COVID-19 – Update for April 20, 2020

Good Evening Members,

Just a brief update tonight to let you know where the discussions with our Employer are at…..

As of today the District will be looking at adding children from the list of Tier 2 Workers in the Province and they will be joining those students already attending the childminding/learning environment at G.W. Graham sometime this week.

The Employer advised your Union that the next priority for the District will be to look at ways to support vulnerable and special needs students, those discussions should be underway this week, with a potential strategy to be implemented next week.  We look forward to reviewing the District’s plans to ensure all appropriate health and safety measures are in place at each and every site, ensuring our members protection, and that any questions/concerns that the Union and our members have are addressed prior to parents and/or students entering the facilities.

The redeployment of members from our Transportation Department will start in the next day or two, many members have already been contacted and we expect to see those able to work during this pandemic to move into temporary positions in both the Custodial and Maintenance divisions.  There will be orientations taking place for those members as well as access to appropriate equipment.

We want to assure members that although these changes are temporary and without prejudice or precedent, that the language in our Collective Agreement will still be adhered to and any deviation from bargained language must be agreed upon by both parties.

The Employer assured the Union early on that they would not be asking our members for doctors notes if members were in fact unable to come to work due to illness/injury, or as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19; so please do let us know if you are being asked for any such documentation.  Members are reminded that if they are off work for more than five working days they must report their absence on the sixth day via the CUPE Six on-line reporting system.

Lastly, we want to put out a friendly reminder that despite many of you only working partial days, or being paid to be at home and on call, or put on paid Administrative Leave because you are unable to work due to COVID-19 as a result of a pre-existing medical condition, or you live with someone who is immune compromised, many of our members have had to continue to work full-time despite everything that is going on right now.  We would ask that you please be sensitive to this fact; we know that we are all in this together, and now more than ever we need to support one another and not allow some of the small, and temporary, inequalities divide us.

Please remember to “Get the Facts”, “Protect Each Other”, and “Be Kind”……

In Solidarity,

CUPE 411 Executive