June 05, 2020 at 5:16 PM
First and foremost, I want to begin by thanking our members for all you are doing to help keep vital public services available to our community. We know this has been a stressful and challenging time and we appreciate your efforts to face these challenges during this unprecedented event.
Many of our members continue to reach out to us regarding your questions and concerns about workplace issues. Please be assured that the Local continues to maintain dialogue with your employers to keep your concerns at the forefront. We also continue to have regular phone meetings and discussions with our staff and executive to stay updated on any new developments that may impact your workplace.
As you are aware, Manitoba has implemented its phased in plan to restore safe services. In phase 1, the provincial government identified libraries, golf courses, parks and museums among a list of services that could prepare to reopen. On May 26, the City of Winnipeg announced the opening of three libraries (Millennium, Henderson and Pembina Trail) effective June 8. As well, the province has released its reopening plan under phase 2 which includes pools, splash pads, community centres and fitness facilities among other services.
Understandably, as more workplaces prepare to re-open their doors, we know our members will have concerns and questions about how this return to work will be carried out safely.
For a number of workplaces this is going to mean taking extra steps and making some changes first. It may mean new measures and barriers to ensure physical distancing are in place. You might require new or different Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and there may be new measures to limit the number of people in each workplace.
As we continue to engage in ongoing discussions with your employers, we will reiterate our position that they must take every necessary precaution to ensure that the return to the workplace is safe for our members. If you are concerned about inadequate return-to-work protocols, or any other health and safety concern, we want to hear from you. Please contact your Unit President or shop steward. You can also contact the Local 500 office at 204-942-1001or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We all have a personal part to play - if you are sick stay home. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 before you return to work, then get tested. And if you think you have been exposed at work, talk to your supervisor and follow public health instructions.
We will provide further updates on the development of any reopening plans as more information becomes available.
Once again, thank you for all your hard work and effort during this very challenging time in our history. You have so much to be proud of for the work you do!
President, CUPE Local 500