October 2021
  • President's Update
  • Treasurer's Report
  • Labour Relations Officer Update
  • MRSA Events
  • General Announcements

President's Update 

Welcome to October and a time of thanksgiving. 

Although we have been further challenged in many ways over the last year, we do need to give thanks for family, friendships and special milestones. This month we want to acknowledge that  one (1) staff member has hit an outstanding 40 years of service, 11 staff have achieved over 30 years of service with MRU and a further 8 staff have hit 25 years or more. In this newsletter and only with their permission, we want to celebrate those staff that have achieved this incredible service milestone. 

Congratulations to:

40 Years 
Jeff Sheedy!!

35+ Years 
Glen Hogan
Sherry Reid
Kelly Wells

30+ Years
Shawnee Armstrong
Cindy Duke
Jim Dyck
Murray Laidlow
Michelle LoGullo
David Padley

25+ Years
Terry Klan
Sheri Marendiuk
Donna Palmer
Judy Street
Amy Yeung

But the good news stories don't stop here. I'm pleased to announce that the Admissions Office will finally be relocating to C109 starting the week of October 4. Thanks to an EHS submission concerning a hazardous condition in this space, this move was approved. Great job advocating for yourselves Admissions Team!!

Oh c'mon...who doesn't need more good news? We're happy to announce that we have a temporary (until we can ratify a new Collective Agreement) understanding that the language in Article 28.4 - Personal Development/Interest has been amended to eliminate the "group of four attendees" requirement for funding of health and wellness activities. The pandemic has not allowed many group activities and this requirement has been identified as a barrier for our staff to access funding. Don't forget that if you have opted in, you can still use your Personal Spending Account for many of these types of activities as well. The amended agreement is effective starting Fall 2021.

I hope you were able to participate in some of the activities on campus to recognize and acknowledge the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. I am encouraged and humbled to be a part of a community that strives to educate and learn from our Indigenous community and campus family. I was excited to see so much orange around campus and within our city and truly am grateful for the changes we are trying to make.

EDT Update

A special shout out to our 2020/2021 EDT Committee who spent 450 hours this previous year reviewing, approving and paying out applications. This is an incredible amount of volunteer time and we thank them for their dedication and commitment  on this committee:

  • Stacey Anderson
  • Katie Cross
  • Jody Jones
  • Jessica Lee Wah
  • Debbie Mork
  • Sam Sadler
The final report for the EDT spending can be found here.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)

We want to continue to emphasize that if you have concerns about your workspace safety, you may submit an EHS form. This form will trigger a review of your workspace to determine what may need to be actioned. If you have any questions about this process or if you are not satisfied with the outcome of this review, please reach out to Crystal Koch ( for clarification or assistance. We want to ensure that staff are safe and we are working with our employer to advocate for these requirements.

Vaccination Mandate and Rapid Testing

We recently sent out the MRSA response to these requirements of our employer. The most recent communication from the university states: 
  • your deadline to be fully immunized is November 1, 2021;
  • to meet this deadline, you must receive your second dose no later than October 18, 2021;
  • those who do not meet this requirement will be placed in the rapid testing program;
  • MRU will no longer provide free rapid testing as of November 1, 2021;
  • those in the rapid testing program will be able to purchase rapid tests on campus in G100 at their own cost until the end of the fall semester (those with approved accommodations will have their test kits supplied free of charge);
  • don't forget to activate the MRU Now app for ease of vaccination proof on campus.


There are staff that have sought accommodations for vaccinations and those that have personal convictions for not vaccinating. We need to be cautious, mindful and respectful of making any judgments. Harassment in the workplace will not be tolerated. We need to work together and support one another during these difficult times and find ways to interact with understanding in order to maintain a harmonious workplace. Please be kind to each other.

Collective Bargaining

The decision was made to pause collective bargaining until November 2.

Parting thoughts

In my home, we celebrate traditional Thanksgiving with turkey, cranberries, pumpkin pie, family and reflection. We also give thanks for challenges and hardships as this provides education, reflection and opportunity for growth. This year I give thanks for continued health for myself and my family, the beautiful summer (and autumn so far), and the old and new friendships I have formed. I give thanks for the incredible team that works with me every day including Christine Pepper, Laine Fowler, Crystal Koch, Craig Baskett and Rona Reitsema and all the Executive members, committee members and MRSA community that are the reason I have worked and stayed at Mount Royal for the last 32 years.

I hope you all have the opportunity to gather as family and friends over the next few weeks. I send you much love.


Michelle LoGullo | President
Mount Royal Staff Association

Treasurer's Report


Hi everyone - happy fall! Here is the latest and greatest from the Audit and Finance committee

1. We welcomed (back) Rona Reitsma as a new member to Audit and Finance. Rona was MRSA Treasurer back in the day, so she is a welcome source of knowledge and wisdom!

2. The MRSA  has two (2) T-bills maturing in October. Johanna from Audit and Finance is communicating with  Servus regarding the best possible product in terms of returns and flexibility. We will keep you updated.

3. The Committee has completed its annual review of the Terms of Reference and, if approved,  will be making some minor changes including reducing the number of officers on the committee by one. Currently the terms of reference require three officers (President, Vice-President and Treasurer). We feel that two officers and three other Association members will provide enough oversight and connection to both the Executive and the membership.

4. The Committee continues to work on developing a Purchasing/Procurement Policy with the intent of this policy being to guide the MRSA to achieve maximum value for the purchase of goods and services, while applying fair and ethical business practices to ensure the impartial treatment of all MRSA providers. 

5. The Association has received the 2021/22 EDT Grant of $145,000 from Mount Royal and it  has been transferred into the EDT bank account.

"October: This is one of the particularly dangerous months to invest in stocks. Other dangerous months include July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February"

Mark Twain


Submitted by Craig Baskett on behalf of the Audit and Finance Committee - Mariberth Blanco, Johanna Franconeri, Michelle Logullo, Christine Pepper (Ex officio), Rona Reitsma.

Labour Relations Officer Update

This month I am not highlighting a specific article, but updating you on our policy grievance and vaccination mandate information.  Prior information has been provided to the membership and posted to our website here.  

As an update to the policy grievance, if you as an individual member have been denied the ability to work remotely, and believe your work can reasonably be completed off site, please contact me (  to inquire about, and potentially file, an individual grievance.

The MRSA has a brief update to Mount Royal’s vaccination mandate process.  We continue to inquire with Mount Royal about the specific dates for mandates to be provided and required.  We are aware that vaccination records, for those who have provided a declaration, are required to be uploaded by October 4, 2021.  The requirement for all employees to have vaccination continues to be January 1, 2022.  There is some concern that this date could be moved to an earlier point in time.   For those members who are not or will not obtain vaccination for any human rights protected reason, it is recommended that you consult your medical providers or faith leaders as soon as possible to begin the accommodation process.  The MRSA respects that this is a deeply personal issue and recommends that those experiencing personal anguish please access support as needed.

Further to the above, the MRSA recommends those seeking accommodation to be aware that both the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) and the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) have issued statements regarding recommendations for accommodation, which has the potential to significantly limit the ability to have human rights accommodation substantiated and approved.  The MRSA does not always agree with the direction of these governing bodies and therefore you may have a decision to grieve if denied accommodation.  Each case will need to be reviewed on an individual basis for action.  A grievance will not prevent the employer’s action (whatever action the employer may take) but may be able to provide recourse reactively.

CMOH : Medical Exemption Policy

MRSA Staff Lounge

For staff working on campus, the MRSA staff lounge is open. 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 one 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.

The MRSA is also requesting that staff be civil and respectful in discussion in the Lounge.  During these difficult times we all use this space and want it to be welcoming and safe.  Please be thoughtful of one another, particularly if expressing strong opinions.


Stay safe,

Laine Fowler
Labour Relations Officer

MRSA Events

MRSA Social Committee



We hope you are back into the swing of things for fall semester.  The MRSA Social Committee is excited to host you in person soon, but we have decided to continue virtual events for October and to revisit this plan for November.  At some point we will be hosting a Welcome Back event, but not until it is safer to host a large gathering, as we want everyone to feel welcome and comfortable attending.

It is October and we’re thinking about Halloween and we hope you are too.  We are having a Halloween Costume Contest again this year where you can submit a photo of yourself or group in costume to the email account on Friday, October 29 by 4:30 p.m. for a chance to win a prize.  The contest will be split into two categories: an Individual Costume and a Group Costume.  The winner of the Individual Costume contest will get a $25.00 gift card and the winners of the Group Costume contest will get a $45.00 gift card to share. Electronic Voting for best Individual and Group costume will be held from 8:30 a.m. November 1 until 4:30 p.m. November 2.  Winners will be announced November 3rd.

In your email entry, please include the following information:

  • Individual Costume:

    • Your name

    • Your Costume Title

  • Group Costume:

    • The Name of Each Person in Your Group (listing a contact person for the gift card in case you win)

    • Your Costume Title

Only MRSA Members eligible for entry.

The Social Committee is happy to promote a weekly fibre arts finishing school for you to attend on a drop-in basis. Bring your own fibre project to work on in a supportive and social setting.  Get tips on your projects from Edith Koprek or help someone else with theirs.  Use this google meet link to join every Thursday between 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. This virtual event will run every Thursday September 23 - October 28.  The Social Committee will revisit our 'virtual' events every two months and determine if we can move to an in-person event or continue with virtual due to covid-19 concerns.  We foresee this as an ongoing event whether virtual or in-person.

The MRSA Social Committee would like to recognize the following important events for the month of October: Islamic History Month; LGBT History Month; Women's History Month; Pitru Paksha (Hinduism); Thanksgiving Day; World Mental Health Day; Durga Puja (Hinduism); Mawllid al-Nabi (Islam); Sharad Purnima (Hinduism); Installation of Scriptures as Buru Brant (Sikhism); Birth anniversary of The Báb (Bahá’í); Samhain (Wicca); Halloween.

Best wishes to all who are celebrating these occasions!

Did we miss something? Please send your suggestions to the MRSA Social Committee at

In an effort to become more inclusive, the Social Committee would like your feedback to help us become aware of any events or special dates that you celebrate that you would like acknowledged by the Social Committee.  Fill in this form to let us know. Submissions will be anonymous unless you would like to provide your name to help with an event.

Events and Activities

MRSA Coffee Chat 



You are invited to join us for coffee and conversation on October 26 from 10-10:30 a.m. via Google Meet. Please click this link or copy and paste this URL in your browser:

This will be recorded for those who are able to attend. The September Coffee Chat recording can be found here.

Mount Royal Events and Notices

October 30: Women's Hockey Game at 7 Chiefs Arena
Cheer on the MRU Women's Hockey team as they take on the UofC Dinos at 7 Chiefs Sportsplex, for the Cougars first ever home game on Tsuu Tina nation. 
Visit for information and tickets.

Mount Royal University: Student Massage Therapy Clinic is Open

Fall 2021 appointments are now available!

Whether you need a relaxation massage or have a condition that requires a therapeutic treatment, our students are trained to the highest standards nationally and can meet your needs. Book Now

Fee: The $30 fee for one-hour massage treatments supports our student scholarships. Present your MRU OneCard for a special MRU Advantage rate of $20. Please bring exact change or a cheque. 

Location: The Massage Therapy Student Practicum Clinic is located in EC 2120 in the Roderick Mah Centre for Continuous Learning. Arrive 15 minutes before your appointment (for example, be at the clinic (EC 2120) at 12:45 p.m. for a 1 p.m. appointment) so your student therapist can take you through the necessary protocols. If you’re running late, call 403-440-6866. 

COVID-19 update and protocols

Masks or face coverings are mandatory in indoor spaces on the Mount Royal campus, including the Massage Therapy Student Practicum Clinic. This applies to student therapists, employees, clients and visitors. Please bring your own mask or face covering. Visit Mount Royal’s COVID-19 website for the latest requirements.

For more information, please visit our website:

Thank you for supporting our students. The experience they gain in the clinic is a critical piece of their education and we are proud to provide this vital service to our community. We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you.

General Announcements

Fall EDT Application Period Now Open

If you have any professional or personal development courses that begin between September 1 - December 31, 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 fall application period closes on December 31.

 If you have any questions, please contact the EDT Committee at

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