July 2021
  • President's Update
  • Treasurer's Report
  • Committee Update
  • Meet Laine Fowler, Labour Relations Officer

  • MRSA  Office Closure Notice
  • MRSA Events
  • General Announcements

President's Update 

Dear MRSA Colleagues,

Well, I hope you were all able to beat the heat last week!! 

Wasn't that wild? Fitting that we should end (?) a pandemic with record smashing weather. Hopefully many of you have now had your second vaccinations and your world is returning to spending quality time with family and friends... definitely time to start picnics and bbq gatherings. Vacations should be happening soon for many of you, although the furthest you may be going is our own city limits. Whatever you're doing with your much deserved time off, travel and stay safe. 

Check your calendars
July 5 - Aug. 13  Remember to take a shorter lunch (30 minutes) and stop your day 30 minutes earlier than typically scheduled. 
July 9 Stampede Parade Morning. As per Article 24.2(a) you have a paid half day to attend the festivities, although this will be a remote event this year.
Aug. 2 Heritage Day

MRSA Boardroom
In the interest of creating an office space for Laine, we have turned our previous Boardroom into an office space to allow for a safe and comfortable area for meeting with staff. In turn, we have now made the former smoking room of our MRSA Lounge into the MRSA Boardroom to allow for more physical spacing and comfort in our meetings. This room will have a posted schedule for meeting times, but will otherwise be available to our members for use. Please ensure that you clean up the space after usage following the appropriate cleaning standards.

Air Quality Checking
A request was submitted to have the MRSA offices and lounge checked for air quality. The following response was returned June 21:

'WPS2 air handling unit serving the MRSA space was checked and found to be in normal operation as per scheduled run times with no alarms present. Preventive maintenance on this unit was conducted roughly 1 month ago including belts and filters changes, as well standard general unit cleaning.' 

Return to Campus/Remote Working Plan
As we transition back to campus, some of you are still wondering about options for a flexible work schedule. We would like to advise you that the MRSA Executive has been working with the Campus 21/22 Planning Group and HR to bring forward your interests for a flexible work agreement. I'm happy to inform you that preparations are underway to pilot a plan for such requests. The details are currently being finalized, but communication regarding this plan should be available to our community in July. Thank you to those that attended our June 14 Coffee Chat and provided your questions and thoughts to take forward to senior administration. We had 146 attend and hope to do it again in July! We'll be determining a date shortly but hope to hold this after the Remote Working Plan announcement.

In the meantime, please watch this video,  Welcome back! What you need to know about returning to the MRU campus. Great work Kaylene McTavish!!

University Policies and Procedures
In this crazy world of ongoing changes I wanted to remind all staff that we need to stay informed on university governance. I would encourage you to bookmark the Policies and Procedures page for easy reference and access. In case you missed the email sent out by Jane O'Connor to all employees on June 28:
The following is a list of recent policy approvals:

Board of Governors

  • NEW - Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention Policy (June 2021) - to ensure framework for addressing allegations of violence and harassment is in line with requirements of Alberta's Occupational Health and Safety Legislation, promote a workplace culture where violence or harassment are not acceptable, to communication to the University community what constitutes violence or harassment, and to provide a mechanism for reporting incidents experienced by the University community.  This policy is complementary to the University's Code of Conduct - Employees, will be supported by Workplace Violence and Harassment Plans, and is a key foundational element of a broader ongoing dialogue on respect in the work and learning environments.  It replaces the Personal Harassment Policy as well as the complaint procedures associated with the Human Rights Policy.
  • NEW - Access to Information Policy (June 2021) - to provide clarity and alignment with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
  • NEW - Privacy Policy (June 2021) -   to provide clarity and alignment with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
  • NEW - Protected Disclosure Policy (October 2020) - to ensure alignment with Alberta's Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection Act)
  • REVISED -  Environmental Health and Safety Policy (October 2020) - policy and procedures were out of date and included contradictory roles and responsibilities for positions at the University; policy updates to reflect the requirement under the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety legislation.  Procedures have been removed and will be replaced by the Environmental Health and Safety System Manual
  • Personal Harassment Policy (replaced by Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention Policy)
  • Information Management Policy (replaced by the Access to Information and the Privacy policies)
  • Alumni Association Policy (new governance framework for the Alumni Association has been implemented; the Alumni Association now established by Charter approved by Board)
  • Legacy Awards Policy (under new Alumni Association Charter, annual alumni awards program transferred to the Alumni Association - policy for the awards program not required)
  • Compensation (Staff) Policy (creates overlap and misalignment with the MRSA Collective Agreement - subject to negotiations - effective upon ratification of new MRSA Collective Agreement)
  • Staff Recruitment and Selection Policy (out of date practices; creates overlap and inconsistencies with MRSA Collective Agreement - subject to negotiations - effective upon ratification of new MRSA Collective Agreement)
  • Casual Employees Policy (redundant - content now appropriately contained in the MRSA Collective Agreement)
  • Casual Employees Selection Policy  (redundant - content now appropriately contained in the MRSA Collective Agreement)
  • Employment of Casual Employees Policy  (redundant - content now appropriately contained in the MRSA Collective Agreement)
  • Compensation:  Casual Employees and Procedures  (redundant - content now appropriately contained in the MRSA Collective Agreement)
  • Associations Policy (redundant - content contained in the MRSA Collective Agreement, the MRFA Collective Agreement or covered by legislation)
  • Employee Safe Disclosure Policy (replaced by the Protected Disclosure Policy)
  • Safe Disclosure for Non-Employees Policy (replaced by the Protected Disclosure Policy)
Human Rights Policy
  • REVISED - Human Rights Policy - approved by President through expedited process outlined in the Policy on University Policies and Procedures.  The revisions were required to remove references to procedures and guidelines associated with this policy that have been revoked (see below) and to remove references to administrative units and positions that no longer exist due to organizational restructure decisions.  It is important to note that by following the expedited process, the University is obligated to immediately enter a normal development (review) process for this policy.  The work on this review process has begun.
  • REVOCATION - The President's Executive Committee approved the revocation of the procedures associated with the Human Rights Policy - (1) Competing Rights Guidelines and (2) Procedures and Guidelines for Handling Complaints, as well as the removal of all other Appendices attached to this policy. The investigated procedures do not reflect the investigative requirements of other units and other University governing documents and overlap with other policy investigative procedures which leads to lack of coordination, lack of clarity and uncertainty.  The guideline and procedures documents also refer to units and positions that no longer exist due to restructuring.  The complaint procedures associated with the Human Rights Policy have been replaced by the Procedure for Reporting Workplace Violence or Harassment.

Negotiations Update

The Joint Committee will be taking a summer hiatus until Aug. 17.  We have not signed off or agreed to any interests presently and will continue to engage in interest based bargaining once we return.

Out of Office
I will be taking some vacation time until July 12. Please contact for any issues, questions or concerns. 


Michelle LoGullo | President
Mount Royal Staff Association

Treasurer's Report


Hi everyone -  the current iteration of the Audit and Finance committee has wrapped up our first year. In reflecting back I think the group has done some great work in terms of learning the fiscal ropes.

Here is a summary of our accomplishments for this past fiscal year...

  1. Worked with the MRSA Executive to implement a more sustainable dues structure.

  2. Reviewed and renewed business and officers insurance.

  3. Reviewed and renewed lease agreement with MRU for offices and staff lounge.

  4. Provided input to Governance Committee on financial aspects of the Finance policy.

  5. We presented the approved 2021-22 operating budget to the membership at the General Meeting in May. See email from dated May 19th, 2021 for a copy of the approved operating budget.

  6. Johanna from the Audit and Finance committee continues to work with our accountants to establish a CRA Business Number. 

  7. Mariberth from the Audit and Finance committee continues to work on a  Purchasing/Procurement Policy. 

  8. The migration of the EDT database to MyMRU is in its final stages.

  9. Started the PIPA compliance process.

I say “not bad” for a group of volunteers who are mostly doing this work off the sides of our desks!

I would like to thank all the Audit and Finance Committee members for their hard work and dedication and a huge thank you to outgoing VP and A and F committee member Nadine Conklin.

Enjoy the summer, stay cool and remember  “when all else fails, take a vacation!” (

Submitted by Craig Baskett on behalf of the Audit and Finance committee - Mariberth Blanco,  Nadine Conklin, Johanna Franconeri, Michelle Logullo and Christine Pepper.


Committee Updates  

EDT Committee

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 will 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:


     Course Start Date

     EDT Application Submission Period


     September 1 - December 31

      September 1 - December 31


      January 1 - April 30

       January 1 - April 30


       May 1 - June 30

       May 1 - June 30


       July 1 - August 31

       July 1 - August 31


Please note, the EDT database was closed on July 1st and 2nd to facilitate these updates. 


Meet Laine Fowler, Labour Relations Officer  

Hello everyone! As I am new to MRSA and you are all new to me - please take this bio from me as an introduction to who I am and what I can do for you. I have recently been hired to be your Labour Relations Officer. I am committed to the work of the labour movement, particularly with regards to public service employees.  I have supported numerous collective agreement negotiations, many of them first agreements, as well as, organizing drives, unfair labour practice complaints and thousands of employee issues, including grievances with respect to collective agreement interpretation, human rights, disability, and occupational health and safety, through to resolution.  Of note, I recently supported major court challenges with the recent certification of Siksika Health Services EMS employees, up to the Supreme Court of Canada and negotiated a first agreement with Mosaic Primary Care Network (PCN) - the first unionized PCN in Alberta, with about 40 different job titles in the single agreement. 


I obtained my BA from the University of Calgary, in Law and Society ( I did my first year at Mount Royal College). Previously I worked for the Health Sciences Association of Alberta, which is a union that represents about 28,000 members of 250 different disciplines primarily in health care, as a Labour Relations Officer for 14 years. My most recent assignment was to represent the paramedics in Calgary, but I've also represented office and clerical workers, social workers, lab, x-ray, paramedical and so many others it would be silly to name them all. I really enjoy representational work - as I have the opportunity to support the workers and learn from all of you.

I am an enthusiastic facilitator and have educated members on topics such as - collective agreement interpretation, in-scope supervision, duty to accommodate, bullying and harassment, conflict, and mental health.

I strive to provide support to employees who have concerns and issues with compassion and empathy. In negotiating and applying the collective agreement I am always looking for ways to improve the overall harmony of the relationship between the employer and employees. That being said - my bias is always to the MRSA and the employees represented by the MRSA - I'm in your corner.

My husband and I live on an acreage in Water Valley, Alberta where in my spare time I garden, knit and tend my many animals - currently a dog, a cat and 12 chickens.


MRSA Office Closure Notice

In keeping with guidelines from Alberta public health officials, the MRSA office is closed until further notice. During this time, MRSA operations continue as the Executive and Committees shift to working remotely.

Your calls and questions are important to us. Please do not hesitate to contact the MRSA office at 403.440.5993, or via email at, or any member of the MRSA Executive. Please be assured that MRSA office voicemail and email are monitored regularly.

Take good care, and be safe; we wish you and your families the very best of health.   



MRSA Events

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

Social Committee

The Social Committee would like to wish you a happy summer and hope you can enjoy some time with family, friends and take some well-earned time off.  We’ll be back in 2021-2022 with some of our usual events and with some new ones too.  We are going to work hard to expand our events to include more diverse offerings.  We may continue some virtual events in the future, but definitely plan on bringing back more in-person events as the rules allow.  We can’t wait to welcome you back with a big event in 2021-2022!  Continue to read the Newsletters for updates to coming events.



General Announcements

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 ( 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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