February 9, 2021

Calendar highlights and upcoming events:
GSU Convention - Regina, SK - March 18 & 19

All available in-person credentials have now been assigned to delegates.

If you received a registration notice and are interested in attending the convention online, take a moment to complete your registration form and send it back to GSU in order to secure your spot.

. . . . .

Local 14 (Richardson), Local 15 (Nutrien) board members meet, receive Local updates, elect officers

GSU Local 14 (Richardson Pioneer) and Local 15 (Nutrien) delegates met separately via Zoom on Feb. 3 to elect the Locals' representatives to GSU’s Joint Executive Council (board of directors). Reports on Local issues were also given.

In addition, Local 14 delegates had a preliminary discussion about preparing for agreement renewal bargaining this coming autumn and a late summer/early autumn delegates meeting geared to prepare for agreement renewal bargaining with Richardson Pioneer. Members at the Local 14 meeting also received an update on paid sick leave for employees age 65 or older. A decision on that matter is pending.

Congratulations to the following newly elected officers on GSU's Joint Executive Council:

Local 14 (Richardson) Jerid Clark (White City), Justin Shauf (Langenburg).
Local 15 (Nutrien) Brian Cowan, Curtis Cousins, Lynn Shaw, David Jones.

GSU convention delegates will elect five Defense Fund directors
When delegates to GSU’s 14th biennial convention meet on March 18 and 19, they will elect five union members to two-year terms on the board of directors of the GSU Defense Fund.
The elected directors oversee the administration and investment of the GSU Defense Fund assets (current market value of $5.2 million) and set policy for payment of strike/lockout pay for union members engaged in collective bargaining disputes. The board meets three or four times a year (or more often, if required) to review the Fund’s financial position, investment strategy and other administrative matters. Most meetings are held via conference call or video technology and paid union leave is arranged for participation in the meetings.
Every GSU member in good standing is eligible to be a candidate for a seat on the Board of Directors, although three seats are reserved for members from GSU Locals 1 (Viterra), 2 (Viterra), 14 (Richardson) or 15 (Nutrien). Union members who represent their Local on GSU’s Joint Executive Council cannot also be a director of the Defense Fund.

Candidates do not have to be delegates to the GSU biennial policy convention where the elections are conducted.

“It is useful to have knowledge of financial markets, but the main criterion to be on the board of directors of the GSU Defense Fund is a commitment to support union members’ welfare and collective bargaining rights when they get into a dispute with their employer,” said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. “Over the years GSU members have built up a sizeable resource to defend their interests, and the responsibility of Defense Fund directors is to ensure the money is managed well so it's available when needed.”

Would you like to be a director on the Defense Fund Board?
GSU members who want to be candidates for the board of directors of the GSU Defense Fund are asked to notify assistant general secretary Lynn Woods by email to Lynn@gsu.ca.

Should employers be exempt from giving employees at least 24 hours' notice of change to their work shifts? GSU doesn't think so.

GSU has submitted a brief opposing exemption of grain handling and milling companies from the application of section 173.1 of Part III of the Canada Labour Code.
Section 173.1 of the Code requires employers to give employees at least 24 hours’ notice of a change to their work shift. Since the improvement to federal labour standards came into effect in September 2019, the grain industry has been lobbying to be exempted from most of the employee-friendly improvements to the law.
“GSU, along with other unions in federal jurisdiction, has vigorously opposed any exemptions for employers,” said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. “We’ve succeeded in backing the industry off on most of the exemptions they were seeking, but now it’s come down to section 173.1.”
“Requiring employers to give at least 24 hours’ notice of a shift change is just common decency, “ Wagner said. “Why should workers do all the bending and twisting to make good on the lucrative contracts their employers make with their business partners, such as the railways? It seems that all of the giving is done by the workers and all of the taking is done by their employers.”
GSU’s brief was filed on Feb. 3 with officials of the the Labour Program of Employment and Social Development Canada which administers the Canada Labour Code. A copy of the brief is posted on the GSU web site at gsu.ca.

Ideas to amuse yourself and your family this Family Day Weekend
You may not be able to get away for your preferred socialization and events, but you can still make the upcoming Family Day weekend one to remember.

  • Take an online course or learn new language
  • Take a virtual journey of the world through Air Pano or Google videos, and end the day preparing the food of the country
  • Plan your summer gardening or flower beds, and start some seeds
  • Arrange to eat dinner over video with relatives or friends
  • Write a list of goals for when the COVID regulations lift and we can get back to doing the things we enjoy.

Check out links for the ideas above and much 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.