LOCALS 1 & 2 (Viterra) update: Executive grievances filed on unpaid 4.5% pay increase, retro pay

Grievance v. Executive Grievance

The biggest difference between an executive grievance and an individual grievance is who ‘owns’ it.

  • An individual grievance is filed by a member (or a few members) over a specific issue that has impacted them.
  • An executive grievance is filed by the Local or union and covers all members who are impacted by the specific issue.

Executive grievances filed over unpaid 4.5% retro, pay increases 

Feb. 29, 2024

GSU Local 1 (Viterra Operations & Maintenance) and Local 2 (Viterra Head Office) have filed executive grievances with Viterra, as follows:

Each Local is responsible for their own grievance and the elected officers of each Local will manage the process.

We expect a response from the company within a few days. At that point, we will arrange meetings with Viterra to work through the various steps in the grievance process.

Local 1 and 2 members who are on our email list dedicated to these grievances will be kept up-to-date on progress. Elected officers from the Locals will also be updated on the progress of the grievances. Members who want to join the email update list – or those who have questions about these specific grievances or grievances in general – are encouraged to contact GSU’s general secretary Steve Torgerson.


Enforcing the 4.5% increase, 4.5% retroactive payments

Feb. 2024

It’s become apparent that Viterra isn’t budging on their stance regarding the final offer wording. They have told the media that they’re sticking to a process consistent with past collective agreements to apply the 4.5% increase. The question Local 1 and 2 members are asking is why they aren’t using the process outlined in the new final offer, which states it’s to be paid to all employees effective January 1, 2023, and to active members as of December 31, 2023.

GSU is committed to taking every available step to enforce the 4.5% increase. We are currently gathering information from affected members regarding what they received (or didn’t receive) and the specific details of each case. Members who haven’t received the full 4.5% increase or full 4.5% retroactive payments are asked to complete an information form to help determine the scope of the issue as we fight for the increase and retro pay for all members. Background information is available in Update #44/Feb. 7 available here

GSU Local 1 and 2 officers reviewing all available options to fight for entitlements of the Final Offer

Source: GSU bargaining committee update #43 – Feb. 2, 2024

Some members of Local 1 and 2 have been examining their pay stubs and noticing that there are problems with the 4.5% increase they were expecting to receive.

This is happening in various ways.

  • Some members get no increase or retro pay.
  • Some members getting an increase and retro pay on only some of their pay last year.
  • As well as questions about retro pay on overtime and the STIP from last year.
  • And other questions and concerns.

In the union’s Feb. 2, 2024 update to Local 1 and 2 members, GSU general secretary Steve Torgerson says, “I can confirm that the company has advised that they are taking the 4.5% increase, which they say is not based on performance, and using their pay for performance eligibility to decide who gets it. Even though the language in the final offer states, everyone is to get the 4.5% increase if they were an active employee as of December 31, 2023.”

GSU is committed to fighting for its members to receive the entitlements contained in this final offer. In the coming days, GSU and Local 1 and 2 officers will be reviewing all available options.

GSU will be sending Local 1 and 2 members a to complete if they have issues with the 4.5% increase for 2023. 

“Even though some will say this only affects 25% of members in Local 1 and 2, I would disagree. When a company thinks, it can try to withhold a negotiated wage increase it makes me wonder what is the next thing they will try to get away with?” Torgerson says. “This is why this attack on your collective agreement has to be challenged and fought, and I know all members of Local 1 and 2 will stand together through this.”

Members are experiencing problems getting their Retroactive Pay

Tuesday Members’ Memo – Jan. 30, 2024

With the recent vote accepting the company’s final offer at Local 1 and 2, all eyes turned towards finalizing the new collective agreement and when retro pay will be processed and paid to members. With negotiations taking 15 months, the increase of 4.5% effective January 1, 2023 means that a lot of members are looking at substantial retro payments.

All too quickly, Viterra has changed their tune and is now saying that not all employees in the bargaining units will get the 4.5% increase or retro pay for 2023. Members have begun to look at their pay stubs and are not seeing any increase or retroactive payments for the hours of work they put in for 2023.

“I have reached out to Viterra HR to inquire why some members – potentially as many at 80 – did not receive the negotiated increase or any retro for 2023,” said GSU general secretary Steve Torgerson, “I thought it was a simple mistake, but now it appears that Viterra is backing down from their own final offer that members voted on and accepted.”

“It’s a shameful and dirty move if they decide not to follow their own Final Offer.”

GSU and Locals 1 and 2 are waiting for a response from Viterra. If this is not resolved in the manner to which it was negotiated, we will be looking at all options.