In this issue

October 2019
  • Executive Update
  • Committee Update
  • Staff Update
  • Did You Know?
  • MRSA Events
  • MRU Events
  • General Announcements
  • In the News

Executive Update

The Executive is pleased to welcome Elena Ryabova, Finance Officer, Cougar Athletics & Recreation, to the Board. Elena’s appointment as Treasurer will extend until the General Election in May 2020.

Elena graduated from the Ural State Technical University with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Economics. After moving to Canada in 2005, Elena completed her professional training in accounting and business administration and holds her CGA, CPA and MBA. Elena’s career has been focused on these two areas since then.

Outside of the fascinating world of numbers, charts and tables, Elena appreciates and enjoys many forms of art (especially music, theatre and sculpture). She also has an interest in Russian literature and world history.


Committee Update



Collective Agreement Article 7: Time Off for Association Officers and Members outlines the release time granted for various committees in service to the Association.

Staff Update

There were two position abolishments the week of September 23; one in Continuing Education, and one in Supply Chain Services.  Both members had representatives from the MRSA present during their abolishment to ensure the Collective Agreement was followed.


Did you know?

Did you know that there is a Secondment Pilot Program?

The purpose of this Program is to formally acknowledge intra-departmental secondments, as well as other development opportunities for employees in-scope of MRSA.  The program allows staff to build skills and competencies that may not otherwise be available within the current role and assigned duties, without having to leave their current role on a permanent basis.  It is also an opportunity to create further engagement through a formal process that contributes to alignment between career growth and operational needs. 


Essentially Business Retail Services (BRS) has  identified individuals within BRS that may be interested in exploring new experiences within the BRS Department. If they are interested in making themselves available for opportunities it is important to follow the steps below:

  • Interested Employees within the BRS needed to complete an Expression of Interest and submit it to their Manager by September 16  to receive full consideration.
  • The BRS leadership team will review submissions with Human Resources and identify immediate opportunities that include, but are not limited to, position secondment, job shadowing and projects.
  • Where opportunities are identified, the Manager will review them with the Employee. Implementation is conditional on the Manager’s approval, and the Employee’s acceptance of any such opportunity.  A finalized documented plan will be presented to the Employee for signature.
  • Participation requires the Manager and the Employee to complete a Program evaluation form.

Did you know that your dependant(s)/spouse is eligible for an MRU Credit Course Bursary?



Is your spouse* or dependant* registered as a full-time student at MRU in a minimum of three full courses--minimum 9 credits? If so, you can apply for the EDT Dependant /Spouse MRU Credit Course Bursary. Applications for the Fall 2019 semester are being accepted until November 30

*As defined by the MRSA Collective Agreement:

• A dependant is an Employee’s child or step-child who is less than twenty-five (25) years of age on Sept. 1 for the Fall Semester or Jan. 1 for the Winter Semester and is dependent on the Employee for support.

• A spouse is the person to whom the Employee is legally married, or a partner who has cohabited with the Employee for a minimum of twelve (12) consecutive months.

If you have any questions that you would like featured in the newsletter please submit here.


MRSA Events

MRSA Coffee Chat

Please join us in the staff lounge (W305) on Tuesday, October 29 from 10:00 - 10:30 a.m. for coffee and conversation as we catch up after the summer break. Trika Macdonald, AVP, HR, will be our guest.


MRU Events

MRU Department of Development offers a series of lunch and learn workshops on the topics of Wills and Estates.  Registration is open for the following sessions in October and November:


You may lose your capacity: straight talk on powers of attorney and personal directives

What happens if you no longer have the mental capacity to make decisions? An Enduring Power of Attorney and a Personal Directive speak for you when you cannot.

Thursday, Oct. 24 in Y 224

12:05 – 12:55 P.M. 


Are you an executor: duties, responsibilities and probate

Before appointing your executor or saying “Yes!” when asked to be an executor, be sure you know what an executor’s responsibilities and legal obligations are, and why probate may be needed.

Thursday, Nov. 21 in Y 224

12:05 – 12:55 P.M.


Presenter: Jonathan Ng – Underwood Gilholme Estate Lawyers

Jonathan Ng assists clients in the preparation of wills, enduring powers of attorney, personal directives, and trusts and advises executors and attorneys on the administration of estates. In addition to his experience making court applications for grants of probate and administration, he has appeared before the Court of Queen’s Bench on applications for the validation of non-compliant wills and family maintenance and support. Over the past several years, Jonathan has provided seminars at Chinook Learning Services, Kerby Centre, and the Canadian Association of Gift Planners. He has appeared on CBC Radio to discuss the importance of having a Will and estate topics. Jonathan is a professional engineer who had a former life in the paper industry, working in environmental engineering and waste management.


General Announcements

Attention MRSA members - Professional Development Opportunity

Looking for a way to use your Fall EDT?  Why not come to Live2Lead Calgary North! 

Live2Lead is a leadership development experience that will grow you, change you, and challenge you!  Are you ready to take your growth, your leadership, and your strengths to the next level?

Spend the day at this impactful event, October 11, 2019 at Genesis Place in Airdrie.  Enjoy a morning of inspiration from the minds of John C. Maxwell, Rachel Hollis, Marcus Buckingham, Angela Ahrendts, and Chris Hogan via webcast from the live event in Atlanta, GA. 

After a buffet lunch, there will be options for three afternoon breakout sessions where you will gain meaningful and relevant insights so you can return home ready to implement your new action plan and lead with renewed passion and commitment.

There is a special 15% discount for MRSA members.  Use this link to purchase your ticket and then enter the promotional code MRSA before checkout. 

A step-by-step guide to purchasing tickets can be found here.

CAR Fitness Class

Cougars Athletics and Rec Fitness Classes  

  • This year we are offering two, 6 week Group Fitness sessions at a more affordable rate (Students $30|Members/Staff $40|Non-members $60)
  • Fall 1 Program Dates:  Sept 16th - Oct 27th
  • Fall 2 Program Dates: Oct 28th - Dec 8th
  • The 6 week sessions allow participants to commit to a shorter time frame while staying consistent. This will allow participants to form a habit and see progression. 
  • Some NEW classes include: Bike, Barre & Band; Core Strength; Fit to Function; Full Body Burn; Kickboxing Techniques; Martial Flow; Stretch & Relaxation
  • To register for a group fitness class please go to Cougar Group Fitness OR go to customer service to register for a class. 
  • Drop-in passes are also available for any classes that are not specialized.

Build Great Workplaces Through Authentic Leadership & Resiliency

Learn to inspire the best in workplace performance at the GoodLife Fitness Health & Wellness Leadership Summit on October 22, 2019 in Calgary, AB. Gain valuable work-life skills from four extraordinary guest speakers in one incredible day!

Register today and save up to 48% off the cost of registration with promo code MRSA. Discount ends soon!


Click here for more information on the summit.

Click here to register online.  (Be sure to use Promotion Code MRSA)


The cost of the conference registration fee is eligible for EDT Funding. Please contact the EDT Committee at with any questions or for application submission assistance.


Enter your name for a chance to win one of two complementary General registration tickets. The lucky winners will be selected on Friday, October 4.

Notification of demonstrators on campus

Demonstrators and the images they display can be upsetting to people. To receive an alert when the protesters are present download the new MRU Now safety app for iOS and Android, and contact to be added to a Google group.


In the News

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