What will a GSU convention look like during a pandemic? We’re working toward figuring that out

The beginning of 2021 finds us all attempting to keep our heads above the so-called second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is no less the case at GSU where plans are underway to hold the union’s 2021 policy convention currently scheduled for March 18 to 20.

GSU’s options are limited. It’s important to hold our policy conventions before the end of March so members who are engaged in ag retail and related jobs are available to participate before they face the annual spring rush to get new crops planted.

It seems unlikely that health restrictions on gatherings will be lifted or loosened much by mid-March. Taking everything into account, GSU’s Executive Committee will meet on Jan. 6 to consider a recommendation to proceed with the 2021 policy convention from March 18 to 20 under pandemic restrictions. The committee will discuss a format that involves a core gathering of up to 25 delegates/officers in Regina (if gatherings of that size are still allowed) plus remote participation by an additional 25 to 35 delegates.

“A lot of convention details need to be filled in and we don’t have a lot of time to spare before the March dates. Decisions about format, priority content and facilitating participation have to be made sooner rather than later,” said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. “Clearly the situation isn’t ideal, but GSU has a history of adapting, and we’ll do so again to get the members’ business done in 2021.”