Mission, Vision & Values
SPFA maintains the highest levels of financial accountability and transparency and strives to give good value for dues collected.
SPFA is an independent, unaffiliated, member-driven organization, focused on the needs of faculty. We have a diverse membership, with one commonality – we are all employees of Sask Polytech, dedicated to our students. SPFA does not engage in political activities on behalf of or at the expense of members.
“The Association will advance and protect the professional and employment interests of our members with the Employer, through collective bargaining, and through genuine and fair representation on all workplace issues raised by our members under the articles of The Saskatchewan Employment Act, the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and all other relevant legislation.”
Prior to 1988 and Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s existence, there were several educational institutions within Saskatchewan:
• Kelsey Institute of Applied Arts Science and Technology – Saskatoon
• Advanced Technology Training Center – Saskatoon
• Wascana Institute of Technology
• Northern Institute of Technology
• Regina Plains Community College
• Coteau Range Community College,
• Saskatoon Region Community College
• Prince Albert Regional Community College
In 1986 and 1987 Bill 46 established the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) and “disestablished” these separate organizations. The employees and assets from these 9 organizations were transferred to SIAST and a new provincial institute was established. This institute was governed by a single board of directors of 10-20 members which replaced the multiple boards in place prior to the enactment of Bill 46.
With the exemption out-of-scope positions, Bill 46 identified two distinct bargaining units – one for academic staff and one for all other employees (Professional Services Bargaining Unit). The employees of the 9 “disestablished” organizations were legislated into these two units. This created some confusion and tension as the bargaining units were legislated but not the bargaining agent. Employees were represented by various bargaining agents including the STF (Sask Teacher’s Federation) and SGEU. It soon became apparent that selection of a common bargaining agent for the 9 different groups was required.
The first attempt at forming the Faculty Association lost by approximately a .5% vote. It was a very uneasy time for faculty as the institutions that educators had been loyal to had been dissolved and the four major campuses, that had previously been in competition, were expected to cooperate and align curriculum. The local institute deans were eventually replaced with “super deans” and the responsibilities were assigned across the four campuses. Faculty of the time said, “this will not work!” – they were right.
From 1990 onward, there was a high turnover in deans, and absentee management forced program heads to assume more and more responsibilities in human resources and management. Program Heads were caught in conflict, abandoned and even attacked by their own union. This resulted in an erosion of the academic nature of the work. This was considered a failed amalgamation of the separate organizations.
Some faculty maintained loyalty to their past organization and resented being brought under the SIAST umbrella. Resistance was expressed in many forms including faculty turning their back on new leadership and campus-to-campus secrecy and competition. As a result, a sincere effort was made to standardize the curriculum.
In 2012, a strike occurred under SGEU as faculty were discontent with the current state of affairs. Dr. Larry Rosia was hired bringing an abundance of experience from SAIT. This was the onset of massive change. Faculty strived for autonomy and self governance, and as a result the Faculty Association was formed with a strong demonstration of support. On October 30, 2012, the Labour Relations Board issued a new certification order naming SIAST Faculty Association (SFA) as a collective bargaining agent for all academic faculty.
The SIAST Faculty Association has always strived to maintain mutual respect and to seek new strategies and relationships. The Faculty Association believed that informed decision making in an autonomous environment and informed, engaged faculty members would contribute to the success of the Faculty Association as a whole. By seeking influence in Institute decision making and changing the faculty mindset, SIAST Faculty Association would bring about a new era of labour relations at SIAST.
The institute has continued to undergo many changes over the past decade including the renaming of campuses, implementation of Associate Deans and Academic Chairs and development of a new learning outcome driven curriculum. Perhaps the most notable change was in 2014 when SIAST became Saskatchewan Polytechnic in recognition of degree granting and applied research activities. The Faculty Association’s name was changed at this point from SIAST Faculty Association to Saskatchewan Polytechnic Faculty Association (SPFA).
While we still have a long way to go, the Saskatchewan polytechnic Faculty Association has made significant improvements in enhancing services and protecting and advancing the collective interests of our members. To this day, we still encounter many challenges that include member involvement, member education and member communication. At this time, we still have a lack of faculty representation on the Board of Directors and lack meaningful dialogue with the Ministry of Advanced Education.
SPFA will continue to advocate to achieve the best possible benefits and working conditions for our membership.
Executive Council is the elected member board which governs and manages the affairs of the Association to further the purpose and objectives of the Association. Executive Council is comprised of:
– Vice President, Moose Jaw campus
– Vice President, Prince Albert campus
– Vice President, Regina campus
– Vice President, Saskatoon campus
Campus Vice Presidents are elected from their campus constituency while the President and Secretary-Treasurer are elected from any campus. Further information can be found in Article V of the Constitution.
Constitution article V4 a, b, nc lists Executive Council responsibilities.