Dear Colleagues,  

This is a formal notice to all members that upon recommendation of the Finance Committee and the Executive, Council approved a mil rate increase of 1.47, effective July 1, 2023 (raising the mil rate from 9.53 to 11.0). For the average member earning $116,877, this dues increase translates to an additional $14.32/month.  

The average increase associated with each constituency is broken down in this table here. The mil rate is allocated based on the Dues and Membership Fees Policy which is also posted on our website here. Members can view a detailed backgrounder we have prepared on the reasons for the dues increase. In summary, reasons are two-fold:  

  • Operational factors including increased costs, increased membership fees from the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) and the CAUT Defence Fund, and a change in budgeting assumptions (accounting for a mil rate increase of 0.53);
  • The need to increase the allocation to our Strike / Lockout fund (accounting for a mil rate increase of 0.94).  

This increase is essential to ensure we are in a strong fiscal position and can achieve the best possible deal during bargaining next year. Our dedicated finance committee has worked to ensure the increase is as minimal as possible; notably, it is on par with the dues paid by other academic staff union members across Canada.  

Our upcoming round of bargaining represents a crucial moment where our working conditions and the high-quality education we champion as a union will be on the line. With a sound budget and increased Strike / Lockout Fund capacity, we can ensure all AASUA members are protected no matter what the future holds.  

Leaving the Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations (CAFA)  

With unanimous approval of Executive, and the unanimous endorsement of Council, AASUA made the decision to terminate its membership with the Confederation of Faculty Associations (CAFA) effective June 30, 2023. Executive decided that funds formerly expended on CAFA dues will be reallocated to AASUA’s general operations, which will alleviate some of the cost demands on this budget year and subsequent budgeting years. 

From AASUA’s perspective, the main purpose of CAFA was to lobby the Alberta government of the day on issues affecting post-secondary education in the province, on behalf of its member academic staff associations. 

Despite the relative financial contribution to CAFA made by AASUA (with AASUA paying almost twice as much as all other CAFA members combined), and the relative size of its membership, CAFA is operated on the basis that each member gets one vote.  

For some time AASUA has believed that positions and actions taken by CAFA have not always aligned with the best interests of AASUA and its membership. More information about leaving CAFA is included in the Dues Increase Backgrounder here.  

Going forward, AASUA itself will lobby for legislative changes and build a direct relationship with government to ensure our voice is heard when it comes to post-secondary education in Alberta. We see new opportunities to work together and advocate for our needs in collaboration with the Faculty Association of the University of Calgary (TUCFA) who also left CAFA (in 2019), and many other academic staff associations in the province, in addition to those who remain members of CAFA. 


Gordon Swaters  
AASUA President