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

President's Update 
        

A young couple moved into a new house. The next morning while they were eating breakfast, the young woman saw her neighbor hanging the washing outside.

"That laundry is not very clean; she doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better detergent.”
Her husband looked on, remaining silent. Every time her neighbor hung her washing out to dry, the young woman made the same comments. A month later, the young woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband,

"Look, she’s finally learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?"

The husband replied, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows."

And so it is with life … What we see when watching others depends on the clarity of the window through which we look.

So don’t be too quick to judge others, especially if your perspective of life is clouded by anger, jealousy, negativity or unfulfilled desires.

"Judging a person does not define who they are. It defines who you are."
~ Jonathan Kestenbaum


This really resonated for me and I thought it worthy of sharing. Fast forward on a life lesson for all of us to remember (mixed in with a little chuckle). 

Transitioning back to campus
After taking well deserved vacations, many of you will be phasing back to regular, pre-Covid office days on campus over the next month. We welcome you all back and hope we can have a celebratory event together soon. 

We will continue to advocate for those members that would like to have an option to continue work remotely. At this time, we are awaiting the outcome of the Remote Working Plan that our employer is drafting. As we have shared with you, Article 20.9 is a request to work remotely when it is mutually agreed between a manager and Employee. We continue to support members with these requests, but ask that you provide a detailed plan for your manager to consider. We remind all members that if you are feeling that returning to campus may impede your well being, you seek assistance so that you may provide appropriate documentation to support an accommodation request. Again, the MRSA representatives and our Labour Relations Officer (Laine) can assist you with both of these requests.

We continue to have our eyes on the COVID numbers and we are checking in regularly with senior administration and the 2020/2021 Campus Team for ongoing direction on a full, in person return to campus. Don't forget to complete the one-time, required COVID-19 on-campus orientation before returning to campus. Commonly asked questions and various work forms can be found here.

Parking
All permits will now be sold through HotSpot Parking, which can be accessed at htsp.ca or by downloading the app for your smartphone. You can visit their website and FAQ section to locate more information on how to set up an account and how to purchase a permit. Please set up your HotSpot account with your mtroyal.ca email prior to purchase. If you already have an account with HotSpot you can change your email under "Manage My Account" and then "Login & Account Info". 

For those who previously possessed annual parking permits during the 2019/2020 school year, advance purchase reservations have been set up for the same lot locations. If you wish to change permit locations, you may do so on or after the staff general sales date (August 3rd, 2021). Please be advised that it is based on the lot available at that time. Please be aware that RMCCL and RLLC parkade permits will be available by request only and subject to availability, if you would like to switch your permit to one of these lots please contact Parking Services at parking@mtroyal.ca.

For the 2021/2022 permits, you will be offered two annual permit options; a regular advance payment purchase through HotSpot or a payroll deduction. Payroll permits will not require payment up front and bi-monthly deductions will commence starting August 1.  You will see your first deduction on your August 15th paystub.

For gated areas and underground parkades, a new gate control system has been installed.  This new gate system requires an active smartphone with NFC capability (with data) and the HotSpot app installed, in order to gain access to your lot location. If you do not have a cellular device, please contact the parking office and we will relocate your reservation to other areas that do not require a cellular device.

Collective Bargaining Update
Due to scheduling conflicts, Collective Bargaining will resume the first week of September. 

Swag available
We have left STOPPSECUTS Lawn Signs in the Staff Lounge for you to pick up. We need your support more than ever!

You will also notice some "MRSSA" aprons available for your taking. These lovely items were left over from our previous days as "MRSSA" and deserve a loving home. They wear well and are a convenient clothing protector despite the former name. Please take one.

MRSA Office Hours
We too will be doing a phased return to campus. Please note that Christine and I will not be on campus until the week of August 9:

Tuesday (Christine)
Wednesday (Michelle)
Thursday (Laine)

We will do a further review of office coverage at the end of August.

Membership survey coming soon
We'll be sending out a survey to our members (Casual and Regular Employees) before mid September. We would like to better understand the composition and interests of our membership that have evolved since our last survey in early 2020. Please watch for this and take the time to respond so that we can represent our members equitably.

Article of the Month:  ARTICLE 17 
POSITION DESCRIPTIONS AND CLASSIFICATION LEVEL & REPORTING   
Do you have a copy of your current job description? Has this been reviewed in the last five (5) years? Are you doing the responsibilities detailed in your PD and is the time spent doing these responsibilities accurate? You have the ability to request a review of your PD if not. If these changes are only minor, there is no impact to your classification, however if your responsibilities have changed significantly, there may be a review of your current classification. If you have any questions, please reach out to Laine (lafowler@mtroyal.ca) or me (mrsapresident@mtroyal.ca) for further assistance.

Enjoy the last days of summer (even if they're smoky).

---

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

Treasurer's Report

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and some well deserved rest!

 

Audit and Finance has just completed moving two of our GICs that had matured into some 90-day T-bills that provide the best rate of return while also providing the highest level of liquidity without penalties. 

Again - a shout out to the EDT committee, as well as our contractors Tracie Jack and Wendy Witczak, who now have the EDT database up and running within the MyMRU portal, providing higher levels of security and ease of access for our members.

Audit and Finance, with the help of our tireless Executive Assistant, Christine are in the process of finalizing year-end information for members and for the annual external audit. All information will be shared with members at our AGM in November.

Finally - while we still have a few to-do's that have carried over from last year such as finalizing a purchasing/spending policy for the Association, we will also be seeking direction from the MRSA Executive and Officers on priorities for Audit and Finance for the coming year. Stay tuned!

_______________________________

Submitted by Craig Baskett on behalf of the Audit and Finance committee - Mariberth Blanco,  Johanna Franconeri, Michelle LoGullo, Christine Pepper and Rona Reitsema. 

“Time is our most precious asset, we should invest it wisely.” — Michael Levy

 

Committee Updates  

EDT Committee

 

REMINDER: EDT Application Submission Period Changes

To expand access to EDT funding and simplify the application process, as of July 1, 2021, the application submission period dates follow the course start dates. This will benefit members because there will be no gaps in the submission periods. The new application period dates are below:

 

 

Labour Relations Officer Update  



Remote Working Agreement - Status Update

In the past several months, the MRSA Employee/Labour Relations Committee has been working to advocate for Employee's access to remote working agreements, as Employees have expressed this interest. The MRSA interprets Article 20.9(f) as allowing for the possibility of remote working agreements, however the Employer is viewing this language in a much more limited fashion.

The MRSA further believes that the language in the Collective Agreement interprets that "consideration must be given" is active and enforceable at this time. The Employer is not viewing the language in the same manner and is allowing more time to consider and pilot this language.  The Employer has advised that a plan to consider remote working arrangements is in the works, and their intent is to pilot arrangements on or around mid-October.

With consideration of the differing viewpoints, if Employees have any human rights protected grounds which may require an accommodation - Employees should not delay making requests for accommodation on these grounds.  The Employer is legally obligated to review medical (for both mental and/or physical needs), and family status accommodation needs without undue delay.

The MRSA will continue to press the Employer to reduce the delay for review of remote working plans and increase the pool of consideration for these work arrangements.  If you have been denied a request for remote working agreement, particularly if the only reason for the delay is due to administrative direction (versus an operational reason), you may have a right to grieve the decision.  Please feel free to be in touch with Laine Fowler (lafowler@mtroyal.ca) and/or Michelle LoGullo (mrsapresident@mtroyal.ca) to inquire further.

 

MRSA Events

MRSA Social Committee

We’re half-way through the summer, we hope you’ve been enjoying the nice weather and getting to do a few more things with family and friends.  The Social Committee will be back working on event plans in September and we look forward to planning for you, our members.  Enjoy the summer and hopefully avoid the smoke that’s outside.  We look forward to seeing you soon!  

Calgary Pride is holding Pride Week  August 27 - September 6, 2021 this year.  You can find more information here.


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

MRSA Coffee Chat

You are invited to join us for coffee and conversation on August 31 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/vpf-zzni-bvh?hs=122&authuser=0

 

General Announcements


Mount Royal University is proud to be a sponsor of Calgary Pride. We are asking members of our community to contribute to this year’s virtual pride parade. There are two options:

  1. VIDEO: 10-30 second video clip answering "what does pride mean to you?" AND/OR
  2. PHOTO: photo of you holding your hands in a heart shape

If you would like to participate, the deadline to submit a video and/or photo is MONDAY, AUGUST 9. 

Anything shared with us may be used in the Mount Royal’s virtual pride parade video submission or on Mount Royal’s social media.

Click here for examples and instructions.

Please share with any staff/faculty/students/alumni that you think would be interested in submitting a photo or video. Thank you!

Emily Fraser
efraser@mtroyal.ca

 

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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Mount Royal Staff Association · 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW · Calgary, Ab T3E6K6 · Canada