Comrades and friends,
I'm not going to sugar-coat it, we have a brutal few weeks ahead of us. The UCP government's mishandling of the pandemic has pushed the whole health system to the brink. Provincial case numbers, also the highest in all of North America, are skyrocketing as pandemic fatigue mounts. Our office has been flooded with calls and emails from concerned members as outside-of-work transmission is once again creeping back into our facilities. Everyone is scrambling to figure out their childcare options.
As strained as we are all feeling we need to focus on what is in our power to control. Vaccines are now widely available for bookings and we still have all the foundational protocol in place to stop workfloor transmission, we just need to remain patient with our co-workers and vigilant in asserting safety standards. As more Albertans get vaccinated, we tip-toe closer to this nightmare being over. Please hold the line and get vaccinated if you haven't already.
Other important updates in this dispatch include: leave options for childcare, last call for May 8 GMM registration, a video link repost of an evening with CUPW legend Jean-Claude Parrot (the National President who was jailed for defying back-to-work legislation), a May Day speech by our local 1st VP (Devon Rundvall), and the digital version of the new RSMC collective agreement.
Please stay safe.
Late May 4, the UCP government announced new public guidelines attempting to decrease a provincial infection rate that is now the highest in all of North America. One of those guidelines is that all K-12 students will now take classes from home. This creates an obvious strain on any of our members who have children in that age group. Here are our recommendations on how to navigate any childcare issues you may have:
1. CPC is pushing our members to first use their personal time or annual leave if they would like time off to deal with childcare issues.
2. Once your personal days are used up, members can apply for special leave (please read RSMC 19.03 or Urban 21.03).
3. When applying for special leave, ask your supervisor for the proper special leave forms. On those forms, be sure to document a strong case for why you have no alternative arrangements for childcare.
4. If denied special leave, a member could, alternatively, request time off without pay.
5. If you believe your application for special leave due to childcare issues has been unreasonable withheld, speak to a shop steward or our grievance office to file a grievance.
Regardless of our childcare circumstance, it is important we remain vigilant with our safety protocol. If you feel CPC is not doing enough to uphold safety standards on your workfloor, our office is here to support you if you choose to refuse unsafe working conditions (780-423-9000 ext. 4).
As per the direction given by our CUPW National Executive, locals can hold GMMs via video conference as long as quorum is met and all participants have registered with all the required information by the specified deadline. For our full virtual GMM guidelines, please see the accompanying document under 'more info' below.
Register: www.cupw730.ca/home/calendar or LINK
Deadline: Friday, May 7, 2021, Noon. Registrations are confirmed after the deadline.
More Info: LINK
(Reposted due to broken link last week) A couple weeks back, our CUPW History Reading Group wrapped up discussion on “My Union, My Life," with the author, Jean-Claude Parrot, joining us as the guest of honour. Comrade JCP was kind enough to offer his time, insights and perspectives to current CUPW activists trying to revitalize an ever weakening labour movement and how we can best prepare our membership for the challenges ahead. He made it very clear that many of the struggles we face now are not fundamentally different than during his time as National CUPW President. The final analysis is still the same: we must trust our membership and do everything we can to support them to fight back!
Full Session Video: LINK
May Day Video Speech: To celebrate May Day, our local 1st VP (Organizing), Devon Rundvall, speaks on how pandemic safety protocols would still be lacking at Canada Post if not for postal workers organizing to force the issue. LINK (Sister Kathleen introduces Devon @ 55 minutes)
New RSMC Contract (pdf): LINK