twelve (12) months.
Based on completed years of continuous
Article 19 - Vacation
1 – 6 years of service – 20 working days
7 – 16 years of service – 25 working days
17 + years of service – 30 working days
Number of days entitled/ number of working days in a month = Y (vacation
days accumulated for that month)
Y x number of working days in the month = days vacation accumulated
for the month.
Article 20 – Leaves
Leave without Pay (LOA)
Leave to hold Political Office
Leave for Court Attendance
Article 3.4 – Types of Employees
Article 4 – Strikes and Lockouts
Article 5.2 – Deduction of Association
Article 7 – Recruitment and Retention of
Article 8 – Probationary Period