Since our meeting on June 10, the Union has met with the employer and we will soon send further updates. We are going to be holding a special meeting on Tuesday or Wednesday next week to discuss the temporary leave letter due to this pandemic. We have decided to bring this letter back to the membership for ratification. In the coming days, we will be providing instructions via email, detailing how you can participate. Please watch out for this notice.
CUPE 4879 General Meeting Summary – June 10, 2020
Executive present: Lois Rugg, Cindy Ozouf, Laszlo Nemes, Karl Fultz
Regrets: Cynthia Bosdet, Lyn Ferec
National Rep: Harry Nott
Recorder: Melissa Schuurman
Meeting called to order at 4:35
The COVID-19 Pandemic has created a potential for a significant decrease in Student enrollments including international enrollments for the September 2020 semester and beyond. In order to mitigate this risk and to address the financial implications of a significant enrollment drop, TRU has made the decision to issue a layoff notice to approximately 80 CUPE members starting June 3, 2020. We know that this worrisome for all of us, but TRU has indicated that they value the relationship with each of their employees and endeavors to maintain these relationships whenever possible. Their hope is to rescind most, if not all of the notices. TRU and CUPE has been engaged in on-going discussions regarding the impacts of the pandemic. We are both working together to consider other strategies that might be possible in order to minimize the potential for layoffs.
Union stewards Lois Rugg, Cindy Ozouf, Melissa Schuurman, and Jackie Enders have been attending the meetings with the affected employees, which began on June 3 through the 9th. Meetings were held discuss the notices and to present the layoff options under Article 10 of our collective agreement. Members were informed that they do not yet have to make any decisions. TRU hopes to have a clearer picture of the financial implications in late August and into mid-September.
The Union continues to evaluate alternate options with TRU to help lessen the impact. One of the options is to include an early retirement incentive. We are still waiting for a proposal from the employer on what they would be willing to do for eligible members. However, they have indicated that this would be an option.
CUPE has also been supporting and negotiating terms of temporary unpaid leaves (furloughs) – about an hour prior to the general meeting, the Union reached a tentative agreement to use temporary leaves as an option. More details will be provided next week as we finalize the details in a meeting with HR on Friday. We are feeling optimistic that we were able to make significant gains concerning the unpaid temporary leave. We held off on agreeing to the original proposal until we could agree on a significant improvement that would be benefit our members. Thanks to Harry for his support in reaching this tentative agreement. It was noted by our National rep, Harry Nott, that there are legal issues/implications with calling it a furlough, so, going forward, it will now be referred to as a temporary leave. The employer has agreed but you may still hear it referred to by some as furlough.
For members slated to go on the unpaid temporary leave, they will be able to apply for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and a one-time provincial emergency fund of $1000. There will be more details to follow early next week.
Please refer to the CUPE Email list for the detailed answers to questions posed during the meeting.
In conclusion, please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any further questions. Lois and the members of the grievance committee can discuss the options and support you whenever possible. We are all in this together and must continue to support each other.
Thank you to all of the Committee members and our colleagues who have been supporting members. Thank you to the Executive and our Assistant for ensuring that the business continues to get done through this COVID-19 crisis. Thank you to our National Rep for his support and help to guide us through this unprecedented circumstance.
Meeting was adjourned at 6:15pm.