March 24, 2020  

Calendar highlights and upcoming events:

CANCELLED Local 5 / Western Producer bargaining - Saskatoon, March 24
GSU's collective agreement with The Western Producer expired July 31, 2019. Bargaining committee members representing GSU Local 5 are Sharlene Tetrault, Michelle Houlden, and GSU staff rep/bargaining spokesperson Dale Markling. Learn more here.

Joint Executive Council conference call meeting - April 3
The Joint Executive Council (JEC) is the governing body of GSU between policy conventions. They will be meeting by conference call to conduct the business that needs to be addressed following the cancellation of GSU's 2020 biennial policy convention. 

CANCELLED CLC/SFL Spring School - Moose Jaw, April 20 - 24, 2020 
Learn more about what you missed out on here.

CANCELLED Local 7 (Heartland) bargaining - April 2020
Your GSU Local 7 (Heartland) bargaining committee members are Heather Mackay, Tyler Sherwood, and GSU staff rep/committee spokesperson Donna Driediger.

Prairie School for Union Women - Waskesiu Lake, June 7 - 11, 2020 
This is a GSU-sanctioned event*. Learn more by contacting your staff rep or checking out the school brochure 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.


GSU Local 19 (Prairie Co-op) members to vote on Memorandum of Settlement
GSU Local 19 bargaining committee members Devin Lipinski and Steve Torgerson reached a memorandum of settlement with Prairie Co-op Ltd. on March 13, and now it's time for members to vote on whether to accept or reject the settlement. 

In order to maintain and respect recommended social and physical distancing as recommended by the government of Saskatchewan, the Local 19 bargaining committee has decided that ratification of the settlement will take place through a conference call and electronic vote on March 25. 

Local 19 members will be contacted using email or phone information on file at GSU. If you would like to update your information, please contact Steve at

"We all have to do our part to flatten the curve and keep each other safe, but we must also try to continue on with as much of our daily life as possible," said Torgerson said. "Local 19 members are hard at work serving their communities and they are taking every precaution to keep themselves and their producers safe. We want to help keep them safe as they vote on the proposed settlement."

Locked-out Unifor 594 members say yes to mediator's report, Co-op Refineries Ltd. "unable to accept" recommendations

Members of  Unifor Canada's Local 594 employed by  Consumer's Co-operative Refineries Limited (CCRL) were locked out by their employer on Dec. 5, 2019.

Unifor 594 asked the government of Saskatchewan to order that the dispute be settled by binding arbitration, and the government appointed special mediators Vince Ready and Amanda Rodgers to assist the two sides. Unfortunately, instead of ordering the mediator's report by binding to the union and employer, the government only assigned the mediators the authority to make recommendations.

While they were not happy about everything in the  mediator's report, Unifor 594 accepted the mediator's report and its recommendations. The CCRL did not.

Learn more about the dispute, the mediation in the following article which was written by GSU legal counsel Ronni Nordal of  Nordal Law Office:

You can help by calling on Premier Moe to legislate the special mediator's recommendations and end the lockout

Read and sign the petition here.

Not surprisingly, GSU staff reps have been busy with COVID-19 related workplace issues.

Over the last ten days, GSU's representatives have been busy working on  securing answers for members on the many practical problems arising from the  COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on employees' workplaces and  private lives.

"There are myriad questions in this uncharted territory such as whether  employees will be paid (and what payroll code applies) when they  self-isolate as a result of their own at risk exposure to COVID-19 or if  they are living with someone who is compelled to self-isolate/quarantine,"  said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. "We've been able to get satisfactory  answers in most instances, but so much of the outcome depends on the  individual facts."

"Generally speaking, the employers we deal with are willing to communicate  and each one has a different response," Wagner said. "With the situation  being so dynamic it is necessary to take it day by day. We will get  through this with a reasoned and reasonable approach."

GSU members are urged to continue raising the issues in this unprecedented  situation. 

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. 

Need to talk to one of our staff reps? Our contact information is available here .

GSU services are provided to you as part of your union dues. There is no additional charge for assisting you. 

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.

Deadline for receipt of applications is June 1, 2020.

How to avoid everyday mood swings

There is an overflow of overwhelming information, stressful moments, and sudden change right now. It's pretty easy to become overwhelmed, lash out, retreat, or collapse into a bundle of emotion.

Here are some ways to help you when you have one nerve left and everyone is getting on it:
9 Genius Tricks To Help You Avoid Everyday Mood Swings

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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