July 10, 2018 

Delegates prepare for Viterra and Richardson agreement renewal bargaining
On June 27, delegates representing Local 1 (Viterra Operations and Maintenance), Local 2 (Viterra Regina Head Office) and Local 14 (Richardson Pioneer) met in Regina to begin preparations for agreement renewal bargaining with their respective employers this autumn.
Delegates considered bargaining survey results and direct suggestions from members of their Locals regarding proposals to amend and improve GSU's collective agreements with employers.
"This was the initial phase in assembling formal bargaining proposals as the delegates reviewed and discussed ideas for improving the wages and working conditions of employees represented by GSU," said union general secretary Hugh Wagner. "There is still time for members to submit their ideas for bargaining and we encourage them to do so."
"It is anticipated that agreement renewal bargaining with each of the employers will begin after Labour Day," Wagner said.
Elections were also held for bargaining committee members and representatives to serve on the union's Joint Executive Council.
Jim Brown (Balgonie) and Brett North (Moose Jaw) were elected President and Vice President of Local 1. They will also serve on the GSU Local 1 bargaining committee along with Travis Brewer (Saskatoon) and Wilfred Harris (Carnduff). Sheila Tran and Howard Wilson will represent Local 2 on the bargaining committee.  
Travis Brewer, Gaylyn Kennedy (North Battleford), Dave Boulding (Grenfell), and Dave Barrett (Gull Lake) will be Local 1's representatives while Sheila Tran and Howard Wilson will be Local 2's representatives on GSU Joint's Executive Council (board of directors).
Dylan Pilon (Assiniboia) and Justin Shauf (Langenburg) were elected president and vice president of Local 14. They will also serve on the GSU Local 14 bargaining committee along with Dennis Piasta (Kindersley). Pilon and Shauf will also be Local 14's representatives on GSU's joint Executive Council.  

A GSU member received notice that his position was being eliminated effective Dec. 30, 2015.

The union member elected to go on layoff subject to recall and to defer his employment termination date for six months, as provided for in Article 24 - Position Elimination of the GSU collective agreement with CPS. The member applied for and received EI benefits as well the supplemental employment benefit top up provided in the GSU collective agreement.
The union member's employment with CPS terminated on June 30, 2016, and on that date he became eligible to receive severance pay under the terms of GSU's collective agreement. Severance pay was subsequently calculated and paid to the member by CPS and a record of employment was issued to reflect that fact.

On Sept. 28, 2016, the GSU member received notice from the EI Commission that the monies he received for banked overtime, vacation pay, and severance pay would be allocated to his EI claim back to Jan. 2, 2016 and the EI benefits he received (totaling $14,499) would be  clawed back.

The member requested that the EI Commission's decision be reconsidered, but on Dec. 23, 2016, his request was denied.

On January 26, 2017 the member appealed the EI decision to the Social Security Tribunal of Canada (General Division) which heard and denied his appeal on Sept. 6, 2017. On Oct. 13, 2017 an application for leave to appeal this decision was filed on behalf of the member by GSU and on Feb. 7, 2018 leave to appeal was granted by the Appeal Division of the Social Security Tribunal of Canada.

As a result of the significance of this case for the member involved and every GSU member whose job is eliminated under collective agreement terms the same or similar to the agreement with CPS, GSU retained lawyer Ronni Nordal to represent the member in the appeal process.

After some procedural hiccups on the part of the Appeal division of the Social Security Tribunal, the members' appeal of the decision to claw back the EI benefits he received was finally heard on June 12, 2018. And, great news arrived six days later when the appeal was granted, effectively putting $14,499 back in the pocket of the GSU member.

"While this process took a long time, the ultimate win is huge for the GSU member and members generally," said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. "Collective agreement rights covering position elimination, EI top up benefits (SEB), and severance pay were first bargained by GSU in 1986. These particular rights are unique to GSU's collective agreements with Heartland Livestock, Crop Production Services (Canada), Richardson Pioneer, Viterra and Western Producer."

Whatever the circumstances, when members encounter an EI snag or other problems in the workplace, GSU is always there to help.

Contact your GSU staff rep. Contact information is available here.

Read the entire story on GSU's web page at www.gsu.ca.

Joint Executive Council annual report, audited financial statements available online

The Joint Executive Council (JEC) is the governing body of the union which formulates policy and oversees the business of the GSU between Policy Conventions.  The JEC comprises the representatives elected by the Locals.  Each Local is entitled to representation and  GSU's president and two vice-presidents also serve as elected members of the Joint Executive Council.

As the name implies, the Joint Executive Council Annual Report is prepared and approved by the JEC each year. The audited financial statements of the union are included in this report. Union members review the report during spring membership meetings or visitations, and the report is made available to members by request and on the web page.

Check out the Joint Executive Council's 2018 Annual report to members here.

If you have questions or comments about this report, don't hesitate to contact a member of the Joint Executive Council or your GSU staff rep.

   Can you create your own happiness? You bet. 

Happy is as happy does, so do your best to push away the things that bring you down. 

By seizing the chances you have to surround yourself with positive thoughts, situations, and opportunities, and you will set yourself up for a seemingly effortless happiness in your daily life.

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