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Collective Bargaining at SAIT

SAIT is committed to supporting the development of its employees and cultivating a culture of excellence throughout the school.

A collective bargaining process that is respectful, collaborative and equitable is critical to advancing SAIT’s strategic priorities and ensuring a sustainable future for the institution.

SAIT negotiates the terms and conditions of employment, including compensation, with two union groups:

Latest updates

SAFA bargaining update | Wednesday, June 9, 2021

SAFA and SAIT bargaining groups met. The parties discussed performance management, including the case for change regarding annual performance reviews. The discussion touched on performance philosophy and models, and Section 15 (Performance Reviews).

The next meeting date is set for Wednesday, June 23.


SAFA bargaining update | Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The SAIT and SAFA bargaining teams have finalized a Letter of Understanding (LOU) on the Use of Vacation for 2021-2022. The LOU is a recognition of tentative agreement on Sections 32 (Annual Vacation Leave – Instructors and Educational Counsellors) and 33 (Annual Vacation Leave – Librarians).

Faculty will be able to see their vacation deposit online by June 12.


SAFA bargaining update | Wednesday, May 26, 2021

SAFA and SAIT bargaining groups met. The parties continued the discussion on vacation leave.

The next meeting date is set for Wednesday, June 9.


Previous updates

SAFA bargaining update | Wednesday, June 9, 2021

SAFA and SAIT bargaining groups met. The parties discussed performance management, including the case for change regarding annual performance reviews. The discussion touched on performance philosophy and models, and Section 15 (Performance Reviews).

The next meeting date is set for Wednesday, June 23.

SAFA bargaining meeting | Wednesday, June 9, 2021

SAFA bargaining update | Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The SAIT and SAFA bargaining teams have finalized a Letter of Understanding (LOU) on the Use of Vacation for 2021-2022. The LOU is a recognition of tentative agreement on Sections 32 (Annual Vacation Leave – Instructors and Educational Counsellors) and 33 (Annual Vacation Leave – Librarians).

Faculty will be able to see their vacation deposit online by June 12.

SAFA bargaining update | Wednesday, May 26, 2021

SAFA and SAIT bargaining groups met. The parties continued the discussion on vacation leave.

The next meeting date is set for Wednesday, June 9.

SAFA bargaining meeting | Wednesday, May 26, 2021

SAFA bargaining update | Wednesday, May 12, 2021

SAFA and SAIT bargaining groups met. The parties discussed annual vacation leave.

Next meeting date is set for Wednesday, May 26.

SAFA bargaining meeting | Wednesday, May 12, 2021

AUPE bargaining update | Monday, May 3 and Tuesday, May 4, 2021

AUPE and SAIT bargaining groups met. The parties discussed several articles and topics: bulletin boards, printing of agreements, probationary period, vacation, work hours and overtime. As well, SAIT provided information to the AUPE bargaining team specific to SAIT’s commitment to accommodating employees with time off for vaccinations, and upcoming changes to LAPP vesting period.

Next meeting dates are set for Friday, July 16 and Tuesday, July 20.

AUPE bargaining meeting | Tuesday, May 4, 2021

AUPE bargaining meeting | Monday, May 3, 2021

SAFA bargaining update | Wednesday, April 28, 2021

SAFA and SAIT bargaining groups met. The parties discussed vacation and had presentations from Jim Gibson, School for Advanced Digital Technology, and Vis Naidoo, Director, Centre for Continuing Education and Professional Studies.

No future meeting date has been confirmed.

SAFA bargaining meeting | Wednesday, April 28, 2021

SAFA bargaining update | Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Proposals exchanged. SAFA and SAIT exchanged bargaining proposals.

SAFA bargaining meeting | Wednesday, March 31, 2021

AUPE bargaining update | Thursday, March 4, 2021

AUPE and SAIT bargaining groups met to review bargaining proposals at a high level. Highlighting articles, on both sides, with desired changes.

AUPE bargaining meeting | Thursday, March 4, 2021

AUPE bargaining update | Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Proposals exchanged. AUPE and SAIT exchanged bargaining proposals.

AUPE bargaining meeting | Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Meeting schedule

  • SAFA | Wednesday, June 23, 2021
  • AUPE | Friday, July 16, 2021
  • AUPE | Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Post-secondary collective bargaining in Alberta

SAIT and other post-secondary institutions in Alberta are public sector employers.  

The labour relations and collective bargaining of Alberta’s post-secondary institutions fall under the Labour Relations Code, the Public Service Employee Relations Act and the Post-secondary Learning Act.

The Provincial Bargaining Coordination Office is the central agency that coordinates collective bargaining with the broader public sector employers.

The Alberta Labour Relations Board is an independent tribunal responsible for administering the Labour Relations Code and applying the legislation governing collective bargaining.

Collective bargaining process

Collective bargaining is a process of determining the terms and conditions of employment through direct negotiations between a union and an employer.

A typical collective bargaining process includes the following:

  • A notice to commence collective bargaining initiates collective bargaining and can be issued by SAIT or the union.
  • Negotiations start with the exchange of opening proposals from both SAIT and the union. This may include proposed additions, changes or deletions relating to the current collective agreement.
  • Bargaining teams representing SAIT and the union meet for a scheduled series of negotiations. Both parties bargain in good faith to make every reasonable effort to enter into a renewal collective agreement. At any time during collective bargaining, either or both parties may request assistance from a mediator. If an agreement cannot be achieved through negotiations and an impasse is reached, there are a number of methods for resolving disputes in collective bargaining.
  • When the bargaining teams have reached a settlement on a tentative renewal collective agreement, the agreement must then be ratified.

Frequently asked questions

What are the union groups at SAIT?

Most of SAIT’s employees are represented by one of the two unions listed below. The union negotiates the terms and conditions applicable to the employment of its members through collective bargaining negotiations with SAIT.

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE)

SAIT Academic Faculty Association (SAFA)

What is collective bargaining?

Collective bargaining is a process of determining the terms and conditions of employment through direct negotiations between a union and an employer.

What happens if negotiations reach an impasse?

When one or both bargaining parties decide no further progress is possible through negotiation discussions, an impasse is reached. There are a number of methods for resolving disputes in collective bargaining.

Ultimately, an impasse can lead to a work stoppage, following several mandated steps as set out in the Alberta Labour Relations Code, the legislation that governs collective bargaining and strikes/lockout processes.

What's a strike?

When the bargaining parties are unable to negotiate a collective agreement, the union may choose to strike.

A strike includes a cessation of work, refusal to work or refusal to continue to work by two or more employees for the purpose of compelling the employer to agree to terms or conditions of employment.

In advance of a strike, a vote of employees in the bargaining unit must take place and the majority of votes must be in favour of the strike. Employees are unpaid for the duration of the strike.

See: Alberta Labour Relations Board Strike and Lockout FAQ

What's a lockout?

When the bargaining parties are unable to negotiate a collective agreement, the employer may choose to lockout the employees.

A lockout includes the closing of a place of employment by an employer, the suspension of work by an employer or a refusal by an employer to continue to employ employees for the purpose of compelling employees to agree to terms of conditions of employment. Employees are unpaid for the duration of any lockout.

See: Alberta Labour Relations Board Strike and Lockout FAQ

What is the ALRB and what does it do?

The Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) is an independent and impartial tribunal responsible for the day-to-day application and interpretation of Alberta's labour laws. The role of the ALRB is to interpret and apply the legislation governing collective bargaining including:

  • how and under what conditions a trade union may claim the status of exclusive bargaining agent for a group of employees
  • how the employer and union must bargain to reach or renew a collective agreement
  • what kinds of union and employer conduct is prohibited
  • when the parties may have recourse to a strike or lockout.
What are essential services?

Provincial legislation describes essential services as those that if interrupted would endanger the life, personal safety or health of the public, or that are necessary to maintain and administer the rule of law and public security. The parties to an essential services agreement may also agree to a broader definition or to particular positions deemed essential.

What is an essential services agreement?

Most unions have the right to strike and most employers have the right to lock out. Prior to those events occurring, employers and unions generally must go through a number of required steps as set out in the Alberta Labour Relations Code, the legislation that governs collective bargaining, and strike/lockout processes. One of those steps is to negotiate an Essential Services Agreement (ESA).

At any time during collective bargaining, either party may give the other written notice of the desire to identify or negotiate essential services that would continue to be performed in the event of a work stoppage. Their agreements must identify:

  • a list of the essential services for their particular organization
  • job classifications and number of employees affected
  • procedures for assigning essential service duties
  • procedures for responding to emergencies and any foreseeable changes to essential services
  • changes to terms and conditions of employment that apply during a work stoppage (if any)
  • mediators to resolve disputes during a work stoppage

Any ESA must be approved by the ALRB.

Contact

SAIT remains committed to providing information on collective bargaining. If you have questions or comments they can be sent to bargaining@sait.ca.

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