COVID-19 Member Update for May 12, 2020

Good Evening Everyone,

A number of concerns have been brought to our attention and it is imperative that members reach out, either to their shop steward or email  should you be experiencing any issues either at your worksites, or in dealing with our H.R. Department.

With our Employer’s decision to start bringing more and more students back into the worksites starting next week the Union has genuine concerns as to our members health and safety, primarily because we are hearing from members that the School Districts “Covid-19 Safety Procedures for Building Entry and Occupancy” is not being followed either in whole or in part.  The Union understands that these are guidelines, however, with some sites not following any or perhaps all of these it is putting our members at risk?   If you have time to review these and confirm with one of the Union Executive as to the practice at your site it would be greatly appreciated.

Our Employer has made it clear to the Union that there is going to be no more remote work permitted for our members and the messaging we are receiving is that they are not going to entertain the idea of accommodating any of our members who may suffer from a pre-existing condition that is affected with COVID-19.  If you find yourself in this position, we need to speak with you as you absolutely have options, you SHOULD NOT be using any “Sick” days unless you are actually sick. The Union wants to make sure the choices presented to you are in fact in your best interest and not the Employers.

Your site should be continuing to have their monthly Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOHS) meetings, this is the table where all health and safety concerns must be addressed as there is a legal requirement to do so. Therefore, it is imperative that the CUPE JOHS reps be vocal about all concerns that are brought to your attention so that they are discussed at these meetings and captured in the minutes.  The Union would ask that any concerns be sent to the sites CUPE JOHS rep via email and please “cc” the Union’s Health and Safety Rep ( in on that correspondence so that we are able to ensure your concerns are being brought up, and addressed promptly.  If you are unsure who your JOHS rep please email the Union’s H&S rep for details.

While Dr. Henry and Minister Dix continue to promote physical distancing and the wearing of protective face coverings while in public settings, we have heard rumblings that this might not apply or be permitted in a school setting.  This gravely concerns the Union; with a COVID-19 outbreak in a childcare centre in Quebec just last week, and on the heels of the outbreak in Ontario, it would appear that this virus knows no boundaries and we will not be complacent with our Employer simply conceding to meeting the minimum when it comes to our members health and safety.

Stay STRONG, Stay SAFE, and Stand in SOLIDARITY!

CUPE 411 Executive