February 2022
  • President's Update
  • Labour Relations Officer Update
  • Treasurer's Report
  • Committee Reports
  • MRSA Events
  • General Announcements

President's Update 

So the Christmas tree is finally down in our staff lounge (thanks Christine), in preparation of ushering in February with notes of appreciation.

I hope that many of you can take the time to send someone an encouraging note of appreciation. It's been another long year for our members and this is a wonderful way to brighten a colleague(s) day. Thanks again to our Social Committee for doing such an amazing job to keep us all connected as we continue to interact remotely!

Let's jump in....lots to update you on!

SpotOn 10% discount
So who doesn't need some good news? Do you want to go where everybody knows your name and they're always glad you came? Our local "pub" SpotOn, has agreed to offer our MRSA members a 10% discount on their menu (excluding happy hour and daily specials). Just show your Campus Card and let them know you're with us!! 

By-Election Results
Welcome to Leslie Blondahl who was appointed by acclamation as Director-at-Large in our recent By-Election. Leslie has been a member of the Communications Committee and was instrumental in our MRSA website makeover last year. Leslie will make a wonderful addition to our Executive team. As a reminder, a second DAL position and a second Vice-President position remain vacant. We will look to fill these positions in our annual Elections process this May.

Correction to the MRU Budget announcement
The University erroneously announced that the Deferred Salary Leave Policy had been rescinded in the recent annual budget release. Please be advised that this is not accurate information and this policy continues to be live. The Deferred Salary Leave Policy is a leave plan which is completely funded by employee contributions from salary deductions as specified by the participant. This allows employees to take a leave from the university and still receive financial compensation. Laine and I would be happy to discuss this further with anyone who has questions.

Time off for Booster Shots and COVID Sick Time
As you recall, the government has legislated that employees can take up to three hours of time from work to obtain vaccinations. A booster shot is a third vaccination and time off work will be permitted. Please let your supervisor/timesheet approver know your plan as this time off will not need to be claimed on your timesheet.

Further, on an exception basis and for COVID-related absences only, employees who have access to Short Term Disability (STD) as per the Collective Agreement or Terms and Conditions of  employment, you will be able to access STD for the time missed from work, regardless of the number of days you are absent from work. You must fill in the Employee Self-Isolation Form to trigger this leave and then HR will advise you regarding how this time will be noted.  An employee who does not have access to STD, on an exception basis, may take other leaves as eligible (i.e., vacation, personal days, accumulated time) or may be required to take an unpaid leave for the required time period.

If you have returned from international travel, you are required to complete the Employee Self-Isolation Report Form. Please do so even if you are continuing to work remotely. HR will contact you to discuss sick leave benefits and return to work parameters.

Please continue to check the FAQ page for COVID related information.

T2200/T2200S Work-from-home expenses during the 2021 pandemic Canada Revenue Agency has announced a temporary simplified method to allow eligible employees who worked from home due to COVID-19.  Employees who worked from home more than 50 per cent of the time for at least four consecutive weeks can claim $2 per working day (up to the maximum $500). This simplified method does not require you to obtain a T2200/T2200S form or maintain documented receipts to validate your claim. Learn more.

Job Action around the province
The University of Lethbridge Faculty Association (ULFA) voted overwhelmingly in support of a strike (92%) last Friday night. Formal notice to strike was served on Monday and if no settlement can be reached with administration, the strike will begin this Thursday February 10 at 11:00 a.m. The MRSA supports this fight for a fair deal, just as we supported Concordia University of Edmonton Faculty Association (CUEFA). We are pleased that CUEFA was able to reach a deal and ratified their Collective Agreement on January 15.

The Mount Royal Faculty Association (MRFA) remains in bargaining mediation at this time. We are awaiting the outcome of these ongoing talks. Again, the MRU Coalition Committee supports and advocates for a resolution dividing the two sides. This letter has been posted to our website for your reference. We have asked Lee Easton, President of the MRFA to join us at our Coffee Chat on February 15 for an update on faculty job action. The Labour Relations Committee is working on a MRU/MRFA Job Action FAQ for our membership and this will be sent out should this be necessary, but will also be posted on our MRSA website for your reference. 

We extend MRSA solidarity with the MRFA.

I will be taking a break from MRU and winter starting February 21 - March 8. I'm heading to Hawaii with my family for some much needed sunshine and mai tais. Our extremely capable MRSA Executive along with Christine and Laine will be supporting you in my absence. 
I want to send out my appreciation to each and every one of you in our MRSA "family". It has been an honour, a privilege and the highlight of my time at MRU to represent you all.  Aloha!!!


Michelle LoGullo | President
Mount Royal Staff Association

Labour Relations Officer Update


Data Systems Update:

The MRSA has been working to ensure we are sustainable and secure to represent your interests.  To achieve this, the MRSA has recently purchased our own google workspace at our domain  We continue to be in our testing phase, but we do have some email addresses active: - Michelle LoGullo, President - Christine Pepper, Executive Assistant - Laine Fowler, Labour Relations Officer

Should you wish to email the MRSA without using the addresses, we are now  able to ensure a greater degree of confidentiality and independence from MRU.  Please note, we are maintaining all of our addresses to ensure continuity of service.  We have no current plans to stop using any of the available addresses.

Bargaining update:

Bargaining resumed on February 4, 2022, with both parties meeting.  The MRSA provided a full proposal package, with all interests included including monetary proposals.  This is a move from historically interest based bargaining to positional based bargaining. This decision was made in order to move bargaining along, since we have been stalled largely due to the interest based bargaining process. A big thanks to our Collective Bargaining Committee that has been working hard to ensure all interests are included and expressed at the table.  We are very hopeful that we will see some significant movement forward in the near future.

Grievance updates:

All policy grievances have now received a response from MRU, however, none of those responses have been sufficient to resolve the issues at hand.  Currently we have three (3) active policy grievances - Remote Working, Vaccination Directive and Outsourcing.

Remote Working Grievance - Due to the ongoing challenges the pandemic has posed, we have not seen any update from MRU regarding a remote working policy.  The employer had until February 4, 2022 to provide this.  The Bargaining Committee will also be putting forward proposals at bargaining to improve the collective agreement language regarding remote working.

Vaccination Directive Grievance - We have advanced this grievance to arbitration.  The grievance is with the employer placing employees on unpaid leaves of absence and denying those employees access to Short Term Disability.  The MRSA is not contesting the employer's necessity to institute safety measures while the pandemic is ongoing, but does not support the cessation of STD with accommodations.  

Outsourcing Grievance- This grievance is in abeyance (on hold) while the unfair labour practice is being processed.

 Potential Job Action - MRFA

As you’ve likely heard the MRFA is considering job action in the near future.  Should the MRFA choose to strike, the MRSA will provide guidance and support to our members.  We are preparing an FAQ for distribution to our MRSA members. Mount Royal University will most likely also provide guidance to all stakeholders.

Essentially, if the MRFA should strike, this job action should not have any direct effect upon your work.  Please be advised that you should not be asked, or participate in, work that would normally fall within the scope of the MRFA.  We will have advance notice of where picketing will occur, and generally recommend that you try to avoid crossing the picket line, and enter Mount Royal at an alternative entrance.  Should you need to cross the picket line, the MRFA is allowed to delay your movement into the building for a period of time.  If you choose to support the MRFA and join their picket line,  you are allowed to do this so as long as it is on your personal time (breaks and off working hours) and not on work time.  

You will be required to continue your regular work, and attend the site as you would normally.  However, if you have any concerns regarding safety, you may have the right to refuse work.  Should this occur, you would need to initiate the process to refuse work with your direct manager. 

 We do hope that the MRFA and Mount Royal will be able to achieve a tentative agreement without resorting to job action.

 Lunch n’Learns

  • Please see below for information in the Events section.


Stay safe,

Laine Fowler
Labour Relations Officer


Treasurer's Report

Happy February everyone! Hard to believe we are into the 2nd month of 2022 already. I recently heard the best theory as to why it feels like time speeds up as we age… time is relative so at age 1 - one year is 100% of our life. At age 57, 1 year represents just 1.75% of our life to date and that relative percentage of one year is just going to keep getting smaller! 

Enough rambling - on to my report…

We would like to welcome a new member to Audit and Finance - Cyndi Cave! We are very excited to have Cyndi, who also sits on the Executive, especially since she is a former treasurer!

We are in the early stages of developing the operating budget for 2022-23. The budget is the financial plan of action based on the board’s decisions for the future of the organization. It is also the authorization for the executive and subcommittees to spend and finally, the budget is a tool to monitor financial activities throughout the year. We will be presenting the approved 2022-23 budget at the May AGM.

Other items that Audit and Finance is working on includes the following

  • working on a long term (5 year) budgeting process to assist the Association in its strategic planning processes.

  • As recommended by our auditors we are developing a capitalization policy in order to properly account for and depreciate our assets in our financial statements. 

  • Finalizing a purchasing and procurement policy in order to ensure all spending is properly authorized

  • Examining the viability of a fee for service financial advisor in order to maximize the return on our investments.

I think that is it for now but needless to say we are keeping busy on your behalf!

Submitted by Craig Baskett on behalf of the Audit and Finance committee - Mariberth Blanco,  Johanna Franconeri, Michelle Logullo, Christine Pepper, Chad Miller and Cyndi Cave.

Committee Updates

Joint Occupation Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC)


Peter Davison has joined the committee as a new co-chair for the employer. 

We are actively recruiting a new employee member to represent the exempt staff, as is required by the legislation. We hope to have the new member aboard before the next meeting on February 17.

You can now reach out directly to the committee by emailing

Here are the minutes from the last meeting JOHSC Minutes.

Remember that you have rights as an employee.

  • The right to know

  • The right to participate

  • The right to refuse dangerous work

Join us on Tuesday, February 15 for a Lunch n' Learn by Laine Fowler to learn more.

MRSA Events

MRSA Coffee Chat





On February 15 from 10-10:30 a.m. our guest will be MRFA President, Lee Easton, who will join us via Google Meet for a discussion on the topic of job action. 

Click this link or copy and paste this URL in your browser to join the Coffee Chat:

MRSA Social Committee

February Positive Notes Campaign

You may remember, last February was our first Positive Notes Campaign and it was very successful, so we held it again in May.  Let’s do it again! Winter can be dreary for some and not everyone enjoys Valentine’s Day, so why not brighten a colleague’s day by sending them a thoughtful or encouraging note. During the month of February 2022 send someone a positive note.  

Send a positive or encouraging message to a colleague by completing this form: This form will be open February 1 - 28, 2022.

You will receive one entry into a draw for each form you complete.  We will do two draws on March 1, each for a $25.00 e-gift card.  Open to MRSA members.

Messages will be sent throughout the month of February as the Social Committee has time.  You may have your message sent anonymously if you choose (see last question on the form). You must list your name to be entered into the draw.

Watch for next month’s newsletter for St. Patrick’s Day activities.

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.

The MRSA Social Committee would like to recognize the following important events for the month of February: Black History Month, Lunar New Year, Imbolc (Wicca), Vasant Pachami (Hinduism), International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Nirvana Day (Buddhism), Magha Puja Day (Buddhism), Lailat al Miraj (Islam).  Best wishes to all who are celebrating these occasions!

If you would like to contact the Social Committee, you can reach us at

Lunch n' Learns 

 As mentioned in the previous newsletter we have several lunch n' learns beginning this semester.  All lunch n' learns will be from 12:00 - 12:50 and are hosted virtually.  Shortly before the date you will receive a link to join.

Occupational Health and Safety - Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Bullying and Harassment - Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Human Rights and EDI - Tuesday April 19, 2022

 To register please fill out this form.

 For more detailed descriptions of the lunch n' learn sessions.

These topics are considerable, so these lunch n' learns will be a quick touch into these important areas of interest.  The goal of the lunch n' 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. Hope to see you there!

 Thanks to everyone who was able to join us on February 3 for the EDT Lunch n’ Learn. If you missed the session, you can access the recording and a copy of the slide deck here.

2022 PD Days: Save the Dates

 The PD Committee has been working hard to secure speakers and schedule sessions for the 2022 MRSA PD Days. We are pleased to announce that this year PD Days will be split into two weeks, offered in two separate months. We hope this staggered schedule will provide more opportunities for you to engage.

 We are currently working to finalize contracts and will release a detailed schedule, speaker bios, and registration instructions once that is complete. In the meantime, please hold a few dates in your calendar:

February 22 - 24, 2022
April 26 - 28, 2022

We will offer a variety of morning, lunchtime, and afternoon sessions each week; the second week is not a repeat of the first. We encourage you to attend any sessions that are of interest to you.

 All sessions will be offered virtually this year in order to accommodate as many members as possible and maintain a safe environment.

 We look forward to sharing details with you soon!

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

MRU Student Massage Therapy Clinic is Open - support students and get a massage!

Appointments are now available for you to book at a reduced rate while supporting 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. Whether you need a relaxation massage or have a condition that requires therapeutic treatment, our students are trained to the highest standards nationally and can meet your needs.
Book Now. 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.

For more information, visit our website:

General Announcements

Winter EDT Application Period Now Open

Winter EDT Application Period now open

If you have any professional or personal development courses that begin between January 1 - April 30, 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 winter application period closes on April 30, 2022.

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

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