Dear colleagues, 

AASUA has taken another crucial step in preparing for job action, should the Employer put us in the position where that extreme measure proves necessary. Today, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Defence Fund voted overwhelmingly to approve AASUA’s request for job action benefits. 

The CAUT Defence Fund, which AASUA contributes to, provides integral assistance to its members once they hit the picket line or are locked out. The Fund primarily offers financial support such as strike pay. On request, it also sends flying picketers from other associations to show strikers they’re not alone in their fight for a fair deal. 

The benefits AASUA is approved to receive include:

  • Daily Benefit (SRR 7.2.1),
  • Strike Support Loan (SRR 7.2.2),
  • Group Insured Benefit Loan (SRR 7.2.3),
  • Strike Mediation and Arbitration Benefit (SRR 7.2.4),
  • Support for Flying Pickets from across Canada (SRR 7.4),
  • Pre-strike Mediation and Arbitration Benefit (SRR 7.3.1)

This is the first time AASUA has applied for support from the Defence Fund. AASUA is taking this historic action at the onset of bargaining so we can be prepared for any outcome, and to ensure we have the resources get the best deal. 

Currently, the Employer’s opening proposal differs widely from AASUA’s. There is a significant gap between what we see fitting for compensation, benefits, and our proposal to eliminate the two-tiered salary scale for our Academic Teaching Staff (ATS) members which has new contract-based instructors potentially making less than current members. 

The deal the Employer has proposed would be destructive to our university. It would only further risk the U of A’s position as a top research and teaching institution, and place in greater jeopardy our ability to provide the best experience possible for our students. We will do whatever it takes to get the best deal and protect our university.

All AASUA members have a role to play in demonstrating our resolve in this upcoming round of bargaining. The best step members can take at this point is to stay up to date on bargaining by keeping an eye on your inbox, and to ensure we can reach you even if the Employer removes access to your account should a lockout occur.

Please, give us an alternate way to contact you here:


Gordon Swaters
AASUA President