COVID-19 UPDATE #4 - A message from Local 500 President Gord Delbridge
March 17, 2020 at 2:47 PM
As we all know, the situation and information related to COVID-19 is rapidly changing.
As front-line workers who serve the public on a daily basis, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to each and every Local 500 member for your dedication to maintaining public services during this difficult time. Thank you for the important work you do, each and every day, in serving our community and keeping our city functioning.
I would like to remind you to please continue to exercise protective measures like proper hand hygiene and staying at home while sick. This is important not only to your own personal health, but helps safeguard the health of your coworkers and others in our community.
I would also like to remind you that it is the responsibility of your employer to ensure the health and safety of their employees. Your union is working hard to protect our members’ rights and to advocate for our members’ health and safety – as well as your economic stability and income security during this uncertain time.
As such, CUPE Manitoba is calling on the Government of Manitoba to immediately address the following issues to support public sector workers in the fight to curb the outbreak:
- Workers should not face loss of income due to quarantine.
- All front-line workers need access to appropriate personal protective equipment.
- Workers who have to self-isolate due to illness, travel or compromised immunity should be able to access paid leave without using sick leave banks.
- Doctor note requirements by public-sector employers should be waived.
- With schools and child care centres closing, the government needs to provide substantial financial assistance for parents who cannot afford alternative care, or who need to miss work to care for a child.
- Legislation to protect the jobs of workers and waive the requirements for sick notes during the pandemic.
- Call on the federal government to expand access to Employment Insurance, increase benefit levels, and reduce eligibility requirements.
- Instruct crown and municipal utilities, banks, landlords, credit card companies and financial institutions to extend and relax mortgage, rent and bill payment requirements, loan servicing obligations, and other responsibilities facing consumers and households.
I would also like to reassure you that our work as a Local is continuing. Please note that your CUPE Collective Agreement remains in effect throughout this pandemic.
If you have any concerns related to your rights in the workplace, please contact your union shop steward or a member of your unit executive. You can also contact the Local 500 office at 204-942-1001 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 Concerns in the Workplace:
Local 500 members with concerns and questions about COVID-19 in their own workplaces should first speak with a supervisor or consult their workplace safety and representative.
If you have questions related to self-quarantine, your personal health, or about COVID-19 we encourage you to rely on official sources only.
Government of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/being-prepared.html
Government of Manitoba: https://www.gov.mb.ca/health/coronavirus/
Shared Health (including resources for health care staff): https://sharedhealthmb.ca/health-providers/coronavirus-resources/
Watch for more information:
Please watch for further updates as more information becomes available.