May 16 , 2017  

Calendar highlights for May 15 to 19:

Anything can happen, but this is what we have scheduled this week:
  • the Tuesday Members' Memo is emailed to GSU members weekly on Tuesday. If you know a co-worker who doesn't receive the TMM and would like to, have them call GSU toll-free at 1.866.522.6686 or send an email to gsu.regina@sasktel.net
  • general secretary Hugh Wagner and staff rep Steve Torgerson are attending a Saskatchewan Federation of Labour committee meeting on Tuesday in Regina
  • on Wednesday Hugh Wagner will participate in a conference call regarding an arbitration
  • GSU's Defense Fund Board of Directors will meet on Friday.
Upcoming events:

Prairie School for Union Women
June 11 - 15, 2017
Waskesiu Lake, SK
Learn more about the school and registration here

SFL Summer Camp
August 27 - September 1, 2017
Camp Easter Seal ~ Manitou Lake 
Register early! This popular camp fills up quickly!
Learn about the camp and how your camper could win free registration here.  

Contact your GSU staff rep for more information about these events, GSU's expense policy, or to register. 

GSU's calendar of events is regularly updated and available on GSU's web page - www.gsu.ca.  



A member's question ultimately led to a collective agreement interpretation which benefits other members of the Local.
 
In 2016 a Local 1 member working for Viterra contacted GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner with a question which brought to light a grey area in the collective agreement.
 
The member was inquiring whether travel to grader training was considered work time. In this particular instance the member traveled several hours on Sundays to attend grader training in Saskatoon.
 
Wagner raised the issue with Viterra management and subsequently submitted an executive grievance on behalf of the union seeking payment for travel time outside members' normal hours of work. The grievance wound its way through the grievance procedure and was put on hold for quite some time at management's request while they reviewed policies and procedures.
 
On May 12, 2017, settlement of the grievance was finally achieved and confirmed. The grievance settlement is as follows:
  1. When an employee is required to attend mandatory training, the time spent travelling to and from the training outside of her/his normal working hours will be considered work time and will be paid.
     
  2. When an employee attends training opportunities on her/his own volition the time spent traveling to and from such training outside her/his normal working hours will not be considered work time.
"Needless to say, a lot will depend on the circumstances and facts of any situation where a member is traveling to attend training outside normal working hours, and I encourage union members who are unsure about their particular situation to contact a GSU staff rep," said GSU general secretary Wagner. "This grievance settlement provides a good framework for resolving problems and it came about thanks to one GSU member who contacted us with a question." 


Do you have a question about a workplace issue or your collective agreement? 

Contact your GSU staff rep. Their services are provided to you as part of your union dues. There is no additional charge for assisting you.


Only two weeks until the application deadline!


GSU is pleased to offer $2,000 scholarships to five students who demonstrate an ability and a passion to inspire positive change in their community. 

Scholarships are available to GSU members and their immediate families - including spouses - who are enrolled in a diploma, degree, or certificate program at a community college, university, trade school, or technical institute as a full-time student in any country. 

Deadline for receipt of applications is June 1, 2017.

Detailed information is available on GSU's web page:  www.gsu.ca.

 
  
Labour leader Barb Byers retires
 
With the conclusion of the 2017 convention, Sister Barb Byers retired from the Secretary-Treasurer position and elected leadership of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).
 
Among her many accomplishments, Barb has served the labour movement as an activist in her union (SGEU), President of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour from 1988 to 2002, an Executive Vice-President of the CLC from 2002 to 2014 and as Secretary Treasurer of the CLC from May 2014 to May 2017.
 
A committed trade unionist and social justice advocate, last December Barb was named a Member of the Order of Canada  "for her contributions as an important voice in the Canadian labour movement."

Barb began her career as a social worker in Saskatchewan where involvement in her union allowed her to begin a career of addressing issues of poverty, youth unemployment, aboriginal concerns, inequality, and labour rights. Through her tireless efforts,  Barb become a leading advocate for the rights of women and minorities, and h er commitment and service to the Canadian and international labour movements are second to none. 
 
"This remarkable labour leader and friend will be retiring from the ranks of the CLC leadership, but I have no doubt that her passion for the rights of working people will cause her to be active in the cause," said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. "We have not heard the last from Barb, and that's a good thing."
 
Barb and her partner Gerry Jones are returning to Regina to begin the next chapter.
 
We wish Barb the very best and we thank her for a job very well done.



How safe is your computer?

If this week's ransomware virus had wiped out your computer, what would you have lost? Do you have a  back-up of important documents, photos, and files, or would you be starting over from scratch?

This week's worldwide virus scare is a good reminder to back-up all your important information and ensure your  Windows Updates and antivirus software are in place and current. There are a number of other steps you can take to keep your computer and its contents safe. 


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