May 4, 2021

Calendar highlights and upcoming events:

CLC/SFL Spring School - May 17 - 20
As is the case with many education opportunities, the CLC/SFL Spring School is being 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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Prairie School for Union Women - June 22-25

Save the date for this virtual school. GSU will sponsor up to three members to attend. Contact your GSU staff rep to learn more.

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Wishing GSU member, officer and friend Brett North a long, healthy, and happy retirement
On April 30, Brett North retired from his position as an Assistant Manager at Viterra’s Moose Jaw terminal after 29 years’ service.

Brett recently stepped down as a GSU vice president after five years’ service. He previously served GSU members as president of the Local at the Moose Jaw terminal, a representative on the union’s Joint Executive Council, a member of the Local 1 board of delegates as well as a member of many bargaining committees.

“Brett is a loyal trade unionist who also represented GSU on the executive council of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour,” said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. “His counsel and commitment to union principles will be missed.”

“Retirement is claiming another strong voice for GSU and working people generally,” said GSU president Jim Brown. “I have never doubted Brett’s commitment to the betterment of the welfare of GSU members and of working people. Even though GSU is losing Brett’s strong voice in the workplace, it is heartening to see union members retire and carry on enjoying life. On behalf of the members, officers and staff of GSU, we wish Brett a long, healthy and happy retirement.”

The COVID pandemic is preventing us from holding a farewell gathering at the moment, but we will organize a proper send-off for Brett as soon as we are able.
GSU Defense Fund Directors meet, review first quarter report
A conference call meeting of the board of directors of the GSU Defense Fund was held on Wednesday, April 28.
The directors received and reviewed RBC’s first quarter report for 2021 which indicates a modest improvement of .39 percent in the portfolio’s market value. The combined market value of the Fund’s cash deposits at Affinity Credit Union plus its investments with RBC is $5.3 million.
The directors will examine whether there is merit in shifting the Fund’s investment strategy to mirror the S&P 500 index when they next meet with representatives from RBC.
Wilfred Harris (Local 1 (Viterra) – Carnduff), Darryl Knelsen (Local 1 (Viterra) – Fairlight), Sheldon Reiss (Local 1 (Viterra) – Regina), Barb Healey (Local 14 (Richardson) Edenwold) and Doug Kampman (Local 8 (Advance) – Regina) were elected directors by delegates to GSU’s 2021 policy convention.
Hugh Wagner provides administrative advice and expertise to the directors. GSU finance representative Debbie Head provides financial accounting and reporting services to the board.

Only 4 weeks left until the application deadline!

GSU is awarding $2,000 scholarships to five GSU members, their spouses and children
Have you, your spouse or dependant child been accepted
into university or tech school?

If your answer is YES, you are eligible to apply for a GSU scholarship.
We don't need transcripts or marks, but we do require confirmation the scholarship applicant is enrolled in a diploma, degree, or certificate program at a community college, university, trade school, or technical institute as a full-time student in any country. We also need the applicant to complete our application form, send us their two-page essay on the provided essay topic, and include a letter of recommendation from someone in their community. That's it.

It's easy to apply.

Scholarship forms and additional information are available here.

Deadline for receipt of applications is June 1, 2021.

GSU Executive Committee meets, agree to recommend filling upcoming staff representative vacancy
GSU’s executive committee held a conference call meeting on April 29 to follow up on the union’s March 2021 policy convention. The meeting was attended by president Jim Brown, vice-president Michelle Houlden, newly elected vice-president Curtis Cousins, and general secretary Hugh Wagner.
The meeting received a report from Wagner on the costs of repairs and renovations to GSU’s Regina office building which will total approximately $70,000 to cover stuccoing, new window inserts, and a new furnace.
Also discussed were GSU attendees at the CLC/SFL Spring School. To date one member from Local 8 (Advance) is registered and another from Local 1 (Viterra) had expressed interest.
Wagner also reported that the CLC’s virtual convention will be held from June 16 to 18. Curtis Cousins volunteered to be the Executive Committee’s monitor and Wagner committed to arrange for someone from GSU staff to do likewise.
The meeting’s main item of business was discussion of the union staff rep vacancy which will be created by Dale Markling’s retirement. The executive committee will be recommending filling the position and a recruitment process to GSU’s Joint Executive Council.
Subject to Council approval, an advertisement of the vacancy will be issued in mid-August with an early September closing date. More details will follow.

Keeping busy while keeping to ourselves
We are wandering along a long and bumpy road toward the end of the pandemic and a return to a lifestyle similar to the one we remember before we first uttered the word COVID. For now, our journey includes pleas to keep to ourselves for a while longer, and that leaves us with time on our hands.

Check out these productive ways to stay independently busy this spring.

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.