Dear Members

On behalf of Gordon Swaters, Lead Negotiator, and the Executive, I am pleased to report the results of AASUA's ratification vote which closed today March 8, at noon.

92.5% of voting members have voted ‘Yes’ and approved the mediator's recommendations for settlement and the terms for a renewal collective agreement (read more here). 71% of our entire membership cast their vote.

The Board of Governors has confirmed that they have ratified the mediator's recommendations for settlement and the terms for a renewal collective agreement.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the many people who helped bring us to this point.

Gordon Swaters (Lead Negotiator) and the other members of the Negotiations Team, Rachel Milner and Cam Laforest, have been working for months to reach this agreement. Supporting them at and between bargaining sessions have been Brygeda Renke (Executive Director and General Counsel), Leanne Rosinski (Associate Director, Labour Relations), and Terry Sway (past Associate Director, Negotiations). This team has been our front line in bargaining throughout the entire process.

Rick Brick co-ordinated and led our Job Action Committee over recent months. A great many individuals volunteered for this committee and helped in our preparations on various fronts – logistics, transportation, picketing, communication, and so on.

Kristine Smitka (ATS Director) led the Job Action Communications team, who are responsible for all of the helpful FAQs and information around job action on our website and social media, among other things.

Randa Kachkar (Treasurer), Terra Garneau (Equity Officer), and all the other directors on Executive - Brian Fleck (Faculty), Barb Baker (APO and TLAPS), Alsu Kuznetsova (TRAS), Sean Luyk (LIB), and Eric Flaim (FSO) - worked hard behind the scenes, both on the Job Action Committee and in the constituencies they represent.

The members of AASUA Council have provided support and solidarity, as well as a point of outreach to members at large, throughout this process.

We have found support among students – individually and through the Students Union and the Graduate Students Association – as well as our non-academic colleagues on campus in NASA.

Across Alberta, the solidarity of other faculty associations has been important – with Lethbridge still on strike, and other universities in various stages of bargaining. The work of CAFA (the Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations) in fostering that solidarity has been very valuable to our work. I also want to acknowledge the support we have received from CAUT (the Canadian Association of University Teachers), and our colleagues across Canada.

And of course, most important are the almost four thousand members – you – that make up the AASUA. You formed the basis for developing our bargaining priorities over two years ago. You attended various meetings over the past months to receive updates and tell us how the process was affecting you. On Friday, over 1500 of you attended the general meeting to learn details of the proposed deal. And since then, almost 3000 of you voted – expressing your acceptance of this deal and your support for the work and recommendations of Executive and the bargaining team.

For clarity, here are the results from this ratification vote:

Eligible AASUA Voters:   3,923


Yes votes:




No votes:




Total votes cast:




Both parties have ratified the renewal collective agreement. This means the end of this round of bargaining, and the end of the uncertainty around a strike.

But it will not mean the end of our work. We have heard loud and clear, both in Friday’s meeting and in messages from many members since then, that a large number of those voting in favour did so reluctantly. There are some aspects of this deal that do not belong in our academy – the worst being the two-tiered ATS salary scales for new hires who have never worked previously at the University.

We have heard you, and so Executive and the Job Action Committee will start planning immediately around how we can maintain the strength and solidarity that brought us to this point, and how we can set ourselves up next round to eradicate those blots on our institution, and build a better university for our members and for our students.

Tim Mills