Volume 24 | Issue 2 | February 2024


Supporting Our Teachers

Know Your CBA

Law Conference



Last Laugh


Sticker Campaign

New Members



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


We have all seen many posts, and opinions in the past month about the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation (STF) dispute with The Sask Party. As outsiders of the current classroom, it is fair to say we do not know what's happening. Year after year, our education system is proving that it is not sufficient for the future of all children. I will do my very best to voice the reasons why the current situation is NOT acceptable in the hope that you will help remind our government that students in Saskatchewan deserve better!

For those of you who don't know me, I have two great boys, Taylor and Cooper who are currently in our education system. I am very grateful that thus far, both have been well supported in their schools and community. My wife, Kelsey, teaches grades 2/3 in downtown Regina at Thomson Community School, which is a very different dynamic than that of the schools my boys attend. Like many schools in Saskatchewan, Kelsey and her colleagues deal with a wide range of challenges in the classroom that I feel a lot of us are not aware of. Some of the challenges that end up at our dinner table discussions include a lack of answers and resources for students with high needs, insufficient support staff such as Speech and Language Pathologists, English as Additional Language teachers and counsellors, there is increased violence, the fallout from Covid and increased mental health struggles. Kelsey and her colleagues are also dealing with students who may have reoccurring trauma, family members with addictions, and the stress of sending a student home to potential hardships. These challenges are difficult for many of us to comprehend because we are fortunate to have come from supportive and privileged communities. The unfortunate reality is that Saskatchewan does have many underprivileged homes and communities and our schools need more funding to support these challenges to ensure that we are raising strong contributing members of society into the future.

Here is a recap of how our education system has ended up where it currently is. Over the last 5 years, Saskatchewan’s per-student funding has dropped by 10% having Saskatchewan go from 1st to 8th in Canada. Saskatchewan school divisions have mandated teacher-to-student ratios and because of the lack of funding, school divisions have had to cut other services like speech, psychologists, counsellors, EAL teachers, bussing, etc. "The Saskatchewan Party wants school divisions to manage their own budgets but in 2009 the Saskatchewan government removed the ability for divisions to set their individual tax mill rates. All education funding goes into general revenue and the government hands it out from there. So, they underfund the divisions and then blame the divisions for being underfunded." - @steve_boots (Boots on the Ground on TikTok). In 2016, the Saskatchewan Party only funded half of a previously negotiated raise for teachers and told divisions they would have to come up with the other half. This is a slippery slope for divisions to keep having to work with and most divisions have had to be creative with where to find the money.

In closing, I would like us to rewind our clocks for a moment to four years ago when we were up against the world and trying to convince the public that what we wanted was fair and just for the betterment of our province. Daily, I'm reminded at work and in my home life that people never seem to want each other to have good/fair things if we all don't have them, such as set hours of work, proper support and benefits and of course fair wages. Let us all take positive steps forward and want good things for our children and for those teachers that we all know in our lives like we tried to ask for in 2019.

Take Action Now

In Solidarity,

Jamie Wolf, PDD VP



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


For this month's article, we thought it would be prudent to combine the regular CSS Corner grievance-related content with the just-as-popular, "Know Your CBA" series and outline Article 14 - Grievance Procedure for the membership. We're always talking about grievances, settlements and awards but let's take a moment to examine how a grievance arises and then flows through the steps outlined in the collective agreement. 


The entirety of Article 14 is quite long, so we'll only look at the first three steps this month.


The first paragraph reads:

1. An employee who believes there has been a violation of the Collective Agreement must take up his complaint with his Shop Steward or a member of the Grievance Committee. If the Shop Steward or member of the Union Grievance Committee feels that the complaint is justified, following discussion jointly with Shop Steward, employee and his immediate supervisor, the matter then becomes a grievance and under the Agreement must be dealt with on Co-operative time. Union officials shall not forego proper grievance procedure nor direct the working force in the performance of duties required of their positions.


There are a few things to unpack, but the three key takeaways are:

  • If you feel like the Company violated the collective agreement it is important to talk to your Shop Steward or someone from the Grievance Committee (CSS, Area VP and President) immediately.
  • The first action is to always try to resolve the issue at the 'lowest level', usually the immediate supervisor/manager for the area.
  • The last sentence refers to the doctrine of "work now, grieve later" which means if you are directed by a supervisor to do something you think is a violation of the collective agreement (ex, work on your RDO for straight-time pay), then you should work the shift and later discuss with your Shop Steward about filing a grievance. Back pay can always be applied after the fact. The exception to this rule is when safety is a factor.

The Grievance procedure continues:

2. Grievances shall be dealt with as follows:

Step 1

All grievances shall be dealt with through the Shop Steward of the department concerned and/or a member of the Grievance Committee, and submitted in writing after consultation with the Grievance Committee Chairperson within twenty-one (21) calendar days of the event giving rise to such complaint to the department head who must render a decision within twenty-one (21) calendar days. The Company and the Union may, by mutual agreement, schedule a meeting within 14 calendar days after the grievance is received by the Company. It is agreed that when a grievance involving a discharge or termination is submitted, the grievance shall proceed directly to Step 2.

This paragraph outlines timelines for the first step of the grievance procedure by the three highlights:

  • The Union only has twenty-one days to file a grievance from the day the incident took place. This timeline is normally extended in good faith if the parties are communicating and trying to resolve the grievance at the lower level with a formal grievance.
  • A Step 1 meeting is not mandatory, but it is useful. It's typical at these meetings for both sides to lay out the facts as both parties understand them and fill in any blanks or missing information to gain a better comprehension of the issues at hand.
  • When it's a termination grievance, Step 1 is skipped and proceeds directly to Step 2. This is because both parties recognize the significance or impact of a termination and the need to expedite the matter.

This brings us to Step 2

If a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached under Paragraph 3, Step 1, then the grievance shall be dealt with through the Union Grievance Committee, and submitted in writing within fourteen (14) calendar days of the Step 1 grievance response to Human Resources. Human Resources will meet with the Union Grievance Committee within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt of the grievance at Step 2, and will render a decision in writing within twenty-one (21) calendar days, after the meeting.


Here you see a Step 2 meeting is a mandatory requirement on the parties. It has been our experience that most grievances are resolved at this step. Not necessarily at the meeting themselves, but before Step 3.

Step 3

If a satisfactory settlement has not been reached, either party to this Agreement may, within 35 calendar days, submit the matter to a Board of Arbitration by providing written notice to the other party. The Union and the Co-operative shall, within 10 calendar days of the notice, each appoint a member to the Board. The two members to the Board or designates shall, within a further 10 days, select a third member to act as Chairperson. Should the nominees be unable to agree upon a Chairperson, the Minister of Labour of the Province of Saskatchewan shall be authorized to appoint a Chairperson upon request from either party. Either party may, at any time request a Single Arbitrator with agreement from the other party. The parties shall bear in equal portions the fees and expenses of the Arbitrator or Chairperson.


In our collective agreement, Step 3 of the grievance procedure is the Arbitration stage. Other unionized workplaces can have five or more steps in their procedure before arbitration. The key points here are:

  • After the Company denies the grievance at Step 2, the Union Executive has 35 days to decide to proceed to arbitration or withdraw the grievance or present a settlement offer. The 35 days also allows time for the Union to seek legal advice.
  • While the default is an Arbitration Board (or Panel) made up of an Arbitrator, Company Nominee and Union Nominee, either party can request the grievance be heard by a single Arbitrator. This reduces costs and usually helps have the grievance hearing sooner because you have fewer individual schedules to balance when selecting hearing dates.
  • It is at this point the parties select an Arbitrator. Currently, the number of practicing arbitrators, especially in Saskatchewan, is quite limited. This makes scheduling difficult.

The last section of this part reads:

The Board of Arbitration, having been so established, shall meet with the parties in Regina at the earliest possible date and shall:

(1) Hear evidence relating to the alleged violation or difference; and

(2) Argument thereon by the parties or by representatives of either or both of them;

(3) and shall render a decision within a reasonable timeframe on the matter or matters in dispute and such decision shall be binding upon the parties hereto.

The decision of the majority of the members of an Arbitration Board, or where there is no majority decision, the decision of the Chairperson shall be the decision of the Arbitration Board.

The Arbitration Board shall have no authority to add to, modify or alter any of the terms or provisions of this Agreement; the sole authority of the Arbitration Board is to render a decision as to the meaning and interpretation of this written contract with respect to the dispute.


This is what is commonly referred to as the "jurisdiction clause" or what gives the Arbitrator the power and authority to make rulings on grievances pertaining to the collective agreement.


Understanding and navigating the grievance process can be a steep learning curve but it's an essential tool in conflict resolution in our workplace.


In Solidarity,

Richard Exner, Chief Shop Steward


I found the GRJ Law conference full of very insightful discussions on case law, much of which applies to our local.

After Lyle Daniels’ powerful keynote speech and our recognition of Treaty 4 Territory, a labour arbitration case review panel started the day. Samuel Schonhoffer, Heather Robertson and Katarina Kostiha reviewed several cases that were directly related to our workplace, including vaccination policy cases that ultimately ended in favour of their respectable locals. One of those locals was ours, giving a precedent of case law that will provide strong backbone arguments for any grievances in the future. This applies not only to us but also to other locals dealing with unreasonable discipline regarding vaccination policies.

Another case I found interesting was RWDSU vs Sherwood Coop involving theft. This long-term employee, in a moment of weakness, retrieved approximately $100 in “Scratch and Save” tickets. This is not an easy topic for any membership team to represent as theft is in no way acceptable in the workplace. The griever was facing termination as well as a lifetime ban from ever entering this or any other retail location again. A couple of key actions by the griever had a substantial effect on the outcome of the Board’s decision. They were immediately regretful and apologetic and wrote a letter to the CEO the very next day, expressing they were “deeply remorseful” for their actions. This combined with an impeccable and unblemished employment record of over 18 years with the company, resulted in re-instatement. Many variables ultimately played a part in the final decision, the Board considered these many factors. Everyone makes mistakes, as the Board was able to appreciate in this instance. 

There were many other presentations throughout the day that I found engaging. From unfair labour practices to outsourcing employees' work, employee surveillance and even theft. Grievances may have similar attributes but each one is unique and can result in vastly different outcomes. I am glad I was able to attend and now have a greater understanding of the complexities of each unique situation I may encounter while fulfilling my duties as a Shop Steward. 

Nathan Fafard, Stores Shop Steward


The following merchandise is available for purchase. Items will be available through your Shop Steward, Executive Officer, or by emailing [email protected]. Watch your email for additional limited-quantity merchandise for sale.

Cooler Bag- $50

Red Ice Shaker (with Straw)- $40

Black Tumbler- $25

2 In 1 Cup/ Can Cooler- $12

Toques - $15 Each

Style 1- Grey with fleece lining

Style 2- Red/ Grey knit with 594 on the front and back

Hats - $15 Each

Style 1- Trucker- Mesh back, snap back

Style 2- Baseball- Cloth back, snap back


to the following 594 members on their recent retirement:

Kevin Bennett- Insulators (January 1, 2024)

Bruno Lugt- Mechanics (February 1, 2024)

Please let us know of any noteworthy milestones at [email protected]om


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.

‘ Show Us Your Sticker ’ campaign!

Don't forget to participate in this joint effort campaign to foster a workplace that promotes

awareness, breaks down stigma, and encourages open conversations about mental health. Talk to your Wellness Ambassador for information on the program and prizes for participation.


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]