April 28, 2020  
If you have concerns or problems as you deal with your employer's responses to Covid-19, don't hesitate to contact your GSU staff rep.

Calendar highlights and upcoming events:

Deadline for Defense Fund director applications - April 30
Expressions of interest can be sent to general secretary Hugh Wagner at Hugh@gsu.ca


GSU 2020 scholarship program application deadline - June 1

Learn more and download the application forms here.

Prairie School for Union Women - Waskesiu Lake, June 7 - 11
This is a GSU-sanctioned event*. Learn more by contacting your staff rep or checking out the school brochure here.

Contact your GSU staff rep if you are interested in attending or learning more about an event.

*GSU members who sign up and are approved to participate in GSU-sanctioned events will have their time off work, wages, and expenses covered in accordance with GSU's expense policies (child care included). GSU staff will also assist you with arranging the time off with your employer.

Every April 28 we remember workers who have been injured on the job or who have died as a result of their work. 

Working safely has taken on new meaning in 2020 as we face a pandemic that puts workers at risk every day. In 2019, 36 Saskatchewan workers died because of their job.  Many more work-related deaths aren't counted by our workers' compensation system. 

We can't gather together in person this year to pay tribute and honour those we lost, but several Saskatchewan Labour Councils have organized tributes online.

Regina & District Labour Council 
Virtual Vigil on Facebook live:  Regina & District Labour Council -  April 28, 5:30 p.m.
Moose Jaw & District Labour Council 
A wreath will be placed at memorial at the Moose Jaw Union Centre and the videos will be shared on the MJDLC's Facebook page:  Moose Jaw & District Labour Council
Saskatoon & District Labour Council 
View a video presentation on their website:  SaskatoonDLC.ca
Weyburn & District Labour Council
Video for social media:  Weyburn and District Labour Council

Remember the workers killed, injured, or made sick on the job.
Work toward a future with safe workplaces and no lost workers.

Joint Executive Council's annual report shared with union members

Last Thursday, GSU's governing body shared their 2019/2020 annual report with union members. The report was sent by email and posted on GSU's web page at gsu.ca

The  Joint Executive Council  (JEC) report  was adopted by the JEC during its annual meeting on April 3, 2020.  

"Business and finances of the union are included and I would encourage members to  examine the report thoroughly." said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. "Don't hesitate to contact a member of the JEC, the GSU staff or me to answer questions and provide clarification or additional information about the contents of the report or any aspect of GSU."   

A copy of the annual report is available to read or download here:
If you are aware of a fellow GSU member who didn't receive the JEC's email last Thursday, encourage them to contact GSU at gsu@gsu.ca to update their contact information in our database.

Video and live stream conferencing have become part to the new normal as we adjust to the realities of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This is no less the case for unions and employers as they deal with grievances and arbitrations.
GSU has proposed that consideration be given to using video conference to conduct a Local 4 (Grain Millers) grievance arbitration scheduled for early June. 

"With bans on gatherings of any size, a requirement to maintain physical separation, and public health measures we need to take into account, it makes sense to consider alternative approaches to the usual courtroom style that applies to arbitration hearings," said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. "We don't know what public health restrictions and safety protocols will be in place in early June, so rather than postpone the case I've raised the video conference idea with the arbitrator and legal counsel for the employer."
Wagner advises that the alternative he's proposed for this particular grievance arbitration is being considered by the employer side and he hopes to receive an answer in the next few days.

May 1, 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of GSU's affiliation to ILWU Canada. 

Through this affiliation we became part of a larger union family including Retail Wholesale Department Store Union (Saskatchewan) and Retail Wholesale Union (British Columbia). Together we constitute an organization of more than 16,000 progressive trade unionists who share a strong commitment to economic and social justice. 

We look forward to continuing our work with the ILWU Canada family to advance the welfare of the working class and our communities.  

Become a GSU Defense Fund director.  Last chance to apply! 

The board of directors of the  GSU Defense Fund is responsible for overseeing the administration and investment of the Fund assets (currently $4.5 million). The primary purpose of the Fund is to provide income protection and assistance to GSU members who are engaged in a strike or lockout.

The board of directors meets three times a year by conference call and at least once per year in person. Time off work for directors to attend to Defense Fund business is paid for by GSU along with directors' travel, meal and hotel expenses.

Members who are elected to the Joint Executive Council of GSU are not eligible for election to the Defense Fund Board of Directors. Of the five Defense Fund Directors, three are required to be from Local 1 (Viterra Ops/Maintenance) and/or Local 2 (Viterra Head Office) and/or Local 14 (Richardson) and/or Local 15 (Nutrien).

The current vacancy on the board is open to be filled by a GSU member in good standing who is employed in any certified GSU bargaining unit.

If you are interested in becoming a GSU Defense Fund director or learning more about the responsibilities of a director, contact GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner at Hugh@gsu.ca or 306.536.3414.

April 30 is the deadline for receipt of expressions of interest. 

Say YES to being an optimist

The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly given us a lot to complain about. Unfortunately, complaining doesn't help us change anything, it doesn't solve anything, and it is likely to attract more complaining. (Think about that for a moment.)

Recognize and challenge your negative thoughts. You can lift your spirits and the mood of those around you by focusing on the positives, creating your own positive self-talk, and working toward solutions instead of dwelling on problems. It takes just as much time and energy to visualize wonderful things as it does to be negative, and the results are incredibly different.
Learn more 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.

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