April 29, 2020
The Union of National Defence Employees National Executive continues to be in constant communication and working diligently to address workplace issues that are increasingly compounded by COVID-19 challenges.
Some major developments since my last communique includes Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services has come to an agreement whereby the wages and benefits for those Staff of the Non-Public Funds that have been impacted by the COVID-19 closures will continue to be paid. We received a further commitment that there are no layoffs as a result of COVID-19 however there is still more work to be done to ensure the health and safety of the membership is maintained.
Additionally, after a long battle, UNDE local 90125 reached a tentative agreement with Serco. The bargaining team was successful in forcing Serco to withdraw their concessionary demands on contracting out Janitorial and Accommodations, although Serco refused to give in to all of our demands. Now it is in the hands of the membership to decide if the agreement is acceptable.
Due to the ongoing issues with COVID-19 and the restrictions around travel and meeting in large groups, we have had to make changes to the scheduling of the UNDE Triennial Convention. The UNDE National Executive has passed a motion, effectively rescheduling the 2020 UNDE Triennial Convention to August 23-27, 2021. The UNDE Standing Finance Committee is working on a revised budget to be presented to the National Executive. These changes were necessitated due to the COVID-19 restrictions and the rescheduling of the PSAC National and Regional Conventions.
I continue to meet with senior management within National Defence and Private Sector Employers to address ongoing issues within the workplace and to formulate business resumption plans. Business resumptions plans must ensure the safety of each member is prioritised prior to re-entry into the workplace. Consideration must be given to those employees who have family care issues or have self-identified as vulnerable. Workers must be provided with an active and current infection control program, specifically adapted to their workplace with the full participation of the Workplace Health and Safety Committees. The procedures should include, for suspected contaminated workplace areas, the cleaning of all surfaces with a broad-spectrum disinfectant that is certified to kill viruses. Members can find out more about their health and safety here.
To protect the health and safety of the employees of UNDE the National Office remains closed, however the staff are readily available to assist the membership via telework.
I am happy to advise that my husband Blair and I have returned to our home in Ottawa after an adventurous repatriation trip and have completed our fourteen-day quarantine as recommended by Health Canada.
“This is our time to be kind, to be calm, and to be safe.” — Dr. Bonnie Henry
June Winger, UNDE National President
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