April 7, 2020  

Calendar highlights and upcoming events:

GSU Executive Committee conference call meeting - April 8
Review and action on the Joint Executive Council's meeting directives will be on the agenda.

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.

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.

Joint Executive Council approves charitable donation be made on behalf of GSU members

GSU's  Joint Executive Council (JEC) held its 2020 annual meeting by conference call on April 3. 

As GSU's board of directors, the JEC would have held its 2020 annual meeting in conjunction with the union's biennial policy convention that had been scheduled for March 19 to 21. When the biennial policy convention was cancelled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and public health warnings, it became necessary to convene the JEC by conference call to conduct GSU's administrative and financial business.

The JEC meeting approved cancellation of GSU's 2020 policy convention and provisionally amended the union's constitution to allow for a policy convention within the first five months of 2021 and every two years thereafter. The meeting also approved provisional constitutional amendments to extend the terms of office of GSU's president, vice-presidents and general secretary until elections are held at the 2021 policy convention. Members of the board of directors of the GSU Defense Fund were also re-elected until the 2021 policy convention.

The JEC received a report from the general secretary on union administration, finances, and GSU's 2019 audited financial statements. The reports and 2019 audited financial statements were approved along with the draft 2019/2020 annual report to members. The annual report and 2019 audited financial statements will be published on GSU's web site in the coming weeks.

In addition to administrative and policy business, the April 3 JEC meeting directed that GSU make a substantial charitable donation on behalf of all members to be distributed as widely as possible to community organizations who are being called upon to do extra duty in support of the poor and vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The JEC acknowledged the heroic efforts of frontline workers in health care, elder care, public service, and in all of the services being maintained to keep us healthy and whole. Council members also expressed their appreciation for all of the GSU members who are working to keep their part of the system running.

The JEC will meet again as required, but no later than its semi-annual meeting in the autumn. Hopefully the next meeting will be in person.

Learn more about the Joint Executive Council and your council members at gsu.ca.


Are you interested in becoming a GSU Defense Fund director? Here's your chance
We are accepting expressions of interest from GSU members who are interested in becoming a director on the GSU Defense Fund.

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.

Have you been accepted into university or tech school? 
Are you a GSU member, spouse or dependant of a GSU member? 

If your answer is YES, you are eligible to apply for a GSU scholarship.

GSU is pleased to offer $2,000 scholarships to five students who demonstrate an ability and a passion to inspire positive change in their community.

The scholarship competition is open to GSU members, their spouses, and dependent children who have not previously won.

Deadline for receipt of applications is June 1, 2020.

Do you have good conference and video call etiquette?

As we work to maintain good social and physical isolating practices, face-to-face meetings are being replaced with conference calls and video conference meetings.

Proper conference and  video meeting etiquette is an important component in a professional, efficient, and valuable meeting. It helps the meeting run smoothly and your good behaviour reflects positively on your employer and on you as a meeting participant.

Check out these tips and tricks for participating in your next conference call or video meeting experience

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