Member Update #18 - Covid-19 A message from Local 500 President Gord Delbridge
May 11, 2021 at 9:28 AM
I want to thank everyone for your solidarity and activism through a challenging and difficult fifteen months.
As we descend into yet another wave of COVID-19 cases, we want to ensure the well-being of our members, activists and staff as we continue to navigate this pandemic.
First, I want to reassure you that our work as a Local is continuing. We have been filing grievances, attending virtual meetings with members both one on one as well as in group settings, and meeting regularly with our unit executives to ensure our members voices are heard in this unique time. We are also focused on our important collective bargaining work and remain in ongoing discussions with your employer to ensure your health and safety remains a priority.
I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to our leaders, activists and CUPE staff for their continued work to ensure our members have access to the important services they need. Their hard work and dedication makes our workplaces better and keeps our union strong.
As you know, in keeping with public health orders, all union activities that require gatherings like central council and unit meetings were postponed until further notice. In August 2020, a motion was passed at Central Council that gave the Local 500 Executive the authority to conduct all business during the pandemic to ensure no interruption of service to our members. Since that time, your Executive has been meeting virtually every month to handle all ongoing matters and stay updated on any developments that may impact our members.
The Local has heard from members that they would like to attend virtual meetings. Virtual meetings have been set up to discuss workplace issues, potential grievances and respectful workplace concerns every time one has been requested. That will continue. I urge you to reject any rumours to the contrary, and contact the Local directly if you would like to meet with any member of the Local including your unit president or your CUPE National Staff Representative.
Any and all future decisions on returning to union activities and meetings will be determined through informed public health orders and our National Union. While we look forward to a return to in-person meetings, CUPE must put the well-being of our members, activists and staff first at all times.
As you know, the Manitoba government recently announced further restrictions as COVID-19 numbers continue to surge in our province. Accordingly, the City of Winnipeg has suspended all of its recreation and leisure programs and services, and has closed all City-owned and operated recreation facilities, gyms, indoor pools, arenas, and libraries until further notice.
At this time, the City has indicated that no layoffs are being planned as they are looking at redeployment opportunities for those employees impacted. We will keep you updated should discussions take place in this regard. CUPE will continue to ensure your rights are protected and supports remain in place for those who need to take time off to deal with health challenges or family responsibilities.
If you require more information about your specific situation at work, please start by speaking with your immediate supervisor. If you have concerns or additional questions, please check with your unit president or shop steward.
As always, If you are experiencing any issues at work, whether they be related to COVID-19 or not,please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. We can be reached at 204-942-1001 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe and please look out for each other.