MRSAY! Newsletters

MRSAY! Newsletter September 2017 EDITION

 In this Edition:

  • President’s Message
  • Vacant positions on the MRSA Executive Board
  • MRSA-Collective Agreement(CA)–Update
  • Coffee with the Presidents-October 6 10-11
  • MRSA–future ratification information
  • MRSA-CA—did you know?
  • PSERA to Labour Code
  • From the Public Service Employee Relations Act  (PSERA)  to  the Labour Code
  • New Employee Orientation – October 26
  • Coalition meeting with the Minister of Advanced Education
  • 140th Anniversary of Treaty 7 – September 22
  • Want to get involved? Join the MRSA’s newest committee!
  • Canada’s 150th Birthday party
  • Multi-Faith Chaplaincy (MFC) at MRU
  • The Art of Leadership for Women – October 24
  • Karen’s Korner
  • MRU General info and events

Be sure to check the MRSA Events Google calendar often to stay informed about the various events and activities taking place on campus.

MRSAY! Editors and/or contributors
Baset Zarrug
Karen Hiebert
Erica Floer
James Parsons
Cheryl Melatdoost
Greg Veltman


President’s Message-An Academic Year in Review

Welcome back! We hope that September and the Fall Semester are off to a good start and that you were able to take some time over the Summer to recharge your batteries before transitioning back into Fall and your regular routines.

We welcome you back to a new semester and a new academic year as we welcomed our new and returning students to the campus. It is absolutely great to see the campus transformation and the great energy level; coffee line ups are long and seating is hard to find at certain times of the day; it is busy everywhere, the whole campus is “buzzing” with excitement and activity.
I am excited too as we embark on another academic year, and as we individually and collectively contribute to student transformation.

As we eagerly anticipate the upcoming academic year, there is a different type and level of excitement within the city; we are about to elect representatives for city hall. This is a great opportunity to engage in one of our democratic institutions; electing officials who will govern our city and ensure that we have all the services we need and enjoy. It is imperative for us to take part and be engaged and informed about the process and the candidates.
We can become complacent, take the process for granted and miss a great democratic opportunity. We have to be aware that it is only if it is lost we will regret the consequences of having a positive democratic institution. So consider voting and take a friend and/ or a family member.

-Baset Zarrug


Vacant Positions on the MRSA Executive Board

Vice President -1
Director at Large – 2

This is an opportunity for all to make a difference in the lives of your colleagues by being engaged in the process of operating and governing your Association.
More information on these positions can be found in the MRSA Constitution.
Stay tuned for more information about running for these positions in the next couple of weeks.


Your Collective Agreement (CA) –update

The Collective Agreement between the Board of Governors of Mount Royal University and the Mount Royal Staff Association expired on June 30, 2017.
The negotiating teams have been working diligently and collaboratively since February through the summer. Negotiations have been positive and many interests have been formally agreed upon; there are some interests yet to be negotiated. Subsequently, the interest-focused bargaining teams have agreed to continue over the next month or two to conclude this round of negotiations. As per Article 4.7, the current Collective Agreement will remain in effect until a new agreement is ratified.

This round of Negotiations has passed June 30. In the past, most rounds of Negotiations concluded prior to or on June 30. This round has been more challenging than other rounds; hence, it is taking longer.


Coffee with the Presidents:
Informal meetings with MRU President David Docherty will resume on October 6 from 10-11 a.m. in the staff lounge (W305).

We hope to see you there!


Ratification of the Collective Agreement…as an MRSA member, you will be presented with the outcomes of the process, you will be informed by the MRSA Negotiating team and you will have a chance to have your say. As an individual and based on the outcomes, you will be voting; the result of the voting process will be tallied and a determination will be made! Accept or Reject. It is your chance to vote.
The MRSA Negotiating team will be calling a meeting when the process concludes to present the results. A meeting date and time will be sent to you. Please book your calendar and plan to attend. It is very important that you come to the meeting to listen and ask any questions that you may have. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

MRSA..Collective Agreement (CA)..did you know?
-the MRSA has been bargaining on your behalf for almost 40 years!!! All the benefits we currently enjoy are the result of many colleagues who have worked hard for all of us. We often take our CA for granted, but our CA has been established as a consequence of the tenacity of those who have been contributing to the Association for the last 40 years.
-what do your dues give you?
-first and foremost you receive a dedicated group of staff that meet weekly to ensure all staff receive the very best
-a group of staff members who work tirelessly during negotiations on your behalf
-hours of work
-personal days
-sick days
-disciplinary procedure
-grievance process
-rules around job postings and promotions
-position abolishment procedures
In fact there are over 50 pages of information available in our MRSA Collective Agreement….you can find it easily in our MRSA website

From the Public Service Employee Relations Act  (PSERA)  TO  the Labour Code

MRSA (your Association), MacEwan Staff Association (MSA), and Non-Academic Staff Association (NASA) at U of A  (and other labour organizations in the province) are diligently working and advocating on your behalf to encourage the government to move us out of PSERA and into the Labour Code.  There are are many benefits for us as an Association; for example, the right to strike and how employees are classified to be exempt from the bargaining unit.

Stay tuned as we will rely on you to give a voice to the initiative by advocating for yourself and your colleagues across the province.

New Employee Orientation: October 26

The Mount Royal Staff Association (MRSA) is looking to connect with new employees. Have you started at MRU in last six months to a year and are looking to learn more about the Mount Royal Staff Association? If so, then this ​orientation session is for you! Learn about MRSA, its approx. 670 members, the structure, benefits and how you can get involved!

Please join us for a short 25 minute presentation followed by Q & A, coffee and cookies on October 26 from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Register here to attend.

Looking forward to meeting you soon.


MRSA, MRFA and SAMRU Met with the Minister of Advanced Education

The potential for government consultation about, and/or independent review of, publicly funded post-secondary institution budgeting and financial reporting processes was discussed.

-Consultation with stakeholders regarding financial transparency and accountability, as provided through mechanisms like institutional budgets, financial statements, annual reports and comprehensive institutional plans. The government should consider reviewing these mechanisms with an aim to revising them so that students, the government and other stakeholders can more clearly understand and trace the links between categories of institutional revenues and categories of expenses by object and, especially, by function. -This should also include a review of historical changes in percentages spent by expense function over time
This should include a review of the overuse of precariously employed faculty, and the relative sizes of employee complements by category, including historical trends
The need for enhanced codification of students association authority and responsibilities with respect to its representational role in matters of students affairs
Clear and consistent understanding of the government’s mandate to public post-secondary institution Boards of Governors for collective bargaining with academic and non-academic staff associations
Governance models, and the importance of strengthening academic governance at BASI universities. Considerations:
-The need to statutorily strengthen General Faculties Council / Academic Council powers and authority in relations to all matters of academic import (noting especially the difference between BASI University GFCs and CARI University GFCs)
-The need to increase, proportionally and in absolute terms, the number of student and faculty representatives on Boards of Governors


140th Anniversary of Treaty 7September 22
Everyone is invited to meet at the tipi located at the East Gate entrance. Elders and invited guests will speak about the significance of Treaty 7. There will be drummers, dancers, and singers. All are encouraged to join the round dance and are invited to the Iniskim centre for conversations and refreshments.

Presented By: Iniskim Centre
Contact: Steve Kootenay-Jobin
Contact Number: 403.440.7746


Join the MRSA’s new: Communications Committee

The MRSA would like to establish a new Communications Committee, and we’re looking for volunteers. This committee would be responsible for developing and implementing a communications strategy for the Association, and the writing, editing and design of the MRSAY! newsletter.
If you’re interested and would like more information about duties, qualifications, and commitment, contact James Parsons at


CANADA’s 150th Birthday!!!

SO many staff came out to our Staff Lounge at noon on June 30 for our 5th annual Canada Day celebration…this year we celebrated our country’s 150th birthday!!! We enjoyed SO much food!!! Of course one cannot have a 150th Canadian birthday without Canada Dry Ginger Ale and not one- but two- amazing cakes (vanilla and chocolate lovers were in heaven). A huge shout out to Cheryl Melatdoost on her creative genius in making both of these wonderful treats. As well, we had gorgeous cupcakes thanks to Jessica Mossiere, and we were treated to a special pakoras dish compliments of Fatima Kessler.

Thank you Cheryl Melatdoost— for 2 amazing creative cakes!

Games were played testing our knowledge on Canada, and yes …many many prizes were won! Our tradition has always been to obtain a large Canadian flag from one of the MP’s…this year was no different, and our excited flag winner this time was Jessica Mossiere.

Jessica Mossiere



Multi-Faith Chaplaincy (MFC) at MRU

The Multi-Faith Chaplaincy at Mount Royal is part of the Diversity and Human Rights department within Student Affairs and Campus Life. Our office works with volunteer chaplains from a diversity of faith communities to support faculty, staff, and students in their faith as an integral part of their Mount Royal experience. Additionally, our office encourages students to build community through religious student clubs as well as increasing the religious literacy of all by facilitating weekly interfaith dialogues for staff, faculty, and students. Our peer chaplain program develops student leaders to model interfaith relationships and civility in our pluralist society. The MFC is always looking to partner and collaborate across campus, connecting MRU’s academic mission to religion and spirituality as it is expressed in our society. We would also be interested in having staff members mentor students along their journey of learning about their own religious identity and others. For more information and/or to get involved email the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy Coordinator, Greg Veltman (

Greg Veltman
Multi-Faith Chaplaincy Coordinator (F122)
t 403.440.8942


The Art of Leadership for WomenOctober 24

The Art of Leadership for Women is returning to Calgary on October 24 and Mount Royal Staff Association members have an opportunity to participate in this exceptional day of learning. Additionally, a preferred rate has been established for our members that are interested in attending.

This one day conference features five internationally renowned bestselling authors and thought leaders, who will share an exciting blend of cutting edge thinking and real world experience on today’s most critical leadership issues. Don’t miss out on your chance to gain a competitive advantage and network with over 1,200 of Canada’s most influential women. Speakers include:

Valerie Jarrett – Former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama and Chair of the White House Council on Women & Girls
Amanda Lang – Anchor, Bloomberg TV Canada and Bestselling Author of The Beauty of Discomfort
Jessica Herrin – CEO & Founder of Stella & Dot and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author
Brigid Schulte – New York Times Bestselling Author, Award-Winning Journalist and Director of the Better Life Lab at New America
Dr. Seonaid Charlesworth – Senior Vice President, Executive Assessment & Succession, Lee Hecht Harrison Knightsbridge

For more information you can visit: The Art of Leadership for Women

Register using promo code MRSA20 and save $50 per pass and an additional $50 per pass when registering 5 or more at the same time.
For Further details on seating arrangements and other group assistance please contact Vivek Mehmi at 416.479.9701 ext. 320 or by email:
To register: Click Here


Karen’s Korner

A huge sigh of relief as things are slowing down for me now in the Nursing Faculty!
Welcome back to all the term staff that were away for the summer. It is always quite a shock when Faculty ask me what I did during my months off….uhmm,….I worked! I did manage to get away for a bit though, for a well needed recharge of my body and it was wonderful.
I am grateful that the smoke has now cleared from our fair city, and I do hope that the fires stop their devastation soon.

On the home front, I had my family all together in late August for a rare reunion. Such is a mother’s love for her children….they grow up…but really, they somehow are always your babies. (yes, my 83 year old Mom still calls me her baby!)

Try to remember that work is not your life, it is a way to pay your bills. Enjoy your life, it is the only one we get! If you are lucky enough to be in a job that you love (as I do) …it is a huge bonus!

Karen Hiebert




don't forgetJust a friendly reminder to check your myMRU Events Calendar (Home tab) frequently for upcoming MRU events, courses and workshops.

Recreation Registration

All of Recreation’s spring and summer activities are now available to view and wishlist! You can find all registration information here.

Check out their new Self-Defense course! Information and registration can be found here.

 Employee Development Opportunities
Check the “Employee Training Calendar” on myMRU for upcoming training sessions.
Dates are quickly approaching, be sure to register to reserve your spot!

Canadian Blood Services on campus October 3
You’ve probably seen Canadian Blood Services on campus before — they host a blood donation clinic several times a year here on campus. They always see a lot of students donating blood, but they love to see staff and faculty too!
Blood products are given to patients every minute of every day—there’s a one in two chance that you or someone you know will rely on the generosity of blood donors at some point in your life. And although fully half the population is eligible to donate, the system is supported by only 4% of Canadians.

The importance of giving blood can’t be overstated, and it couldn’t be simpler: an hour out of your day (much of which is sitting in a chair while blood is drawn) is all it takes. It’s a tremendous gift, and a deeply rewarding experience.

Their next clinic is on October 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and you can book an appointment online at It’s easy (and actually quite relaxing), it’s quick, and you could literally be helping to save lives across Canada.




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