Union groups

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

Latest bargaining updates

SAFA bargaining update | Monday, May 27, 2024

SAFA and SAIT bargaining teams met at the table May 21 and 22 for opening remarks and sharing proposals. The next bargaining sessions are planned for June 11 and 12.

AUPE bargaining update | Monday, May 27, 2024

AUPE and SAIT bargaining teams met last week for a meet and greet, and intend on sharing proposals in late August or early September.

SAFA bargaining update 2024 | Dates set for first days of bargaining

The SAFA and SAIT bargaining teams have set the first dates at the table – May 21 and 22. It is expected both bargaining groups will review bargaining proposals at a high level.

IRCC international student cap | Wednesday, April 10

The Federal Government introduced a new process around international student study permits, and all international students applying to study in Canada now require a provincial attestation letter (PAL) to accompany their application for a study permit.

As a result, each province was assigned an allocation of PALs, and the Alberta government recently advised SAIT of our allocation.

SAIT has worked together across the Academic Division and CDARI to adjust program intakes to ensure we maximize our targeted enrolment within this new framework. Planned growth in certain programs will slow, while a few programs will experience decreased enrolment targets.

Our strategy includes filling seats domestically to mitigate decreases in enrolment targets, but there is potential impact to program hours and, therefore, a possible reduction of adjunct and casual contracts.

2023 Gain Sharing threshold not met | Friday, March 22

In the last round of bargaining for AUPE and SAFA, both ratified agreements included a 0.5% potential gain share entitlement for all SAFA and AUPE employees employed on Feb. 28, 2024. The eligibility for this payment was subject to a Gain Sharing Formula and conditional on the average forecast of Alberta’s Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2023, being at or above 2.7% as of February of 2024.

Based on the average of all independent forecasting institutions, Alberta’s Real GDP growth for 2023 was 2.07%. This means the Gain Sharing condition was not met. As such, salaries, and applicable salary range adjustments, will not be increased. Gain Sharing Formula Determination Overview

Public sector compensation | Tuesday, March 19

Compensation decisions in the public sector are regulated by Government of Alberta legislation.

The Public Sector Employers Act empowers the Minister of Finance to issue directives to public bodies, like SAIT, which puts limits on compensation discussions in bargaining. Once a directive is received by the Board of Governors Executive Management Committee, a mandate is issued to SAIT’s bargaining teams. The bargaining teams must achieve a new collective agreement that complies with the Board’s mandate and the Minister’s directive.

SAIT’s objectives in bargaining are to follow the provincial governments’ public sector compensation directives while ensuring the institution is financially and operationally stable and maintaining a good relationship with SAFA, AUPE and our employees.

Collective bargaining updates 2024 | Tuesday, March 5

2024 is a bargaining year for SAIT and both of the institution’s union groups — Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) and SAIT Academic Faculty Association (SAFA). Bargaining could begin as early as April. SAIT is committed to keeping our community informed about this process, and updates will be posted to this webpage as they become available.

Collective bargaining determines the terms and conditions of employment through direct negotiations between a union and an employer. The most recent AUPE Collective Agreement was ratified on Dec. 23, 2022, with an agreement for the period of July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2024. The most recent SAFA Collective Agreement was ratified May 10, 2022, with an agreement for the period of July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2024.

SAIT is committed to working with our union partners in good faith to achieve a fair agreement that supports our students, our strategic plan, and our vision as a global leader in applied education.

 

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

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

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.

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

When the bargaining parties are unable to negotiate a collective agreement, the employer may choose to lock out 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

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 an 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.

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.

Most unions have the right to strike and most employers have the right to lockout. 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.

a view of the moutains and stream in between

Oki, Âba wathtech, Danit'ada, Tawnshi, Hello.

SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.