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					                                                                        University of Saskatchewan
                                                          Sessional Lecturers’ Union CUPE 3287

News                                                              Volume 22 Number 1 March 2011

 from NowHere

                                               Sharleen Rayner, is now on sick leave. Our
     Collective Bargaining                     best wishes go out to Sharleen for a complete
                                               recovery free from worries. In the
            Report                             meanwhile, CUPE Rep Dave Stevenson is
                                               taking a break from his responsibilities in the
The Union and Management Bargaining            Health Care Sector in order to help us.
Committees met twice in December and
once in February. Scheduling has proved a
significant challenge since most of our team
members have hefty teaching assignments
this term. Because we began by disposing of
many of the more routine “housekeeping”
issues last fall, the discussion is now very
At present, we maintain a confidential or in
camera approach to discussions, as agreed to
with the employer at the outset. The
disadvantage of this approach is that we
cannot consult members regarding the ins-
and-outs of management proposals or
responses to our proposals. The advantage is
that neither side says anything negative! A
bargaining session is scheduled for April 4,
and it is possible that more agreed-upon
news may become available.
On the other hand, we have encountered an
unexpected bump in the road to agreement as
our CUPE Servicing Representative,

In this issue:
Bargaining Report & Cutbacks—page 1            Reminders—page 5
Public Relations Campaign—page 2               SFL Convention Report—page 8
Announcements—page 3                           Information Download—page 9
Call for Committee Participants—page 4         Agenda for Term 2 Members’ Meeting—page 10
                                                          It may also be that the first cuts were accommodated
   Cutbacks in Sessional                                  somewhat by increase in teaching load by regular
                                                          faculty as actual reductions in course offerings were
         Courses                                          not as substantial as we anticipated. Now, however, it
                                                          is becoming widely recognized that course offerings
                                                          are in jeopardy from further cuts in many areas. It is
       Courses Taught by Sessionals
                                                          also possible that student tolerance for large classes
   2008-2009        Term 1       329 × 3 c.u.             has limits.
                    Term 2       367 × 3 c.u.             In discussions with management in the fall of 2010,
   2009-2010        Term 1       287 × 3 c.u.             we were advised that total cuts in Sessional spending
                                                          may eventually amount to between one third and one
                    Term 2       275 × 3 c.u.             half of 2008-2009 totals. It is safe to say that the
   2010-2011        Term 1       271 × 3 c.u.             university’s plans, particularly in the College of Arts
                                                          and Science, seem not to be entirely worked out and
                    Term 2       298 × 3 c.u.             we can hope that the reductions predicted may not
                                                          materialize so drastically.

We estimated an overall decrease of some 134 course
equivalents or about 19% in Regular Session
Sessional courses between 2008-09 and 2009-2010.
Between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, the total for
Regular Session 3 c.u. course equivalents is virtually
unchanged at 562 versus 569. This information is
based on reports generated by Human Resources
which indicate the name of the instructor, the course
taught and information about credit units and
weighting of the course. It is possible that our totals
are in some way in error. However, it appears that no
further substantive reductions occurred between 2009
-10 Regular Session and Regular Session of 2010-
It is tempting to speculate on the reasons for the
                                                                     Spring and Summer Courses
apparent leveling off, in face of projections that this
would be the second year of cuts to accommodate the       Human Resources has provided us with the following
Board of Governors’ decision to reduce the                information:
university’s operating budget permanently. Severe
reductions in Sessional courses in Social Sciences,       In Spring and Summer Session 2009, about 220 x 3
particularly in Sociology, in 2009-2010, may have         credit unit equivalents were taught by Sessionals. In
accounted already for most of their total needs for       Spring and Summer Session 2010, about 188 x 3
budget reduction. On the other hand, the deferral of      credit unit equivalents were taught by Sessionals,
deep cuts in Humanities and Fine Arts in summer           representing a decrease of almost 15%.
2009 has still not been reversed. In the fall of 2010,    Though it was never apparent that the university’s
the Humanities Division appeared to be planning           budget reduction would affect Spring and Summer
massive cuts for 2011-2012. Recently, however, in         courses, it likely did so substantially. Though it is
the face of possible resulting threats to tuition         really too early to assess further impact on this
revenue, the Division has hinted that there may be        summer’s offerings, in the postings up to March 15
deficit funding of Sessional courses in cases where a     about 170 three credit unit equivalents had been
course is fully enrolled. It should be noted that         advertised. It is anticipated that, as always happens in
enrollment limits for sections of courses have            the summer though rarely in the winter, some courses
increased and are increasing substantially in most        will be cancelled because of low enrollment.

         Public Relations
Following the billboard campaign of fall 2010, come
the bus boards of spring 2011. Above is the design
currently in circulation. Sincere thanks to Neil Balan
from the Edwards School of Business, who is
running about town through snow, slush and grime;
and to Wendy Doell from the Economics Department
who at the time of writing, was still watching over
Warman Road from her billboard on behalf of
Sessional Lecturers. At the meeting on April 20, the
Executive will ask the members to authorize more
funds for bus boards and print ads.

          Announcements                                                  2. Grievance Report
  1. CONGRATULATIONS: Christtine Fondse,                 We are pleased to announce tentatively that
     College of Education, is the winner of the          Grievance 2010 – 01 has been resolved prior to a
 University’s Sylvia Wallace Teaching Award for          Stage 2 hearing. At issue were technical aspects of a
                      2011.                              member’s application for Right of First Refusal. In
                                                         the fall of 2010, funds had been set aside in the event
About her area of children’s literature and drama,       of an arbitration on this grievance.
Christtine says:
 “I am very glad that the books written for children                  3. New Sessional Listserv
today help them extend their experiences or see their
everyday world in a new perspective, more so than in     The union hopes to inaugurate a new list serve on the
previous years. Books about minorities, appreciating     CUPE National server within the next few days, just
                                                         in time to send a meeting reminder for April 19! It is
racial and ethnic diversity, understanding various
world cultures and the like, allow children to savour    intended to use this email only for meeting reminders
really fine literature in a truly meaningful way.        and for important announcements, no more than five
Books can have the power to evoke in readers rich        times per year except in case of emergency. To be
images and deep emotional responses regardless of        certain of being contacted in case of urgent
                                                         developments on the union front, and we do mean
the technological format in which the material is
                                                         urgent, please ensure that we have an up-to-date
                                                         email address for you. The ideal email account for
The whole of Christtine’s statement about her            this purpose is one that is accessed regularly but is
teaching can be read at:      not on the University of Saskatchewan server.
Christtine is also a founding member of CUPE 3287,
a distinction which means her loyalty to the
University of Saskatchewan is exemplary, spanning
over twenty years.
                     Committees, Committees, HELP!

A. The University Council needs Sessionals to serve on three Committees in 2011-2012. These committees are
the mechanism through which collegial university governance is achieved.
There are three committees of University council which include a Sessional Lecturer representative. A small
stipend for these three people is mandated in our Collective Agreement.

   Committee                  What does it do?                                           How often?
   Academic Programs          Reviews and approves curricular changes from all col-      twice a month
   Committee                  leges, recommends major curriculum changes to
                              Council, oversees policies relating to students and aca-

   Teaching & Learning        Reviews and advises on pedagogical issues for faculty,     once a month
   Committee                  teaching evaluation guidelines and implementation,
                              and policy issues relating to instructional development

   Planning & Priorities      Reviews and advises Council and the university admin-      twice a month
   Committee                  istration on planning, budgeting, and academic priori-

To volunteer or to nominate someone else:                  D. An alternate sessional representative is needed on
•     Download a nominations form from the                 the U of S Employee Assistance Program board. This
      Council website, or                                  is an ideal learning experience for anyone interested
•     Email:                in workplace counseling and referral issues.
By Monday, April 18, 2011
B. The Occupational Health Committee which
oversees the handling of health and safety issues
meets four times a year. Members can also sit on two
site committees and assist with inspections. This is
an opportunity for anyone interested in how to make                     Historic Insults
our workplace a safe one. The Sessionals’ Union
needs new representation on this committee.
                                                            “He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the
C. During the summer, the College of Arts and                     vices I admire.” - Winston Churchill
Science will issue a nominations call for Sessional
Lecturer representatives on each Academic Programs           “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But
Committee of the Science, Social Science, and                      this wasn’t it.” - Groucho Marx
Humanities and Fine Arts Divisions. There will also
be a Sessional on the new Academic Programs                    “He is a self-made man and worships his
Coordinating Committee which facilitates
                                                                         creator.” - John Bright
discussions among the divisions. There will continue
to be a Sessional on the Academic Affairs                   “He had delusions of adequacy.” - Walter Kerr
Committee. As well, if the College determines a
committee is the best structure to raise equity issues,        “Some cause happiness wherever they go;
Sessionals would likely have representation there
also. Sessional representatives on College                     others, whenever they go.” - Oscar Wilde
committees serve as voting members of the overall
College Faculty Council as well.
                                                          Professional Development Fund: Applications can
                                                          be made for conference participation, funding for
                                                          research projects, graduate studies and more. The
                                                          Professional Development Fund receives a total
                                                          allotment of $30,000 per year. The next open period
                                                          will be September 1-15, 2011. The application form
                                                          is available on line at:
                                                          employees/pd.php. If convenient, please send a copy
                                                          of the application to the Union Office. Under the new
                                                          rules, the deadline for using the funds is one year
                                                          from receiving the allocation. You may submit a
                                                          retroactive claim for expenses incurred on the
             REMINDERS                                    project during the period of up to six months
                                                          before the application period, but funding is not
Postings (Advertising of Courses Available):              guaranteed until the grant is made.
Postings can be viewed on the Human Resources
website under “Employment Opportunities.” They               ONLY TWO APPLICATIONS FOR
remain officially open for only one week stated on          FUNDING WERE RECEIVED IN THE
the Wednesday indicated, a good reason to file an          MARCH 2011 OPEN PERIOD. MONEY IS
early application. (See below.) The regular (not
                                                               PILING UP FOR THE FALL
early) application form is available at http://                                        ALLOCATIONS.
sessional_current_competitions.pdf or contact the
Union Office for a paper copy.
Postings for Spring and Summer Session 2011
continue on Wednesday April 6, April 20, May 4,
May 18, June 1 and June 15.
Postings for Regular Session 2011-2012 will begin
on May 18, 2011 and continue on June 1 and June
15, July 6 and July 20, August 3 and August 17.
                                                          Right of First Refusal: A Sessional having taught
Early Applications: “Early” applications can be
                                                          the same course three times in the space of four years
made for Spring and Summer starting the first week
                                                          is usually eligible to request Right of First Refusal.
in February and for Regular Session 2011 starting the
                                                          Right of First Refusal means that the applicant will
third week in May. An early application ensures that
                                                          be hired when the course is posted on a Sessional
you will not miss out if you forget to track the actual
                                                          basis (unless another applicant has Right of First
postings. Submit a written application to your
                                                          Refusal and more priority). (Article 14.01 in the
department, keep a copy and send the union a copy.
                                                          collective agreement). Application for ROFR should
The early application form is available at http://
                                                          be submitted to the office of the Dean of the College
                                                          responsible for the course. For an application form to
sessional_early_application_form.pdf or contact the
                                                          download, go to:
Union Office for a paper copy.
                                                          recruitment.php. Please send a copy of the
                                                          application to the union so that we can check that you
                                                          receive a timely response.
                                                          For clarification and more info, contact the Union

                                                                                      Reminders continued on page 6

Reminders continued from page 5
                                                        Pension: Sessionals are eligible for a Retirement
                                                        Savings amount of 6% of salary paid by the
                                                        employer, described on the pay cheque stub as
                                                        “Sessional savings.” The enrolment requirements
                                                        remain the same (35% of YMPE in each of two
                                                        consecutive calendar years) as for the pension plan
                                                        which existed prior to 2007. All the qualifying
                                                        employment must be in scope of CUPE 3287.

Tuition Waiver Fund: You may apply for up to one
3 credit unit course waiver per year. Try to apply at
least one month before the start of the course.
Contact the Union Office for the form or download
cupe3287_tuition_waiver_fund.pdf. The fund
allows for 20 waivers per year, but the maximum
fund balance is the equivalent of 40 waivers for 3
credit unit courses. At that point, we lose what we     Parking: For time-share or fulltime parking during
don’t use. Spread the word.                             Spring and Summer, please call Donna Boots, our
                                                        parking officer, at 249-2558 or
Health Spending Account: To qualify for the $500 Fees are pro-rated. Please be
per annum Health Spending Account, the Sessional        prepared to pay with a cheque. The union does not
must first teach 12 c.u. within a 12 month period.      generally make money on parking. The union (your
Notification of eligibility should be automatic. The    colleague, the Sessional Parking Officer) assumes the
plan document may be consulted at http://               tedious responsibility for divvying up the time-share                              parking because the university does not want to do
sessionals_in_scope.html. At this site, be sure to      so. The university bills the union for the parking
choose “Health Spending Account.” If you think you      stalls. Parking fees have just increased hugely
qualify, but have not received notification, please     because the U of S Faculty Association
contact the Union Office. The claim form is available   relinquished control of parking.
from the list at      For the four-month term, these are the following
forms.php or from the Union Office. Choose the
                                                        rates for parking based on hours-per-week.
“Health Spending Account” form, not a Benefits
Plan form. You will need to pay your qualifying               0-6 hours          $40.00
health expense and file for
reimbursement. If, for                                        7-12 hours         $65.00
example, a dental office
attempts to file for you, they                                13-18 hours        $99.00
may be using a benefits plan
form which will not work.                                     19-24 hours        $131.00
Make sure that the names of
any qualifying dependants                                     25-30 hours        $165.00
appear on your Health
Spending Card. If they do                                     31 + hours         $220.00
not, contact the Benefits
Office. The employer may
be unaware that you have a
family.                                                                             Reminders continued on page 7

Reminders continued from page 6

Salary levels: Members who have taught more than         2. If the Right of First Refusal has already expired,
10 x 3 credit units should be paid at level 2 rates;     reinstatement may still be requested. In this case,
those who have taught more than 20 x 3 credit units      the applicant goes to the bottom of the Right of First
should be paid at level 3 rates. Adjustments should      Refusal list until reinstated. If not reinstated
be made automatically by the employer. As of             automatically, the applicant must be allowed to teach
September 1, 2009, salaries for 3 c. u. increased to:    the course once when it is available and be assessed.
                                                         See article 14.07, p.18.
              Level 1: $5,455.50
                                                         Forms for Extension or Reinstatement of Right of
              Level 2: $5,680.50                         First Refusal are available online at: http://
              Level 3: $5,905.50
Courses taught while on regular Faculty or while on      rofr_reinstatement_request.doc.
an ASPA contract, including as facilitator for an
online course, should count in your progression          Employee Assistance Program: The EAP provides
through the levels, but it may be necessary for you to   you with access to confidential counselling services
inform Human Resources of this part of your              24 hours a day, seven days a week, at no cost to you.
teaching experience. If there is any uncertainty,        Find more information about their services by
please check with the Union Office.                      visiting:

                                                         Unemployed Sessionals should still be able to access
                                                         help, but it might be easier to call the on-campus
                                                         number, 966-2766, rather than attempting contact
                                                         through the University website.

                                                           You can download a PDF copy of this
                                                                     newsletter at:



                                                             You can access union resources online:
CUPE 3287 Good and Welfare Committee: The
union committee can provide modest assistance to             •     Frequently Asked Questions
members in severe financial crisis. Contact the Union
Office and ask to be referred to Michael Kennedy,            •     Online Collective Agreement
the chair of the committee, or contact him directly at
                                                             •     Downloadable newsletters
Attention Non-Teaching Members: Don’t Get
Lost: The Right of First Refusal expires if the course
is not taught within twenty-four months of the
September following the end of the last contract. The
following provisions are important this year after the
cuts to Sessional funding of the past three years.
1. An extension may be requested on several               
grounds, including if the course was not available on
a Sessional basis. See Article 14.06 of the Collective
Agreement, pp. 17-18.

                                                        the direction in which the province is moving. If
 Saskatoon and District                                 anyone would like to investigate his opinion further,
                                                        check out Dr. Norman’s editorial in the Saskatoon
     Labour Council                                     Star Phoenix: Sask. out of step on human rights
                                                        hearings process at:
Mary Nordick and Wendy Wilson attended the 52nd
Annual General Meeting of the Saskatoon and             Lastly, Mike Sheridan provided information on Right
District Labour Council on February 11 and 12. As       to Work legislation in the United States and the
usual, the Annual Meeting began Friday evening          adverse effect it has had on employees, taxation, and
with the 2011 Labour Community Service Award            the general wellbeing of states which enacted these
Ceremony and Dinner which is held jointly over the      policies. For those of you unfamiliar with the
past 13 years with the United Way of Saskatoon.         legislation which undermines unions and
This banquet honours labour’s contributions to the      unionization, please see
community and recognizes people for their               Right-to-work_law to give you a general idea about
outstanding contributions to the Saskatoon              what it is. Given our current government’s clear
community. The recipient of this year’s Community       dislike of unions, it is important to understand the
Service Award was Gord Telfer who worked for            “slippery slope” that exists if we ignore the erosion
Cameco at the Key Lake mine site and was a very         of labour rights in Canada.
active member of United Steelworkers Local 8914 –       The “bear pit” followed the presentations. The leader
serving as vice-president and president for many        of the New Democratic Party, Dwain Lingenfelter,
years. Unfortunately, the award was given               was there, as were other NDP members. A “bear pit”
posthumously to Gord Telfer’s widow as he passed        environment is supposed to provide an opportunity
away in September 2010.                                                      for people to ask politicians
Apart from the usual matters of                                              questions on issues of concern.
business, the Convention also included                                       Given that the province will be
a number of interesting speakers and a                                       having an election in November,
“bear pit” featuring politicians                                             this seemed like a valuable
associated with the New Democratic                                           opportunity to hear the policy
Party. Three presentations stand out.                                        positions of the NDP.
The first was a presentation by Tracey                                       Unfortunately, most people who
Mitchell, the coordinator of Next Up                                         came to the microphones didn’t
Saskatchewan, an organization which                                          ask questions so much as reiterate
attempts to encourage and teach young                                        the need for a change in
people to engage in collective social                                        government and praise the
activism and, in the process, aligns                                         opposition for providing an
them with activist organizations in                                          alternative. It seemed a wasted
their areas of interest. Two participants                                    opportunity, especially in that it
in the program also spoke about what                                         was over before we were able to
they believed the program had offered                                        any questions about the party’s
them. It was interesting, in part, because of the       stand on funding post-secondary education, student
university’s emphasis on community engagement           loans, tuition freezes, and the myriad of other
but, also, interesting in and of itself.                possible queries about our working environment.

Ken E. Norman, from the College of Law at the           Despite the “bear pit” that wasn’t, the experience
University of Saskatchewan, delivered a presentation    overall was interesting and informative. I would
on the problems with Bill-160, an attempt to abolish    encourage any members interested in social and
Human Rights Tribunals in Saskatchewan. The             labour issues to think about joining us next year.
presentation was extremely interesting and made
very clear how difficult it would be to deal with
human rights issues in the courts even though this is                                      - Wendy Wilson

                                                           which is taking place in post-secondary institutions.
                                                           The podcast can be found at:
   Information Download                                    mp3/nextchapter_20110312_46560.mp3
                                                           The three novels in this series are listed below and
Here are some links to sites with interesting              can be found at the Saskatoon Public Library:
information. Please feel free to send in suggestions of
sites or interesting articles that you have discovered           The Kidnapping of Rosie Dawn (2000)
so that they can be shared with our members.                     The Hemingway Caper (2003)
Poor No More - a feature documentary on Canada's                 A Likely Story (2010)
working poor
Poor No More will be the first film to explain the
roots of the economic crisis, its impact on Canadians,
and what can be done about it. It is designed to build
public support for a real reduction in poverty. Hosted
by TV and film star Mary Walsh, Poor No More
offers an engaging look at Canadians stuck in low
paying jobs with no security and no future. It offers
hope to those who have to work at two jobs a day and
to those who can’t find work.
The website offers information about the
documentary but also provides links to information
about the working poor in terms of statistics, levels
of income, etc.
B-tch on Wheels - “the world from a twenty
something, vegetarian disabled Canadian woman’s            Student Surveys in Maclean’s Magazine
point of view”                                             And for those of you curious about what MacLean’s
The following website provides a tentative list of         is currently saying about the university experience,
defunded Canadian organizations that have lost             below is a shortcut to the 2010 student surveys that
funding or had people resign in response to decisions      they have conducted. These surveys have a focus on
made by the current government.                            the satisfaction of students with a variety of
                                                           universities across Canada and what they are looking
 Although this information on organizations is             for in their educational experience.
interesting, there are also articles of interest on this
website which deal with issues of disability and           Go figure! Small classes and the ability to interact
ableism in Canada.                                         with teaching faculty seem to be the two most
                                                           important variables to a satisfactory educational          experience for the majority of students who actually
  harpers-canada-a-list-of-defunded-organizations/         did the survey. Many of us don’t have any
Eric Wright and Joe Barley - I also wanted to direct       confidence in these surveys (and rightfully so);
your attention to Canadian author Eric Wright’s            nevertheless, it is interesting to see the results and get
series on Joe Barley. Joe Barley solves crimes but,        some idea about the methodology Mclean’s is using.
more importantly, he does this while working as a          If educational institutions like the U of S are making
Sessional Lecturer at a fictional Canadian university.     at least some of their decisions based on this public
The podcast of Wright speaking about his latest (and       presentation of “facts,” it is important that we have
last) Joe Barley novel is also interesting in that he      some idea of what these “facts” are.
speaks to his guilt about doing so little for part-time     
faculty while he was Dean of Ryerson as his reason            education/2010/02/15/2010-university-student-
for creating this character. He also speaks to his                     surveys-complete-results-2/
concerns about the lack of focus on Humanities

         The 2010-2011                                         Term 2 Members’
            Executive                                              Meeting
                                                                Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 1:00 p.m.
Following our December elections, the Executive
                                                                     Arts Building, Room 106
Committee remains stable with the addition of
Clayton Beish as member-at-large. Clay, who is from    (1)    Approval of Agenda
the Department of Religion and Culture, was already
                                                       (2)    Minutes of Annual General Meeting
serving on the Bargaining Committee.
                                                              (December 10, 2010)
The generic union address is,
                                                       (3)    Treasurer’s Report
but here are our email contacts should you prefer to
direct questions to a particular individual.           (4)    Acceptance of New Members
Wendy Wilson (President):        (5)    Grievance and Union-Management Report
                                                              - Update on Cutbacks
Heather Wagg (Vice-President)
                                                              - Update on issues regarding closely related
Ron Williams (Treasurer):
                                                       (6)    Bargaining Committee Report
Rhonda Anderson (Secretary)
                                                       (7)    PR Campaign Report
                                                              Motion from Executive: to authorize a Phase
M. Gail Osachoff (Newsletter):           2 of our Public Relations Campaign
                                                              during spring and fall of 2011. This second
                                                              phase would include ads in print media as well
Mary Nordick:
                                                              as additional bus boards ads. Phase 2 would
Rodolfo Pino:                                                 be undertaken as a shared cost agreement with                                           CUPE National,with a potential cost to CUPE
Bill Rafoss:                                                  3287 of up to $ 10,350.                                     (8)    Motion: to donate $600 to the Saskatoon and
Susan Robertson:                                              District Labour Council’s Summer Snack                                              Program

Clayton Beish:                                         (9)    Other Business
Elaine Hulse, Eleanor                                   A special lunch will be served to celebrate the end
Shia and Henriette                                                           of term.
Morelli continue as


President:          Wendy Wilson, Sociology

Vice-President:     Heather-Wagg, Languages

Newsletter Editor: M. Gail Osachoff, English  (242-5969)

Union Office:       35 McLean Hall, 106 Wiggins Road   Tel: 966-7023
                    University of Saskatchewan         Fax: 966-7013
                    Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E6              e-mail:
                                                       Alternate email:


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