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June 2022
  • President's Update
  • Treasurer's Update
  • Labour Relations Officer Update
 
  • Committee Reports
  • MRSA Events
  • General Announcements

President's Update 
  

June is the month we remember our fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers and all the men who step up as father figures. This will be a tough year for our family as my dad has crossed over and we  lost my father-in-law a few weeks ago. While our table grows a little smaller, it's still large with love and fond memories.

I want to send warm thoughts and thanks to all of you that work so hard to provide for your families and support the younger generations as they grow and become dads in their own homes. I hope you take the time to remember and show appreciation to all the father figures in your life on June 19.

As mentioned, I've been out of the office unexpectedly for the last two weeks. Special thanks to the Officers, Laine and Christine for keeping up with business...and what a difference a few weeks can make! Laine will provide updates shortly. For now I want to recognize:

MRSA Elections
Congratulations again to Leslie Blondahl, Charissa Hovdebo, Pam Karlenzig and James Parsons for election as Directors at Large for the Executive Board. A further congratulations to Katie Cross, Jody Jones, Jessica Lee Wah and Stacey Anderson for your appointment to the EDT Committee. We thank all of those that expressed interest in running and look forward to working with you in the near future.

Convocation Volunteers
Thanks to all of you that volunteered your time to make this in person celebration happen this year. Although I had to miss out, I have been keeping up with photos, stories and social media posts. I know first hand the amount of energy, effort and personal commitment that goes into volunteering for this celebration and you are the folks that really make this wheel move. How wonderful that we could have an in person event to recognize the achievements of those students that were really impacted by the disruption in their studies over the last two years. Your support on the floor is very much appreciated and recognized by the students and the team that puts this event together. 

MRSA General Meeting
We pulled it off!! We were able to successfully hold a hybrid GM this year proving that this meeting model can be done. Appreciation goes to Andy Phouthonesy (ITS),  Jason Kokot (Communication Studies) and Christine Pepper for working so hard to figure out the technology that went into making this possible. We had 37 in person (signed in) and 123 via livestream for a total of 160 members in attendance. So glad you could join us.

Strategic Planning Survey
We will be commencing our Strategic Planning Day on June 15 with our Executive Board and Committee members. In preparation for this event, we recently sent out a survey to our membership asking for feedback on the MRSA operations. Approximately 30% of our members took the time to fill out this survey, which provided us with very valuable comments, suggestions and ideas. Thanks to all of you for your participation and engagement in this initiative. You are providing direction for where you want the MRSA to go over the next few years.

MRU Budget Update
As reported at the Board of Governors meeting May 27, MRU posted a $16.4 million surplus for 2021-2022.

Paul Rossman shared five contributing factors that have produced the surplus:
i) $7M - Campus development projects that could not proceed due to supply chain issues.
ii) The change to the fiscal year-end - Income is largely derived during the first two (2) quarters and spent throughout the year. With the transitional nine-month fiscal year, income was received in the first two (2) quarters but was not spent in the shortened time frame.
iii) Conservative budgeting due to the pandemic - Contingencies were built in and subsequently not needed.
iv) Labour vacancy - e.g., unfilled VP roles.
v) Unexpected capital gains – From the investment portfolio due to market conditions and portfolio rebalancing.

It was recommended that this information be relayed to the community for a fulsome and clear understanding of why Mount Royal is in a surplus position and not a deficit, as had been projected at the beginning of the year. A motion was carried by the Board of Governors to allocate $14M of the surplus towards restricted capital projects, which includes the $7M left unspent. It was noted that if the money is not moved it would be unrestricted with no ability to access. The formal minutes from this meeting will not be posted until the BoG meets to approve them again in October. 

National Indegenous History Month
I want to acknowledge this month as an awareness month for our Indigenous members and our community. June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day and I encourage you to take part in events and learning opportunities within our community. 

I want to share an interesting fact that I have learned in relation to the meaning of the colours of the Metis sash:

RED – Is for the blood of the Métis that was shed through the years while fighting for our rights.
BLUE – Is for the depth of our spirits.
GREEN – Is for the fertility of a great nation.
WHITE – Is for our connection to the earth and our creator.
YELLOW – Is for the prospect of prosperity.
BLACK – Is for the dark period of the suppression and dispossession of Métis land.

Enjoy the rain and warm weather ahead all.

---

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

Treasurer's Report  

Happy Springtime everyone. Just to review from the most recent General Meeting. Here is what the Audit and Finance Committee worked on this past year (2021-22)...

  1. Revised the Terms of Reference for Audit and Finance - reduced number of officers required from 3 to 2.

  2. Updated Audit and Finance  committee’s “Level of Authority”  to “Limited Agent” - the committee can take some action with the board’s consent. 

  3. Established a process to select a fee for service financial advisor to review MRSA assets, investment practices etc  to maximize return on investment (with zero risk to principal).

  4. Continued to reinvest current assets with the primary goal of liquidity

  5. Liaised with the PD committee to provide financial guidelines and support for independent contractor agreement.

  6. New Purchasing and Procurement and Capitalization policies in progress.

  7. 2022-23 approved budget

  8. Updated to an online budgeting software - Quickbooks Essentials

  9. Got the Staff Lounge lease signed

And here are the Committee Priorities for the remainder of 2022…

  1. Finalize Purchasing and Procurement Policy and Capitalization Policy

  2. Streamline financial reporting processes

  3. Start a long term budgeting process

  4. Continue with PIPA implementation

  5. Clarify reserve fund policies

  6. Review and update the MRSA Treasurer’s manual

  7. Dependent/Spousal Bursary in online application process through EDT database

 "A budget is a tool for telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went!"

-Dave Ramsey

---

 

Submitted by Craig Baskett on behalf of the Audit and Finance Committee - Mariberth Blanco, Cyndi Cave, Johanna Franconeri, Michelle Logullo, Chad Miller,  and Christine Pepper.



Labour Relations Officer Update

 

Bargaining Update

Your Collective Bargaining Committee met with the MRU BoG committee and the mediator on May 16.  We were able to sign off one more item from our outstanding bargaining issues, which means we now have 21 articles and Memorandums of Agreement agreed in principle. 

May 31 mediation date was canceled and we will meet again on June 28.  

We have seen a few more Post Secondary Institution sector bargaining tables reach tentative agreements.  We understand that a clearer bargaining pattern is established as these other agreements are concluded.

We are very hopeful to reach an agreement later this month.

100% of Your Union Dues are used for ‘Core Activities’

For those of you who were able to attend or view the general meeting, this is a bit of a repeat, as well as some ancillary information.  

Please feel free to peruse the attached document for additional information as to the legislative changes to union dues, what MRSA is doing with your dues, and financial reporting.

We want you to understand and have all the information to verify that MRSA uses 100% of your union dues towards ‘core activities’ as per the legislation.  Because of this we are not required to have every member ‘elect’ what amount of your dues can be used for ‘non-core activities’.

Hybrid Work Trial

We have finally seen the MRU roll out a plan for allowing MRSA employees to work remotely.  This trial was not created in consultation with the MRSA and generally the MRSA does wish to see greater allowances for remote working than the maximum 40% stipulation, where it is appropriate for the type of work for a position.  However, we are grateful that this program is not limited to any division or group of employees.

For those who wish to have an allowance of greater than 40% to work remotely, we do encourage you to make requests in writing for your Vice President to review.  Should your request be denied you may wish to grieve such denial.  If this occurs please be in touch with Laine @ lro@mrustaff.ca , and send along your written request and denial decision, within 10 days of the decision.

Pay Cycle Change

MRU does like to keep us on our toes these days!  On Thursday, May 26, we were advised that the change to the pay cycle is paused until January 1, 2023.  This will now provide the entire MRU employee community time to prepare and plan for this change.  

 What the heck is EFAP?

EFAP is the acronym for ‘Employee Family Assistance Program’ and at MRU our provider is Homewood Health.  Homewood Health is part of your compensation and a full service EFAP provider.  What does this mean?  Part of your compensation means that you don’t pay anything more for access to EFAP and all of the services available.  Being full service means that Homewood Health provides a full suite of services which are available to you and your family.  It is also completely confidential.  MRU is never informed of who makes use of the service - only information regarding how many people and what types of services are used is provided.

 To access Homewood Health EFAP, call 1-800-663-1142, or create a private login at homeweb.ca. It’s available 24/7/365.

 Homewood Health provides services for general well being, mental health support and crisis counseling, dietary advice, initial legal advice, career and workplace counseling, family counseling, and many other online tools and resources.  In addition to these services, MRU funds additional Depression and Anxiety Care support.  This additional support provides for up to 12 counseling appointments (typically counseling is limited to 4 appointments).  This is a free and under utilized benefit.  If you or a family member could benefit from this, please take advantage of this great benefit.   

 Lunch n’ Learns

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Lunch n’ Learns during the winter 2022 semester.  These were a great first step towards building greater empowerment and knowledge in our membership of YOUR RIGHTS.  For the fall semester we will be focusing on more practical knowledge on the following topics:

          Collective Agreement Interpretation - an Introduction
          Grievances - Dispute Resolution and Process
          Dues - What is all that $$ for and why?
          Job Action - Strike, lockout and Essential Services

I look forward to seeing you there! 

___________________________________

Stay safe,

Laine Fowler
Labour Relations Officer

Committee Updates


Joint Occupation Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC)

 

You can now reach out directly to the committee by emailing JOHSC@mtroyal.ca

Here are the minutes from the last meeting  JOHSC Minutes.

Remember that you have rights as an employee:

  • The right to know,
  • The right to participate, and
  • The right to refuse dangerous work.

MRSA Events

MRSA Coffee Chat

 

 

 

 

 

Please join us for coffee and conversation on June 9 from 2:00 - 2:30 p.m. via Google Meet. 

Please click this link or copy and paste this URL in your browser:
https://meet.google.com/heo-wzcy-jiq?hs=122&authuser=0


MRSA Social Committee

We want to thank everyone who was able to come out to our Spring Social event. Our first in-person event in two years. It was a great success with over 110 people attending. For those who received some swag, a goodie bag or cake, we hope you enjoyed it.

 

June is here, summer is coming and it’s Pride Month.

The Social Committee would like to invite you to celebrate pride with us.  We will host a table on Main Street in the main building near the Cougars Campus Store on June 9th from 11:30 am-1:30 pm to celebrate Pride. Feel free to click this link to the Pride Table Calendar Invitation so that it’s in your calendar. We hope to see you there!  We will have stickers and temporary tattoos to hand out.  As well, we will hand out any leftover goodie bags that we have from our Spring Social event while supplies last.

Picnic by the Pond

Join the Social Committee for an end of the year Picnic by the Pond on Thursday, June 30 from 12:00-1:00 pm. Bring your picnic lunch and meet us at the amphitheater steps by the MRU pond. (If the weather doesn’t cooperate, we can move inside to the 2nd floor tables behind ‘The Table’ Cafeteria. Feel free to click this link to add the Picnic by the Pond event to your calendar.

                         

The MRSA Social Committee would like to recognize the following important events for the month of June: Indigenous History Month, Pride Month, Shavuot (Judaism), Pentacost (Christianity), National Day for Healing and Reconciliation, Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji (Sikh), Litha (Wicca), National Indigenous Day, Multiculturalism Day.  Best wishes to all who are recognizing and/or celebrating these occasions!

Enjoy your summer and we look forward to seeing you in the fall with some new events!  Watch for the September Newsletter. If you want to join the Social Committee, please feel free to reach out to us at our email address mrsasocial@mtroyal.ca.

_______________________

 Thank you again,

The PD Committee

 

General Announcements

MRU Events/Notices

 

MRU Camps Staff Discount

Bring your kids to work and drop them off at MRU Camps, which delivers diverse, fun and educational camps in creative arts, sports, outdoor and STEM programs. Receive 10 per cent off using the discount code MRUSTAFF and register today. Your payroll payment deduction form is available on MyMRU under the Employee tab/Work Tools.

Wellness Session

MRU is partnering with Homewood Health to provide the following wellness session to employees in June: Managing your Time and Energy - June 7 - 10:00 am to 11:00 am

Time is a precious resource.  Individuals require balance in their work lives so they can meet both their job requirements and personal needs.  This online session will explore how to manage time at work to be both satisfied and successful.

 Registration Link

 This information is available on the Wellness at Work webpage as well. 

Masking on Campus

Employees can pick up a box of rated surgical masks at the rapid testing area in G100 (the old library on Main Street). Show your OneCard or ID to receive a box, which should last approximately 45 working days. If supplies last, you can then pick up a new box.

Planning for your retirement? 

It’s never too early to plan for your retirement. Mount Royal runs a two-day course titled Planning for Personal Freedom facilitated by a Financial Counselor who has been practicing in the industry for over 15 years. This hands-on workshop is designed for participants (and their partner/spouse) who would like to evaluate their ability to maintain their lifestyle at a chosen retirement date.

There are three basic objectives to the workshop: 

1. To identify and address any immediate issues with respect to your retirement plans, 

2. To provide a planning framework to help you plan long term goals, and 

3. To provide specific information in the key areas of lifestyle, finance and estate planning. 

A minimum of 30 employees are needed to run the workshop. If this is of interest to you please add your name to the waitlist and indicate your preferred time of year for the workshop (three choices). 
 

New Massage Therapy clinic for specialized treatment

The Massage Therapy Diploma program at Mount Royal University is excited to offer a new service to the community. In Massage Outreach III, eligible clients receive specialized treatment for certain conditions at no cost to them. Clients with conditions such as Parkinson’s, spinal cord injuries and chronic pain and more can book now!


MRSA Credit Course Tuition Applications

June 30 is the deadline for MRSA members to apply for up to $500 of tuition reimbursement for a credit course at an accredited post-secondary institution. Download the application and email your completed form to mrsa@mrustaff.ca beginning June 1. Electronic signatures will be accepted. Please contact prodev@mtroyal.ca with any questions. The application can also be found on MyMRU under Employee/Human Resources/HR Toolkit > Other Resources > Professional Development.
 

Spring EDT Application Period now open!

If you have any professional or personal development courses that begin between May 1 - June 30,  2022 you can apply for funding through the MRSA EDT Committee. 

Applications are submitted via the EDT database; MRU login credentials are required to access.
The spring application period closes on June 30, 2022.

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

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