April 6, 2021

Calendar highlights and upcoming events:
CLC/SFL Spring School - May 17 - 20, 2021
As is the case with many education opportunities, the CLC/SFL Spring School is going to be held virtually. GSU will sponsor up to three union members to attend. If you are interested or want to learn more, check out the school brochure and contact your GSU staff rep.

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GSU's scholarship application deadline is June 1

We are giving away five $2,000 scholarships to GSU members and the spouses and dependents of members in 2021. You can find application forms and learn more about our scholarship program requirements here

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GSU will sponsor up to three members to attend PSUW.

Contact your GSU staff rep to learn more.
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Union's governing body releases annual report to members
The 2020/2021 Annual Report to GSU members by the union’s Joint Executive Council (board of directors) is available to be read and downloaded.

The Annual Report contains important information for GSU members about the business of your union, including the 2020 audited financial statements. 

"GSU prides itself on practicing democracy and transparent administration on behalf of the union’s members," said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner.

Members can receive a hard copy of the Annual Report by contacting GSU at 1.866.522.6686 or by sending an email to gsu@gsu.ca.

If you have questions, comments or concerns about this report, don't hesitate to contact a Joint Executive Council member or your GSU staff representative.

Car loading, hours of work issues raised at WESTAC roundtable
GSU general secretary Wagner attended a virtual roundtable with Saskatchewan’s Ministers of Highways and Agriculture on March 31. The roundtable meeting was hosted by the Western Transportation Advisory Council (WESTAC) and provided an opportunity for transportation industry players to present updates on current issues an update on issues from their perspective for the benefit of the two provincial cabinet ministers.
Wagner used the opportunity to raise awareness about the pressure and sacrifice forced on workers in grain terminals as a result of shorter and shorter loading times for unit trains compounded by erratic railcar delivery service from the railways.
“I thought it important to speak about the difficulties so many terminal elevator workers face when juggling their personal lives against the constantly changing demands around loading unit trains,” Wagner said. “With provincial government, railway and grain company representatives present, the roundtable presented a rare opportunity to acquaint those in suits with the practical effects of their management decisions.”
“Change won’t happen overnight, but it is important to use every available forum to advocate for a better deal for the workers who make the system work. When business and government leaders speak of their desire for even greater efficiency in the supply chain they fail to account for the impact on workers, and one of GSU’s responsibilities is to set the record straight.”
WESTAC is a unique tri-partite organization comprising the four western provincial governments, the federal government (via Transport Canada), business leaders in transportation and logistics, and labour unions representing workers in the industry. GSU has been a contributing member of WESTAC since 1978.
It's finally here. April 7 is Equal Pay Day in Canada
April 7, 2021 is the day the average Canadian female worker’s earnings since Jan. 1, 2020 match their male co-worker’s earnings for the 2020 calendar year. You read that correctly. On average, it takes Canadian women an extra three months and seven days to earn what the average Canadian male made in a year.

The numbers don’t lie, and they are appalling.

Today – in 2021 – women overall make 75¢ for every dollar made by men. That gap is even wider for women who fall into the marginalized groups.

According to the Canadian Women's Foundation the following is how, on average, different women fare compared to white men born in Canada:

  • Indigenous women make $0.65 for every dollar,
  • women living with a disability earn $0.54,
  • racialized women make $0.67, and
  • women who are new to Canada make $0.71 compared to men who are also new to Canada.

Wage discrimination is real. Equal work deserves equal pay. It’s common sense.

Bad weather has been leading to time loss issues.
Weather-related work interruptions on March 29 have resulted in confusion for GSU members working in Viterra grain handling facilities as their employer has told affected employees to use banked time or vacation to cover missed work. Employees who have contacted GSU do not think the employer’s response is fair or reasonable, and GSU agrees.
“The wild storm that blew through parts of Saskatchewan on March 29 caused a number of GSU members to miss work or leave work early as a result of treacherous driving conditions,” said GSU staff representative Dale Markling. “In one instance the employer closed the facility, but the common problem is Viterra’s position that affected employees should dig into their overtime bank or vacation time to cover the lost hours.”
“GSU doesn’t agree that it is right or reasonable for employees to be penalized for events beyond their control,” Markling said. “We will be arguing that Viterra should absorb the cost of the lost time and charge same to pressing necessity leave.”
A similar situation arose in November 2020 and GSU has an executive grievance going to arbitration over the question of using pressing necessity leave under the collective agreement between the union and Viterra. Dates for the arbitration are being scheduled.

Did you experience time loss as a result of the March 29 storm?

Members working for any of our employers who were hit with time loss as a result of the March 29 storm are urged to contact GSU to provide the details of their situation.

Others' perceptions of you become your reputation
If you listed three words to describe yourself, what would they be? Are those three words the words others would use to describe you?

Generally, we shouldn't concern ourselves too much with what others think about us, but there are times when how others perceive us is important. For instance, if you are perceived as a bully you may not be asked to work on a team project. Similarly, what you believe to be your inquisitive nature may be perceived by others as confrontational, or while you consider yourself to be introverted others may misinterpret your silence as disinterest.

As the ultimate boss of you, you can monitor how your behaviour affects others and adjust accordingly. The perceptions of others won't change instantly, but if you are consistent in new behaviour people around you will take note and react accordingly.

Learn more about the what others may think of you and how you can change their perceptions here:

This article has been printed for entertainment purposes. The views and opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of GSU, its members, officers, or staff.