Arbitration Award – Limitation on Appointments of Instructors and Lecturers

This is to advise you of an important arbitration decision in favour of the USFA concerning new appointments of without term Instructors and Lecturers. The limit of 30 new appointments (Article has been exceeded. All future appointments will require JCMA approval.


In May 2023, the USFA filed a grievance against the University of Saskatchewan. The dispute involved a difference in the interpretation of the Collective Agreement concerning the employer’s ability to appoint, or (according to the employer’s position) create positions for, without term instructors or lecturers.

Since its inception, the Association has preferred tenurable appointments because tenure protects faculty members from dismissal under most circumstances, and ensures the freedom to teach, to research, and to express ideas without fear of reprisal or retribution. In addition to job security, tenured employees have higher salaries and an ability to advance their careers as they proceed through the ranks.

However, with the introduction of Nursing Instructors (formerly Clinical Associates in ASPA) into our membership, the Association accepted that a certain number of without term employees would be among our members. However, neither the USFA nor the University knew what that number would be.

The limit on new appointments was a way to assess how many without term Lectures and Instructors were needed for academic programs. A cap on the number of employees based on a clear understanding of what was necessary could then later be negotiated.

Going forward

Appointments without term are not a substitute for probationary appointments (Article While it may be appropriate to make these appointments in limited numbers for the delivery of instruction in professional and clinical colleges, the Association has been concerned with the inclination to appoint PhD-prepared candidates as Lecturers without term for no other reason than budgetary constraints.