Update to the information provided at CUPE 4879 General Meeting summary May 13th, 2020

Dear Members:

As the University enters into the next phase of scenario planning that may see reductions in revenues, TRU has stated it will require a reduction in staffing. The University is planning for both the worst and the best case scenarios while keeping a commitment to quality learning and research and working with CUPE, TRUFA and APA to find solutions to preserve jobs in the long term. Many of the Departments have already held meetings and other Departments will be holding meetings soon to discuss this and what the options may look like.

The Union continues to meet with the employer to look at options including furloughs (temporary leaves) for those that can be furloughed for the summer. The employer has again indicated that they are considering, on a case by case basis, temporary reassignments where staff have experience/skills to support other tasks and roles where work may be temporarily increased and their own work has seen a decrease.

Layoff notices for some support staff could still be issued as early as June. However, in this event, the University is planning for worst case scenarios – once fall enrollment numbers stabilized, they will be in a better position to assess lay-off notices that may be rescinded for some positions come the fall. To minimize the impact on members, options such as bumping may not take effect until the layoff is confirmed in the fall while TRU determines if they can rescind some of the layoffs. Their decision will be made once they have a better assessment of their financial situation. The Union will seek a firm date for that decision. We will continue to update you as soon as we have more information.

TRU is considering the following when making these decisions:

  • That they are able to provide a safe and healthy work environment for staff and students.
  • That they want to maintain a long term relationship with all faculty and staff.
  • They need to protect TRU’s financial position, budgets and forecasts, short and long-term.
  • They must also ensure that they support student and faculty successes.

Along with these steps, the University has halted discretionary spending, temporarily reduced corporate credit cards, froze many capital projects and continue to hold hiring with exceptions of positions deemed critical to support the response to COVID-19.

CUPE is working with the employer to try to minimize the impact of short and long term effects to our members.

We anticipate that we will know who will be affected by TRU’s decisions the beginning of June or possibly as early as next week. Once the employer provides the Union with the details and information we will set up a special meeting to discuss and answer your questions. We know members will have lots of questions and we encourage you to ask them at the meeting, as many of you will have the same questions.

In the meantime, please feel free to reach and contact us at cupe4879@shaw.ca, or presidentcupe4879@shaw.ca or by contacting Lois on her cell 250.318.9919 with any questions or concerns regarding any issues that may be arising in your workplace of if you just need to talk.

We understand the stress and anxiety that you may be feeling at this time. We will all get through this. Stay safe and be well.

Lois Rugg, President
on behalf of the CUPE 4879 Executive.