Volume 24 | Issue 1 | January 2024


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Collective Bargaining Course

Last Laugh

Comms Review

Supporting STF

Hats and Toques

Health & Safety Course





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


This new year will be a busy one. In addition to ongoing grievance meetings, we have a few arbitrations scheduled for the first half of 2024 including the "Job Worked, Job Paid" Process department grievance at the end of this month.


While the work seemingly never ends, it is not without its triumphs. We are happy to report that the Company and Union have successfully reached a settlement that bundles together three 2020 grievances stemming from the immediate post-lockout era.


To refresh our collective memories, when we returned from the lockout the Company proceeded to lay off a significant number of our brothers and sisters from all corners of the refinery. At nearly the same time, the 2020 Turnaround was underway which included the use of several contractors to perform a wide variety of duties.


In response, the Union filed three grievances 03-2020 Temporary Layoffs, 06-2020 Turnaround Work (All Members) and 07-2020 Turnaround Work (Laid Off Members). Throughout the grievance process, the Union has argued that our members never should have been laid off while there were contractors on site, especially during Turnaround.


It wasn't until the Grievance Backlog Project (GBP) that traction toward a compromise settlement was made on these issues when the Company expressed an interest in putting to bed some of the bitter unresolved issues that lingered from the lockout's aftermath.


Fast forward to the settlement; the parties have agreed to reinstate plant & sectional seniority, pensionable service time, and lost wages for sixty-seven members who were laid off for the 2020 Turnaround period. This results in a significant financial settlement for our members.


The grievance committee has been in constant communication, including holding multiple information sessions, with the aggrieved members. There is a collective sigh of relief to have this matter finally resolved.


While there are still some implementation pieces to work through, we are thankful for the productive and respectful conversations we have had with Company representatives as we focused on a fair and reasonable compromise settlement.


Thus far the GBP has been a success, but there are still roughly forty grievances headed to Phase 2. We are currently hashing out a Terms of Reference for the next stage, we are optimistic this process will continue to yield positive results.

Fast forward to the settlement; the parties have agreed to reinstate plant & sectional seniority, pensionable service time, and lost wages for sixty-seven members who were laid off for the 2020 Turnaround period. This results in a significant financial settlement for our members to be paid out on February 7th. 

In Solidarity,

Richard Exner, Chief Shop Steward



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


During the week of November 6th, I had the privilege of attending Unifor's Collective Bargaining course at Super School, here in Regina. During the week-long course, I was able to engage with brothers and sisters from different locals, discussing CBA language and Pattern Bargaining. We also got to take time to compare the different language in each other's collective agreements.

One of my favourite "takeaways" from this course was learning about pro-worker vs. pro-employer wording within a CBA and Letters of Understanding. It was truly eye-opening to learn the double meaning of so many common words and get the basics as to how negotiations are usually rolled out. 

We spent three of our four days learning about the bargaining process and ways to better prepare. On the fourth day, we got to do a mock bargaining session with a tight timeline against two seasoned bargaining veterans. The tone and responses in the room throughout the day were tense, to say the least. The mock company representatives did a fantastic job of keeping the pressure on us, they used an arsenal of Bargaining tactics forcing us to pivot our strategies often. The company reps did their best to sneak in concessions using weasel words. But as a Bargaining team, we were able to identify these concessions and make appropriate amendments to obtain a fair deal. The deal met our top priorities and helped the company remain profitable.

We had our learning moments throughout the process, knowing when to call a caucus was important. We had to know when to use which team members' strengths to better present proposals and amendments. At the end of the day, we did manage to get a fair agreement in mock bargaining, but the knowledge and networking we gained during the course were far more valuable. 

Like I said my favorite learning moments from the week were about interpretation of CBA language and how words can mean something different than the actual intention. I truly look forward to using and sharing this newfound knowledge with my brothers and sisters.

In solidarity, Brandon Mang, Insulators Shop Steward



Unifor 594's Communications Committee comprises four members; Richard Exner, Nic Skulski, Kevin Weanus, and myself being new to this committee since last fall. A shout-out has to go to Ashlyn Henitz for her contributions to this committee and for playing a major role in the planning and executing many of the activities for 2023 and prior.

As 2023 ended, the Communications Committee closed off its first year running on a set budget and plan. Overall, this was a positive step forward in our evolution, which helped us meet all our objectives, increased transparency and accountability, all while maintaining a balanced budget.


The objectives we set out as a committee include initiatives such as:

  • Sharing with the community the history of Unifor 594, and who we are today
  • Engaging with the membership on social media, through events and internal communications
  • Supporting and engaging with other Union initiatives
  • Engaging with and supporting local community initiatives and charities
  • Supporting community organizations and initiatives that encourage teamwork, activity and healthy lifestyles
  • Unifor 594 brand recognition

We set up a budget focusing on three categories: Advertisements, Sponsorships and Promotional Items. This is completed in January and brought to the General Membership Meeting for approval.

We plan advertisements to get our name out to the public along with a message of our values, and who we are as a local in the community. This category includes items such as billboards and other advertising outlets, radio ads, and social media ads. Did you see our holiday billboards going East and West on the Ring Road, or hear any radio ads in the last year?!

Promotional Items include updated signage and 594 branded items to hand out at public events. In the summer we had two new retractable banners designed, look out for them at any future events! What do you think of them?

The Sponsorship portion of our budget allowed us to invest in impactful community organizations, as well as labour-friendly events. We want to find events that are of meaning to our membership but also promote hardworking, healthy lifestyles. Since so many members find themselves heavily living at the hockey rinks year round we chose to enter sponsorship deals with Emerald Park Communiskate, as well as the Lumsden Sports Centre. Have you noticed the signs?

A fun community event we sponsored in 2023 was free entry for everyone in the community as well as our members to Moonlight Movies drive-in showing Top Gun Maverick. Two labour events Unifor 594 took part in in 2023 were the Labour Day Picnic and the Regina Pride Parade along with other Unifor locals in the area.

Working off a budget which was approved by the membership gives the committee the freedom to make time-sensitive decisions like purchasing promotional items and entering into advertising and sponsorship agreements that fall within our approved communications strategy as required. We must ensure we receive value for the membership dues that we spend on communication initiatives. In all decisions, we make sure that we uphold Unifor 594’s core values of Safety, Pride, Professionalism, Respect, Responsibility, and Community. Our goal is to support and participate in community organizations and events the best we can.


A non-monetary focus, but a big dedication of time for the Communications Committee is our social media. We take lots of time planning and trying to find informative posts that bring positive engagement from the membership as well as the community. Towards the end of 2023, we took an approach with a bigger focus on our members and the community in posting.

Tracking engagement on social media will help to identify what types of posts are most liked by our followers. It seems posts about members or events directly tied to our local and our community grab bigger reactions. We are going to take more of a focus on the strengths of our members, the history of our local, and the progress of unions and our union over the years.

Stay tuned as we continue to evolve and improve. If you have any suggestions or ideas of anything you would like to see from the Communications Committee please reach out to [email protected] or come chat with any of us.

In Solidarity,

Andrea Jordan, Information Officer


It was great to hear about the large number of 594 members who made it out to the STF picket lines, offering support to the educators in our province. Visit stf.sk.ca to see how you can continue to support the teachers who want a better learning environment for our children.


Hats and toques are now available through your Shop Steward or Executive member for $15 each.

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

Items will be available through your Shop Steward or Executive member for $15 each.


I recently had the opportunity to participate in a Health and Safety course hosted by Unifor National's Super School at the Hotel Saskatchewan the week of November 6th. This course was the first time I took advantage of our union's paid education leave (PEL) and, like any educational course, all knowledge gained is valuable.

Our instructors, Kelly Bondy of Local 1285 and Bonnie Nantais of Local 195, both had decades of experience regarding health and safety in the workplace. Combining that with the other attendees from Locals 1-S and 649 and their experiences, there was a lot of information to share and take back with me to our workplace. There was a mutual understanding among the group that it is not an easy task to convince an employer that change is needed to benefit a worker's health and safety. Our current government has done very well picking apart the Sask Employment Act during its long tenure, stating that "an employer shall ensure insofar as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety, and welfare at work of all of the employer's workers. " Reasonably practicable is an incredibly weak language for workers. Regardless of whether we work in an office setting, a lab, or out in the elements, there is a constant focus on using our collective bargaining tools to fight to maintain or better our health and safety throughout all areas of the workplace - on our terms.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the course was doing a mock joint health and safety committee meeting. Despite the "mock" being in the title, the emotion and tension in the room was high as the company representative said all the right words to deflect accountability and at times turn a deaf ear to the safety concerns put forth by the workers. It made me realize that as workers we cannot be silent on any concerns we have in the workplace. Raise our/your concerns and document everything because if there is no record, then the company cannot be held accountable for a lack of corrective action.

If anyone has any interest in taking a course like this, check out Unifor National's webpage under Resources/Education or watch for courses being offered in The Conciliator. It is time well spent.

Chris Szala,

Instrumentation Shop Steward

  • Congratulations Kyle Eberle (Section 5) and Mick who welcomed their second son Bronsyn Leslie born January 1, 2024.

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]