November 24, 2020

Calendar highlights and upcoming events:
Local 6 (Wild West Steelhead) bargaining

Bargaining will resume in Lucky Lake on Nov. 25.

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

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GSU Local 5 (Western Producer) bargaining

Dec. 3 has been tentatively set to resume bargaining. The two sides were last scheduled to meet on Nov. 3 and Nov. 5, but those dates were cancelled when the company needed more time to prepare.

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

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Autumn 2020 membership meetings - November

In addition to usual union business, we've got constitutional amendments for your consideration and we need you to vote on whether you want to continue paying dues into the GSU Defense Fund.

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

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General Secretary's autumn 2020 report is now available at

GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner's report is being distributed at our annual membership meetings through a combination of mail, email, and shared-screen video conferencing.

A copy of the report is now available on GSU's web page for reading or printing. You can find the report here.

If you would like a copy of the report sent to you by mail, let us know at

Make workplace safety a top priority during Covid-19's second wave
The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is upon us and it is more prevalent than the first wave in the prairie provinces. GSU members passed through COVID’s first wave relatively unscathed as there were only a handful of reported instances where union members were required to take steps in response to potential exposure or risk of same.
The second wave is another matter as the spread of the virus is beginning to make its presence felt in many communities and workplaces. The first course of action is prevention, and GSU members are urged to take the utmost precautions to avoid being exposed, contracting, or spreading the COVID-19 virus.

"We all know the steps to take and the things to avoid, but since most GSU members continue to be on the job providing essential services, the option of staying home or working from home is not in the equation," said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. "We urge every union member to make workplace safety their top priority. Make sure your employer is sparing no effort to protect everyone at work all of the time."
Preventative steps only work as long as everyone in the community does their part. We know that not everyone is equally concerned about the very real risk the virus poses. As a result, there will be instances when GSU members are required to self-monitor, isolate, seek treatment, or care for a family member.
Pay cheque uncertainty can add to the stress and worry of dealing with COVID-related health issues. GSU staff reps are available to provide assistance to union members who run into problems as they adapt to the curves the pandemic throws their way.
“Our collective agreements contain a variety of pay protection measures for members, and governments have also introduced emergency measures to assist workers to weather the storm," said GSU president Jim Brown. "However, there is no precise template that offers clear instructions on what to do if someone is confronted with missing work as a result of the pandemic. The response depends on the facts of the particular situation.”
“GSU assisted a lot of members during the first wave and we encourage every member who encounters a workplace problem in the second wave to have a discussion with their employer and to follow-up by contacting GSU if they aren’t satisfied that the direction they’ve been given is correct,” Brown added. “Assistance and reassurance from your union are as close as the phone or email.”

Does pressing necessity leave cover absence from work caused by severe weather and/or travel conditions?

GSU is currently engaged in discussions with at least one employer in relation to employees who were unable to get to work as a result of the severe snow storm that hit southwest and west-central Saskatchewan on Nov. 9.

The volume of snow and the wind conditions that accompanied that storm made travel virtually impossible in some locales, resulting in employees being unable to attend work for all or part of the day. It appears that a number of affected employees were advised by their employer to make up for the lost time by drawing on banked overtime or vacation. They were not offered the option of using pressing necessity leave to cover the lost time.

GSU is pursuing the matter with the employers who have pressing necessity leave clauses in the collective agreement.
Are you being gaslighted?
What is gaslighting? And how do I know if it is happening to me?

The broad definition of gaslighting is when someone uses manipulation and distraction to distort the truth and make the victim question their own judgment, memory, worth, and perhaps even their sanity.

The manipulation can be overt or subtle. It can be intentional or unintentional and it can take place anywhere in any professional or personal relationship or environment. If you find yourself feeling consistently and uncharacteristically confused around someone, and your interactions with them point to lies and inconsistencies, you may be the victim of gaslighting.

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.