Volume 23 | Issue 11 | December 2023


Tied To Perfection

Time Of Reflection

Happy Holidays

Turtle Island

CSS Corner

Thank You


Toques/ Hats

Last Laugh




Nathan Kraemer

Recording Secretary:

Ellen Foley


Kaleena Baulin

Negotiating Chairperson:

Ryan Shillingford

Maintenance V.P.:

Karl Dahle

Process V.P.:

Wade Schnell

Administration V.P.:

Kurt Haakensen (Interim)


Jamie Wolf

Chief Shop Steward:

Richard Exner

Information Officer:

Andrea Jordan (Interim)

Maintenance V.P. Assistant:

6 Month Trial: Garth Wendel


Brandon Mang

Sergeant at Arms:

Nic Skulski

Women's Advocate:

Lisa Taman


Amy Wisniewski 

Anton Skulski

Charles Brittner


Congratulations to the Tech Rescue Team (TRT) members for getting NFPA 1006 Certified in November. The TRT performs high-angle rescues and medical support for the refinery. Moving towards certification is a first for the TRT who have up to now just trained to the NFPA Standard. The certification is a competency check on the skills that the team works on during our monthly training sessions and is an evaluation from a third-party educator of the team's skills. We want to send a big shout-out to Rick Prasad and Chris Labine from the College of the Rockies for putting on a great course. I would be remiss not to mention the appreciation to Deputy Fire Chief Darren Aresenault for being committed to establishing certification for our Emergency Response Teams (ERT) which is a change from past practice, training is a key component of the refinery mitigating risk and being ready for when an event will call the ERT into action.  

Left to Right: Chris Labine (Instructor), Kevin Murphy, Owen Schnell, Brock Weir, Brent Vandermeulen, Ryan Shillingford, Shawn Freestone, James Cheeseman, Shane Thompson, Jason Matheson, Kendal Daniels, Kane Ludwar, Darren Aresenault, Matt Cooke 

Did You Know?: The Refinery has many Emergency Medical Responders (EMR) on-site; all Fire and Safety Department members and TRT are trained to this level. EMR is a course that provides a higher medical response skill set than a normal first aid course. EMR’s are equipped with more tools in their first aid kit to assess and mitigate injuries until a higher level of care can arrive.

In solidarity, Ryan Shillingford, Negotiating Chair



Karla Hanson


Debbie Bourassa &

Mitch Bloos

Building Maintenance:

Garth Wendel


Mike Pelzer


Sam Seibel


Corey Strass

Fire & Safety:

Daryl Watch

Information Technology:

Cory Frederickson


Shane Thompson


Dave Mushynsky &

Jaret McCloy & Chris Szala


Brandon Mang

& Shawn Freestone


Mike Fink & Colin Kuntz


Karter Diewold

& David George

MRP: Jeff Folk

& Caleb Wagner

PDD Loading: Kevin Reis

PDD Warehouse: Vacant

PDD Dispatch:

Tammy Mooney


Jeremy Lukomski

& Dan Ross


Ryan Dzioba


Nelson Wagman

Section IA:

George Brailean (Interim)

Section IB:

Charles Brittner

Section II:

Jason Sharp

Section III:

Jaret Delamare

Section IV:

Pat Pilot & Cam Parisien

Section V:

Andrew Murray


Nathan Fafard


Scott Wicklund


Dear Sisters and Brothers,

With a new year just around the corner, we have the opportunity to reflect on 2023. It was another very successful year for our members, our local, and our refinery.

We welcomed a few new people into union executive officer positions back in June; Ryan Shillingford (Negotiating Chair), Andrea Jordan (Info Officer), and Jamie Wolf (PDD VP), as well as Lisa Taman as our new Women’s Advocate. Many more have stepped up as shop stewards, or to take on committee positions within our local.

This year we were able to send record numbers of our members to courses at Unifor’s Port Elgin Education Center as well as to area courses held locally where they were provided with valuable education and tools to improve how we run our local and serve our membership. We held our first full-day shop steward meeting and strategic planning session where we developed long-term goals and objectives for Local 594 and built on our past success and solidarity.

We all took on the challenges of another annual turnaround and, as always, we ensured that the entire process was completed safely and efficiently. I want to thank every 594 member for helping to make this all possible every year. Thank you to everyone who has picked up extra shifts to cover union leaves so that we can do the work that we do to keep our union functioning, and always improving. None of these successes and victories would be possible without all of your effort and dedication.

Thank you to everyone’s spouses, partners, and families at home for accommodating the oftentimes busy schedules, and extra time commitments required to achieve all these things we have done together throughout the year. Our strength, as always, is in our people and our collective dedication to our refinery, and our local, and I genuinely appreciate the efforts everybody continues to put in.

I am eagerly looking forward to 2024 and what the next year will bring for Local 594. I know we are going to continue to build on our past growth and progress. The next turnaround is going to be a big one, with the accompanying CSO, which will be yet another opportunity to show our strengths and display the value that all of us bring to our refinery and I know we will knock it out of the park, again.

Thank you from the local 594 executive for allowing us to represent and serve our membership for another year. Lastly, we want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a safe, happy, and prosperous new year for all our members and families at home.

In Solidarity,

Nathan Kraemer, President


Your Union Executive wants to wish all members a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We hope everyone gets the opportunity to relax, recharge, and spend time with those who bring you joy. To those of us who will be at the plant over the holidays, we wish you safe work days, and hope you take your time to enjoy the season on days away!

DYK? Together at this year's Christmas Party through the 50/50 fundraiser we were able to donate $1000 to both the Regina Food Bank Hampers, and Regina Rainbow Youth Centre. Thank you to everyone who helped us spread holiday cheer for those in need!


At the beginning of October, I attended Turtle Island: A First People’s Awareness for Union Activists and Leaders training course at the Unifor Education Center in Port Elgin, Ontario.

This course is part of the Paid Education Leave Fund that is employer-funded as part of our collective agreement. The course explored the shared history between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. We did a deep dive into Indigenous history, rights, issues, and the links between unionism and the struggle for Indigenous self-determination.

The material was very eye-opening and had a great deal of emotionally heavy content exploring the past and current struggles that Indigenous people in Canada have faced. It ended on a positive note with the importance of reconciliation and ways in which the labor movement can share in furthering that process. Now-retired Senator Murray Sinclair said, “Education has gotten us into this mess, and education will get us out.” I am grateful that I was able to receive this education and learn things that, unfortunately, I never learned when I was in grade school.

Our local is a diverse membership with several members of Indigenous heritage. Showing respect and acknowledging the mistakes of past generations is how we can work towards a bright future for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. As a union leader, I hope to fairly and respectfully represent all members and am grateful that I now have a greater understanding than I did before about Truth and Reconciliation.

As always, if any member is interested in taking a Unifor Education course, reach out to an Executive Member, and we can assist you.

In Solidarity,

Wade Schnell Process VP


We wanted to use the final CSS Corner of 2023 as a bit of a year-in-review and update the membership on some of the grievances and issues we have encountered as a local these past twelve months.


There was a wide variety of grievances filed in the past year covering nine key categories, but as always the biggest area of concern remains contracting out of bargaining unit Maintenance duties. This is despite the fact explicit language in Article 2 that prohibits the use of a contractor to perform bargaining unit work, unless it meets one of the narrow exceptions in Letter of Understanding 58 (lack of sufficient manpower, equipment, or training).

2023 also saw a 62.2% increase in grievances filed over 2022, marking a new record for the number of grievances filed in a year. 


Grievance Statistics for 2023:

  • 73 grievances filed
  • 67 active
  • 6 closed or resolved
  • 49 at Step 1
  • 12 at Step 2
  • 2 at Step 3 (arbitration)
  • 4 in abeyance (on hold)

With that said, we also resolved/settled a large number of grievances as well. This is mostly attributed to the hard work of the Grievance Backlog Project (GBP) team.


Total Active Grievances: 138

  • 2017: 1
  • 2018: 7
  • 2019: 7
  • 2020: 15
  • 2021: 19
  • 2022: 22
  • 2023: 67

Grievances Resolved in 2023: 89

Grievances awaiting Arbitration: 3

Grievances at Judicial Review: 3

Grievances at Phase 2 of the GBP: 38


The Grievance Committee is optimistic that we can continue to work with the Company in the new year to resolve long-standing issues and reduce the number of grievances going forward. 

In Solidarity,

Richard Exner, Chief Shop Steward

Big Thanks to the following members who have recently stepped up to the pivotal role of Shop Steward:

  • Jaret Delamare- Section 3
  • George Brailean- Section 1
  • Caleb Wagner- MRP
  • Tammy Mooney- PDD Dispatch
  • Colin Kuntz- Lab
  • Shawn Freestone- Insulators

Our success as a local begins with our Shop Stewards who are the first line of communication, and voice for each department. We appreciate your commitment to Local 594!

  • Congratulations Nick Sand who achieved his Red Seal Certification in Instrumentation.


New custom toques are now in! 594 is knit on the front and back.

New red/ grey toques will be available through your shop steward or executive member for $15 each.

594 HATS

Hats are available in Trucker (mesh back) and Baseball styles.

Hats will be available through your shop steward or executive member for $15 each.

Last Laugh

Employee & Family Assistance Program

The Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is through Homewood Health and is available 24/7/365. Call 1-800-663-1142 or reach out to a trusted confident, friend or co-worker if you aren't feeling like yourself.


For any new members, or if you know of new members not receiving Union Communications please talk to your Shop Steward or e-mail: [email protected]