December 13 , 2016  

Calendar highlights for December 12 to 16:
  • staff rep Dale Markling will meet with employer representatives on Wednesday
  • GSU's Local 5 (Western Producer) bargaining committee has reached a tentative agreement with their employer. Staff rep Dale Markling will assist at the membership ratification meeting in Saskatoon on Friday
  • GSU representatives are visiting CPS employees at the non-union locations in Saskatchewan to provide information about the union and answer questions on union representation, GSU's collective agreement with CPS, and other related matters.  
GSU's calendar of events is regularly updated and available on GSU's web page -  

Do you have a Health Flex Spending Account credit carried over from 2015 into 2016? 

Several GSU agreements contain Health Flex Spending account directives, and December 31 is a common cut-off for using funds from the previous calendar year.

If you have a Health Flex Spending Account credit carried over from 2015 into 2016, be sure you use it up by December 31 as it won't be carried over into 2017.

If you need help determining if you have a Health Flex Spending Account in your collective agreement, contact your GSU staff rep.

Secret-ballot vote of non-union CPS operations employees begins Jan. 9

On December 1 GSU and CPS filed a joint application with the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (SLRB) asking 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.
On December 6 the SLRB issued an order that there will be a mail-in secret-ballot vote of currently non-union CPS operations employees on the question of becoming members of the GSU bargaining unit in Saskatchewan.

Each employee eligible to vote will be sent a notice of the vote, voting instructions and related information, including a return date for their ballot.  According to the SLRB's order the voting process will begin on or before January 9, 2017. 

Additional information is available on GSU's web page:

GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner was recently contacted by a GSU member who was having a problem with a major dental benefit claim that had been rejected by Manulife. The member was concerned that he would be several thousands of dollars out of pocket as a result of Manulife's decision. 

The following day Wagner contacted the employer's HR department who responded quickly by advising they would sort things out with the Manulife. By November 28 the problem was resolved when Wagner was advised the dental claim would be paid.
"Sometimes union members opt not to raise problems or file grievances because they don't want to cause a fuss - but it's fair to say that there are no results when problem isn't raised with the employer," Wagner said. "As this example illustrates, it pays to act."
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).

Spreading good tidings and cheer in GSU Sub-Local 1.3 

(L-r) GSU Sub-Local 1.3 (Viterra - Moose Jaw) president Brett North presented his sub-local's funding cheque to social committee representative Garth Craig. 

The funds are being used to spread some holiday cheer and fellowship throughout the membership this season. 

 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. We expect to hear the result of their deliberations soon. 
GSU's Local 19 bargaining committee: Lindsay Hill (Strasbourg), Debbie Hillier (Cupar), and Steve Torgerson (GSU staff rep)

Western Producer

GSU's Local 5 bargaining committee reached a tentative agreement with Company representatives during a bargaining session on December 9. 

A GSU membership ratification meeting will be held on Friday.

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. 

Holiday gifts at the office: yes or no?

Many of us puzzle about the appropriateness of gift giving to the unofficial members of our office family - our co-workers.

There are no hard and fast workplace rules for gifting in the office, but accepted workplace etiquette suggests that workplace gifts should trickle from the organizations top offices downward, meaning an employee should not feel obligated to offer a gift to someone who has power over their employment.

If you choose to give gifts within your workplace during the holiday season, be sensitive to others. Be discreet as you deliver your gifts rather than making it clear who didn't make your list. And be mindful that gifting others who don't celebrate certain holidays may make them feel uncomfortable or obligated to participate in gift-giving.

So now that you've made your list and checked it twice, check out these gifts that you should never give your boss or co-workers

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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