Dear colleagues, 

I am pleased to inform you that following the Employer’s violation of the Labour Relations Code (LRC), AASUA has reached a settlement agreement with the Board of Governors of the University of Alberta. 

As part of our settlement agreement, on Friday you will have received a notice from the Employer admitting their wrongdoing in de-designating five of our academic staff members. De-designation removes these positions from AASUA and categorizes them as Management and Professional Staff (MAPS), meaning the terms of their employment would no longer be negotiated as part of the Employer and Union’s collective bargaining process. 

The positions the Employer de-designated as MAPS included four Administrative Professional Officers (APOs) and one Temporary Librarian, Administrative, and Professional Staff (TLAPS) member. Members’ names are being withheld for privacy reasons.

Under the Post-Secondary Learning Act (PSLA), the Employer must consult with AASUA about any change in our members’ designations. In this case, the Employer failed to consult with us, and the steps to de-designate were taken without AASUA’s knowledge. 

The de-designation of these positions without consultation, and the Employer’s refusal to provide AASUA with documentation surrounding the changes, interfered fundamentally with AASUA’s administration and representation of its members. AASUA filed an unfair labour practice complaint with the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) on May 10, 2020. 

We value our labour relations with the Employer and appreciate them working with us to resolve these issues through a settlement before this went to a hearing. As part of the settlement:

  • The Employer has admitted to its violation of the Labour Relations Code (LRC) by sending a notice to all employees;
  • The Employer will pay union dues from the date the positions were removed from the bargaining unit until either the Union and Employer reach a mutual agreement to de-designate the positions, or the Alberta Labour Relations Board issues a decision on any exclusion application; and
  • The Employer will make the best efforts to provide AASUA with a list of all MAPS positions based on its current records on a bi-annual basis, informing the AASUA of any known incompleteness, and agrees to notify AASUA when a new out-of-scope position is being posted. This requirement will continue until the Employer and the AASUA reach a new collective agreement, unless the new agreement extends the term.

With skills and expertise that equip us for academic work, academic staff belong in AASUA, where our voices are amplified through the collective power we build together as a Union. AASUA does not take de-designation lightly, and Union consultation is an essential component of our ability to represent our members. Going forward, we are hopeful the Employer will honour the Labour Relations Code (LRC) and carry out its legal obligation to consult with us. 


Gordon Swaters 
AASUA President