December 8, 2020

Calendar highlights and upcoming events:
GSU Local 5 (Western Producer) bargaining

The two sides met on this morning by video conference.

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

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Local 6 (Wild West Steelhead) bargaining

The latest bargaining session was held on Nov. 26 in Lucky lake. Additional dates have not been scheduled at this time.

GSU Local 6 bargaining committee members are Amber Pearson, Pasha Mughal, Amanda Pearson, and GSU staff rep Dale Markling.

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GSU's autumn 2020 membership meetings will wrap up this week

Members have been voting on constitutional amendments and whether to continue paying dues into the GSU Defense Fund. We will let you know the results of the votes after meetings have concluded and results have been tabulated.

Watch your email for your meeting notice and contact your GSU staff rep if you have any questions.

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Have you used your Health Flex Spending Account or other health benefits?

The point of using your health benefits isn't just to use up the money - it's to make sure that you are getting the medications, treatments, and help you need to feel and be your best.

Check your collective agreement for details on your account, and - as always - don't hesitate to contact your GSU staff rep if you need help sorting things out. The services we provide to you are included in your union dues, and there is no additional charge for assisting you.

GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner is continuing to press Viterra management to take concrete steps to address hours of work issues stemming from 134 railcar loading programs.
“In some instances, problems with design, staffing and railway performance combine to create nearly impossible situations for affected union members,” Wagner said. “I am continuing to urge operations management to be much more proactive and respectful of employees’ welfare. In the meantime, I urge union members to stick together and assert their rights under the collective agreement.“
Wagner is also continuing to raise the question of wage rates being paid to operations employees in a number of so-called work streams.
“The so-called pay for performance system should be done away with in favour of a more equitable, predictable and transparent approach to recognizing employee contributions to the success of the enterprise,” Wagner said. “GSU leaders will continue to shine a light on the problems, but ultimately it’s going to take a big collective push to come up with a better pay system.”

BeGrainSafe mobile training trailer demonstrates and educates dangers of grain entrapment
According to the Canada Agricultural Safety Association (CASA), the number of people being trapped in grain is on the rise in Canada. With that in mind, CASA developed their BeGrainSafe program to help farmers, their families, workers and first responders recognize and manage the safety risks of grain through prevention, education, rescue training and on-site workplace training.
The BeGrainSafe mobile training trailer was in Kiping, SK on Nov. 20 and 21 to provide training to local firefighters. Trainees gained valuable experience about the restricted breathing and crushing pressure of grain entrapment when they were harnessed in and sunk chest-deep in grain. They also learned important lessons about how to safely rescue someone who had been sucked down into grain.
The message was clear: once you are trapped in grain, you're helpless. And grain isn't the only material you need to worry about. Danger lurks with any free moving matter you can stack up, including fertilizers, gravel, sand, and more. In fact, anything that can come through an auger or conveyor belt poses significant danger.
Check out the video above and learn more about the BeGrainSafe program here.

Shout out to the employers of GSU's Local 1 (Viterra) and Local 14 (Richardson Pioneer) for being among the safety-sponsors of the Nov. 20 and 21 firefighter training in Kipling.

It's time to Zoom
The way we work together has changed significantly in the past year. Video conference meetings have replaced in-person get togethers, and these virtual gatherings aren't limited to work events and online learning. Meeting a friend for lunch, celebrating special life events, enjoying a crib games, and countless other get togethers are taking place in HD video through our phones, tablets, and computers.

Video conferencing isn't going away anytime soon, so If you haven't tried it, it's time to give it a whirl.

There are different video conferencing options, but Zoom is among the best. It's free to sign-up and use Zoom, it's surprisingly simple and user friendly, and there is a pretty good chance you will feel a little more connected to others this holiday season if you learn how to use it.

Check out this video for a quick Zoom tutorial and then find enlist a family member or friend to practice with. Learn more here:

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.