CUPE Local 500 > News/Media > News Archive > COVID-19 - Member Update #7

COVID-19 - Member Update #7

March 31, 2020 at 6:38 PM

First, I want to express my deepest gratitude to our members for your continued work on the frontlines during this crisis. I would also like to thank our members who have answered the call from Winnipeg Harvest to help those in need in our community. You all play an important role in providing vital services in our city, and I offer you my sincere thanks.
No one could have prepared for this situation.  Understandably, many of our members continue to have concerns about their job protections and safety in the workplace.  Please be assured that the union has been in ongoing discussions with the employer to resolve these and other issues that have arisen. If you have any concerns, please continue to reach out to your union shop steward.  

Changes to hours/work reassignment

If your Department is making changes to your hours or duties, they are required to notify the union prior to implementing these changes. 

At this time, we are aware that the city is looking to reassign members who are without work due to facility closures. If the city has determined there is no work available within your usual workplace, they will be attempting to provide you with employment that will help support other city services.     

As such, the union has been in discussions with the city in an effort to explore other options, including work reassignments. These discussions have resulted in the following agreed to work reassignment process and guiding principles.  (Note: At each step of the process, bargaining unit seniority will be used to determine assignments subject to qualifications). 
  • Step 1: Reassign to available bargaining unit work within employees current Division;  

  • Step 2: Reassign to available bargaining unit work within employees current Department;   
  • Step 3: Reassign to available bargaining unit work city-wide; 
  • Step 4: Reassign to available work outside of bargaining unit. 
Guiding Principles: 
1. Employees reassigned to a higher rated position, will receive the higher rate of pay (as per Article 14-8a of the City/CUPE 500 Collective Agreement) if applicable;
2. Reassigned employees will maintain their substantive rate of pay if reassigned work is a lower rate. 

3. No classification or Department seniority will accrue while in the reassigned work. 

4. All seniority will continue to accrue in the reassigned employee's original Department.
In addition to the above, we are providing the following questions and answers to help address other concerns you may have.
Q:  How will I know if I am being assigned to other work? 
A:  The employer will be contacting you about a potential work reassignment. Please follow the direction of the employer once you are notified. If you have concerns about the work reassignment, you should contact the union. 

Q.  Will my union be notified?   
A:  Information regarding reassignments under Step 1 & 2 will be provided to the union before implementation. For reassignments under Step 3 & 4, the City will provide the union with details of the proposed reassignment prior to implementation including: 
  • Employee current classifications and bargaining unit seniority
  • Current work schedule
  • Proposed work schedule
  • Proposed classification / Rate of Pay during reassignment
  • New reporting relationship
  • Job duties and qualifications
  • Estimated duration of the reassignment
Q:  What if I don't have the skills or training to do some of the tasks in the reassigned work?    
A:  Employees who are reassigned will only be required to do tasks they have the skills, qualifications or training to do so.  If there are tasks within the reassigned work they do not have the required applicable training for, then the employee will not be required to do those tasks.   

Q:  What if I have current medical restrictions and limitations?
A:  Employees will not be required to work outside their medical restrictions and limitations.

Q:  Will I be working the same hours of work?
A:  There may be different hours of work in the 
reassignment. You will be given details about the work schedule when you are contacted. The city will provide 48 hours notice for changes to shifts. 

Q:  What if I have my own ideas or suggestions about work I could be doing in my usual workplace?  
 If you have any ideas/suggestions that the union could propose as solutions to the work shortage, the city would be open to receiving them. You can send your ideas/suggestions by completing the online form  here. Once we receive and review the information, we'll forward it to the city for consideration.

Please note that the above process is only a temporary measure, as we do not know how long this pandemic will last. We have already seen significant changes to our workplaces, and we are doing everything we can to support our members through this unprecedented time.

Please reach out to the union with any questions or concerns that are not covered above or if you need further clarification.

Phone:       204-942-1001

Thank you.  

In solidarity, 

Gord Delbridge,