Volume 22 | Issue 10 | November 2022


Expertise & Experience


Last Laugh

Mental Health

Christmas Party


CSS Corner



New Members



Nathan Kraemer

Recording Secretary:

Ellen Foley


Kaleena Baulin

Negotiating Chairperson:

Shaun Jenkins

Maintenance V.P.:

Karl Dahle

Process V.P.:

Wade Schnell

Administration V.P.:

Tasha Lang


Kurt Haakensen

Chief Shop Steward:

Richard Exner

Information Officer:

Ashlyn Heintz


Brandon Mang

Sergeant at Arms:

Nic Skulski


Amy Wisniewski 

Daryl Watch 

Anton Skulski


A giant ship's engine broke down and no one could repair it, so they took it to a Mechanical Engineer with over 40 years of experience.

He inspected the engine very carefully, from top to bottom. After seeing everything, the engineer unloaded the bag and pulled out a small hammer.

He knocked something gently. Soon, the engine came to life again. The engine has been fixed!

7 days later the engineer mentioned that the total cost of repairing the giant ship was $ 10,000 to the ship owner

"What ?!" said the owner.

"You did almost nothing. Give us a detailed bill."

The answer is simple:

Tap with a hammer: $ 2

Know where to knock & how much to knock: $ 9,998

Lessons to Learn

The importance of appreciating one's expertise and experience ... Until

The words "it's easy" and "that's all", should be set aside. Why? Because maybe the experience is the result of struggles, experiments and even tears.

Like the picture above:

If I can finish a job in 30 minutes, it's because I spent 10 years learning how to do it in 30 minutes. You paid me for those 10 years, not the 30 minutes.

This sentence reminds me of someone’s advice on respecting and wisely respecting the work of others.

There I also learned to see people ...

When they do not respect others, at the same time he has humbled himself.

Expertise and experience, that's expensive.

Unfortunately, our people still look down on that.

Maintenance 365.



Karla Hanson


Debbie Bourassa &

Mitch Bloos

Building Maintenance:

Garth Wendel


Mike Pelzer


Sam Seibel


Corey Strass & Colin Waldie

Fire & Safety:

Daryl Watch &

Ryan Shillingford

Information Technology:

Cory Frederickson


Shane Thompson


Dave Mushynsky &

Jaret McCloy & Chris Szala


Luke McGeough &

Brandon Mang


Andrea Jordan & Mike Fink


Derek Kups & Karter Diewold

MRP: Garth Wendel

PDD Loading: Jamie Wolf

PDD Warehouse: Vacant

PDD Office:

Christal Wisniewski


Jeremy Lukomski

& Dan Ross


Ryan Dzioba


Nelson Wagman

Section IA:

Dean Funke

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 once had a member ask me “what does my union do for me?” 

My response was, “I suggest asking the man in the mirror. As a member you are Unifor 594, the union is nothing more than its members.”


There are numerous benefits negotiated by past and present negotiating teams. Wages and benefit packages are the most obvious, but I would like to remind you of one a little less obvious: the 37 1/3 hour maintenance work week. This benefit was negotiated well before I became a member and I do not have a lot of details on it, but do enjoy the advantages, more time to spend with family and friends or doing the things I enjoy. 


Along with the benefits of being a union member there are responsibilities. One of these is staying informed and understanding the processes, decisions, and direction of the union in the constantly changing environment at CRC that we are all too familiar with. This can be accomplished by reading and understanding the collective agreement, talking with stewards and executive, and attending general meetings to understand and become part of the process. 


The time saving mentioned in the benefit above in one week is more than enough to offset the time requirement to attend the monthly general meetings and sit on a committee. We have committees for pension, politics, social events, and more. Wherever your interests lie, there is someplace for you to be more involved and help take your union forward. 

If you have any questions, you can discuss with your shop steward. To our more recently hired members, it's your drive that will take Unifor 594 into the future.


See you at the Christmas Party,

Garth Wendel


Don't forget to support the Refinery Stache for Cash team!



By the numbers:

Every week in Canada roughly 500,000 employees are OFF WORK because of mental health issues.

Mental health problems account for more than $56 Billion in lost productivity costs due to Absenteeism and Presenteeism.

By age 40 about 50% of the population will have or will have had a mental illness.

Mental health accounts for 30% of long-term disability claims.

44% of employees have had a mental health issue in their workplace.


The good news is that everyday brings more attention to mental health all across the country, for example:

  • In The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, mental health falls under the protected ground of disability. The Code expressly prohibits discrimination against a person because of a disability. In the workplace, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation to persons with mental health issues, to the point of undue hardship.
  • The 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms establishes equality rights and protections from discrimination for people with a mental illness or mental health issues.
  • The Human Rights Code protects you from discrimination with respect to being fired, denied a job or a promotion because of a mental health disability or addiction. Employers also have a legal obligation to support the mental health of their employees. This includes mental illness and addiction.
  • Stigma around mental health is the reason why people look at mental illness, including substance abuse disorders, negatively and that can lead to prejudice and harassment. There are several things we can do to combat stigma in the workplace.
  • Know the facts about mental illness including substance use disorders.

Be aware of your attitudes and behaviour. Examine your own judgmental thinking, reinforced by upbringing and society.

  • Choose your words carefully. The way we speak can affect the attitudes of others.
  • Educate others. Pass on facts and positive attitudes; challenge myths and stereotypes.
  • Focus on the positive. Mental illness, including addictions, are only part of someones larger picture.
  • Support people. Treat everyone with dignity and respect; offer support and encouragement.
  • Include everyone. It's against the law to deny jobs or services to anyone with these health issues.

Did You Know:

  • Taking a mental health sick day is a protected right in Canada.
  • In case anyone is worried about stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace, an employer can ask you why you are calling in sick, BUT you have no obligation to give an answer. An employer has the right to your prognosis not your diagnosis, meaning you don’t have to say what you are sick with, but you are required to say you are sick and provide a return date.
  • Ex. “This is John Smith, I am sick today. I will be at work tomorrow”.

If you are struggling with your mental health, consider reaching out to a family member or friend, take advantage of your benefits and seek professional help. Schedule some “you time” by going for a walk, reading a book or engaging in a personal faith. If you feel it necessary, take a mental health day as a sick day. It is easy to see a cast on a leg or a bandaged hand, but mental health injuries are invisible; yet they still require healing all the same. 


Charles Brittner

Accommodation Committee 


The Unifor 594 Social Committee will be hosting the 80th Christmas Party!

December 3rd, 2022

Turvey Centre

Coctails @ 6:00, Dinner @ 7:00

Entertainment, DJ, Special Guests, Photo Booth, Dance, Door Prizes

$20 Tickets

Grab your tickets from your shop steward or a social committee


You won't want to miss the special unveiling of our limited edition 594 beer! 

  • Congratulations Drew Istace (Pipeshop) and Estey who welcomed son Halston Douglas Istace on November 3, 2022.
  • Congratulations Justin Dowling (Section 5) and Amanda who welcomed daughter Flora May Dowling on November 6, 2022.
  • Congratulations Dylan Magdalin (Pipeshop) and Liana who welcomed daughter Casey Lynn Magdalin on November 8, 2022.
  • Congratulations Michael Highmoor (Scaffolding) and Kate who welcomed son Mason Kelly Highmoor on November 17, 2022.


As this will be the last update of the year, we wanted to provide a high-level overview of active grievances and more specifically all the grievances filed in 2022 (so far). While the initiation of the Grievance Backlog Project (GBP) has lead to the resolution of a handful of issues, we still have 164 active grievances dating back to 2014. The majority of the unsettled grievances revolve around contracting out in the Maintenance Department and the application of LOU 61 during Turnaround. The latter is scheduled for judicial review on January 20th, 2023.

This year has seen the Union file a total of 44 grievances (to date) and they breakdown as follows:

  • 01-2022 - Process Employee terminated for violating Vaccination Policy; waiting on arbitrator selection & scheduling.
  • 02-2022 - Maintenance Employee terminated for violating Vaccination Policy; waiting on arbitrator selection & scheduling.
  • 03-2022 - Carpenter door hardware work contracted out; awaiting Company Step 1 response.
  • 04-2022 - Process Employee denied sick leave pay; awaiting Step 2 meeting.
  • 05-2022 - Maintenance Employee terminated for violating Return to Work conditions; closed.
  • 06-2022 - Inspection Clerk work assigned to other bargaining unit employees; awaiting Step 2 meeting.
  • 07-2022 - Non-Maintenance Employees excluded from Turnaround work; awaiting judicial review decision.
  • 08-2022 - MRP office moving duties contracted out; awaiting Company Step 1 response.
  • 09-2022 - Stores employee shift pattern changed without premium pay; closed.
  • 10-2022 - Process employee hours & schedule changed for training; awaiting Company response to Union settlement offer.
  • 11-2022 - Process Relief Pool employee hours changed for training; awaiting Company response to Union settlement offer.
  • 12-2022 - Employees not compensated appropriately after Special Night Assignment; Settlement discussions ongoing.
  • 13-2022 - Process employee wage rate not adjusted appropriately; closed.
  • 14-2022 - PDD employee wage rate not adjusted appropriately; awaiting Step 2 meeting.
  • 15-2022 - Ethanol sampling has been assigned to contractors; awaiting Step 1 meeting.
  • 16-2022 - Carpenter wall demo work at Gate 2 contracted out; awaiting Company Step 1 response.
  • 17-2022 - Electrical demo & replacement work at Gate 2 contracted out; awaiting Company Step 1 response.
  • 18-2022 - MRP trench work contracted out; awaiting Company Step 1 response.
  • 19-2022 - Carpenter pump grouting work contracted out; awaiting Company Step 1 response.
  • 20-2022 - Pipefitter work at P8 contracted out; awaiting Company Step 1 response.
  • 21-2022 - Carpenter door repair work in Section I/II contracted out; awaiting Company Step 1 response.
  • 22-2022 - Carpenter door repair work in Section V contracted out; awaiting Company Step 1 response.
  • 23-2022 - Carpenter parking lot line layout work assigned to MRP; awaiting Company Step 1 response.
  • 24-2022 - Contractors embedded in the Pipe Shop (Contracting In); awaiting Step 1 meeting.
  • 25-2022 - Contractors embedded in the Weld Shop (Contracting In); awaiting Step 1 meeting.
  • 26-2022 - Process employee denied sick leave pay; awaiting Step 2 meeting.
  • 27-2022 - Process employees not compensated for job worked, job paid; awaiting Step 2 meeting.
  • 28-2022 - Company Policy denying 4th Class Steam timelines; awaiting Step 2 meeting.
  • 29-2022 - Employee denied paid leave of absence to attend a coop board meeting; awaiting Step 2 meeting.
  • 30-2022 - PDD employee unreasonably suspended; awaiting Company Step 1 response.
  • 31-2022 - PDD employee unreasonably suspended; awaiting Company Step 1 response.
  • 32-2022 - PDD employee unreasonably suspended; awaiting Company Step 1 response.
  • 33-2022 - Employee bypassed for job despite being the most senior, qualified applicant; awaiting Step 1 meeting.
  • 34-2022 - Carpenter wall demo work in Section I/II control room contracted out; awaiting Step 1 meeting.
  • 35-2022 - Pipefitter work in the Sour Water Unit contracted out; awaiting Step 1 meeting.
  • 36-2022 - Pipefitter water heater replacement work in the Insulator Shop contracted out; awaiting Step 1 meeting.
  • 37-2022 - Pipefitter water heater replacement work at the RBO contracted out; awaiting Step 1 meeting.
  • 38-2022 - MRP hot zone rope duties assigned to a contractor; awaiting Step 1 meeting.
  • 39-2022 - Electrical work associated with trailer setup contracted out; awaiting Step 1 meeting.
  • 40-2022 - Carpenter work associated with trailer setup contracted out; awaiting Step 1 meeting.
  • 41-2022 - Stores duties associated with trailer setup assigned to management; awaiting Step 1 meeting.
  • 42-2022 - MRP work associated with trailer setup assigned to contractor; awaiting Step 1 meeting.
  • 43-2022 - MRP snow removal work at the RBO, Henderson, and Kress St sites contracted out; awaiting Step 1 meeting.
  • 44-2022 - Maintenance employees not paid shift differential for start up coverage shifts; awaiting Step 1 meeting.

Note: The status of all the above grievances are current as of conciliator publication.

As you can see, we have a number of issues the Union Grievance Committee are dealing with on a day to day basis and the common areas of the collective agreement and departments that are constantly under attack. Keep in mind these are just the issues that make it to the grievance stage, there are several other matters that the Executive raises with the Company throughout the year that are resolved before a formal grievance is filed. Not bad for a group of ragtag volunteers.


I'd like to thank the Vice-Presidents (Tasha, Karl/Garth, Wade and Kurt) and all the Shop Stewards who have investigated, filed, participated, and argued grievances on behalf of the membership. Your service and dedication are infinitely appreciated!

In Solidarity,

Richard Exner

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.

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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: info@unifor594.com