Volume 23 | Issue 4 | May 2023


Exec Elections 2023

Last Laugh

CSS Corner

Moonlight Movies


Vacation Adjustments

Energy Barg Update

Shutdown Shaker

Women's Activism


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:

Ashlyn Heintz

Maintenance V.P. Assistant:

6 Month Trial: Garth Wendel


Brandon Mang

Sergeant at Arms:

Nic Skulski


Amy Wisniewski 

Anton Skulski

Charles Brittner



Negotiating Chairperson: Ryan Shillingford

Process VP: Wade Schnell

PDD VP: Jamie Wolf

Recording Secretary: Ellen Foley

Secretary Treasurer: Kaleena Baulin

Guide: Brandon Mang

Trustee (three-year term): Amy Wisniewski

Trustee (one-year term): Charles Brittner

Thanks to all of those who have continued to step up to the Executive. Below is the final list of Executive Officers voted in at the May General Meeting on May 23rd.

Thanks to Daryl Watch who has served as treasurer since 2012 and Shaun Jenkins who held the Negotiating Chairperson position since September 2020. Welcome back to the Executive Ryan Shillingford! He previously held the position of Recording Secretary.




Karla Hanson


Debbie Bourassa &

Mitch Bloos

Building Maintenance:

Garth Wendel


Mike Pelzer


Sam Seibel


Corey Strass & Colin Waldie

Fire & Safety:

Daryl Watch

Information Technology:

Cory Frederickson


Shane Thompson


Dave Mushynsky &

Jaret McCloy & Chris Szala


Luke McGeough &

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


The collective agreement is the ultimate compilation of rules and procedures for the workplace. They are tirelessly negotiated and ratified by the entire membership before they are put into place. The language can evolve and shift over years and even decades. Provisions, like paid leave for jury duty, have been in our collective agreement impressively unchanged since 1948! Some clauses are fairly straightforward and others are only straightforward to the Union.


Since I took over the Chief Shop Steward role in 2014, the Union has filed 337 grievances and dealt with over 35 different labour relations professionals who have come and gone from the refinery. A significant reason for the insane number of grievances in that time span is due to their high turnover rate and every new face trying to read and interpret our storied collective agreement in their own way.


Which is fair, it is their job. And there is job security in conflict.


To make matters even more complicated is the extensive past practice, previous grievance settlements, and non-grievance resolutions that are not captured in the collective agreement and are generally referred to as "institutional knowledge". This is all information either locked in a filing cabinet somewhere or buried in the mind of an overworked union executive member. While the Union is always willing to sit down with our management counterparts and provide that historical context, they are reluctant to trust our perspective. It might have something to do with the asinine idea that exists in management circles that the union wants the company to fail, or at least doesn't care if they fail and it is not our job to help make the place successful. It's ludicrous. When the refinery does well, everyone benefits. Or at least they should.


How do we educate members and management alike on all these institutional knowledge pieces to avoid reinventing the wheel and the needless conflict that comes with it? The first step is a partnership built on trust. But we're not there yet. There needs to be a willingness to enshrine established practices into the collective agreement permanently and do away with these half-official appendixes that were already mutually agreed to. Laying out job duties or complement numbers won't tail-spin the refinery into financial ruin, that is an archaic way of thinking. 


In the meantime, the Executive works to empower the shop stewards through education and information accessibility. We've undertaken steps to digitize old records and catalogue past Letters of Understanding , grievance settlements, and gentlemen's agreements that have helped shape the refinery's tradition of teamwork from years passed.

Members are encouraged to ask questions, attend meetings and keep reading the conciliator as we modernize our communication opportunities so common practices don't get lost to history. Our collective agreement is sacred, allowing "one off" deviations is disrespectful to the bargaining process and can create dangerous precedent. Policing the collective agreement and holding the Company accountable is a duty for the entire membership.

In Solidarity,

Richard Exner, Chief Shop Steward


Unifor 594 is proud to sponsor a free movie night at Moonlight Movies. A traditional style drive-in that plays rain, wind, or shine!

The night will be open to the general public, however, Moonlight has agreed to open its gates even earlier to allow 594 members the chance to get a spot! Concession & porta potties are available on-site.

When: Friday, June 9th at dusk.

Where: Pilot Butte Rodeo Grounds

What: Top Gun: Maverick

  • Congratulations Myles Scutchings (PDD Loading) and Caitlin who welcomed their son Waylon born May 2, 2023.
  • Congratulations Dan Ross (Pipefitter) and Chelsey who welcomed their son Ethan Edward born May 11, 2023


The Union has been informed that the Vacation Adjustment payment employees would usually see in late June/early July will be on hold until the ratification of the Energy Bargaining agreement.

This is to ensure payroll has accurate pay rates for the calculation.

This is the same procedure that has been followed in previous years where bargaining is ongoing.


On March 22, 2023, Suncor was officially named as the lead Company.

The Bargaining Committee met with Suncor three times up to this point, on April 12th, May 24th, and 25th. There are no more dates as of yet.

As a reminder from our May 2022 email, the proposals that will be taken to the bargaining table are as follows:

  1. Term: two-years
  2. Wages: year 1 = 7%, year 2 = 7% (Applicable to shift differentials and all wage-related premiums. Retro-activity payable to all employees for all hours paid, including those who retire during the negotiation period).
  3. Improvements on vacation
  4. Paid leave for victims of domestic violence
  5. Women's Rights Advocate
  6. Racial Justice Advocate
  7. Just Transition
  8. Indigenous Advocate

We will continue to update the membership as we receive more information.



I was fortunate enough to attend the Women’s Activist Course, put on by Unifor National earlier this month. There were approximately 30 other Unifor women from across the three prairie Provinces.

It was an event that taught the history of women’s fight for equality from years past to current situations.


There were many in-depth discussions on what can we do to improve our current workplaces, how to engage our communities, and tips on taking action against government policies that do not promote growth for not only women but people and workers as a whole.

As a member of our local’s Women’s Committee, I would love to have any 594 Women join me on this committee to help spread awareness and create positive change.


I can be reached at [email protected] – Come join me!

In Solidarity,

Ellen Foley, Recording Secretary

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

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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]