May 22, 2018 
Anything can happen around here, but this is what we have scheduled for the week:
  • staff rep Steve Torgerson met with the Viterra on Monday to continue working on a problem raised by employees
  • staff rep Donna Driediger had a conference call with members of Local 7 on Monday to discuss ratifying a proposed collective agreement 
  • the Tuesday Members' Memo is emailed to GSU members weekly on Tuesday. If you know a co-worker who doesn't receive the TMM and would like to, have them call GSU toll-free at 1.866.522.6686 or send an email to 
  • staff rep Donna Driediger will be on the road meeting with a member on Thursday 
  • GSU staff will be on the road visiting Local 1 and Local 14 locations this week, and in the coming weeks, to continue the discussions surrounding collective bargaining this Fall.
GSU's calendar of events is regularly updated and available on GSU's web page:  

GSU Riders 

It is that time of the year again, CFL Football is in full swing and the Riders first game of 2018 is on Friday, June 8, 2018.  

And as with other years GSU will be having contests on the TMM and website to give away the tickets from the 4 sets of season tickets.

Get your answer to the following question back into our hands by noon on Monday, June 4 and your name will be entered in our draw. The draw will take place MOnday afternoon with the 2 winners each receiving 2 tickets to the game. 

Last year the Riders finished the regular season with a record of 10 - 8, clinched a playoff berth and finally lost to the Agros in the East Final. What do you think the Riders record will look like and how far will they go?

Send your answer to

Good luck in the draw! Letss go Rider!

A Viterra employee requested that some of their banked overtime be paid out.  The employee's manager denied the payout of the entire portion requested and said to take the time off for the remainder.  

Staff rep. Dale Markling had talked to the employee before on this matter and got the overtime paid out, but he was contacted again as the same issue happened again. Markling contacted Human Resources at Viterra and within the week the employees request for banked overtime to be paid out was granted. 

Employees in the Viterra Collective Agreement have the right to request payout of their overtime when the employee chooses to.

Do you have a question about your collective agreement or a problem you are experiencing in the workplace?

Contact your GSU staff rep. Contact information is available here.

The GSU Defense Fund Board of Directors had a full agenda when they met last week

The GSU Defense Fund Board of board of directors met via conference call last Thursday.

The purpose of the meeting was to receive an update on the value of the Fund's assets and to consider a resolution adopted by delegates to the 2018 GSU convention to have the Fund cover up to $100,000 in GSU's 2018 legal expenses.

The directors received a report that the Defense Fund has total assets of $4.2 million consisting of equities and fixed income investments with RBC Dominion Securities as well as money on deposit with Affinity Credit Union.

GSU's administration anticipates that the union's legal expenses incurred in defending members' collective agreement rights will rise significantly in 2018 as a result of a higher number of grievances being referred to arbitration.

"In a normal year GSU's operating budget can absorb the legal bills without too much difficulty, but with a higher number of grievances heading to arbitration it is anticipated that an additional $100,000 will be added to the union's expenses," said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner.

The Defense Fund directors considered the resolution from GSU's convention and approved paying GSU's 2018 legal bills up to a maximum of $100,000. Transfers from the Defense Fund to pay for GSU's legal expenses will be made upon receipt of invoices for said services subject to review and approval by the directors.

Defense Fund directors are elected at GSU policy conventions. The current directors are Brian Lark (Local 1), Wilfred Harris (Local 1), Sharlene Tetrault (Local 5), Ron Gerlock (Local 8) and Dennis Piasta (Local 14).

Why Summer Fridays and Flexible Hours Are a Must

Back in the 1960s, advertising agencies in New York began noticing a dip in employee productivity on Fridays during the summer months when the hot summer sun caused people to shift into weekend mode before the workweek was over. Summer Fridays, as they were called, soon shifted into other industries. A 2012 study by Ultimat Vodka, however, revealed that only 12 percent of adult workers experienced the benefit of Summer Fridays. It seems as employers began demanding more work and longer hours, the Summer Fridays perk went out the window.

This is a shame, since the Ultimat Vodka study showed employees who benefited from summer hours were happier and more productive. Eighty-seven percent of those who had summer hours said this benefit contributed to a healthy work/life balance and 76 percent agreed Summer Friday policies were an effective tool to boost productivity. Indeed, for those who crave a weekend at the cottage, putting in a couple of extra hours from Monday through Thursday in exchange for a short day on Friday, or taking Fridays off completely, seems like a fair trade off. 

Want to read the whole article on the benefits of Fridays off and flexible hours?

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