Labour Updates

CUPE 1975

December 14, 2017

Collective Bargaining - Collective Agreement Expired Jan 1, 2015

Bargaining began in the spring where the university team tabled the following interests for negotiation:

  • Improvements that support internal workforce mobility;
  • Enhancing our ability to recruit the best/brightest staff;
  • Long-term financial sustainability, including addressing the risks and liability associated with the defined benefit pension plan and reductions in overall benefits plan and salary structures.

As reported on Tuesday, December 12, the University of Saskatchewan received an arbitration decision in favour of the university’s ability to introduce changes to its non-academic pension plan (NAPP). 

The key details include:

  1. The U of S faces a deficit and increasing financial risk associated with its only remaining “open” (accepting new members) defined benefit pension plan—the Non-Academic Pension Plan (NAPP).
  2. At the U of S, the only other defined benefit pension plan was closed and all other pension plans moved to defined contribution almost twenty years ago.
  3. The NAPP continues to accept new members and currently serves approximately 1,300 active members and 1,000 pensioners.
  4. The active members are employees who are primarily members of CUPE 1975. This plan also includes some members of the Administrative and Supervisory Personnel Association (ASPA) as well as some staff who are exempt of any bargaining unit.
  5. The university and CUPE 1975 have been unable to agree on a path forward for the NAPP after close to ten years of discussions.
  6. While the arbitrator’s decision confirms the university’s ability to introduce changes, the U of S is committed to continuing discussions with CUPE 1975 to explore potential options and changes to the plan that are agreeable to both parties.
  7. All pension benefits that members of the NAPP are entitled to, up to the point of any change to the plan, are protected by legislation.
  8. Approximately 3.5% ($10.6M) of the university’s annual operating grant is used to fund the NAPP, which includes both the university’s matching contribution (8.5%) as well as all special payments currently being made to the Plan (7.15%). The current deficit of the plan totals $21M, and the university is paying approximately $5M of additional contributions into the plan each year.
  9. With the current NAPP and recent enhancements to the Canada Pension Plan, long-term employees may receive more income in retirement than when they were actively working.
  10. The university is committed to providing benefits, including pension plans, that are competitive and attractive to our employees, and in order to continue to do so, it is critical that these plans are financially sustainable. Changes are necessary to address the deficit and serious financial risk within the NAPP.

The university and the union met to negotiate for a total of six days throughout September, October and November and finalized some basic housekeeping items (e.g. temporary performance of higher duties, special leave, compassionate care leave) and more substantive items such as leaves of absence/secondments from permanent positions to term positions on campus, recurring relief vs. casual appointments and expanding premium pay for radiation "disposal" to radiation "handling."

Discussions continue on more substantive items such as:

  • the concept of secondments of permanent staff in permanent positions to term positions; the advantages of secondment arrangements include career development, promotional opportunities and job security (to permanent position);
  • the concept of a new market-driven salary structure;
  • revamping of language around hours of work and EDO schedules;
  • an overview of the university's budget/funding model, budgetary processes and financial state was provided to the parties by the Controller's Office.

Early Retirement Incentive Program

173 Employees applied for the incentivized retirement plan. All eligible applicants will be accepted.

Grievances

Currently, there are 13 active grievances/arbitrations. Most grievances are around performance management and disciplinary/termination matters.

December 12, 2017

The following email was sent to all members of the Non-Academic Pension Plan, which includes members of CUPE 1975, As well as some members of the ASPA and exempt groups. 

Dear Pension Plan Members,

Today we received an arbitration decision that confirms the university’s ability to introduce amendments to the Non-Academic Pension Plan (NAPP) of which you are a member.

Your pension plan has not been changed. The university is committed to continuing discussions with CUPE 1975 to explore potential options and changes to the plan that are agreeable to both parties.

It is also important for you to know that all pension benefits you are entitled to up to the point of any change to the plan, are protected by legislation.

The university seeks to provide benefits, including pension plans, that are competitive and attractive to our staff and faculty, and in order to continue to do so, it is critical that these plans are financially sustainable. Changes are necessary to address the deficit and serious financial risk within the NAPP.

Pension plan details are available online.

Questions can be referred to the pensions office at pensions.inquiries@usask.ca.


Sincerely,
Cheryl Carver
Associate Vice-President People and Resources
University of Saskatchewan

September 19, 2017

  • 173 members of CUPE1975 have been approved for the Voluntary Exit and Retirement program.
  • People and Resources is working with colleges and units to address changes to work assignments for those who are leaving and for positions that will be replaced. The savings for the program will be contingent on these outcomes.

Non-academic Defined Benefit (DB) Pension Plan - Grievance Update

We continue to await the outcome of the grievance arbitration that will determine whether the University has the right to unilaterally make changes to the Non-academic DB pension plan.

What you need to know

  • All pension benefits accrued to date by current employees under the pension plan are protected and will not change, regardless of the outcome of this grievance.
  • Changes to the Non-academic DB Pension Plan are necessary to address the deficit and serious financial risk that is growing within the plan.
  • The university will continue to work toward reaching an agreeable solution with respect to the sustainability of the Non-Academic DB Pension Plan with CUPE 1975, regardless of the outcome of this grievance.

Bargaining update

  • The Collective Agreement expired December 31, 2015 and the parties continue the negotiations for a new collective agreement.

July 25, 2017

  • To date, approximately 90 of the 350 eligible employees have expressed interest in the early retirement package offered at the beginning of July. Applications will be accepted until the end of July.  
  • Collective bargaining is scheduled to resume in late August.

June 27, 2017

  • Under Article 19.7 of the CUPE collective agreement, The University has offered early retirement packages to a group of approximately 350 CUPE 1975 employees who are eligible for retirement under the terms of the defined benefit pension plan.
  • Collective bargaining will resume in August. As part of its focus, The University will be considering the long-term sustainability of benefits and pension plans.

May 30, 2017

  • The university and CUPE 1975 were unable to come to an agreement regarding language in the voluntary exit program. CUPE executive required guarantees that the university would not contract out any services as a result of exits. This type of guarantee is too restrictive at a time when the university must find savings in order to preserve its core mission.
  • Bargaining is ongoing. The parties have identified the broader issues to be tabled at this round.
  • As previously reported, the university sought an arbitrator’s decision on clarification regarding the university’s ability to unilaterally amend the CUPE 1975 pension plan. The grievance was heard in March and we are awaiting the arbitrator’s decision.

February 21, 2017

  • The university and the union attended a joint session hosted by the Ministry of Labour which was well received by both parties and helped set the tone for bargaining, set to commence in March.
  • The university has begun consultations with individual colleges and units.

November 29, 2016

  • The university and CUPE 1975 agreed to postpone collective bargaining until January 2017, due to the outstanding grievance arbitration concerning pension matters.
  • Hearing dates were initially scheduled in September 2016, however due to on-going discussions by the parties over preliminary matters, the hearing dates have been postponed until April 24-28, 2017.
  • Considering the relevance and impact the Employer grievance has on collective bargaining, the Employer has sought to have the Employer grievance heard before April, 2017. The parties are currently working with the arbitration board to find an earlier date for the hearing.
  • The university and CUPE 1975 are in the process of scheduling dates in January 2017 to open collective bargaining.

October 18, 2016

  • The university, ASPA and CUPE 1975 have agreed in principle to a resolution regarding jurisdiction matters between ASPA and CUPE 1975. We are working with the unions to finalize the agreement.

July 26, 2016

  • Both parties have agreed to delay bargaining discussions until Jan. 2017.

June 28, 2016

  • Arbitration panels have been selected and dates to discuss outstanding issues are scheduled for September.

May 17, 2016

  • Bargaining will begin in June.

April 19, 2016

  • Arbitration panels to discuss unresolved matters regarding the interpretation of the CUPE 1975 pension plan have been selected and meeting dates are being scheduled. It is likely that a hearing will occur in September.
  • The university and the union are looking to schedule bargaining dates in June, to discuss other pertinent issues.

March 22, 2016

  • There are a number of unresolved matters regarding the interpretation of the CUPE 1975 pension plan that the university and the union are hoping can be solved by arbitration panels.
  • Regardless of the outcome of the arbitration process, it will be important to work with CUPE 1975 regarding future steps in this process. Bargaining is scheduled to commence in April.

February 23, 2016

  • Different interpretations of language regarding pension persist between the university and CUPE 1975. A labour arbitration pane has been selected to hear these issues and meeting dates are currently being scheduled.

January 26, 2016

  • The university and the union have asked a labour arbitration panel to settle different interpretations of language regarding pension.
  • Bargaining between the university and the union will likely commence in April.

May 15, 2015

Jurisdiction Review

Mediation regarding the jurisdiction of positions continues with CUPE Local 1975, ASPA and the university. The Mediator has provided a draft agreement for the parties to consider regarding the appropriate boundaries of the bargaining units and implementation of any changes.

Collective Bargaining

Collective Agreement January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2015

No tables open at this time.

CUPE 3287

December 14, 2017

July 26, 2016

  • Implementation of the new collective agreement has concluded.

May 17, 2016

  • Implementation of the new collective agreement is underway.

April 19, 2016

  • The university and CUPE 3287 have both approved the recently negotiated tentative agreement. Impementation is underway.
  • The collective agreement is effective September 1, 2014 - August 31, 2019.
  • View the highlights of the CUPE 3287 Tentative Agreement

March 22, 2016

  • On Mar. 16, the university and CUPE 3287 reached a tentative agreement. The parties will now work toward membership ratifications and board approval.

February 23, 2016

  • The university and CUPE 3287 met on Feb. 12 and exchanged a number of proposed items for further discussion. Both parties are scheduled to meet on Mar. 3.

January 26, 2016

  • The university will be meeting with CUPE 3287 in February to discuss key issues, such as wages and job security.

June 16, 2015

Collective Agreement expired August 31, 2014

  • Key discussions have been focused on the grievance and arbitration processes, posting and appointment timelines, recognition for committee work, and other concepts around the terms and conditions of employment. Bargaining is expected to continue throughout the summer.

May 15, 2015

Collective Agreement expired August 31, 2014

  • Negotiations began in late February, are continuing through May, and to date have resulted in agreement on a number of non-monetary items. 
Resident Doctors of Saskatchewan (formerly PAIRS)

December 14, 2017

Current Collective Agreement Expired Jan 1, 2015

  • As previously reported, the interest arbitration to conclude collective bargaining occurred in May and the university is awaiting the decision of the arbitrator on the unresolved monetary matters. The university has submitted an application to the Labour Relations Board to change the Employer of Record to the Ministry of Health (or some other government agency). This is consistent with other resident unions across the country. We appreciate the difficulties for all in this situation and are working to maintain positive relationships throughout this process.

September 19, 2017

  • The University continues to await the decision of the arbitrator on unresolved monetary matters. Financial obligations are controlled by the Ministry of Health and not the University. As the University is the Employer of Record, we continue to engage in bargaining discussions with RDoS (formerly PAIRS).

July 25, 2017

  • The Professional Association of Internes and Residents of Saskatchewan (PAIRS) has changed their name. The new name is Resident Doctors of Saskatchewan (RDoS).

May 30, 2017

  • The university and PAIRS presented their respective positions at an interest arbitration hearing on May 15-16, to conclude the most recent round of negotiations. The arbitrator is examining the materials presented and a decision is pending.
  • Outstanding issues include salaries and stipends. While the university is the employer of record, salaries and stipends are paid by the Ministry of Health and are not dependent on the university’s financial position. We are awaiting the outcome of the arbitration.

November 29, 2016

  • The university and PAIRS are proceeding to interest arbitration in an effort to reach a collective agreement. Many issues have been agreed upon but outstanding issues include wages, call stipends and benefits.
  • Arbitration dates are scheduled for May 15-16, 2017.

October 18, 2016

  • The university and PAIRS met in September to resume discussions. At this time, Human Resources is working with PAIRS to arrange for an interest arbitration process to address outstanding issues.

August 23, 2016

  • The university, Ministry of Health officials and PAIRS will meet in September to resume bargaining discussions.

June 28, 2016

  • Dates are now being set to resume discussions between the university, Ministry of Health officials and PAIRS.

May 17, 2016

  • Meeting dates are being set and bargaining will begin in June.

April 19, 2016

  • Post-election meeting dates have not yet been set. The university and PAIRS are looking forward to meeting with Ministry of Health officials, in the near future.

March 22, 2016

  • The university, officials from the Ministry of Health and PAIRS met on Mar. 3 to dicusss the government's financial offer, however, no agreement was reached.
  • Negotiations will resume after the provincial election.

February 23, 2016

  • The government’s most recent financial offer was presented to PAIRS. However, no agreement was reached. Discussions will resume in the coming weeks.

January 26, 2016

  • The university, Ministry of Health officials and PAIRS are scheduled to meet in late January. The PAIRS agreement expired December 31, 2014.

June 16, 2015

  • No new developments since previous post

May 15, 2015

  • Non-monetary discussions have concluded. The university is considered the employer, however, the provincial government is the funder and therefore monetary issues are negotiated jointly. Monetary discussions will await the financial mandate from government.
PSAC - Post Doctoral Fellows (PDF)

December 14, 2017

** terms and conditions of employment are in a statutory freeze until collective agreements are ratified by both parties **

  • Collective bargaining poses some interesting challenges due to the unique relationship PDFs have with the university. PDFs are not primarily funded by university operating funds, but through research grants that may be held by faculty members or the university.
  • We have recently completed consultation with senior leaders and current PDF supervisors.
  • Bargaining commenced on October 4, 2017 lead by David Stack, QC, McKercher LLP. The bargaining team includes: Trever Crowe, Interim Dean, CGPS; Colin Weimer, Labour Relations Manager, People and Resources; and Brandy Halter, Labour Relations Specialist, People and Resources.

September 19, 2017

  • Collective bargaining will begin in Oct. The University is in the process of finalizing its bargaining mandate, including the goals and interests to be achieved through discussions with PSAC.

June 27, 2017

  • The University and the union are planning first contract negotiations and the University will be consulting with senior leaders for input.

May 30 , 2017

  • The university and PSAC, representing Post-Doctoral Fellows, are preparing for first contract negotiations.
  • The university is waiting to hear from the union to schedule dates to commence bargaining.

March 21, 2017

  • We are in the process of collecting data and engaging in consultations with colleges and units to inform our strategy.
  • The university is waiting for information from PSAC as to who will comprise their bargaining team, as well as dates upon which to commence discussions.

February 21, 2017

  • PSAC has notified the university that they wish to commence bargaining for a first collective agreement. The university is awaiting proposed dates from PSAC to begin negotiations.
  • The university's bargaining team will begin consultations with individual colleges and units in the coming months.

November 29, 2016

  • PSAC was successful in certifying Post Doctoral Fellows (PDFs). The university is in the process of establishing its bargaining team and waiting to hear from PSAC to commence first-contract negotiations.

September 20, 2016

  • Parties are actively meeting and continue to make progress on outstanding issues. The next bargaining dates are scheduled for the end of October.

August 23, 2016

  • Bargaining will resume on August 29.
  • Hearings before the Labour Relations Board (LRB), with respect to the issue of certification for Post-doctoral Fellows (PDFs), took place on July 22 and August 16. A decision is expected in September.

July 26, 2016

  • Both parties are working on establishing dates to continue bargaining discussions, in the near future.

June 28, 2016

  • Significant progress is being made on issues, including appointments and hours of work. The university and PSAC are looking to schedule discussion dates over the summer and early fall.
  • PSAC has also applied for certification of Post-doctoral Fellows (PDFs) and we are awaiting the outcome of that process. A hearing before the Labour Relations Board (LRB) is scheduled for July 22, 2016. The outcome of the PDFs certification vote will not be determined until the conclusion of that hearing.

May 17, 2016

  • Bargaining will continue in late May.
  • A key principle of discussion will be an agreement that supports the teaching, research mission of the university.

April 19, 2016

  • Significant progress in negotiations has been made and further bargaining dates have been scheduled through April and May.
  • As previously reported, the Labour Relations Board (LRB) will hear the matter of PDFs certification. A hearing was delayed and parties are awaiting new dates.
  • The outcome of the PDFs certification vote will not be determined until the conclusion of that hearing.

March 22, 2016

  • First contract negotiations began Mar. 3, with PSAC representing graduate student employees. The parties exchanged opening proposals.
  • The next meeting dates for bargaining are scheduled for Mar. 23-24.
  • The union applied for certification of Post-doctoral Fellows (PDFs) and rejected the university's request to have PDFs and graduate student employees represented by one bargaining unit. This matter will be heard before the Labour Relations Board (LRB). The outcome of the PDFs certfication vote will not be deteremined until the conclusion of the hearing.

February 23, 2016

  • Discussion between the university and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) are scheduled for Mar. 3.
  • Outstanding issues regarding representation of Post-doctoral Fellows (PDFs) and graduate student employees are scheduled to be heard by the Labour Relations Board (LRB) on Mar. 21.

January 26, 2016

  • PSAC has applied for certification of Post-doctoral Fellows (PDFs) but rejected the university’s request to have PDFs and graduate students represented by one bargaining unit. This matter will be determined upon the conclusion of a hearing before the Labour Relations Board (LRB). 
  • The university and PSAC are scheduled to meet on March 3 to begin first contract negotiations for graduate student employees.

June 16, 2015

  • The university, in consultation with campus leaders, has agreed to meet with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) representing graduate students on campus, to begin initial contract negotiations in the fall.

May 15, 2015

  • The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board certified graduate student employees as a bargaining unit on April 23, following a successful vote in March (see related OCN Article). Graduate student teaching assistants, teaching fellows, student assistants and research assistants will be represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). The bargaining team for the University of Saskatchewan is consulting broadly with university leaders in preparation for negotiations for a first collective agreement, which will begin soon. 
PSAC - Graduate Students

December 14, 2017

  • The collective agreement between the University and PSAC was tentatively agreed to on Sept. 12, 2017. Members' ratification vote was held early October, and the members voted in favour of the agreement.
  • The Board of Governors approved the collective agreement on the October 13th.
  • Implementation planning and efforts have commenced; information sessions will be scheduled and delivered over the next 2-3 months.

October 24, 2017

  • The university and PSAC Local 40004, representing graduate student employees, have both approved the recently negotiated tentative agreement.
  • The collective agreement is effective April 23, 2015 – August 31, 2019
  • Implementation of the first collective agreement is underway
  • The highlights document and the unsigned Tentative Agreement are viewable under Employee Agreements 

Sept 13, 2017

  • The University and the Public Service Alliance of Canada representing graduate student employees have reached a tentative first collective agreement. The agreement is effective April 23, 2015 - August 31, 2019. The details of this agreement will be available pending union ratification and approval by the Board of Governors.

July 25, 2017

  • At the request of the parties, the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety appointed a Labour Relations Officer to assist in the conciliation of a first collective agreement.
  • Conciliation is scheduled to begin in September. The main outstanding issues include wages and appointments. 

June 27, 2017

  • Negotiations were held on June 6 and 7. The University and PSAC(Grad Students) have decided to engage with the Ministry of Labour and Workplace Safety to provide mediation support to assist us in reaching an agreement.

May 30, 2017

  • First contract negotiations are scheduled to continue on June 6-7.
  • On-going consultation with academic leaders continues to be a priority as the university engages in this process.

April 18, 2017

  • The parties continue to make progress towards a first collective agreement. Negotiations are scheduled to continue on May 2-3.

March 21, 2017

  • Meeting dates are scheduled to take place March 21-22 and May 2-3.

February 21, 2017

  • PSAC and the university continue to make progress on outstanding non-monetary items and have exchanged initial monetary proposals.
  • The parties are scheduled to continue negotiations, March 21-22.

November 29, 2016

  • The parties are scheduled to meet December 15-16 to resume first-contract discussions.
USFA

December 14, 2017

We currently have 15 active grievances/arbitrations. The number of active grievances and arbitrations at our Joint Grievance Committee has decreased fairly significantly over the past year. Most grievances fall into two primary areas.

  1. Scope and jurisdiction: what constitutes a full-time academic, and therefore should be in-scope of the USFA.
  2. Accountability of faculty: in many forms, whether it is discipline, research misconduct investigations, or other conduct investigations.

Recent communication from the USFA suggests that grievances are at unprecedented levels. Statistics indicate otherwise. Over the past 10 years we have averaged 15.5 grievances and issues brought forward by the USFA annually.

November 16, 2017

  • The collective agreement expired June 30, 2017. Negotiations are underway for a new collective agreement.

The university’s bargaining team goes into more detail about the university’s interests (as noted in the previous update) in recent bargaining discussions. While the reality for this round of collective bargaining is one of difficult issues and decisions, we continue to strive for open, frank and productive discussions. 

University Interest: Support the mission, vision and values of the University, as well as the directions and goals set by our strategic planning
Our president and senior leaders have said that budgets do not define us. We are focused around a re-imagined Mission, Vision and Values, and the development of a University Plan that will take us to 2025. Whatever our funding situation, our money must line up behind these things that we have agreed are our principles and priorities. The U of S has been fortunate in past years with increases in government funding, while others across the country were dealing with cuts. Now we are faced with similar challenges. 

University Interest: Respect and define the appropriate boundaries and authority with respect to collegial decision-making and the tri-cameral governance structure of the University
Our interest is in ensuring that we are negotiating terms and conditions of employment and to clearly distinguish these from responsibilities and prerogatives that fall under the jurisdiction of the Board, Council and Senate as conferred by The University of Saskatchewan Act. The authority and responsibility for the academic affairs of the university falls to the collegium through University Council. Further, the collegium is made up of both in-scope and out-of-scope faculty – the USFA represents in-scope members only. The University of Saskatchewan Act guarantees a role for both in-scope faculty and out-of-scope faculty in collegial decision-making under the authority of University Council and therefore it is our position that this authority and responsibility cannot and should not be negotiated as a term and condition of employment

University Interest: Support the university’s commitment to institutional and individual excellence and accountability
We are responsible stewards for the funds entrusted to us. The University of Saskatchewan Act guarantees the university’s autonomy from government. We bargain independently from government and all funders, but there is a balance between our autonomy and governing responsibly and with accountability to our funding partners.

University Interest: Enable flexible and effective management of University resources (financial, human and capital resources)
Deans and all academic leaders require the right level of authority and accountability for managing their respective colleges and schools. Our interest is in ensuring that the terms of the collective agreement do not obstruct the authority of academic leaders.

In previous negotiations, the USFA and the university agreed to provide voluntary severance options for physicians employed in the College of Medicine to voluntarily exit their in-scope faculty positions and to re-engage with the College as independent contractors. These changes are having the desired effect as increased number of physicians across the province are engaging with the College to support its academic mission and helping to train medical students. Through this agreement, the great majority of the physicians have now transitioned to this new model of engagement, with a small number who have opted to remain engaged as full-time employees and will continue to be members of the USFA – as our certification order requires. The USFA has expressed interest in opening again for discussion the scope of independent contractor physicians who deliver academic work for the College. The university believes these discussions concluded with the agreement reached and that our time now should be spent and focused on negotiating the terms and conditions of employment for all the USFA’s current members.

University Interest: Support financial sustainability that allows responsiveness in the current financial environment
During this round of negotiations, the university has an interest in reviewing all financial reward systems, with a particular emphasis on merit. We believe that merit systems should reward excellence in all areas of academic work—research, teaching and service. And we must ensure we have a merit system that rewards excellence in a sustainable fashion.

The bargaining team:
Mary Buhr
Martin Phillipson
Ana Crespo-Martin
Kirk Veltikold
Michelle Prytula
Jim Germida
Cheryl Carver

September 19, 2017

  • The deadline for faculty to submit notice to participate in the Modified Reduced Appointment Retirement Plan (MRARP) was Sept. 1, 2017. 26 faculty members submitted their notice.
  • The collective agreement expired June 30, 2017 and the parties continue the negotiations for a new collective agreement. The parties have met on five different occasions during this round of bargaining. Additional dates are being scheduled throughout Sept., Oct., Nov.

  • The University’s interests through this round of bargaining include:
    • Support the mission, vision and values of the University, as well as the directions and goals set by our strategic planning
    • Enable flexible and effective management of University resources (financial, human and capital resources)
    • Respect and define the appropriate boundaries and authority with respect to collegial decision-making and the tri-cameral governance structure of the University
    • Support the university’s commitment to institutional and individual excellence and accountability
    • Support financial sustainability that allows responsiveness in the current financial environment.

July 25, 2017

  • The parties opened bargaining last week and talks are scheduled to continue in late August.
  • The university's bargaining team will be meeting with Deans, monthly, to engage in ongoing consultation regarding bargaining proposals.

June 27, 2017

  • The University and USFA reached an agreement on the terms of a modified Reduced Appointment Retirement Plan.
  • Bargaining is scheduled to begin in July. The University is in consultation with college leaders to review our bargaining mandate and progress.

May 30, 2017

  • Planning continues for the next round of collective bargaining with USFA. The university is in consultation with Deans to review its bargaining mandate and seek input on specific bargaining proposals.
  • On April 19, 2017, USFA served notice of intent to commence collective bargaining and the parties will begin the process of scheduling dates.

March 21, 2017

  • We continue to do consultations and gather information in preparation for bargaining discussions. At present, no dates have been set.

February 21, 2017

  • The current collective agreement expires June 30.
  • In anticipation of the commencement of bargaining, the university is currently collecting data and engaging in consultations with individual colleges and units.

November 29, 2016

  • The current collective agreement with USFA expires June 30, 2017. The university has begun planning for negotiations.

August 23, 2016

  • Planning for the next round of collective bargaining will begin in the fall.

June 28, 2016

  • The College of Medicine transition team is working directly with all clinical faculty transitioning into alternative forms of academic engagement with the college, as part of the Voluntary Severance Package (ACFPs or contracts of service).
  • 24 new ACFPs have been signed with MDs who were not previously engaged with the university.
  • Further discussions with USFA to define terms and conditions for in-scope membership will resume in July.

May 17, 2016

  • The deadline for MD faculty to rescind their expressions of interest in the voluntary exit package is May 31.
  • New Academic Clinical Funding Plans (ACFP) continue to be signed by MD's who want to engage with the college and the health region.

April 19, 2016

  • 20 new Academic Clincial Funding Plans (ACFPs) have been signed by MDs who were not eligible for the exit package, were community faculty, new to the province or new graduates.
  • 117/130 MDs signed letters of interest in the exit package. 

March 22, 2016

  • Progress continues to be realized in transitioning MD faculty to new Academic Clinical Funding Plans (ACFP) and contract arrangements.
  • The university, USFA and the College of Medicine are working together to address individuals' concerns arising from this transition. 

February 23, 2016

Negotiations between the university and USFA resumed in February.

An agreement was reached, extending the timeline from Mar. 31 to May 31 for individual MD faculty to revoke their expression of interest for the voluntary exit package. The university hopes that this extension will provide the necessary time for individuals to make informed decisions.

January 26, 2016

The college of Medicine has established an implementation team who is working with stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition issues related to the negotiated voluntary exit package. 

Progress is being made in helping MD faculty transition to new Academic Clinical Funding plans or contract arrangements. The next phase of negotiations is expected to begin in February.

November 3, 2015

College of Medicine

  • Oct. 31 was the deadline for MD faculty to express interest in the transition offer, based on the Letter of Understanding signed by the university and USFA in July.
  • 108 MD faculty have signed expressions of interest. Those who have expressed interest may withdraw up to 90 days prior to their stated date of resignation (April 2016 in most cases).
  • It is essential in the process of transforming the College of Medicine (CoM) that we re-engage with MD faculty in new, contractual agreements to continue their individual teaching and/or research with the CoM.
  • A Transition Team in the College of Medicine is tasked with ensuring the ongoing work of implementation occurs as smoothly as possible--ensuring MD faculty are supported in whatever path they choose, facilitating contract and other financial discussions, and handling any ongoing concerns and questions.

August 13, 2015

Current Collective Agreement July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017

College of Medicine

The negotiations regarding MD faculty in the College of Medicine have resulted in a Letter of Understanding (LOU) that has been signed by the university and the faculty association. The LOU offers a voluntary exit package to approximately 125 MD faculty members (physicians) in the college, to incentivize a transition from full-time academic positions to other options to continue their academic work. The offer has been designed to honour the contributions of our MD faculty, respect their current membership in the USFA and offer incentives for the changes we are asking them to consider.

The changes will occur over time to ensure no disruption to medical education and patient care.

MD faculty are encouraged to continue their academic work with the college through the Provincial Academic Clinical Funding Plan (P-ACFP) or on a contract basis. These options for MDs who choose the voluntary exit package are more flexible than our current system and provide the necessary accountability structures that accrediting bodies have said they need to see at the University of Saskatchewan's College of Medicine.

Letter of Understanding (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions in Response to Letter of Understanding

Related letters to USFA (PDF)

June 16, 2015

Current Collective Agreement July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017

College of Medicine

Negotiations with USFA have been ongoing for 14 months. We have had a series of good discussions that have built common understandings. While this has been constructive, we will need to intensify our efforts in order to reach outcomes.

The importance of these negotiations must not be underestimated. The future of the College of Medicine is still at stake. Much progress has been made in other areas of the College's operations; a failure to make progress in these discussions will devalue many of these gains. As stressed in The Way Forward, a fundamental transformation of the MD Faculty complement is a pre-requisite to the success of the College.

To this end, we will sharpen the focus of discussions in June and July to address transitional issues related to current MD faculty. This is a significant component of the larger goal of fundamentally restructuring the clinical faculty complement within the college. We have tabled a formal proposal for consideration by USFA. Time is a significant factor as we are potentially only 18 months away from the next accreditation visit and we must achieve an agreement that aligns us with our peer institutions, ensures a significant increase in the number of FTEs devoted to teaching in the college, and therefore satisfies our own aspirations and the demands of accrediting bodies at both the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. All efforts will now be focused on a speedy conclusion to these negotiations.

Pay Inequity Balancing Fund Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)

Last week, the university and USFA reached an agreement on this MOA. Funds set aside will be distributed amongst probationary, tenured, and continuing status female employees in recognition for past and present pay inequities. The Joint Committee charged with distributing the funds has determined that all eligible female members will receive $1,500.00 plus $12.38 per month of service. These adjustments will be effective July 1, 2015. Questions should be directed to steve.laycock@usask.ca.

May 15, 2015

Current Collective Agreement July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017

College of Medicine

Side table negotiations are continuing in support of the transformation in the College of Medicine. Specifically, to ensure that the terms and conditions of employment affecting Clinical Faculty in the College of Medicine are supportive of the teaching and research commitments necessary to provide a successful medical school and meet accreditation requirements. The university and USFA are negotiating to develop options that will facilitate the transition of current MD faculty to a system that will allow the college to move beyond accreditation issues and increase teaching and research success. The negotations began early 2014 and are expected to extend through 2015.

Pay Inequity Balancing Fund Memorandum of Agreement

To address pay inequities for female faculty (during the last round of collective bargaining - July 2014) the university and the USFA signed a MOA to:  

  • establish a Pay Inequity Balancing Fund (400 CDIs set aside to address issues of pay inequity);
  • to form a joint committee to analyze the inequities and determine the most equitable and strategic distribution;
  • Make decisions and distribute salary adjustments by July 1, 2015.

Approximately 400 female faculty members are eligible at Usask. Watch for details in the coming weeks. The university is committed to regular evaluation to ensure unintended factors that contribute to pay inequity do not occur in the future.

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