June 7, 2024

NAIT can drop their Unnecessary Complaint to Remove Barriers

While we wanted to respect the proceedings at the Alberta Labour Relations Board and allow the process to play out, NAIT has chosen to inappropriately and misleadingly communicate directly to you about what were understood to be off the record conversations.

The Bargaining Committee’s preference is for more transparency, so here are some things NAIT has been leaving out:

  • NAIT claims NASA is not “adhering to the collective agreement”, which is unsubstantiated and misleading.
  • If NAIT feels there is a collective agreement violation happening, they have access to the grievance process, just as NASA does. No grievance has been filed by NAIT.
  • It is quite possible they have not filed a grievance route because NAIT knows and has admitted that the collective agreement does not compel the parties to bargain during the day.
  • They at times reference Article 12, which you can read for yourself below and see that it does not say anything about what time bargaining should take place.
  • They somehow claim bargaining during the evening is “unusual” despite four other post-secondary institutes bargaining during the evening in the last round, and then claim it would be “not conducive to productive and timely bargaining” when daytime bargaining clearly did not produce a timely collective agreement in the last NASA and NAIT negotiations.
  • Our understanding is that evening negotiations had normally taken place in earlier negotiations between NASA and NAIT, some time into the 1990s. It was then that NAIT approached NASA with a proposal to bargain during the day, and the compromise was that NAIT would not ask NASA to pay the costs for the time that its bargaining committee spent in negotiations. NAIT decided to walk away from that practice in the middle of the last round of negotiations, adding a significant cost barrier to daytime bargaining.
  • NAIT is inaccurately stating that “proposals” were communicated through the ALRB representative. NASA did not receive a proposal from NAIT through the Board Vice-Chair Ian Smith, only some questions from NAIT that NASA answered in the interest of seeking a workable compromise, which NAIT was not open to. To date NASA has not received a single counter-proposal from NAIT to resolve this issue, and NAIT has remained inflexible on aspects that would create logistical and costly barriers to NASA’s ability to participate in negotiations.


NAIT’s complaint to the Alberta Labour Relations Board is unnecessary; however, when the issue goes to a hearing, NASA is prepared to argue that it is in fact NAIT who is acting in bad faith.

NAIT could resolve this issue quite easily through agreeing to what Olds College, Red Deer Polytechnic, Keyano College, and Lakeland College all did in the last round of negotiations – simply come to the table during the evenings and negotiate in good faith. It’s not very hard to do, and certainly not unusual.

NAIT also has the ability to allow the same flexibility on daytime bargaining that they had in many past rounds of negotiations, and not have you pay additional costs for your unions’ operations just to engage in collective bargaining.

NAIT instead is making a choice to add barriers to bargaining by unnecessarily dragging these matters through the Alberta Labour Relations Board.

It’s also disappointing that NAIT sent correspondence proposing potential summer bargaining dates in the daytime at 2:31 p.m., and then their communication to you all was at 4:13. NASA’s AGM was scheduled from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. NAIT signs off on the AGM scheduled time to allow members to attend, and knew all of this when sending those emails and so to say they are “waiting for NASA’s response” is uncharitable.

One of NAIT’s values is Creativity, and they say that they are “always flexible and adaptable in our approach”. It’s time NAIT applies that value to negotiations, drop their embarrassing complaint, and come to the table.


It is not lost on us that all of this is getting in the way of you seeking negotiated improvements to your wages, workload, and job security, and that you deserve to have a better approach than this from your employer.

NASA’s Bargaining Committee is ready and willing to put this behind us and your Bargaining Committee is eagerly looking forward to negotiations in good faith finally beginning.


Please let me know if you have any questions.

In solidarity,

Trevor Zimmerman

NASA Bargaining Committee Spokesperson and Labour Relations Director

P.S. Many of you have questioned the appropriateness of NAIT’s communications and have said you would prefer to hear about negotiations from your union instead. You can choose to opt out of NAIT’s communications on bargaining by sending an email in response to Peter Leclaire.


For reference, here is Article 12 from your collective agreement:




12.01 Subject to 12.03, the Institute will provide full or partial workload reductions totalling not more than two (2) instructor-years and make appropriate scheduling accommodations so that staff members designated by the Association may conduct Association business in roles such as the following:

(a) Table officer (President or Vice-President) of the Association.

(b) Member or chair of the NASA negotiating team.

(c) Committee work for the implementation of ongoing Institutional initiatives – e.g. the New Academic Model and the Faculty Development Performance Evaluation (FDPE).

(d) Projects requiring NAIT/NASA collaboration.

(e) Such other roles as may be mutually agreed. For time off under this Article, the Association shall reimburse the Institute for the corresponding portion of the staff member’s salary, benefits, and vacation leave. Workload adjustments under this Article will normally be for integral multiples of one (1) semester or one (1) apprenticeship intake.


12.02 Subject to 12.03, the Institute will make appropriate scheduling accommodations so that staff members designated by the Association may conduct Association business in roles such as the following:

(a) Member of Academic Council.

(b) Member of a standing Association committee.

(c) Representative of a staff member as provided in Article 48.


12.03 Such time off will be approved and scheduling accommodations will be made provided that the staff member gives appropriate notice of the intended absence, and that instructional activities not be unduly disrupted.


12.04 The President of the Academic Staff Association shall advise the President of the Institute, in writing, of the names of those specific staff members who represent the Association for the purpose specified in Article 12.01.