cupe1975Bargaining, Questions of the Day

Question of the Day

I attended the “You Talk, We Listen” event yesterday and filled out a form with my contact information on it. Some of my colleagues were unable to attend and are worried that things won’t be in place in the event of a strike. What other options are there to complete this form?

First of all, thank you for attending our event on Tuesday. We had a number of people stop by and ask us some very good questions about contract talks, mediation, and language in the collective agreement. Initially when we talked with CUPE National, It was suggested that we attempt to have a face to face conversation with all of our members and have them fill out their contact information on a form they were to provide in preparation of a work stoppage. The form was being worked on by CUPE National and was to be ready by Tues the 30th.  Your executive were still trying to find a solution on how to accomplish this task as we have 2000 members located in a number of different locations throughout Saskatchewan. I believe CUPE National finally began to understand the magnitude of the task that we would be required to do and agreed last Friday to proceed ahead using the same process as happened in 2007 when we went out on strike.

In the event of a work stoppage, you will be required to sign in for your shift with your picket captain and sign out at the end of the shift. The picket captain will forward this information to our strike headquarters where it will be processed. We decided to use the form on Tuesday provided by CUPE National to gather our members contact information (mainly personal email addresses). By providing an email address we can add your name to our email list and communicate with you through email, website and Facebook.   In the event of a work stoppage we are trying to get as much contact information as possible.  This will enable the union to get money in each member’s hands as quickly as possible.   We are asking for help from you, to provide your own information.  Visit the website if you have not already done so and input your personal email address.  We also ask that you volunteer for different positions required in the event we do go on work stoppage.  The forms are listed on the website at

Mediation Dates Confirmed


The following dates have been confirmed for Mediation between the Union and the University:

Dates are as follow:  November 1,2, 16, 20, 22 & 23    December 1,2 13, 14

In order to comply with the provisions of The Saskatchewan Employment Act, Don Morgan, Minister of Labour has appointed a mediator.

Winter School January 27th to 30th, 2019

cupe1975Bargaining, Schools Conventions & Workshop

For those members interested and did not receive a copy of the application

or brochure from the Sargeant at Arms at the AGM Oct. 23, 2018, please see link to the Saskatchewan 2019 Winter School. Up to 9 members will be chosen and deadline is Nov. 9th for submission.  In the event of job action for CUPE 1975 during these dates – Winter school will be cancelled for our members.


Also link to the application form that must be submitted to CUPE 1975

CUPE 1975 Education Criteria and Application 2008

(The Education Committee will go through the applications and people chosen to go will be notified)


cupe1975Strike Information

Your local executive is working hard to get a deal at the bargaining table that will protect our pension plan for years to come.   In the event talks break down we will need your help!  Get involved!

You can sign up in two ways.   Click on the link below and fill out the the form.   Make sure to press the submit button at the end of the form.  Your information will automatically go to the Union office.


Print off the form included in the link listed below  and mail it through campus mail or bring it to the Union office at Room 21 McLean hall.  Form_Paws_off_our_Pension_Volunteer_Sheet_2018_10_18





Our question of the day has been replaced today with “the Rumor of the Day”.  Apparently it has been circulating that some of our union members believe that now that a mediator has been assigned to our case, that we are able to forgo the 60 day period and implement some form of a job action (strike) or that the employer can initiate a lock out. Under section 6  (six) of the Saskatchewan Employment Act (SEA), it states that we are required by law, to work alongside the assigned mediator and the University of Saskatchewan to try and come to a resolve with our bargaining. The 60 day period is a minimum time frame and with agreement with the party’s involved, CUPE 1975 and the University, the meditation period can be extended beyond the 60 days with the hopes of coming to an agreement. At the end of the mediation period (a minimum of 60 days) if an agreement cannot be reached, there is a further 14 day “cooling off period”, where no action, such as a strike or lockout can take place.  After the 14 day cooling off period, either party has to give 48 hours’ notice of job action or lockout.  We received notice this week that a mediator has been assigned to our case and we have provided a number of dates where our negotiating team is available to meet. At our rally/strike vote many of you heard that although there is hundreds of strike votes conducted each year in Canada, very few end up in a strike. Your negotiating team is hopeful that we can come to a resolve thru the mediation process.


Holiday Hour for University


Most university offices and services will be closed for the holidays this year beginning on December 24, 2018 until January 1, 2019.  Employees who would normally be scheduled to work on December 24 will receive this day off with regular pay, and will not need to work the time in advance or use vacation time, banked EDO’s, time in lieu or overtime. Employees who are not scheduled to work December 24 as a part of their regular schedule will not receive any additional compensation and/or paid time off.  The closure on December 24 is an exception for 2018 only. Regular operations of the university will resume on January 2, 2019. Please contact the union at 966-7015  if you are asked by your supervisor or department to give up a holiday or EDO, etc. for the December 24th day.



Update on Mediation

October 16, 2018

Today Oct. 16th, at our Union Executive meeting,  our national servicing representative shared with us that a mediator has officially been assigned to our negotiations. With a mediator in place, our negotiating committee has provided the employer and mediator our availability over the upcoming months. November 1st and 2nd dates were held as bargaining dates prior to talks breaking down and these dates will be used as our opening dates with the mediator.

After a mediator has been identified, we have 60 days to work along with him and The University to try and come up with a resolve to our contract impasse. If talks are going well, we can request an extension to the talks. If the talks aren’t progressing as hoped after the 60 days, there is a 14 day cooling off period before either party can take any further action. Your negotiating committee is hopeful that we can come to a resolve with the employer.


cupe1975Questions of the Day



What would happen if the union went on strike prior to me going on holidays?  Would I be paid by the University any holiday pay?  Would I get strike pay?


Firstly, all holidays need to have prior approval from your manager.  Once your holiday is approved, and if it happens when we are on strike, the employer has the right to pay or not pay you holiday pay if we are on strike.

In the upcoming meetings with the employer and the mediator, we hope to get more clarity on this answer.

The holidays you have accumulated are a liability for the University that must be used or paid off at some point in your career here.  Some departments have difficulty scheduling and accommodating people within their departments each year for time off.  For this reason, there may be an appetite for the employer to consider it.  However, we have no control over that.

Secondly, you must participate in the strike to receive your strike pay.  If your away for a week and unable to walk the picket line or do other assigned duties from the union, you wouldn’t be eligible for any strike pay.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY! (Oct. 1, 2018)

cupe1975Questions of the Day

First of all – Thank you to all our members that voted to support your negotiating team at last week’s strike vote. It was nice to see such a strong turnout and the many good questions put forward from you.

Prior to the vote last week, our executive talked about how important the vote was, but also how we needed to respect the outcome of the vote.  Although the vote went in the direction we had hoped, we would like to have the people who voted against the motion, to respect the outcome also.  We live in a democracy and it was done in a democratic way.

Questions of the Day

  • I haven’t received any emails prior to the strike vote or call. How does the union intend to communicate with us going forward?

At the rally, pension talk with Mark Jansen in the Education Gym this spring, we were asking all members in attendance to share their emails (not usask) with us for communication purposes going forward.  We received approximately 500 emails and we have sent out a group email to all those who provided one to us.  If you didn’t receive one prior to the strike, it is possible we didn’t get your address correct.  In this case, please contact the union office with the correct information.  Also, at the Thursday rally and vote we asked again for any personal emails we might not have.  We are in the process of creating a group list however it will take some time to do this.  In the meantime, we ask that you continue visiting our website and Facebook page.

  • Can you explain the timelines of negotiations right now? Are we in a strike position this week?

At our last bargaining session on September 14, 2018, we declared an impasse with the employer. We filed the impasse with the Saskatchewan Labour Board and a mediator will be assigned to work with both sides to try and arrive at a settlement.  Once the mediator is identified by Labour law, we have 60 days to come to an agreement.  The period can be extended if both sides agree there is good work being done and want to continue to pursue an agreement.  If they don’t, then there is a two week cooling off period before either party can take any further action.  As of today, a mediator has not been identified.

FYI – Your executive does not have access to the employers email (usask) system without the employer approving content of the email. For this reason, anything strike related cannot be sent through your usask email.


Strike Vote Results


Results of the Strike Vote

957 Ballots Case

6 spoiled ballots

70% of the votes cast were in favour of a strike.