December 17,  2019 

Upcoming events:

GSU Local 15/Nutrien Bargaining - Jan. 7 & 8
Check out the Dec. 13 bargaining update in this newsletter.

Local 5 - Western Producer - Saskatoon, Jan. 10
The sudden illness of a committee member on Nov. 26 postponed the scheduled Local 5 (Western Producer) bargaining session. GSU's bargaining committee members are Sharlene Tetrault, Michelle Houlden, and GSU staff rep/bargaining spokesperson Dale Markling 

GSU biennial convention - Temple Gardens, Moose Jaw, March 19-21, 2020
We are counting on GSU members - like you - to come to convention, share your thoughts and experiences, and let us know what you think your union should be doing for members.  Registration will open, soon.  All members of GSU are eligible to attend, but space is limited. 

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 members vote, approve continuation of Defense Fund union dues for 2020

With two meetings to go, a strong majority of GSU members attending 2019 annual meetings debated and ultimately voted to continue the additional union dues of $10 per member per month being paid into the  GSU Defense Fund .

So far, a  majority of  86 percent  of voters  have  approved the motion to continue the additional dues for another year and to vote again at the 2020 annual meetings of GSU locals and sub-locals. 

"Although the motion to continue the additional dues to the GSU Defense Fund has been approved every year since voting began in 1996, the annual process is fundamental to union democracy," said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. "This is by far the largest and most important asset GSU members collectively own. It is one of the key aspects of defending GSU members' rights, so it stands to reason that the subject is revisited every year."

Learn more about the GSU Defense Fund here.

GSU Defense Fund directors meet, review $4.7 million assets and investment portfolio

The board of directors of the GSU Defense Fund met in Regina on Dec. 11. The meeting agenda included receiving an update on the Fund's assets and receiving an investment portfolio review presented by Keith Pavo of RBC Dominion Securities Inc.
GSU Defense Fund has current assets (market value) of $4.7 million. The investment and management of the Fund is overseen by a five-person elected board of directors. Current directors are Dennis Piasta (Local 14 - Kindersley), Ron Gerlock (Local 8 - Regina), Sharlene Tetrault (Local 5 - Saskatoon), Wilfred Harris (Local 1 - Carnduff), and Darryl Knelsen (Local 1 - Fairlight).
Directors are elected to two-year terms by delegates to GSU's biennial policy conventions. The next round of elections for directors will be held during the 2020 GSU policy convention scheduled for March 19 to 21 at Temple Gardens Hotel and Spa in Moose Jaw.
Shortly after the 2020 GSU convention, the directors will meet again with RBC representatives to review and renew the investment guidelines for the Defense Fund.

Nutrien bargaining gets underway with an exchange of proposals

On Dec. 13, GSU's Local 15 bargaining committee met with company representatives to begin collective agreement renewal bargaining. According to  GSU bargaining committee spokesperson Dale Markling, the two sides exchanged proposals and there was good discussion when both sides sought clarification on the other party's proposals.  

Bargaining is set to resume on Jan. 7, 8 and continue Jan. 28 and 29 in Regina. 

GSU's collective agreements with Nutrien expire Dec. 31, 2019. Your GSU Local 15 bargaining committee members are Brian Cowen, Curtis Cousins, Lynn Shaw, GSU staff rep Steve Torgerson, and GSU staff rep/bargaining spokesperson Dale Markling.

General Secretary's autumn 2019 report is now available at

If you were able to attend your annual general membership meeting this autumn, you have received a copy of our 2019 GSU General Secretary's Report. If you didn't get to a meeting - or if you enjoyed reading it so much the first time you want to see it again - you can read, print, or download the report from our web page -

Scrooged again! Working women in Sask. still earn less than working men

According to a new Statistics Canada study, Canadian women earned 87 cents per hour for every dollar earned by their male counterparts in 2018. In Saskatchewan, women earned about 15 per cent less per hour ($27.04) last year than men ($31.92). 

The good news is that the gender pay gap is closing. The bad news? The change is happening at a snail's pace.

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