What a kickoff to the New Year! And as predicted, this new year comes with new Provincial restrictions.
Premier Ford has just announced another lockdown and stay-at-home order effective Thursday January 14th at 12:01 am. As the early modelling anticipated, 2nd Wave COVID infection rates are setting daily and disconcerting records. We are at risk of overloading the infrastructures of our hospitals and care facilities beyond capacity. Based on media reports and images, both here in Canada and south of the border, we see the numbers of positive cases and the mortality rate continuing to rise.
It was frustrating to see that in some instances there were political leaders and medical personnel who preached to practice precautions, and were then caught taking non-essential travel, or caught attending holiday gatherings with groups exceeding the 5 person maximum. As a society we can, and must, do better.
Try not to become discouraged with those careless people who refuse to take precautions. Most of us are doing our absolute level best to follow direction from health officials and take proper precautions to prevent infection and mitigate the spread of COVID. Please continue to protect yourselves, and those you care about.
It warrants repeating: Please continue to protect yourselves with using masks, social distancing, frequent hand washing, minimizing our trips out of the home for only essential reasons and managing your mental health. Reach out to your support network, or contact your Employee Assistance Program, and take time to unplug from the bombardment of negativity in the media. Negativity breeds negativity.
Over the last several months, and again more recently, our employers have been altering our work tasks in ways to allow these to be performed remotely. As a result, there are no anticipated layoffs or Designated Emergency Leaves (DEL) for this new lockdown and stay-at-home order, or even the foreseeable future. We ask about this at each and every meeting and we will notify you if this ever changes.
General Membership Meeting
Due to restrictions we cannot physically host our GMM in person, however we desperately need to continue moving forward the business of the Union. We have plenty to do in 2021 such as present the Trustees’ reports, seek approval on the annual budget, and continuing to pursue initiatives and goals of the Local to improve working conditions for all.
The Executive is investigating ZOOM and other tools to host the GMM virtually in order to securely conduct business. Updates will follow through VP Phil Boyd, your Unit Chair, or your Steward. If you have any workplace concerns relating to work environment, job postings, accommodations, Health and Safety, or Return to Work, be sure to connect with your Unit Chair, Steward, a union committee member, or Executive. We continue to all be here to support you.
Finally, thank you to our members who are frontline workers; thank you to our members supporting the frontline workers remotely; and thank you to those of us who are working remotely and yearn for the return to work, and a return to normalcy. While COVID is a burden we are all shouldering, each of us copes with it in different ways. We ask that you continue to be kind to yourself and be kind to others.
On behalf of the Executive,
CUPE Local 101