May 26, 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:

GSU 2020 scholarship program application extended deadline - Sept. 1

Learn more and download the application forms 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.

Personal Family Leave in GSU Local 1 (Viterra Ops/Maintenance) and Local 2 (Viterra Office)

By Hugh Wagner

A new addition to the current collective agreements between GSU and Viterra was personal family leave as provided in section 13.9 of Article 13 - Leaves of Absence.

The new section provides that employees are allowed to take up to five days of personal family leave and provided they have at least three months of continuous service the first three days of leave will be with pay and will be applied against the employee's accrued sick leave credits. Section 13.9 of the collective agreement goes on to describe circumstances in which personal family leave applies as well as control measures.

This new feature of the collective agreements with Viterra was an important step forward in the struggle to balance work with family responsibilities. However, as with many new things, there are some wrinkles to sort out.

For example, an employee who works a modified work week of 13.3 hours per shift and takes three days to attend a matter covered by personal family leave. Should they be paid for 39.9 hours which are charged to their sick leave bank? Or should the employee receive 24 hours' pay for the three days and have to make up the rest of the time from some other pool?

I think the employee should be paid as if they were at work, which would mean three days at 13.3 hours per day in this example. We're in discussions with Viterra HR to make sure the system works fairly for union members. We'll report on the results of our discussions once we've worked things out, but in the meantime we'd like Local 1 and 2 members to let us know what they think on the subject.
Drop us a note by email to

Hugh Wagner is GSU's general secretary and spokesperson for the Local 1 and 2 bargaining committees who negotiated the current collective agreements in these two locals. You can reach Hugh at or 306.536.3414.

Tell us how COVID-19 changed your workplace and you could win a $100 gift card

The overwhelming majority of GSU members have continued to work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health measures. A number of members were able to work from home, but the predominant majority continued to report for duty at their usual workplace, albeit under dramatically different circumstances.
Restricted access to work locations, physical distancing within workplaces, enhanced sanitation and hygiene as well as heightened awareness about personal wellness were hallmarks of the changed approach to work. Along with these measure came additional anxiety and stress as GSU members (like so many others on the front lines) worried about the health of their families, their own health, and juggled additional family responsibilities.
Happily we can report that no GSU-represented workplaces experienced any cases of COVID-19 infection. And we once again acknowledge and thank all who were able to and continued to do their jobs.
As governments and employers begin the "re-opening" process, which of the various workplace measures and restrictions do you think should become part of the so-called new normal?
What do you think should become a new permanent part of workplace routines?

Send your email reply to us at by 5:00 p.m. on June 1.

On June 2 we will conduct a random draw from the replies received for and five GSU members will win a $100 gift card of their choice.

Winners will be announced here on June 2.

Getting ready for bargaining in Local 5 (Western Producer)   

The Union and Company are trying to set up some dates to resume negotiations and work out the logistics of how the negotiations are conducted in our new COVID-19 reality. 

Members will be advised once dates are set.

Bargaining committee members representing GSU Local 5 are Sharlene Tetrault, Michelle Houlden, and GSU staff rep/bargaining spokesperson Dale Markling.

The application deadline has been extended to Sept. 1

In light of the uncertainty surrounding post-secondary institutions during and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 scholarship application deadline has been extended to Sept. 1, 2020. 

Scholarship recipients will be chosen and announced by Oct. 15, 2020.

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.

Learn more and download the forms  here.

Deadline for receipt of applications is September 1, 2020.

The four-day workweek is no longer a far-fetched fantasy
Saskatchewan worked together to flatten the curve, and people are slowly returning to work. Depending on workplaces, this has meant staggered workdays, different times of arrival for staff, and a host of other accommodations to keep everyone safe.

The idea of a four-day workweek gained traction when  New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern suggested it as an option as the country reopened from the COVID-19 lockdown.

Would you be interested in working a four-day workweek? Learn more in the link below:

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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