In this issue

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

Executive Update


Essential Services Agreement


Gwen Gray, Q.C., Essential Services Commissioner, Alberta Labour Relations Board, accepted the Essential Services Agreement (ESA) between the Mount Royal Staff Association (MRSA) and the Board of Governors of Mount Royal University on June 19, 2019. 

New Benefits Plan for Mount Royal Employees

Beginning July 1, Mount Royal University’s new benefits plan lowers costs and increases choice and flexibility for employees. There are three upcoming opportunities to be aware of: 
  • A one-time open enrolment period will be offered from mid-August to mid-September to allow employees to change their existing Health and Dental coverage and take advantage of enhancements within the plan without the usual requirement of a life-change event. Employees can opt in or change their coverage from single to family, or vice versa.
  • Employees can choose to buy increased optional life insurance coverage with no health exam, and can enrol between August 16 and September 15, 2019.
  • Enrolment in the health spending account (HSA) and the optional personal spending account (PSA) will occur in October for 2020.   
For more information see the MRU Benefits and Pensions webpage > New Benefit Changes in 2019.

Staffing Updates

Mount Royal created the following new staff positions between April and June:
  • Grounds Inventory Planner
  • Lead Risk Analyst
  • Communications Strategist
  • Public Services Assistant, Maker Technician
  • Peer Learning Coordinator
During the 2018-19 academic year, ten MRSA colleagues retired, with years of service  ranging from seven to thirty-five years. We appreciate their contributions and commitment to Mount Royal and  wish them all the best as they start new chapters in their lives.

Committee Update


Strategic Plan Committee


The MRSA Executive is pleased to present the 2019-2022 MRSA Strategic Plan!


The Strategic Plan is built around four pillars: engagement; communication; education; and sustainability. Each pillar has specific goals and measurable outcomes with the intent to be accountable and responsive to the MRSA membership. The Plan was developed in collaboration with MRSA committee members at the 2018 Vision and Planning Days.


The executive welcomes your feedback and encourages members to actively engage with the MRSA. 

Did You Know?


Did you know that the MRSA has a lawyer on retainer?


Our lawyer practices primarily in the areas of labour, employment, human rights and disability insurance litigation. The executive may seek legal counsel regarding employee relations, governance, and interpretation of the Collective Agreement and Essential Services Agreement.

Did you know that the MRSA has a Flower/Donation Policy?

The Mount Royal Staff Association (MRSA) recognizes moments of celebration and sorrow in members’ lives by sending flowers at these times.

Following is the policy for sending flowers to members as appropriate.

1) Flowers are sent by the MRSA office at the request of an MRSA member.

2) Flowers are sent when a birth, death, major surgery or serious illness occurs to the MRSA member or in their immediate family. Immediate family is defined as: spouse, parent (including in-laws), child (including step and in-law), or sibling.

  • In the event of a death in the family, the member can request that a donation be made to a registered charity in lieu of flowers. The member will not receive a tax receipt.

3) Flowers can also be sent at the discretion of the MRSA President, Vice-President(s) or Executives.

Did you know that the Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension offers a number of courses for complimentary registration?

Employee tab > Resources & Timesheets > Human Resources > Human Resources Toolkit (Professional Development Forms). 

Complete the digital form to apply for eligible Continuing Education courses at no cost. Print and submit the completed application to CE Registration (EC3100); applications can only be accepted one day prior to course start date. Find out more about course offerings and further details on  how to register.

Did you know that the Riddell Library and Learning Centre has a private family room (EL2416) for parents on campus who may need a space to pump, nurse, or care for young children?

The room can also be used for students/faculty/staff with children who need a place to care for their young ones while completing assignments, etc. This is a bookable space; you can find additional details and the booking calendar here.  

In the News

New to the MRSA newsletter! “In the News” highlights current events related to provincial labour relations and other post-secondary matters.  

Hundreds of public sector workers protest Bill 9 outside Calgary hospital (CBC News)

Kenney said NDP 'lied' about Alberta's finances. New numbers suggest otherwise (CBC News)

Bargaining rights bill passes after all-night session in Alberta legislature (CBC News)

United Nurses of Alberta granted intervenor status in Bill 9 case (Edmonton Journal)

Judge reserves decision on Bill 9 court injunction (CBC News)

Alberta judge grants AUPE injunction against Bill 9 (CBC News)

Fort McMurray college first in Alberta to adopt Chicago Principles on free speech (CBC News)


MRSA Events

The Social Committee invites you to "Save the Date" September 20, 2019; 12:00-1:00 p.m. for a Welcome Back Popcorn Party in the Staff Lounge (W305)! Stay tuned for more events in 2019-2020.



MRU Events

Employee barbecue: August 27, 2019

Mount Royal is hosting an Employee barbecue on Tuesday, August 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to thank employees for all they do to support student success throughout the year and to kick off the 2019/2020 academic year.

The barbecue will be held on the East Gate lawn. In the event of poor weather, the event will move to the Ross Glen Hall.

The formal program, with brief remarks from the presidents of the MRFA, MRSA and MRU, will be from 12:30 to 1 p.m.; however, lunch will be served over three hours to enable as many employees as possible to attend. There will also be door prizes and entertainment.

 Employees are encouraged to attend so they can be thanked for their contributions. 

RSVP here.

General Announcements

Fall EDT Application Period opens August 15 

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. The fall application period closes November 15. 


New changes to EDT for 2019-2020!


We are making some changes to our EDT policies to provide some more flexibility to our membership. A summary of changes can be found below. More details on each of these changes can be found on the EDT website GUIDELINES, POLICY, and FAQs pages.

  • The Professional application maximum dollar payout is now $3,000 per application (note that 100% reimbursement may not be possible.  The amount reimbursed depends on: the number of applications submitted, the amounts requested, and the amount allocated to funding period)
PILOT PROGRAM: Travel and accommodations expenses

Professional activities eligible
  • Transportation costs:
    • Flights, trains, buses, and mileage eligible for reimbursement
    • Maximum of $1500 CAD return
    • Local transportation (transit/mileage in Calgary or at event) and parking costs are not included in eligibility
  • Accommodations expenses
    • Up to $200 CAD per eligible night
    • Eligible nights include each night of the event and night before and after the event if used

Detailed receipts are required for travel and accommodations costs.  Screen shot estimates may be used only as placeholders for events taking place after the application period has closed; receipts need to be combined with other required documentation and added to the application before it will be processed



Contact the EDT Committee at with any questions or if looking for assistance with submitting applications.

Build Great Workplaces through Authentic Leadership & Resiliency

MRSA Special Offer – save 48% off the Regular Conference Fee


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!

Save up to 48% off the cost of registration with promo code MRSA.


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 if looking for assistance with submitting applications.


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

New Mount Royal University Code of Conduct disclosure form for all employees

New provincial legislation requires employees at all public agencies and post-secondary institutions in Alberta to adhere to a new Code of Conduct. The Conflict of Interest Act legislates that our Code must cover potential conflicts related to: 

  • interests in a business, contract or transaction
  • acceptance of gifts and hospitality
  • outside employment, paid appointments and businesses
  • impartiality
  • acting in self-interest or furthering private interests 
  • use of University resources for outside activities

Any employee with an actual or perceived conflict of interest must disclose it to a direct supervisor, and all employees are required to complete this disclosure form, either to indicate that no conflict of interest exists or to initiate a review process. This form must be completed by September 30

Individual cases will be reviewed by an employee's supervisor or by Trika Macdonald, Associate Vice-President, Human Resources, to determine if there is a real or perceived conflict and, if so, whether the conflict can be managed. The Collective Agreements will guide this process. 

A reminder about these important exceptions:

  • Contract faculty who teach at another post-secondary institution or who teach no more than two three-credit equivalent courses a semester are not considered to have a conflict of interest and are not required to disclose.
  •  Non-academic staff who work 20 hours per week or less at another job outside of their normal working hours at MRU are not considered to have a conflict of interest and are not required to disclose.
  • The Code does not limit any of the rights set out in Collective Agreements. 

Help is available from Human Resources. Please review frequently asked questions on the MRU website. If your question is not answered there, contact the HR business partner for your area or email Read more about the Code of Conduct here.

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.


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