Posted July 15, 2020
Brothers and Sisters,
As you are aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced changes onto the City of Edmonton and each of us. Many of you have been working from home, or have taken on new duties, or – in the worst cases – have been temporarily laid off. When the pandemic first struck, each civic union signed letters of understanding (LOU) with the City to mitigate these temporary layoffs by allowing some cross-jurisdictional work to occur. We did this because we understood the financial challenges that COVID presented and we wanted to avoid layoffs for union members wherever possible.
While COVID remains a threat and the impacts of the first wave will be felt for a long time, the City is starting to re-launch and many members have begun returning to their jobs. As things continue to settle, your union is preparing for the LOUs to expire and a return to the normal application of our collective agreements. During this period, it’s important for us to keep two things in mind:
- Change is coming to the City. At a recent meeting of City Council, administration shared their Re-Imagine Report. For your reference, we’ve included this report for your review (see below).
- Regardless of the changes being contemplated, you retain all of your rights as a union member. In periods of transition, it’s critical that we work together to protect our rights and the rights of all members at the City. Your union is here to support you, so if you have a concern or a question regarding anything going on in your workplace, do not hesitate to reach out.
When experiencing economic hardship, organizations often look to privatization or service cuts to balance their budget. In reality, these actions only serve to erode the vital services that members like you provide every day. We know that public workers build and maintain the communities that cities like Edmonton want to see thrive, so we will be doing everything we can to ensure that you can keep doing your essential work. As things continue to evolve we will reach out to you for your feedback, to hear what you’re experiencing, and how we can ensure that all members are being treated fairly. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your union office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
President, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 569
President, Civic Service Union 52
Business Manager, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1007
President, Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 30
President, Edmonton Fire Fighters’ Union Local 209