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June 2021
  • President's Update
  • Treasurer's Report
  • Committee Updates

  • MRSA  Office Closure Notice
  • MRSA Events
  • General Announcements

President's Update 
        

Dear MRSA Colleagues,

I'm struggling to find the words for this month's Newsletter. 

Like most of you, I am completely shocked and saddened by the recent discovery of 215 little bodies and lost souls at a residential school in BC. These were children and grandchildren, siblings and friends of a culture that was considered savage by colonized, over privileged invaders of this land we now call Canada. I have wept for them and the many others that have never been found, and I now pray for those survivors that will once again be traumatized. I ask that each of you reflect on the dark history of our country and promise to educate, acknowledge and teach in your homes and in our community what is truth so that we can support and build relationships with our Indigenous brothers and sisters. This is the only true way to reconciliation.

Return to Campus

On the minds and lips of many staff is the anticipated plan to return to working on campus. Again, I send thanks and acknowledgement to those that have been working on campus throughout this pandemic. Thanks to Security, Facilities Management, Grounds, Residence Life, Enrollment Services, Library and all other areas that have kept our campus safe and moving university business forward. 

MRSA Executive Board will be meeting with the Campus 21/22 planning group on June 2 to hear and understand the impact on this decision for staff. The University has posted a FAQ page which will very likely address many of your questions. Further, there is new COVID 19 Information including Return to Campus Information that can be found on the EH&S page. This information includes Pandemic Expectations for Employees, Hosting Meetings, Workplace Hazard Assessment and an Orientation to prepare to Return to Campus. Staff may request accommodations for returning to campus. A Return to Campus - Accommodation Procedure has been developed that will follow a Process for workplace Accommodation Requests.

There is a ton of reading for you, but hopefully this will start to provide the needed information to transition back to campus. As always, if you have any questions for your MRSA Executive, please email us at mrsa@mtroyal.ca.

Labour Relations Officer

We did it! We hired an MRSA Labour Relations Officer to assist us with the ever increasing challenges of employee complaints, discipline, grievances, collective bargaining and governance. Please welcome Laine Fowler to our MRSA Executive Board effective June 18, 2021. 

Laine joins us after 14 years as Labour Relations Officer with Health Sciences Association of Alberta. Laine has extensive experience and familiarity in labour relations and employment related legislation, extensive training and demonstrated skills in relation to interpretation of collective agreements, successful resolution of over 100 grievances, provided disability advocacy for accommodations and appeals for disability claims of STD/LTD and completed over 20 rounds of successful negotiations in both the public and private sector.

We are thrilled to have Laine on staff with MRSA. We will be establishing a training plan with assistance from Harry Oosterhoff (MSA) who has been working with us in a Labour Relations Advisor capacity for the last several months. Many thanks to the hiring committee: Christine Pepper, Craig Baskett, Rusty Martel and Harry Oosterhoff (along with myself).

Special message from President and Vice-Chancellor, Tim Rahilly

In case you missed this message from Our Community on May 28:
"It's been a very challenging year so as a gesture of deep appreciation, Friday, July 2 will be a day off with pay for all employees. I am taking this extraordinary step so you may have a four-day weekend and a well-deserved break. I am aware some units won't be able to take a day on July 2nd, in which case an alternative day will be selected for that area."

Collective Bargaining

We will continue to meet bi-weekly through the month of June. The Joint Committee will then take a summer hiatus until Aug. 17. We are still actively bargaining in an interest based manner and we have not agreed or signed off on any interests at this time.

Filed Grievance re: Casual Staff

MRSA has filed a Group/Policy Grievance against MRU regarding Article 1.13(i) Casual Employee re: the interpretation of the understood and applied definition of casual employee hours to be capped at 910 hours for Casual Employees. The details of this Grievance can be found at mrustaff.ca.

New Newsletter Feature

In the interest of highlighting our Collective Agreement, I would like to feature one Article each month. In the interest of hearing about increased workload and appropriate compensation, staff need to understand the requirements of the employer for increased work expectations.  This month, I want to highlight Article 25.3 OVERTIME:

(a) All overtime to be worked requires the prior approval of the Supervisor and the consent of the Employee. Prior to scheduling the overtime, the Employee and the Supervisor/Manager/Chair shall agree to the time to be worked and the method of compensation. The method of compensation may be changed by mutual consent.
 
(b) An Employee shall be compensated at straight time if the amount of extra time worked is: 
         (i) one half hour or less in excess of the Employee’s normal hours of work in their present position (as per Article 20.1, 20.2(a) (b) and (c), 20.3); 
         (ii) hours outside of regular position(s) up to the hourly, daily and weekly maximums as outlined in Article 20.1, 20.2(a) and (b).

 (c) An Employee required to work in excess of the Employee’s normal hours of work will be compensated at the overtime rate of one and one half (1 ½ ) their regular rate up to and including three (3) hours, and two (2) times the Employee’s regular rate for those hours worked in excess of three (3) hours. 

(d) Part-time Employees working less than the normal hours of full-time employment (as per Article 20.1) and who are required to work longer than their regular daily or weekly hours, shall be paid at the rate of straight time for the hours so worked up to the normal hours for full-time Employees in the working day or week, after which the overtime provisions of Article 25.3 (c) shall apply. 

(e) An Employee required to work on a normal day(s) off will be compensated at the overtime rate of one and one half (1½) their regular rate up to and including three (3) hours, and two (2) times the Employee’s regular rate for those hours worked in excess of three (3) hours. 

(f) Employees shall be compensated either by pay or the equivalent in time off. Time off shall be taken at a time mutually acceptable to the Employee and the Employee’s supervisor. 

(g) Notification shall be sent to the Employee and their Supervisor/Manager/Chair by November of each year, indicating the Employee’s accrued number of overtime hours. 
        (i) Any balance of an Employee’s accrued overtime hours that exist on December 31st of each year shall be paid out in full on the pay period ending January 31st of the following year.
        (ii) In extenuating circumstances and upon mutual agreement, the Employee and Supervisor/Manager/Chair may request that the accrued overtime not be paid out in accordance with Article 25.3 (h) (i) above. If, however, the accrued overtime has not been taken by June 30th, it shall be paid out on the pay period ending July 31st of each year.  

*Please do NOT work without agreement with your manager to time worked and manner of compensation. Too many staff are working and not claiming this over time on timesheets. This makes it very difficult to support or prove the abuse of this Article when bringing these concerns forward to MRU. If you feel you are being expected to work beyond your regularly scheduled hours and you do not have an agreement with your manager for understanding and compensation of this time, please contact mrsa@mtroyal.ca.*

Please get out and enjoy the weather and hopefully, the opportunity to gather with friends and family very soon. Continue to practice safety measures and stay connected.

---

Michelle LoGullo | President
Mount Royal Staff Association
mlogullo@mtroyal.ca

Treasurer's Report

Hi everyone -  we are sure looking forward to some spring and summer weather! Here is a summary of what the Audit and Finance committee has been up to this past month and what we continue to work on.

We presented the approved 2021-22 operating budget to the membership at the General Meeting in May. See email from mrsa@mtroyal.ca dated May 19th, 2021 for a copy of the approved operating budget.

Upcoming and ongoing projects…

  1. Johanna from the Audit and Finance committee continues to work with our accountants to establish a CRA Business Number. 

  2. Mariberth from the Audit and Finance committee continues to work on a  Purchasing/Procurement Policy. 

  3. The migration of the EDT database to MyMRU is in its final stages.

  4. PIPA compliance audit continues - we found it really important to outline conditions for handling members’ personal information for the presenters at this year’s PD days. These conditions were embedded in the independent contractor agreement that both parties signed.

  5. Review of our credit card practices to ensure compliance with Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards.

Quote of the month…

“Beware of the little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship”

Benjamin Franklin

Submitted by Craig Baskett on behalf of the Audit and Finance committee - Mariberth Blanco,  Nadine Conklin, Johanna Franconeri, Michelle Logullo and Christine Pepper.

Committee Updates  

PD Committee

The Professional Development Committee would like to extend our thanks to the participation of MRSA members for helping to make PD Days 2021 a success. In particular, we would like to recognize and commend the work of Christine Pepper, Craig Baskett, Michelle Logullo and the members of the MRSA executive board for their support in ensuring that our vision was realized. Lastly, we would like to thank Mount Royal University for the generous contribution and support that made this year's event possible. 

Our most sincere thanks, 

The MRSA PD Committee

 Summer EDT Application Period opens on June 15 

If you have any professional or personal development courses that begin between July 1 - August 31, you can apply for funding through the MRSA EDT Committee.  

Applications must be submitted via the EDT database.

The summer application period closes on July 31.

If you have any further questions, please contact the EDT Committee at edtmrsa@mtroyal.ca

 

 

MRSA Office Closure Notice

In keeping with guidelines from Alberta public health officials, the MRSA office is closed until further notice. During this time, MRSA operations continue as the Executive and Committees shift to working remotely.

Your calls and questions are important to us. Please do not hesitate to contact the MRSA office at 403.440.5993, or via email at mrsa@mtroyal.ca, or any member of the MRSA Executive. Please be assured that MRSA office voicemail and email are monitored regularly.

Take good care, and be safe; we wish you and your families the very best of health.   

 

                                                                               

MRSA Events

MRSA Staff Lounge

The MRSA staff lounge remains open for those staff members working on campus. We have worked with Environmental Health and Safety to ensure COVID-19 measures are being followed. The furniture has been arranged to ensure appropriate physical distancing including only 1 chair per table. Wipes and hand sanitizer have been placed in the lounge.

 To ensure this space continues to be available please follow these measures...

  • Masks must be worn in the staff lounge except when eating or drinking. 
  • One person per table or couch - please do not move tables or chairs.
  • Wipe down microwaves and fridge after use.
  • Wipe down faucets and the water filter lever after use.
  • Wipe down the table and chair or couch that you use.
  • Wipe down the TV remote after use.
  • Please follow safe handwashing practices.

Thank you


Events and Activities

 

 

Social Committee

We’ve reached June and we have a couple more fun virtual activities for you to round out the year.  We hope you’ll join in on the fun.

 An interesting tidbit about why we have chosen the e-gift cards we have throughout the year as prizes. We have been choosing places that provide an e-gift card and that are easy for Christine Pepper to order with the MRSA P-Card, and easy to email to the winners.  We will try to expand our list to add in some local retailers too.

 Thank you to those who participated in our Positive Notes in May campaign, we had over 250 messages sent.

If you have any suggestions or feedback for the Social Committee, please feel free to submit it via this MRSA Social Committee Feedback Form.

 June

 Virtual Picnic with Trivia & Games - June 17, 2021 12:00 - 12:55 p.m.

Join us for a virtual picnic.  Feel free to take your device and sit outside for this lunch if you can, maybe in your yard or on your balcony or patio.  We will have some fun games planned, MRU Facts Trivia, virtual pictionary via skribbl.io and we’ll be giving away prizes throughout the lunch. Please sign-up here by June 15 so we can send you the Google Meet link.

 Here are suggested quick to make pizza and drink to enjoy during the lunch or feel free to make your own picnic lunch:

Citrus Peach Cooler

You will need a jug and a long handled or wood spoon to stir.

Juice of 2 lemons

Juice of 2 limes

⅓ jug peach nectar

⅓ jug lemonade

Sparkling water

Ice

Mint leaves

Put the juice of 2 lemons & 2 limes into a jug.

Add the peach nectar, lemonade and top up with sparkling water and ice.

Add mint leaves and press them against the jug with your spoon to release their flavour.

Stir and enjoy.

 Mozzarella Artichoke Pizza

½ cup PC Artichoke & Asiago Dip ¼ cup Sweet Red Pepper, chopped

2 Pocketless Pita breads (or naan) ½ cup Shredded Mozzarella

1 green onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F

Spread artichoke dip on pita breads

Sprinkle evenly with onions and peppers

Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top

Bake directly on centre oven rack for 8 - 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden

Cut into 6 wedges and enjoy!

*Tip: President’s Choice Artichoke & Asiago Dip from Superstore works well (usually found in the deli area).

Canada Maker Contest - Due date June 21, 2021 4:30 p.m.

July 1st is Canada Day, but in lieu of our in-person Canada Day celebration we are hosting a Canada Themed maker contest. Send us your photo or video of something you make that is Canada Themed to enter our contest. Send photos/videos to mrsasocial@mtroyal.ca by June 21.

Ideas: baking, clothing, costume, jewelry, artwork, poem, song, dance, etc. Anything you want to submit for the contest!  By submitting your photo or video you give the MRSA Social Committee permission to post it to a shared folder for access by all MRSA Members for voting purposes.

 MRSA Members will vote for the winners on June 22 & 23, 2021 and we will give away e-gift card prizes for First Place $75.00; Second Place $50.00; and Third Place $25.00 on June 24.  Choose from these options for your prize:  Amazon.ca; Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Cococo Chocolatiers, 17th Ave Retail District Retailers or Una Pizzeria.  Winners must notify Christine Pepper which e-gift card they would like by June 25. Contest open to all MRSA Members.

Contacting the Social Committee

You can reach us via email: mrsasocial@mtroyal.ca

 

 

General Announcements

Online Ergonomic Assessments Available

If you are working from home and are having difficulty setting up your workstation to be ergonomically comfortable, reach out to Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS@mtroyal.ca) for a virtual ergonomic assessment. Ergonomic hazards can often be solved with a few minor adjustments, and it's better to catch concerns before they become significant issues.

See these tips for your office space at home.

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