July 11 , 2017  

Upcoming events

The  Tuesday Members' Memo  is emailed to GSU members weekly on Tuesday. If you know a co-worker who doesn't receive the  TMM  and would like to, have them call GSU toll-free at 1.866.522.6686 or send an email to  gsu.regina@sasktel.net

Upcoming events:

SFL Summer Camp
August 27 - September 1, 2017 | Camp Easter Seal ~ Manitou Lake 
Learn about the camp  here.  

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour's OH&S Conference
September 6 - 8, 2017 | Saskatoon, SK
Learn more about the school  here

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour 62nd Annual Convention
October 18 - 20, 2017 | Saskatoon, SK
Learn more about convention here.  

Contact your GSU staff rep for more information about these events, GSU's expense policy, or to register. 

GSU's calendar of events is regularly updated and available on GSU's web page - www.gsu.ca.  

Grain and General Services Union is pleased to announce the recipients of our five $2,000-scholarships as chosen by the GSU scholarship committee:
Visit GSU's web page for information about our recipients, including pictures, bios, and essays - www.gsu.ca

GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner is working with a group of GSU members who are struggling with a difficult workplace environment. Meetings have been held and the work is ongoing as Wagner has proposed a process to the employer for addressing the members' concerns.
GSU is very concerned about the workplace environment and will do whatever it can to help union members address workplace issues. The right to a safe and healthy workplace is and should be a priority for all.

Do you have a question, comment or concern? Call a GSU staff rep.
Your inquiry will be treated with the strictest confidentiality. Staff rep services are provided to you as part of your union dues. There is no additional charge for assisting you. Contact information for GSU staff reps is available here

Editor: The following article from GSU legal counsel Ronni Nordal provides valuable advice for GSU members.

Investigation meeting with your employer? Call your GSU staff rep

When you are called into an investigation meeting with your employer, it is natural to be worried (even if you have done nothing wrong).
  • Talk to your union representative before the meeting.
    /she may be able to find out some details regarding what the meeting is about and can assist you in preparing for the meeting.
  • You should ask to have a union representative present at investigations that may lead to discipline and at discipline meetings. 

    There are many reasons why:
    • Your union representative can ensure the questions asked are fair;
    • Your union representative can ensure the questions asked are clear;
    • Your union representative can also assist you in making sure your answers are clear;
    • Your union representative will have notes of the meeting to refer back to;
    • Your union representative can discuss matters privately with you if there are concerns about how the meeting is going;
    • Your union representative helps balance the power, so to speak, as there are usually at least two if not more employer representatives in the room;
    • Your union representative can ensure your rights are protected.
  • Employers are entitled to ask questions during investigations and except in limited circumstances, employees are required to answer those questions (if they are clear, fair and relevant). However, there are questioning techniques intended to draw out the answer(s) the employer wants rather than the truth.  Your union representative can assist in avoiding these interrogation style traps.
  • What is said in an investigation meeting cannot be erased and, if there is subsequent discipline, may be relied upon by the employer. It is an uphill battle to say after discipline has been given that you misunderstood the question or were mistaken in your answer.  
By not contacting a GSU staff representative when being summoned to an investigative meeting, employees are putting themselves in a potentially bad situation before the meeting even starts.  

At a minimum, contact your GSU staff representative to ensure you understand the process and your rights and to discuss whether a GSU staff representative should attend the meeting with you.   
Taking advantage of the services of a staff representative is a right you have as a union member and accessing those services is not an admission of wrongdoing or guilt, it is simply a smart action to take. 
Even low-level discipline - such as a verbal warning - should be discussed with a GSU staff representative.  There may be no reason to challenge the discipline, but in certain circumstances there is and that challenge must be done within the time limits set out in the collective agreement.  It doesn't work to have received a written warning for misconduct in January, for example, but not raise it with a GSU staff representative and/or not challenge it until a one-day suspension is handed out for the same misconduct in October since the employer will say the suspension was warranted because of the prior written warning (progressive discipline). It is too late at that point and GSU will be unable to challenge the written warning which means the employer is entitled to consider your "prior record".
Why wouldn't a GSU member take advantage of the input and advice of a GSU staff representative when called into an investigation meeting with the employer?  As a member of GSU there is no need to "go it alone" and I encourage GSU members to take advantage of the knowledge and support of GSU staff representatives.

Ronni Nordal, LL.B.
NORDAL LeBlanc Law Office

Do you have what it takes to be happier at work? 

Being happy takes work, but if you decide you are going to be happier and commit to taking steps to make it happen, happiness can be yours.

So what can be done to make us happier? Try slowing down and taking a moment to appreciate something good that happened in your day. Or make a point of instigating positive interaction with someone you know - or even a complete stranger. 

There are changes you can make to be happier at work, too. Learn more here:  5 scientifically proven ways to be happier at work

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.

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