"May the fourth be with you!"
Wait... Revenge of the Sixth?
(More nerd trivia — the first May the fourth Star Wars days began in Canada)
It's been six months since our AGM, and over a year since COVID started, so I wanted to update APSA members on a number of "APSA-wide" items that have been ongoing during that time.
Joint Compensation Review Committee (JCRC)
You may have seen a recent communication from the University regarding the JCRC mediated settlement and the JCRC. My philosophy is to try and be as accurate and transparent about what has occurred in the past, while at the same time trying not to be unreasonable about what the future may hold. There remain a number of challenging items and contentious issues on which the JCRC must reach consensus. So from an APSA perspective, the prudent thing to do is refer back to the JCRC mediated settlement, as it speaks for itself.
Hours of Work / Overtime (Employment Standards Act)
APSA had a productive liaison meeting (where we meet with the VPFA and the interim head of HR) where we were able to raise the concerns of APSA members in terms of overtime for non-managers, compensating time off for managers, workloads, and budgets. The University confirmed their commitment that meeting the Employment Standards regulations surrounding overtime was not optional (and "budget" isn't a reason to not pay overtime). We are currently working with the University on something that fleshes this out. As always, if you have concerns about extra hours or overtime that you have not been able to resolve with your supervisor, please contact the APSA office.
Hours of Work/Overtime is one of the items on the bargaining list, and the Bargaining Committee is now more than halfway through our 30-day bargaining window. As with the JCRC, there remain a number of challenging items and contentious issues to resolve should the University and APSA want to complete a contract before heading to impasse resolution. They are working diligently and have many bargaining dates scheduled over the next ten days.
In addition to our liaison meeting, the APSA executive also had our first one-on-one meeting with University president Joy Johnson. COVID was an important topic of discussion, and we are proud of our APSA members whether they have had to adjust their schedule to work remotely, whether they have essential duties which require them to be on campus, or whether they are involved in developing the University's COVID response. Joy said she shares that pride and also recognizes the increased workload and stress that COVID has brought to our members. APSA has committed to bringing forward our COVID survey results to the University to assist in their COVID planning, and the University has committed to involving APSA in COVID planning.
As we did in April 2020, I'll be working with our communications coordinator Lakshmi Gosyne on a COVID-specific communication in the near future.