March 30, 2021

Calendar highlights and upcoming events:
Our Joint Executive Council's annual report to GSU members
It is anticipated that this report will be released to GSU members during the week of April 6. Watch for it in upcoming Tuesday Members' Memos and on GSU's web page at

CLC/SFL Spring School - May 17 - 20, 2021
As is the case with many education opportunities, the CLC/SFL Spring School is going to be held virtually. GSU will sponsor up to three union members to attend. If you are interested or want to learn more, check out the school brochure and contact your GSU staff rep.

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GSU's scholarship application deadline is June 1

We are giving away five $2,000 scholarships in 2021. You can find application forms and learn more about our scholarship program requirements here

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GSU will sponsor up to three members to attend PSUW.

Contact your GSU staff rep to learn more.
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Understanding aggregate salary increases at Viterra and Nutrien
By GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner
Around this time each year, GSU receives numerous contacts from union members working for Nutrien and Viterra complaining that they received a salary increase that is lower than the X percent aggregate salary increase referred to in the collective agreements with their employer. 
While employees are justifiably upset that their salary increases are too low, it is important to remember that the collective agreements with Nutrien and Viterra refer to aggregate salary increases of X percent.  

What this means is that the overall total salary increase must be the agreed upon percentage of payroll, but it does not mean that each individual employee will receive a salary increase equal to that percentage figure.
For example:
Imagine a work unit in which there are two employees and the employees in the unit are promised an aggregate salary increase of 2 percent. In this example employee “A” receives a salary increase of 3 percent and employee “B” receives a salary increase of 1 percent. While each employee received a salary increase different than 2 percent, the aggregate salary increase of the two-employee unit in this example is 2 percent (i.e. 3 + 1 divided by 2 = 2%).
This is one of the numerous bad features of the so-called pay for performance system that came as a plague on Viterra employees in 2008 and was adopted by Nutrien in 2013. GSU’s leadership vigorously warned about this negative feature of Viterra’s bargaining proposals and final offer at the time of the 2008 collective bargaining dispute and strike at Viterra.
In the absence of sufficient support to maintain the strike action commenced by Local 2 members of Viterra’s Regina head office, and a handful of Local 1 Viterra Operations and Maintenance members, GSU was not able to block the incursion of the so-called pay for performance pay system and its aggregate salary increase. Since then, GSU has proposed to end the unfair system whenever bargaining with Nutrien and Viterra, but so far we’ve not succeeded.
One day we will reform this broken pay system, but only if union members band together and make it a priority they are prepared to fight for, even if that means walking the picket line until the job is done.

A number of GSU members employed by Nutrien and Viterra have initiated grievances over the determination of their 2021 wage increases.
GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner reports that there are a number of different facets of payroll administration challenged in grievances being pursued on behalf of union members.
“Some members are challenging the sufficiency of their pay increase in relation to their performance evaluation while others are challenging the arbitrary allocation of pay increases among employees or the denial of a wage increase altogether for reasons unrelated to performance evaluation, “ Wagner said.
“The common root of all of the grievances is the arbitrary and inconsistent administration of a so-called pay for performance system that was flawed from the get go,“ said Wagner. “The obstacles to overcome are considerable, but the only way to make progress and prepare the ground for change is to bang away at the current system by employing the grievance procedure.”
“Change doesn’t happen unless people act and it is important for members to come forward with their complaints. Union members have the right to access the grievance procedure and it is a right GSU has always encouraged members to use.”
High performance rating and no increase? Consider grieving
Receiving a high performance review rating with no accompanying increase in pay is a good reason to contact your GSU staff rep to examine your situation.

Contacting GSU does not mean you are obligated to file a grievance.

We will answer your questions and assist you in any way we can, but we will not contact your employer, file a grievance or act on your behalf without consultation, direction, and approval from you.
Filing a grievance is a service provided to you as a part of your union dues. There is no additional charge for assisting you.

Contact information for GSU staff is available on GSU's web page at

GSU is awarding $2,000 scholarships to five GSU members, their spouses and children
Have you, your spouse or dependant child been accepted
into university or tech school?

If your answer is YES, you are eligible to apply for a GSU scholarship.
We don't need transcripts or marks, but we do require confirmation the scholarship applicant is enrolled in a diploma, degree, or certificate program at a community college, university, trade school, or technical institute as a full-time student in any country. We also need the applicant to complete our application form, send us their two-page essay on the provided essay topic, and include a letter of recommendation from someone in their community. That's it.

It's easy to apply.

Scholarship forms and additional information are available here.

Deadline for receipt of applications is June 1, 2021.

Are you a people pleaser?
Do you struggle to say no? Do you personally suffer at the expense of helping everyone else? Are you overly concerned about what others may think of you? You may be a people pleaser.

While being nice is admirable, being too nice can become personally destructive and emotionally overwhelming.

Learn more about the signs of being a people pleaser and how to stop being one 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.