CUPE Local 500 > News/Media > Local News > Member Update #15 - COVID-19 - MOU COVID Leave/Letter to Premier

Member Update #15 - COVID-19 - MOU COVID Leave/Letter to Premier

December 16, 2020 at 11:12 AM

The last few weeks have been particularly challenging but at the same time, we have taken some positive steps forward in the fight against this virus. The Local will continue to monitor the situation and make decisions based on recommendations from the health experts and our National Union to keep our members and staff safe and informed. 
 
Your safety at work as well as your economic stability and income security during this uncertain time remains a priority. As such, we want to update you on two important issues:
 
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reached for COVID-19 Leave – City of Winnipeg
 
Recognizing that some employees must be absent from work due to reasons related to the pandemic, including self-isolation and quarantine requirements, vulnerable medical conditions, or caring for a dependent family member, Local 500 and the City of Winnipeg have agreed to a new MOU regarding COVID-19 related leave. 
 
This MOU will temporarily allow members to use up to a maximum of 10 days accumulated sick leave credits for COVID related leave as per the above examples. Currently, employees are not able to access accrued sick credits for non-direct illness related to COVID-19. 
 
CUPE and the City have also agreed that in extenuating circumstances and where the City is asking the employee to leave the workplace for COVID reasons, the parties may discuss alternatives to the use of COVID Leave or other compensating credits. 
 
The MOU is in the signing process.  Once we receive a copy, we will post it on our website. 
 
In the meantime, should you have any questions about the MOU, please contact your unit president or the Local 500 office at 204-942-1001 or email: union@cupe500.mb.ca. 
 
CUPE 500 President letter to the Premier - Redeployment of laid-off community services workers
 
Local 500 President Gord Delbridge has sent a letter to the Premier to express his disappointment at the failure by the province to redeploy 600 laid-off community services workers to assist the province's pandemic response team.
 
"As Manitoba continues to struggle to flatten the curve, I believe these workers can play an important role in our province’s pandemic response and recovery,” said Local 500 President Gord Delbridge. “We are disappointed that the efforts between the City and the Province have not been successful in harnessing that potential.”
 
As public services on the front-lines of fighting COVID-19 continue to struggle with staffing levels and stress, it is clear that more workers are needed. 
 
“CUPE members on layoff have skills to offer the province to assist in COVID-19 response and recovery,” said Delbridge. “These workers are part of our community and they want to contribute.”
 
In the letter, Delbridge called the layoffs "distressing" given it's the second round for these members and close to the holiday season.
 
“Mr. Premier, you made a commitment to look at every possible way to help all Manitobans through these uncertain times,” Delbridge said. “Instead, our members have heard conflicting messages from politicians and given false hopes of redeployment. This is particularly distressing given it’s their second layoff in six months.  And with the holiday season fast approaching, the layoffs couldn’t have come at a worse time.”
 
The letter concluded with Delbridge urging the Premier to reconsider the missed redeployment opportunity to assist in our province’s fight against COVID-19.
 
Read the letter here 
 
The Local will update the membership as more information becomes available.
 
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have. You can contact us at 204-942-1001 or email: union@cupe500.mb.ca.