Aug 212018

We invite you to a Free Pancake Breakfast:

Thursday, September 6

7:30 – 10:00 a.m. (or until food runs out)

in The Bowl


Everyone welcome!

Gluten free pancakes will be available.


Sponsored by:



CUPE 1975 CUPE 3287

St. Thomas More Faculty Union

PSAC Local 40004

Aug 212018

USFA members are invited to submit an application to the Executive Committee for reimbursement of attendance at a conference/workshop/meeting related to the USFA including, but not limited to, labour relations, academic freedom, employment equity, and workplace health and safety.

The USFA Conference/Workshop/Meeting Attendance Policy was instituted as a way to ensure that there is an annual budget allocation to support training and development for USFA committee members and representatives to fulfill their duties and responsibilities, and to support the USFA’s active participation regionally and nationally in organizations important to its work.

Criteria for approval of requests includes:

  • Relevance to the mandate and activities of the USFA
  • The anticipated cost to the USFA of the request for reimbursement given the budget allocation for these activities and the actual and anticipated expenditures on these activities
  • Equity among members requesting USFA reimbursement
  • Capacity-building and succession planning
  • The applicant’s participation in USFA activities

Successful applicants are required to submit a written report within 30 days of their return.

Submit applications to referencing “Conference Fund Application” in the subject line.

Some upcoming eligible events:

SFL Occupational Health and Safety Conference

September 12 – 14, 2018

Delta Hotel, Regina

CAUT Forum for Aboriginal Academic Staff

October 19 and 20, 2018

Sheraton Ottawa Hotel

2018 Saskatchewan Federation of Labour 63rd Annual Convention

October 24 – 27, 2018

Queensbury Centre, Regina

CAUT New Activists Workshop

November 22, 2018

The Westin Ottawa Hotel

Harry Crowe Foundation, Academic Freedom Conference

February 22 and 23, 2019

Radisson Admiral Hotel – Toronto Harbourfront

Aug 012018

The recent arbitration award at Ryerson University directed that Faculty Course Survey results are not to be used to “measure teaching effectiveness for promotion or tenure.” After USFA reported on this, members requested further details. The reports of expert witnesses R.L. Freishtat and P.B. Stark have been published by The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty […]

Jul 232018

Following the publication of a recent CBC News article that described the working atmosphere at GIFS (the Global Institute for Food Security) with strong language – “horror story”, “bizarre”, “complete disintegration”, “toxic environment” – several members wrote to USFA relating similar experiences in their own units. USFA cannot comment on the specifics of this or […]

Jul 192018

The following USFA table officers were elected at a meeting held June 22, 2018. Chair: Douglas Chivers, Department of Biology Vice-Chair: Susan Fowler-Kerry, College of Nursing Secretary/Treasurer: Mark Meyers, Department of History Senior Grievance Officer: Patricia Farnese, College of Law The terms of these officers began July 1, 2018, along with those of newly-elected members […]

Jul 112018

There will be a reduction applied to the cost of premiums for Sun Life Optional Life Insurance for the month of July only.  The University is making the adjustment to refund to members the provincial sales tax (PST) paid on the  premiums.  The Saskatchewan Government retroactively abolished the PST on life insurance premiums necessitating the […]

Jul 112018

An arbitrator’s decision at Ryerson University released July 6, 2018 has ordered that student-based evaluations of teaching not  be used in tenure and promotion cases, effective immediately. The decision stated that the evaluations “are imperfect at best and downright biased and unreliable at worst”. With respect to the evidence provided Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET) […]

May 282018

It has been a challenging two years for many Canadian faculty at the bargaining table. You may be interested in the following outcomes. Most recently, Carleton faculty have reached an agreement after hundreds of hours and one year of collective bargaining, with the assistance of a mediator. Details will be reported soon. Earlier this month, […]

May 082018

Several faculty members were surprised to receive letters at their homes from Connection Point advising them of benefit packages that will expire as they approach “normal retirement age”. The first round of letters contained references to a normal retirement age of 65; the subsequent letters changed this number to 67. The language of “normal retirement […]

May 042018

Two recent events in Eastern Canada suggest that University Employers are taking a cynical attitude towards collective bargaining. At Carleton University, the faculty association negotiating team found out just a day ahead of their May 3 regular bargaining session that the Employer had unilaterally filed for conciliation, then advised faculty how mutually beneficial this would […]

May 032018

Recently, members of CUPE 1975 set up information tables across campus on the theme “PAWS off our Pensions”. CUPE’s Employer, the University of Saskatchewan, went to arbitration to determine whether it had the power to unilaterally change the terms of the CUPE pension plan. The arbitrator ruled in favour of the Employer. Though it is […]

Apr 232018

The Collective Agreement offers significant protection for collegial governance, and resolutions to recent grievances help to illustrate these various protections. The Collective Agreement is clear that the collegial committees established pursuant to the Collective Agreement (renewal and tenure committees, promotion committees for example) are required to determine their own operating procedures provided they are consistent […]

Apr 172018

Online applications for the USFA Scholarship will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. Friday, June 1, 2018. The USFA Scholarship Program is open to students who are immediate family members of USFA members.  Immediate family includes spouse/partner, sons, daughters or children whom USFA members have served as legal guardians. The application form for the 2017-18 USFA […]

Apr 092018

Please be advised that the upcoming USFA Academic Freedom event has been cancelled because the CAUT representative is no longer able to participate. The position of the USFA Executive is that CAUT participation was essential to provide an informed understanding of the complexities of defending Academic Freedom on Canadian campuses.    

Mar 272018

A recent Globe and Mail article cites Harvey Weingarten, CEO of HEQCO (a research agency funded by the Ontario government), as saying “As the professoriate ages, it has … a constraining influence on … renewal.” In contrast, the Human Rights Office at Queen’s, a U-15 University, publishes on its website examples of what age harassment […]

Mar 142018

USFA has heard from faculty members who have found (to their surprise) that they have been designated by the Employer as “non-active researchers” – something you may wish to explore among colleagues within your academic unit. Where did this designation come from? Certainly not from any negotiation or collegial process. Its origin seems to lie […]

Mar 132018

Claims for reimbursement for any expenses from any of the benefit plans must be submitted to Sun Life within 90 days of the end of the calendar year in which the expense is incurred.   This deadline applies to 2017 claims made under the Dental Plan, Health Plan or Flexible Spending Program (Health Spending Account […]

Mar 122018

The Executive of USFA met recently with representatives of the University to exchange views on the Living Our Values document, about which we informed you recently. The discussion was lively, but also productive, and we appreciated the opportunity to share thoughts on this matter. The document is a work in progress, but you may wish […]

Mar 062018

At the outset of this round of negotiations, the USFA requested information from the Employer (in August and then in October) for the purposes of negotiating outstanding issues concerning the College of Medicine, including: services considered to be academic services provided by Provincial Academic Clinical Funding Plan (P-ACFP) contractors to the university; a list of […]

Mar 062018

For those who have not yet completed the online questionnaire related to childcare services for faculty on campus, this is a reminder that the closing date for the questionnaire is scheduled for March 12, 2018. Depending on your responses, the questionnaire should take approximately 5 to 15 minutes of your time. Your responses will be anonymous as you will not be asked to provide […]