December 6 , 2016  

Calendar highlights for December 5 to 9:
  • general secretary Hugh Wagner will be in an arbitration hearing on Wednesday
  • GSU representatives are continuing to visit CPS employees at the non-union locations in Saskatchewan to provide information about the union and answer questions employees might have on union representation, GSU's collective agreement with CPS, and any other related matters.
  • GSU's annual membership meetings continue. Watch your email for your meeting notice or check for more information.
GSU's calendar of events is regularly updated and available on GSU's web page - 

Why a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women?

December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women in Canada. Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal. They died because they were women.

As well as commemorating the 14 young women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation, December 6 represents an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality, and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence. And finally, it is a day on which communities can consider concrete actions to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

This information has been reprinted from the Government of Canada's Status of Women Canada web page. Read the story in its entirety here.

GSU, CPS file joint application requesting secret ballot vote for non-union CPS operations employees

GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner sent the following email to CPS employees working at non-union operations locations.

"I am writing on behalf of Grain and General Services Union (GSU) to bring you up to date on the subject of union representation.

On December 1 GSU and CPS filed a joint application with the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (SLRB) which, among other things, asks the SLRB to order and conduct a secret ballot vote of currently non-union CPS operations employees on the question of becoming members of the union bargaining unit in Saskatchewan.
The joint application also asks that if the SLRB conducts a mail in ballot that at least 21 days be allowed for employees to return their ballots and that the vote be held in early in 2017.
The SLRB hasn't yet indicated how it will respond to the GSU/CPS application.

In the meantime, GSU representatives are continuing to visit CPS employees at the non-union locations in Saskatchewan to provide information about the union and answer questions employees might have on union representation, GSU's collective agreement with CPS, and any other related matters.

Needless to say, GSU is asking for your support and in addition to providing this update, I am sending the
attached e-pamphlet providing some basic background information about the union and the advantages of being part of GSU.
Additional information can be found by visiting GSU's web site at  

If you have any questions about GSU or a representation vote, don't hesitate to call your staff rep toll-free at 1.866.522.6686 (Regina office) or 1.855.384.7314 (Saskatoon office) or send us an email at .


     Hugh Wagner
     GSU General Secretary"

Additional information:

Some members from CPS who received Article 24 - notice of position elimination, have been contacted by EI and told that they must pay back EI benefits received during their layoff. This generally happens only when the member continues to collect EI after their six month layoff.
When employees request that their severance be paid out at the end of their six month layoff, the company sends a new record of employment to EI noting that the employee has received severance. If the employee has not ended their claim before they apply for severance, EI treats them as if they had the right to access severance from the start of the layoff and may send out a notice that all EI benefits must be repaid.
To avoid this situation, make sure to end your EI claim a day or two before you apply for severance.
Be aware that if you go past the six months on layoff, you may forfeit your right to receive severance.
The Union will be appealing the repayment for the employees involved. 

Do you need assistance addressing this issue or another problem in your workplace?
Contact a GSU staff representative.
No problem is too small. Identifying problems as soon as they arise benefits everyone. Call us toll-free if you have a question or a problem you would like addressed. Call 1.866.522.6686 (Regina) or 1.855.384.7314 (Saskatoon).


 Bargaining updates and reports are also available on GSU's web page -


Discovery Co-op

Union and company representatives met November 22 for the first time since GSU Local 17 members voted to reject the Co-operative's offer and voted in favour of strike action. The two sides were unable to reach an agreement. The next step in the process under the Saskatchewan Employment Act is to apply for conciliation.

"Our proposal addresses the Co-operatives' concerns and their intentions as expressed to the union bargaining committee," said union bargaining committee spokesperson Dale Markling. "The Co-operative's continued unwillingness to move forward on this issue is puzzling."
The two sides previously came very close to reaching a tentative settlement when they met on October 14

GSU's Local 17 bargaining committee members are  Shelbi Prescesky, Glen Morrison, and GSU staff rep Dale Markling.   

Prairie Co-op
Last week GSU m embers voted to accept the memorandum of settlement their bargaining committee agreed to in September. 

Company representatives held their ratification meeting November 28 and they will be advising of us the results this week. 
GSU's Local 19 bargaining committee: Lindsay Hill (Strasbourg), Debbie Hillier (Cupar), and Steve Torgerson (GSU staff rep)

Western Producer

The Local 5 bargaining committee met with Company representatives for negotiations on November 18. The issues have been narrowed down, but the two sides have not reached an agreement. 

A bargaining update will be provided to members at their Local's annual meeting this week.

GSU's Local 20 bargaining committee members are Kim Quintin, Michelle Houlden, Laurie Michalycia, and Dale Markling (GSU staff rep). 

CHS Canada
The union is still waiting for a response from the company. 

The two sides recently took a step closer to reaching a tentative settlement for the members at Edenwold. Staff rep Steve Torgerson has been in contact with the members and management as they attempt to work through clause language issues. 

Questions or Concerns? Contact GSU staff rep Steve Torgerson. 

13 tips for keeping it under control at your office holiday party

You may be among friends, but the office holiday party is a professional workplace function. Treated properly, it's a great place for socializing, building work relationships with co-workers, and leaving a positive impression in the minds of your workplace superiors. If things get out of hand you may be remembered for oversharing personal revelations, vomiting in someone's purse, or being fired. 

Prepare for success. Check out these 13 things you should never do at the office holiday party.

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.

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

This email and any attachment(s) are confidential and may be privileged. If you are not the intended recipient please notify GSU, delete this email and do not copy, use or disclose it.