Volume 23 | Issue 6 | July 2023


Process Progression

Post Turnaround

Answer: Nothing

National Bargaining

Know your CBA

QC Pride Parade

Expense Voucher

Golf Tournament

Last Laugh


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


Our latest union survey indicated a majority of members were unaware of the Progression Review Panel. This panel is something that was negotiated into the Letter of Understanding for the Process Department (LOU 2) and is used to identify and resolve issues arising from the implementation and ongoing operation of the Journeyman Operator Program. 

As process operators progress in their training and certifications, timelines are given for acquiring steam tickets and process qualifications. When operators reach the end of these timelines without acquiring the qualifications, the Progression Review Panel convenes to discuss any mitigating circumstances that would warrant extensions or exceptions to reclassifications.

The Process VP and the Negotiating Chair represent the union and discuss with the head of the training department and sometimes the Section Supervisor of the operator's process area. Shop stewards often offer more context in these situations, as well, after discussing with members. It is important to have this dialogue and make sure each member is represented, treated fairly, and given opportunities to succeed in their progression.

Situations such as paternity leave, medical leave, the death of a loved one, or a number of other possible scenarios can be taken into account when reviewing updated timelines. It is after both the company and union agree that a reclassification is warranted that letters are issued to the member, and by having this review panel and conversation beforehand, potential grievances can be eliminated before they become a problem. 

The Process Progression Review Panel is an example of the company and union working collaboratively for the betterment of the department and to make sure reclassifications only occur in the right instances. Hopefully, if you have never heard of this panel before this gives you some context for what it is and what it does.

In Solidarity,

Wade Schnell, Process VP


The Co-op Refinery Complex's turnaround in 2023 offered a unique perspective to maintenance staff like me. It was an opportunity to showcase our skills, problem-solving abilities, and dedication to safety. The collaborative efforts, adaptability, and sense of achievement experienced during the turnaround emphasized the vital role of our department in maintaining and improving the infrastructure of this industrial facility. The CRC's successful turnaround is a testament to the collective expertise and unwavering commitment of all tradespeople involved.


I’m proud to be part of our maintenance department and celebrate its achievements. I’m excited to build on this year’s successful turnaround and to play an even greater role in next year's full plant outage. It is important to remember that turnaround takes a toll not only on us as workers, but also on our significant others, children, and pets so be sure to take time this summer and spend quality time with them. If it wasn’t for the immense family support we receive, we would not be able to perform as we do every spring.

In Solidarity,

Karl Dahle, Maintenance VP



Karla Hanson


Debbie Bourassa &

Mitch Bloos

Building Maintenance:

Garth Wendel


Mike Pelzer


Sam Seibel


Corey Strass &

Adam Lojewski

Fire & Safety:

Daryl Watch

Information Technology:

Cory Frederickson


Shane Thompson


Dave Mushynsky &

Jaret McCloy & Chris Szala


Brandon Mang


Andrea Jordan & Mike Fink


Karter Diewold

MRP: Garth Wendel

PDD Loading: Kevin Reis

PDD Warehouse: Vacant

PDD Office:

Christal Wisniewski


Jeremy Lukomski

& Dan Ross


Ryan Dzioba


Nelson Wagman

Section IA:

David George

Section IB:

Charles Brittner

Section II:

Jason Sharp

Section III:

Josh Hollinger

Section IV:

Pat Pilot & Cam Parisien

Section V:

Andrew Murray


Nathan Fafard


Scott Wicklund



I was approached before I resigned...by a constituent. And they said, ‘What have you done for us? What have you done? What’s your legacy? What infrastructure has been put in place in regards to Coronation Park?’ and I went, ‘Oh my god, the answer’s going to be nothing right? And I went “Nothing!” I didn’t know what to say…’"

That was Mark Docherty, former MLA for Coronation Park when he hit the airwaves on a podcast called The SKoop recently. You might think the 11+ year vet would have kind words to say about his long tenure with Scott Moe’s Sask Party, but no.

The Ex-Minister and Speaker of the Assembly of Saskatchewan went on to say: “And then you look at it and say ‘ well, growth that works for everyone’. Well, does it? If you’re going to say that, has it worked for everyone? Has it worked for everyone in Coronation Park? I’m going to say no, it hasn’t. People are struggling.”

Woof, that’s no backbencher folks. Mr. Docherty was a very well-respected MLA, from both sides of the floor. Mark resigned from his Coronation Park seat on February 10, 2023, to pursue “other opportunities”. Sinking Ship? He also mentioned in the podcast that people were “Dumbfounded” when he approached voters in regard to the “Growth that Works for Everyone” slogan and that despite his best efforts to represent Coronation Park, Scott Moe would not listen.

Walsh Acres is also in need of MLA representation. Sadly, Derek Meyers (Sask Party MLA 2020-2023) passed away on March 28, 2023, after a battle with cancer at the age of 45. Although new to the political scene, Derek was well-liked by his peers.

Lumsden-Morse riding is also vacant at the moment, Lyle Steward stepped down in March of 2023 citing health reasons. In October 2022, while facilitating the role of legislative Secretary, Mr. Steward invited his mentor and friend Colin Thatcher to the Speech from the Throne. At the time Thatcher was on parole for murdering his wife, JoAnn Wilson. No way Scott Moe was blindsided by the invite, although he did fire Steward from the Legislative Secretary position, he was still allowed to remain a party caucus member and thus serve his most valued role as a fall guy for the Premier.

The time of mourning has passed and the writ has dropped. There are three by-elections in the province for the above seats. This by-election will feature a trial advanced poll. Voting opens August 3rd and the final date to vote will be August 10th. If you live in the above constituencies I would encourage you to take part in your democratic right: VOTE!

Want to get involved? Regina & District Labour Council is hosting a canvass event on August 2, 2023. Contact REGINALABOUR.COM to participate in this event.

In Solidarity,

Chuck Brittner, Political Action Committee


The National Bargaining Committee last met with Suncor to negotiate the national pattern contract at the end of June. While a tentative agreement was not reached after these dates, they have reported that there are no major roadblocks or issues with the negotiation, they are just not done yet.

Suncor is continuing to negotiate with the union on local issues, which will likely need to be completed before we have a national pattern to ratify. The parties do not yet have any further dates scheduled for ongoing negotiations but they are in the works. The summer holiday season is now a factor for both committee's availability, but once the next set of dates are finalized they will be communicated to the locals.

We will keep everyone informed as any new updates are provided to us.

In Solidarity,

Nathan Kraemer, President


Everyone and their dog knows that seniority is a cornerstone of a unionized workplace and it's no different here at the refinery. It's part of our 594 lives and engrained into the collective agreement covered mostly in Article 8.

We have three basic forms of seniority: Construction, Plant, and Sectional (aka Shop). Plant Seniority is calculated by the length of service starting from your permanent hire date. Your Sectional seniority clock starts counting from the time you enter a specific section. Construction section, or temporary employees have slightly different accrual rules and benefits at different stages and that's covered in Letter of Understanding (LOU)57. 

The basic principle is that the more seniority an individual has, the greater access to promotions or bidding rights, job security, wage increases, job responsibilities, and benefits like dental & health coverage, sick leave, and vacation.  

Most people know that unions are good for workers as union members earn roughly 11% more than their non-union peers. What is less well-known is that unions can be good for business too. It’s true that higher wages and better benefits can be costly for employers if not accompanied by higher productivity, but unions also make employees less likely to quit. 

Seniority is proven to increase worker loyalty and unionized workplaces have higher employee retention figures than non-unionized employers. 

Employee retention is critical right now as 'job quits' are at an all-time high at the refinery, in conjunction with "The Great Resignation" which currently is a widespread problem. Generally speaking in a normal labour market, the cost of replacing a single worker is around 20% of the annual wage. The refinery-specific number is rumored to be in the 30-40% range. 

Therefore, seniority is important not just for workers but for employers too. This is reflected in the following excerpt from Article 8:

This succinctly states that plant and/or sectional governs everything, minus the two narrow exceptions that have their language to govern their application. 

Anytime the Company tries to bypass seniority or circumvent established processes it's quite simply union-busting. Seniority is foundational and needs to be respected.

In Solidarity,

Richard Exner, Chief Shop Steward


Regina Pride Festival ran June 2-11, 2023 with the parade returning this year on June 10 to finish off the weeks events. The annual Queen City Pride Parade is a signature event that fills Regina’s downtown with rainbows, smiles, and pride.

2SLGTBQIA+ is an acronym for Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and the plus reflects the countless affirmative ways in which people choose to self-identify. Pride Parades continue to be an important place to make the 2SLGBTQIA+ community’s presence known. The fight for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights and equity is still alive and Pride is just one of the many ways in which we bring attention to these important issues.

The Queen City Pride Parade has grown to become one of Regina’s most colourful and recognized parades with over 4,000 participants marching through Regina’s streets. It was great to see members of our local participate in the parade along with Unifor 1S.


Expense Voucher Forms have been updated to reflect the new rates for union coverage which were

voted on at the April general meeting with the 2023 Policy and By-Law Updates. The rates can be found in Policy 5: Union/Local Promotions. These expense forms can be found on the Unifor 594 website homepage "Expense Form" and on the website under Resources/Forms. The 2023 updated version of policies and bylaws will be available shortly.



Unifor 594 First Annual Golf Tournament:

September 22, 2023

Deer Valley Golf Course

Shotgun Start. Transportation to and from will be provided.

More details and registration information will be available very soon!


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.

594 SWAG

Are you interested in sporting Unifor 594 Swag?

Check out our list of swag at:



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]