Join us in welcoming Rebecca – our new accounting and payroll administrator at GSU

GSU staff numbers went up by one when Rebecca Forness began work at our Regina office on July 4. Rebecca is filling a position formerly occupied by Debbie Head who left the union in February.

Working in a small office offers unique challenges and an opportunity to wear many hats that you don’t often find working for larger employers.

Rebecca will be responsible for administering GSU’s day-to-day financial operations and accounting systems, including bookkeeping, accounts payable and receivable, banking, payroll requirements and related reports as well as being our key point of contact in our annual financial audit. She is also tasked with processing dues payments, preparing year-to-date documents, financial projections as well as year-end financial statements.

GSU members submitting expense claims will also be assisted by Rebecca.

You can reach Rebecca at 306.522.6680 or

GSU’s new staff representatives have reported for work

(L-r) GSU staff representatives Mason Van Luven, Brian Lark, and Steve Torgerson.

Brian and Mason were in GSU’s Regina office bright and early Oct. 12 after enjoying the Thanksgiving long weekend. They will spend the week learning about the union membership structure, loading up their computers, familiarizing themselves with office processes and the duties they will be performing as GSU’s newest staff reps.

Staff rep Steve Torgerson has been charged with mentoring Brian and Mason. You can reach GSU staff reps or any staff member by using their first name in front of Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.

Complete contact information for all GSU staff members is available clicking Contact Us on the menu bar above. 

Joint Executive Council announces hiring of two staff representatives

On Oct. 12, two new staff representatives will be joining the GSU staff.

The Sept. 24, 2021 meeting of GSU’s Joint Executive Council (JEC) unanimously approved the hiring of Brian Lark into the position of staff representative working out of the Saskatoon office.

Brian became a member of GSU in 2005 when he joined the country operations workforce of Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. His career continued with Viterra where he has held a series of increasingly responsible positions. Most recently, Brian was the terminal operations manager at Viterra’s facility in Raymore. Prior to taking his first terminal operations manager position with Viterra, Brian was active in GSU and served as a Local 1 (Viterra) delegate for a number of years.

In a move to further bolster GSU’s team, the Sept. 24 meeting of the JEC also unanimously approved the hiring of Mason Van Luven into a term staff representative position based in Regina for 18 months.

Mason is a graduate of the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Arts (honours) degree in political science. He has an impressive resume, including work for community non-governmental organizations and international aid organizations.

“We are very happy with the choice of Brian Lark to fill the vacancy in GSU’s Saskatoon office and we look forward to working with him in serving members of the union,” said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. “We are also very happy to welcome Mason to the GSU team and look forward to working with him in serving members of the union.”

Lark and Van Luven will begin their duties with GSU on October 12 and are looking forward to their roles with GSU.

GSU’s executive committee meets, reviews recruiting process for staff rep vacancy, office renovations

GSU’s executive committee comprising president Jim Brown, vice presidents Michelle Houlden and Curtis Cousins along with general secretary Hugh Wagner held a conference call meeting on June 17.

 The committee received an update on renovations to GSU’s office in Regina, considered proposals for donation requests, and covered other administrative matters including the process for recruiting a GSU staff representative to fill the vacancy created by Dale Markling’s retirement. Plans were also made for an in-person meeting of the union’s Joint Executive Council (board of directors) and a union education day in mid- to late September.

 Subject to approval by the Joint Executive Council, GSU will issue an advertisement of the staff representative vacancy in mid-August.

There have been staff responsibility changes at GSU. You can check them out here.

The retirement of GSU staff rep Dale Markling has spurred a number of changes to staffing assignments and a redistribution of responsibilities for member service locations for the remaining staff.

A list of the current locals/sub-locals with locations and GSU staff assignments is available here.

It is anticipated that the vacant staff rep position will be filled in the autumn. In the meantime, GSU’s Saskatoon toll-free number has been routed to Regina and is still available for use by members. If you have any questions, contact us toll-free at 1.866.522.6686 or 1.855.384.7314.

GSU services are provided to you as part of your union dues. There is no additional charge for assisting you.


GSU staff rep Steve Torgerson assumes responsibility for GSU members employed by Co-ops

June 4 is GSU staff rep Dale Markling’s last day in the office before he retires, and GSU members working for Lake Country Co-op, Discovery Co-op, and Lloydminster Co-op are now being assisted by GSU staff rep Steve Torgerson. GSU members at Prairie Co-op are already working with Torgerson, and that will remain unchanged.

The impending retirement of Saskatoon-based GSU staff rep Dale Markling has lead to new staff assignments for GSU staff on a temporary basis, and we have been working closely with Dale to ensure a seamless transition.

If you have questions about which GSU staff member is assigned to assist members at your workplace, contact us in Regina toll-free at 1.866.522.6686.

GSU staff responsibilities reassigned as Dale Markling’s retirement draws closer

You will soon hear the voice of a different staff representative when you call GSU’s Saskatoon office for assistance. On June 7 our Saskatoon office and toll-free numbers will be rerouted to Regina where you can speak to staff representatives Donna Driediger, Steve Torgerson, or general secretary Hugh Wagner for assistance.

The impending retirement of Saskatoon-based GSU staff rep Dale Markling has also led to new staff assignments for GSU staff on a temporary basis, and we are working closely with Dale to ensure a seamless transition.

Further announcements will follow.


GSU Executive Committee meets, agree to recommend filling upcoming staff representative vacancy

GSU’s executive committee held a conference call meeting on April 29 to follow up on the union’s March 2021 policy convention. The meeting was attended by president Jim Brown, vice-president Michelle Houlden, newly elected vice-president Curtis Cousins, and general secretary Hugh Wagner.

The meeting received a report from Wagner on the costs of repairs and renovations to GSU’s Regina office building which will total approximately $70,000 to cover stuccoing, new window inserts, and a new furnace.

Also discussed were GSU attendees at the CLC/SFL Spring School. To date one member from Local 8 (Advance) is registered and another from Local 1 (Viterra) had expressed interest.

Wagner also reported that the CLC’s virtual convention will be held from June 16 to 18. Curtis Cousins volunteered to be the Executive Committee’s monitor and Wagner committed to arrange for someone from GSU staff to do likewise.

The meeting’s main item of business was discussion of the union staff rep vacancy which will be created by Dale Markling’s retirement . The executive committee will be recommending filling the position and a recruitment process to GSU’s Joint Executive Council.

Subject to Council approval, an advertisement of the vacancy will be issued in mid-August with an early September closing date. More details will follow.

GSU staff rep Dale Markling set to retire this summer

On July 31 GSU will be saying farewell to Dale Markling who is retiring after nearly 30 years of service as a GSU staff representative.

Before he joined the GSU staff in June 1992, Dale was a member of GSU, a union delegate, and a union organizer.
“Dale’s service to GSU is marked by his dedication to serving union members, his hard work and loyalty to the cause,“ said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner.
“Dale accepted all of his assignments willingly with good grace. His work ethic is unsurpassed and his generosity is unmatched,” Wagner said. “He has always been able to approach his work with a positive outlook and a keen sense of humour – both of which have been assets in this line of work.”
“On behalf of the members, elected officers and staff of GSU, I wish Dale the very best for a healthy, long, and happy retirement. Dale is more than a colleague. He is also a great friend to many and he will be missed,” Wagner said.
COVID pandemic restrictions currently prevent us from holding an appropriate send-off for Dale, but GSU will host a retirement gathering down the road when conditions allow.
While GSU reviews its staffing situation, Dale’s assignments will be temporarily distributed among other union staff members with further announcements to follow.

If you would like to wish Dale well on his retirement, send him an email at

Lawrence Maier retires from GSU staff

On March 2, 2018 GSU we said farewell to Lawrence Maier who retired from service to the union one day after his 32nd anniversary as a GSU Staff Representative.

“Lawrence has dedicated the biggest chunk of his adult life to working for and serving the members of GSU. He served first as union delegate, then as GSU president and chair of GSU’s bargaining committee with Saskatchewan Wheat Pool,” said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. “Lawrence has worked tirelessly and diligently for the members of GSU in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. He has accepted all assignments without complaint and his work ethic is second to none,” Wagner said. “Lawrence possess keen intellect which is reflected in the superlative work he’s done for GSU.”

“On behalf of the members, elected officers and staff of GSU I wish Lawrence all the best for a healthy, long and happy retirement. He is more than a colleague; he is also a dear friend. He’s earned our gratitude and he will be missed,” said Wagner.

Join us in welcoming our new staff rep, Donna Driediger

Jan. 29 was Donna Driediger’s first day in GSU’s Regina office in her new capacity as staff representative.

Donna previously worked for GSU as a staff rep from 2004 to 2009. She left GSU in 2009 to accept a similar position with the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses.

We are excited to welcome Donna back to GSU and we are certain her considerable and varied experience in representing union members will be an asset to our members, officers, and staff.

“I am happy to reconnect with GSU members and assist with any challenges the next year may bring,” Donna said. “And I look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming GSU convention where the important work of the union is prioritized.”

Donna can be reached toll-free at 1.866.522.6686 or through email at

Join us in wishing GSU’s Dorothy Merk well in her upcoming retirement

There is a changing of the guard in GSU’s office administration. After nearly 27 years with the union, Dorothy Merk is retiring from her position of Executive Assistant effective January 31.

“Dorothy’s dedication to GSU is inspiring,” said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. “Her commitment to serving GSU members and her work ethic are second to none. I wish Dorothy a very long and happy retirement. She will be missed.”