I’m pleased to announce a new service for SGEU members who have questions or need assistance with labour relations issues at their workplace.
You can now connect with a Member Services Officer (MSO) at SGEU who can quickly assist you by answering questions, providing direction or, when necessary, referring you to your labour relations officer. This is a process that has been implemented in many other organizations including some labour unions. It has proven to be effective in providing efficient and professional help for those who need assistance – and SGEU is pleased to be rolling out this service for you.
The MSOs are the first line of support for members and stewards who need assistance. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get the support and help that you need, in the moment that you need it.
Here is what you need to know about using the MSO process:
What do I do if I need help or have a labour relations question about my job or workplace?
Contact your steward for assistance. You can also reach out to one of the elected leaders within your bargaining unit. The steward or elected member may contact the MSO if they need advice or assistance.
If you don’t have a steward or can’t reach an elected member at your workplace, contact an MSO directly by phone or email.
What if I’m a steward who needs help in assisting a member?
Contact the MSO directly for advice, information or assistance by phone or email.
How do I contact an MSO?
When are the MSOs available?
You can reach an MSO between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday (except for statutory holidays).
You can also leave a phone message or send an email outside normal business hours.
What can an MSO help me with?
The MSOs are trained and equipped to answer questions about your rights and responsibilities as laid out in your collective bargaining agreement and other legal documents that govern workers’ rights, such as The Saskatchewan Employment Act and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code. MSOs will respond to members’ questions, help you interpret your contract and provide support if you have work-related concerns. Being able to connect with an MSO is especially important when you find yourself in urgent conflict or stress at the workplace and need immediate help.
Can I still contact my Labour Relations Officer (LRO) for help?
If you are already working with your LRO on a work-related issue, please continue to do so.
If you have questions or need assistance with a new issue, please try to speak with your steward or an elected member at your workplace first, before you contact an MSO.
If you have questions related to your contract negotiations, please contact a member of your bargaining committee or your steward.
Why is SGEU changing the way it provides service to members?
We listened to members who wanted us to consider ways they could more quickly reach someone to answer their questions, provide advice or give them direction on issues they are experiencing in the workplace. After some research we considered a number of options and chose the MSO model to address the suggestions that SGEU members have for what they want from their union. The plan was reviewed and approved by SGEU’s Administration Committee and Provincial Council.
LROs are often immersed in bargaining and grievance meetings or arbitrations where they provide hands-on, in-person assistance to members who are dealing with complex or difficult issues. A significant amount of time and effort is spent on research and preparation for these meetings. We wanted LROs to be able to devote time to this work, especially since the majority of contracts have or will expire this year, and LROs will be spending even more time at the negotiating table to secure a stronger and better CBA for members.
The MSOs are now available to provide professional assistance to members or quickly direct you to someone who can help. MSOs will not be tied up in bargaining and grievance meetings, so they will be available to connect with members quickly.
In closing, I want to thank all those members who have provided suggestions for how SGEU can support them in the workplace. I also want to commend SGEU staff for their input, cooperation and hard work as we move forward.
As your president, I am committed to doing everything I can to improve the lives of SGEU members. I know we are stronger together and can build a bright future.
My door is always open if you have questions or concerns. You can reach me at email@example.com or 306-775-7219.