Nutrien to make cash award, GSU applauds employer generosity

Every so often, but not often enough, employers will give employees bonuses to acknowledge business results. In other instances it might be to address exceptional circumstances such as the COVID pandemic. Last week GSU received notice that Nutrien that will be giving employees a one-time award of $3,000 to frontline employees in recognition of the Company’s very good financial results.

Payment of the $3,000 award will be made to all regular employees, including GSU members, provided they were employed as of March 31, 2022 and continue to be employed on December 9, 2022. Unfortunately, the award does not extend to temporary or seasonal employees.

“GSU does not stand in the way of employer generosity or recognition efforts,” says GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. “We do our best to bargain solid and above-average benefits, wages and working conditions and if an employer wants to go above and beyond GSU has no objection nor restriction.”

GSU had previously urged Nutrien to take steps to recognize the rising cost of living even though the collective agreement is not open for renewal. In replying senior management did not make any specific commitments. Nonetheless, actions speak louder than words.

“A number of GSU’s collective agreements explicitly acknowledge the ability of the employer to implement employee retention and incentive plans,” Wagner said. “However, I’ve seen it happen where an employer will say to GSU members that they would give their employees a bonus, but falsely claim the union won’t allow it.”

“When all is said and done, I believe it is important to give credit where credit is due and in this instance Nutrien management is doing a good thing. Hats off to them,” Wagner said.

Hey, Local 15 (Nutrien) members! What are your thoughts on observing Stats on different dates?

Nutrien Ag Solutions has advised they plan to adjust the observation dates of statutory holidays provided to you in your collective agreement – specifically those which land on a Saturday or Sunday. Some dates will be observed on the Monday following the holiday while others will be observed on the Friday before the holiday. Either way, Local 15 members will receive the same number of holidays as bargained in the collective agreement, even though the dates observed will be different.

GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner replied to Nutrien indicating the union would discuss the planned changes with Local 15 delegates and reply with any information, acceptance or rejection.

You can find the proposed changes here: 2023 Nutrien Holiday Schedule [PDF]

If you have any questions or comments, please share them with us at by Oct. 25.

Employer replies to GSU on 2022 wage increases


Tuesday Members’ Memo – Nov. 23, 2021

A senior manager with Nutrien Ltd. has replied to GSU’s proposal of employee wage increases in 2022 that reflect the rising cost of living in Canada.

On Nov. 26, Mr. Michael Webb, executive vice president and chief human resources officer with Nutrien, replied to GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. In his response, Mr. Webb said that 2022 wage increases would be based on a robust market analysis combined with the pay for performance system.

“I appreciate that Mr. Webb took the time to reply, but at the same time I am concerned that when an employer relies on a market analysis it is a trailing exercise rather than a leading approach and will fall short of an inflation-reflective wage increase for every employee,” said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. “This is just the beginning of the process of advocating for better wages and GSU will continue to press for more.”

Wagner reports that he hasn’t yet received a reply from Viterra.

GSU promotes 2022 wage increases

Tuesday Members’ Memo – Nov. 23, 2021

GSU is urging employers to step up to the plate by granting significant wage increases to employees in 2022.

On Nov. 18, GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner wrote to corporate management at Nutrien and Viterra to lobby for 2022 wage increases that at least match increases in the rate of inflation as measured by the All Items Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The CPI has recently recorded increases higher than 4 percent and the Bank of Canada has indicated upward pressure on the CPI will continue at a rate of 3.5 percent or higher for all of 2022.

Wagner advised both employers that collective agreements don’t present any barriers to awarding each and every employee a higher wage/salary increases.

“It is my respectful submission that the principles of equity, fairness, recognition and retention all support this kind of action,” Wagner said. ““When we meet employers such as Advance Manufacturing and Richardson International at the bargaining table in the latter part of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, we will be arguing for significant wage increases for all employers.”

“Other companies are being encouraged to do the right thing without waiting for the collective agreements to open for bargaining,” he continued. “As the economy continues to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and price inflation appears to be on the rise, the time to recognize and reward workers for the value of their contributions to economic growth and corporate prosperity is long overdue.”