The departure of director Sharlene Tetrault to join GSU’s Joint Executive Council this spring left a vacancy on the union’s Defense Fund Board of Directors. This elected five-person board is responsible for overseeing the administration and investment of the fund assets (currently $4.5 million). The primary purpose of the fund is to provide income protection and assistance to GSU members who are engaged in a strike or lockout.
The vacancy was advertised within the GSU membership in April, and on May 15 the union’s Joint Executive Council elected GSU Local 14 (Richardson) member Barb Healey to the Defense Fund Board. Healey works for Richardson at their Edenwold facility. She joins current Defense Fund directors and fellow GSU members Wilfred Harris (Local 1 – Viterra), Darryl Knelsen (Local 1 – Viterra), Ron Gerlock (Local 8 – Advance), and Dennis Piasta (Local 14 – Richardson) to round out the board.
“We are grateful to Sharlene for her service and excited to welcome Barb to the Defense Fund board,” said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. “When members step forward to represent their fellow GSU members, it gives workers a collective voice and it strengthens the union.” Directors of the GSU Defense Fund are elected at the union’s biennial conventions.
Vacancies occurring between conventions are filled by candidates elected by the Joint Executive Council (JEC). Defense Fund directors must be members of GSU who are not also serving on the JEC.