Posted March 13, 2020
Updated April 7, 2020
On this page:
- Messages from the President
- COVID-19 Information from Your Employer
- COVID-19 Information from Governments
- Upcoming Union Meetings & Events Cancelled/Postponed
Messages from the President
I know we all are concerned and anxious about what is happening and what the future holds for us. I believe that in the near future, we may be in for a difficult trying couple of months as we navigate through this new normal that has been imposed upon us. Make no mistake, this is an extremely serious and dangerous pandemic. Coupled with the collapse of oil and natural gas prices and the current medical emergency, all levels of government are facing significant financial impacts which, as we are now seeing and experiencing, are affecting all of us personally. I can assure you that your union, CSU 52, is working very hard to protect your interests and to help in any way that we possibly can to get through this difficult time.
If you are a member of the City of Edmonton, Edmonton Public Library (EPL) or TELUS World of Science – Edmonton (TWOSE) bargaining units, you will be aware of or have already suffered from layoff notices. In both our City and EPL bargaining units, CSU 52 has worked with the Employer to try and mitigate the financial impact of the layoffs as much as possible. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the business model at our TWOSE bargaining unit, we have not been able to create the same opportunity there that has been done at the City and EPL bargaining units. We are here to help our TWOSE Members and continue to work with your management group to see what might be possible moving forward.
We have created temporary Letters of Understanding (LOUs) with the City and EPL that supersede current collective agreement language. These temporary LOUs are for a period of no more than 120 days, at which time they expire unless the emergency continues to exist and both parties agree to extend. These LOUs allow for temporary layoff, during which EI premiums would be topped up by a newly created sub plan to a max of 75% of normal salary. They also allow for the continuation of most benefit plans and accrual of seniority during the layoff period. These LOUs can be found further down this page under the heading ‘COVID-19 Information from Your Employer‘.
At this time, we continue to converse with our EPCOR and Capital Power bargaining units.
I know there will be many questions in the days to come and hardships to overcome. We, your Union, are here to help and assist as best we can under the constantly changing circumstances. We will attempt to answer your questions and provide help as best as we can. We will be posting updates on this webpage with a message from my office as events dictate. Please do not, and I say again, please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions or need help.
Remember through all of this, the health and safety of you and your families is the most important thing. Please take care and stay safe.
Yours in Solidarity,
With events moving so quickly, I haven’t had a chance to update you on where we are with a number of issues and I’m sure concerns. I am sure we are all aware that late Friday afternoon, City of Edmonton Council invoked a local state of emergency due to a health pandemic. This would normally allow the City to operate totally outside of any collective bargaining agreements during the period of the emergency.
In order to mitigate the emergency powers, the Coalition of Civic Unions (CECU) and CUPE Local 30 have negotiated a Letter of Understanding (COVID-19: Redeployment of Employees) with the City that allows them to redeploy staff as needed. This redeployment allows for staff to be moved within their own bargaining unit jobs and also to be moved into other union jurisdictions for the period of the emergency. This was done for two main reasons, one – to allow for essential services to be maintained if staff in areas become overwhelmed and also if the virus were to devastate a particular area. Two – it will allow the City to keep as many people employed as possible. The LOU also calls for compliance with the rest of our agreements, particularly the lay-off procedures at least for the immediate future.
All bargaining units have been in constant touch regarding staffing issues and what is and will be transpiring in the immediate future. I believe as of this morning, TELUS World of Science – Edmonton has laid of all temporary staff and are meeting to discuss how to go forward with permanent staff. Capital Power and EPCOR have committed to keeping as many staff employed as possible, while the Edmonton Public Library is evaluating their ability to keep staff employed as long as possible. As circumstances change, I will be calling Contractual Unit Directors and updating them as soon as I can. Most bargaining units have proposed revisiting vacation sign-up and approvals, and moving them back to allow for revised choices as they recognize that many vacation choices have been adversely affected by the pandemic.
In our office, we have arranged for as many staff as possible to work from home. IT Support has set up online processes that allow access to almost all of our programs. I am asking IT to set up remote meeting access for the Board of Directors and for the Members & Community Support Committee, as some meetings need to go forward.
As events and circumstances continue to evolve, please stay patient. I will reach out to Board Members and all CSU 52 Members with regular updates to emails and the website.
Thank you and stay safe,
For up-to-date information regarding how COVID-19 (corona virus) precautions may affect you and your work situation, please monitor any communications from your employer including internal intranet sites. We have provided the brief info (below) from all Contractual Unit employers and links to government sites.
CSU 52 is in constant contact with all Contractual Units and we are continuing to represent you and your interests. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will attempt to answer your questions as best as we can.
COVID-19 Information from Your Employer
Jeff Vaasjo, HR Senior Manager, advised us that Capital Power initially sent COVID-19 communication to all employees on March 4 and they have since created a dedicated resource page for employees on the internal Intranet.
Please continue to monitor the Capital Power Intranet for updated information.
Updated April 7, 2020
The City has compiled a variety of resources at the below link to keep all employees informed with current information about COVID-19 and other viruses.
onecity Intranet login is required to view:
The City has also included a section on ‘Employee Compensation and Leave’ in the Employee Guide to COVID-19 (https://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/city_organization/employee_experience/covid-19.aspx).
March 17, 2020 Update from Adam Laughlin:
March 18, 2020 Update from Adam Laughlin:
March 20, 2020 – Letter of Understanding – COVID-19: Redeployment of Employees:
March 23, 2020 Update from Adam Laughlin:
March 24, 2020 Update from Adam Laughlin:
March 25, 2020 Update from Adam Laughlin:
March 26, 2020 Update from Adam Laughlin:
March 29, 2020 – Letter of Understanding – COVID-19: Temporary Layoff Provisions:
March 30, 2020 Update from Adam Laughlin:
March 31, 2020 Update from Adam Laughlin:
April 1, 2020 Update from Adam Laughlin:
April 2, 2020 e-Newsletter from City Councillor Michael Walters:
April 3, 2020 Update from Rob Smyth:
April 3, 2020 Update from Adam Laughlin:
April 6, 2020 Update from Adam Laughlin:
Message from Tracy Foran (CSU 52 First Vice-President):
April 1, 2020
Hello fellow CSU 52 Members and City of Edmonton staff.
As you are aware, the City temporarily laid off approximately 1,600 employees. These employees, who ordinarily work in our Community and Recreation Facilities branch, include full-time and part-time cashiers, fitness instructors, arena attendants, city hall tour guides, art and education instructors, booking clerks, labourers and lifeguards, plus others. These were difficult decisions of the employer. 489 Edmonton Public Library (EPL) staff members also received notice of temporary layoff, effective April 14 2020. Our members at TELUS World of Science – Edmonton (TWOSE) were also affected with a significant number of layoffs.
Many staff will qualify for Employment Insurance or federal emergency assistance. It was important for everyone to act promptly in order to be able to leverage this assistance from other orders of government. The City will supplement that income for eight or 16 weeks, depending on the employee’s status. Those eligible will receive up to 75 per cent of their current pay. Employees will also continue to receive some benefits for the duration of their temporary layoff. There will be access to mental health supports and we will ensure that these colleagues still receive communications from us.
Your President, Lanny Chudyk, and the presidents of the Coalition of Edmonton Civic Unions (CECU) have been working with the City to work through this very unpredictable and serious pandemic with our members’ best interests in mind. We have entered into a temporary Letter of Understanding which both parties have agreed to in regard to the temporary layoffs. The City and the Union are in regular communications during this time and we will be providing you updates as they become available.
We are encouraging our Members to remain diligent by following the guidelines set out for social distancing, self quarantine and personal health during this time.
We are are also in the process of having an online information session for our Members via Zoom (or other platform), where we can provide additional information and answer some of your questions and hopefully address some of your concerns.
Contract negotiations with the City of Edmonton have been placed on hold during this time, as it is difficult to get a number of people into one room. Once we are able to return to the table and have updates, we will share those details with you.
If you have not not already provided the Union with your home/personal email address, please do so ASAP so we can provide you with the details of this online information session. Our office is open to receive your phone calls and emails during this time.
Please take care of yourself, and look out for one another during this difficult time.
Yours in Solidarity,
Updated March 31, 2020
EPL has developed a Staffweb page to share information about the COVID-19. Updates will be provided to staff as things change.
EPL Staffweb portal login is required to view:
March 29, 2020 – Letter of Understanding – Temporary Layoff and Recall: COVID-19 Pandemic:
Message from Lori Jeffery-Heaney (Contractual Unit Director, EPL):
March 30, 2020
Dear EPL colleagues and CSU 52 Members,
Today is not a good day. Today 489 EPL staff members received notice of temporary layoff, effective April 14 2020. Most affected are our Branch Services folks who serve our patrons daily. Although most layoffs are Unionized members, management is also affected by these layoffs.
1600 employees from the City of Edmonton were also laid off today. These difficult decisions are those of the employer. Given the number of staff affected, it was not possible for EPL to meet with members individually prior to the notice being given today. The Union believes that EPL truly value their staff, and want nothing more than to re-employ their staff once this Pandemic is resolved.
This situation became a reality this weekend, and CSU 52 worked with EPL to create a Letter of Understanding outlining agreed upon terms for the layoffs.
Clauses 12.01, 12.02 and 12.03 of our Collective Agreement have been suspended and replaced by Letter of Understanding (LOU) #11, which is available at the above link. All other terms and conditions of the Collective Agreement remain in place.
LOU #11 will remain in force until July 31, 2020. It can be renewed (extended) or can be terminated earlier at the agreement of both parties (EPL and CSU 52). The parties agree to meet and address issues as they arise. Neither party knows what this situation will bring in the coming months. Our commitment is to work together to bring our members back to work as soon as possible, and support them as much as possible during this time.
Please see LOU #11 to understand what support is being provided in way of your benefits, EI benefit/CERB top up, and how your pension will be affected. LOU #11 also outlines how your vacation will be impacted, and addresses the continuation of seniority.
EPL continues to employ some of our staff at the present time, while there is still work for them to do. EPL has indicated that they will continue to assess the availability of ongoing work and additional layoffs could result should the closure continue for a prolonged period of time.
If a Temporary employee or Student Page has an established end date (to their employment) that occurs during the temporary layoff, their employment will end on the established end date, and their participation in the SUB Plan will end concurrently with their employment if they have not exceeded the SUB Plan duration.
EPL and CSU 52 have addressed recall language in LOU #11. Bringing EPL back up and running will be a complex issue, but one that we will happily address. For now, our focus is on trying to take care of folks for the foreseeable future.
I know that many of you are upset, even angry. I assure you that this is not something that your Union wants to happen. Given the circumstances our goal is to work with EPL to provide you with as much support as possible.
Many people are wondering why EPL had to lay staff off. EPL is funded primarily through the City of Edmonton, and the Provincial Government. Both the City and the Province have announced measures to reduce impacts to citizens, including the deferral of taxes. These measures are, and will continue to financially impact EPL. Many Edmontonians no longer have a job to return to.
As your Union Representative, I too have been laid off. I will however continue to be here to represent you, answer your questions and do what I can to assist you. Our Union office remains available to you as well, under somewhat revised working conditions.
This has been a difficult decision for those who had to make it, and it presents unexpected challenges and hardship to you. Although it is hard to do with these additional pressures, please keep in the forefront that your health, and the health of those whom you love and need to support is of the utmost importance at this time.
Aaron Miller, Senior Manager of Labour Relations, sent an email to all EPCOR employees on March 12 in regard to additional precautions against the virus.
It is important for all employees to consult the COVID-19 page on EPCORnet for ongoing updates.
Alan Nursall, President & CEO, sent an email to all TWOSE employees on March 9 with a recommendation to stay informed with reputable health organizations, starting with Alberta Health Services.
In response to the Alberta Government’s March 12 announcement, TELUS World of Science – Edmonton will proactively close to the public starting Friday, March 13, 2020. This includes all programs, events, IMAX Theatre and Zeidler Dome shows, retail services, as well as our outreach Science in Motion programs.
“We will continue to closely monitor this situation as it evolves, and will share updated information about the re-opening of the science centre with you by email and through our other digital channels.”
COVID-19 Information from Governments
- City of Edmonton: https://edmonton.ca/COVID-19
- Government of Alberta: https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx
- Government of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
Upcoming Union Meetings & Events Cancelled/Postponed
Following the recommendation of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the following CSU 52 Meetings & Events are considered cancelled/postponed at this time (future dates TBD).
- General Membership Meeting originally scheduled for April 7, 2020 at the Norwood Legion – CANCELLED/POSTPONED
- Shop Steward Training originally scheduled for May 7, 2020 at the CSU 52 Office – CANCELLED
- Annual Spring Banquet originally scheduled for May 9, 2020 at the St. Basil’s Cultural Centre – CANCELLED/POSTPONED