We are pleased to inform you that your negotiating team has entered into a new preliminary collective agreement with the University of Saskatchewan, subject to member ratification. We will soon present the details of this agreement in the town halls and provide you with the details of the online agreement so that everyone has the opportunity to check before the online voting period and make an informed decision. The negotiating team recommends a “yes” to this agreement. Their ASPA bargaining committee met on October 31, 2019 with representatives of the U of S to negotiate the improvement and renewal of our collective agreement, which expired on April 30, 2019. Your ASPA negotiating team met with the employer on November 21 and 22, 2019. This is the second meeting we have had to date and we will meet again with the employer on December 19 and 20, 2019. We are still in the initial phase of negotiations, but after the first two meetings, it is clear that we still have a lot of work to do before we reach a new collective agreement. I am writing about the status of collective bargaining aSPA and U of S, which have included mediation/conciliation meetings over the past three days; May 5, 6 and 7. I am very pleased to report on this and, as you all know, membership of the ASPA voted in favour of accepting the 92.5% interim agreement. I have personally heard from several ASPA members that they are very pleased that we have settled this round of negotiations on time.
The results of the vote for the new collective agreement are in place and members voted 92.5% for the adoption of the agreement, so it was ratified by membership. 978 of the 1317 potential MPs took part in the vote, which is a significant turnout and indicates how much you have all been involved in this process and, as I said, it sends a strong message to the administration that you are taking care of what is happening at the university and that you are putting ASPA in a strong position in the next round of negotiations. I would like to thank you all for your comments during the briefings and for those who have listened to us by e-mail throughout this period, we have all listened to you and, although not everyone is satisfied with the results, your opinion will be taken into consideration by management when we begin the next round of negotiations in just over 18 months. ASPA approached the U of S prior to the negotiation meetings to propose an expedited process in which both parties would focus on short lists of their main negotiating proposals. The objective of this approach was to focus collective bargaining on a timely agreement without the drama, delay and frustration of past years. Your ASPA bargaining team has been sent to the employer to obtain an agreement recognizing both the needs of its members and the financial relationship in which the employer finds itself. The employer`s response is to try to take advantage of the uncertainty of these periods and to impose a vote on an offer that further limits the ability of members to move in the wage field and prevents future bargaining teams from negotiating.