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

President's Update 
 

Well here we are into the last month of the year. I am amazed at how swiftly the year has passed, but I attribute that to being so incredibly busy dealing with everything that has happened over the course of 2021. 

Once again, this has been an exceptionally challenging year for the MRSA membership, and for each of us individually. I am grateful for the engagement and support of our membership and your abundant patience as we press our employer for recognition and respect in the workplace. I have heard from many of you regarding your professional and personal battles this year and your stories have brought me to tears numerous times. Our world has become very difficult and it's more important than ever to continue sharing our experiences, seeking support and holding each other up. 

Many of you will be participating in holiday festivities in person this year, but there may be a number of you that will continue to make merry remotely. As a Christian, my family celebrates the birth of Christ and the promise of everlasting life, however, I also acknowledge the diverse meaning and celebrations that this season represents for all of our members. No matter how you choose to celebrate, I wish you health, happiness and love for the new year. 
                                 
Extension of Holiday Closure
From Tim:
"This year, we will close University services a full work day early at the end of day on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021 and reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. There are some services that will remain partially open during this time. If you are unsure if your department is operating during the break, please check with your manager. These employees will have an opportunity to arrange for a day off at a different time.

Constitution Amendment Vote
A reminder that you will be sent an e-ballot the week of Dec. 9 - 15 to vote on the presented Constitution Amendments. Please exercise your voting privilege in order to move our MRSA business forward.

By-Election Announcement
We have recently accepted the resignation of Rona Reitsema from her MRSA Vice-President position. I want to thank Rona for contributing her time and wisdom to our Executive table, as well as her participation on the Governance Committee and the Audit and Finance Committee. 

This now opens the immediate vacancies of VP, two Directors-at-Large and an EDT Committee member. Please consider a position for yourself or nominate a candidate(s) that you think would be awesome for the role(s). We are sooooo much fun at the Executive table ;)

The following dates for a By-Election process have been determined as such:
January 10-23 Nomination Period
January 24-28 Campaign Period
January 31 Candidates Announced (for ballot)
February 1-2 By-election

Condolences
On behalf of the MRSA Executive, I want to extend condolences and thoughts to the family, friends and MRU colleagues in the Athletics and Recreation department on the recent passing of one of our MRSA family members:

It is with a heavy heart I write to inform you that Leor Magalnik, the Coordinator of Engagement and Events in Cougars Athletics and Recreation, passed away this weekend. It is devastating to share this announcement and I understand that it will be equally difficult news for many of you to receive.

I want to express my deepest condolences to Leor’s family, to our colleagues in Athletics and Recreation, and to all of you who were connected to Leor in some way.
 
Leor is remembered by his colleagues for his positive attitude, passion for sports and incredible kindness. His sense of humor and easy-going personality always made the toughest days in the office a bit easier. A loyal friend and colleague, Leor was a respected member of the Cougars staff team.

Leor completed his Sport Management degree at Brock University in 2016 and joined Mount Royal in 2018. As the Cougars Events and Engagement Coordinator, Leor had taken a leadership role coordinating components of over 300 Cougars events, including the Crowchild Classic, the Cougar Classic fundraising golf tournament and the Academic All-Canadian awards breakfast. He developed student practicum positions on the Cougars events team to provide learning opportunities for Mount Royal HPED students and he established the Cougars in-game entertainment plan to create a positive experience for fans. He loved to travel, was an avid fan of the Calgary Flames and Seattle Seahawks, and enjoyed golfing. Last spring, he achieved his first hole-in-one.

Leor will be profoundly missed.

We work in a community of individuals who care about and support each other and I know that you will likely find the greatest solace with one another. Should you require immediate support in coping with this loss, please do not hesitate to contact Homewood Health at 1.800.663.1142. Homewood staff are available free of charge for crisis services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
 
I know Leor's passing will have an immense impact on many members of our community.

Sincerely,

Phil


Take care of yourselves MRU family. ((Hugs))
Michelle

---

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

Treasurer's Report

 

Busy days indeed!

Currently the Audit and Finance committee is working on the following projects or priorities...

  • creating a purchasing and procurement policy which will include a complementary capitalization policy (I know - fascinating eh?);

  • updating our financial reporting time processes and financial reporting software to a Cloud based tool;

  • working with the PD committee to provide the financial processes support so the committee can run another amazing PD days; 

  • updating our independent contractor agreement; and 

  • finalizing the defense fund transfer based on the end of year actuals for 2020-21.

We are fortunate (ying) to be able to welcome Chad Miller back to the Audit and Finance committee fold - great to have you back Chad! The yang of this news is that we are saying “farewell and thanks” to Rona Reitsma who is stepping down from Audit and Finance. Sincere best wishes Rona!

“Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.” ~ Oscar Wilde

  ___________

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

 

Happy Holiday Season!  I wish you and yours the best through to the next year - hoping the coming year  will be easier and bring joy to us all.

On the labour relations front - we are full steam ahead.  I am learning that there are many challenging issues that MRSA members are facing these days - some systemic and historic, some immediate and new.  While I don’t have all the answers, I’m happy to be here to help out.

 Policy Grievance Updates:

 Remote working - I had advised that we had a meeting with the employer on November 17, 2021.  To date the employer has not provided a response.  As the employer missed their time period to respond and due to the ongoing delay by the employer to address this issue, the MRSA has advanced the grievance to the 3rd step of the grievance procedure.  The employer now has until December15, 2021 to schedule a meeting and respond.

 Vaccination directive - This grievance was also discussed with the employer on November 17, 2021.   The employer failed to respond within the timeline ending December 1, 2021, therefore the MRSA has advanced this grievance to the 3rd step of the grievance procedure.  Normally, the MRSA would provide for more grace for the employer to respond, however this directive has serious monetary consequences for some of our members and therefore it is necessary to expedite the process as much as we are able.  

NEW - Outsourcing - This grievance was filed on November 10, 2021 in response to several occasions that the MRSA became aware of where contracting out of bargaining unit work has or may occur.  In particular, we are concerned about outsourcing of the work in the security department.  We have also become aware of instances in grounds, event servicing and generally in facilities management.

A meeting with the employer was held on November 26, 2021.  I am hoping to have a response to this shortly.

 For individual grievances, we have had a few meetings and have had a few more grievances filed.  This is a change of approach for many MRSA members and I want to assure you that these meetings have been professional and respectful in all cases.  The employer is responding to the grievances as per the collective agreement requirements and we are working to find resolutions to these issues.  Over the last month there have been several new individual grievances filed.  We have a total of 14 individual active grievances as of November 30, 2021.

 Bargaining Update:

 Since our last newsletter we have met five more times with the employer (½ day incidents) to proceed in bargaining.  Since the very long break in summer we do seem to be making progress and our meetings have been cordial, constructive and respectful.  We continue to work through non-monetary items.  We will meet again on December 10 and 14 - then break until January 14, 2021.  In the new year we will be meeting once per week on Fridays for the entire day.

 Winter 2022 Labour Relations Lunch and Learns:

 I am happy to announce that we will be holding four Lunch and Learns over the winter semester.  The general theme for these Lunch and Learns is - “Know Your Rights”.  We will be offering the following virtual lunch and learns for any member who is interested:

MRSA 101 - Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Occupational Health and Safety - Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Bullying and Harassment - Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Human rights and EDI - Tuesday April 19, 2022

 These topics are considerable, so these lunch and learns will be a quick touch into these important areas of interest.  The goal of the lunch and learn is to arm you with some vital information and resources so that you can feel empowered to exercise your rights, access process and support you in your workplace.  We will send out further details and registration/access information in the new year.

  ___________________________________

Stay safe,

Laine Fowler
Labour Relations Officer

Committee Update

Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC)

The relaunched committee is meeting monthly and the employee representatives can be your voice at the table. Here is a summary from the November meeting. 

  • Workplace harassment & violence policy &  NEW reporting form 

  • EH&S Incidents and injuries reporting form

  • Asbestos concerns with construction in the W-wing - EH&S reports that all employees are safe while a vendor remediates the asbestos in this renovation project. All policies and procedures are being followed and can be found here.

  • JOHSC will undertake a snow clearing review after the first snowfall that involves assessing hazards and providing recommendations. If you notice a dangerous area or experience a fall, please report using this form.

  • Feden Abeda is the Safe Disclosure Advisor who provides services related to equity, human rights, discrimination and other safe disclosure concerns for staff, students and faculty. You can request an appointment here

  • JOHSC has asked the employer to return to circulation any wellness programming for employees that has been halted due to COVID-19 and other constraints.

  • JOHSC has submitted a recommendation to Annalise van Ham that plexiglass be installed at public-facing employee areas. This recommendation is spurred by various requests by employees in these areas. The request is to increase employees' safety from COVID-19 airborne and droplet transmission.

  • Your JOHSC committee list of members including meeting minutes can be found here

 

MRSA Events

MRSA Coffee Chat

 

 

You are invited to join us for coffee and conversation on December 14 from 10:00-10:30 a.m. via Google Meet. Please click this link or copy and paste this URL in your browser:
https://meet.google.com/kxx-uxvf-ezi?hs=122&authuser=0

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

MRSA Social Committee

December is here and although we might all be looking forward to our December break, we have some fun in store.  Drop by the Staff Lounge to grab a Hot Chocolate package and a mini Candy Cane, available while supplies last. 

MRSA Annual Gingerbread House Competition 

                                                  

Event Date: December 8, 2021 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
We hope you’ll be joining the Social Committee at our Live Google Meet Event - Our Annual Gingerbread House Competition.  Join us by signing-up as an individual or group to enter and decorate your creation LIVE via our Google Meet event on December 8.  Not feeling creative, you can join us as a spectator to chat with our Guest Host and listen to some holiday music and watch the teams frantically decorate their masterpieces.

The MRSA Social Committee would like to recognize the following important events for the month of December: Hanukkah (Judaism), Yule (Wicca), Christmas (Christianity), Death of Prophet Zarathustra (Zoroastrian). Best wishes to all who are celebrating these occasions!

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.

If you would like to contact the Social Committee, you can reach us at mrsasocial@mtroyal.ca

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.

Events and Activities

Mount Royal University: Student Massage Therapy Clinic is Open

Winter 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: mru.ca/bookamassage

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

Fall EDT Application Period Is 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 edtmrsa@mtroyal.ca

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