Good morning all,
As 2021 is winding down, we once again are finding ourselves dealing with many struggles within our workplaces, sector and our province. Your Local continues to fight for all of our members safety, good working conditions, and for respect for the job that you all do. Our regular business has continued throughout this pandemic, and our Local is still in very good standing, as seen by the recently completed audit and trustees report to be submitted to CUPE National from just this past week. Throughout the past calendar year, some successes were had for our Local, for example, we recently brought the new classification of Assistive Technology Support Workers into our Bargaining Unit, and as well on December 6, 2021 we welcomed the Child and Youth Care Practitioners to CUPE Local 5047.
Your Local has made every effort to send out emails containing information that would be important to you all, updates on what your Local has been able to confirm concerning Public Health and Department of Education announcements and to provide supports for our members. We will continue to do so in the coming days and weeks. If you work at a site where you know someone is not receiving email updates, please direct them to our website where they can input their personal email address and contact information. https://5047.cupe.ca/
With the announced semi-closure of schools recently on December 20 & 21, 2021, as well as January 4 & 5, 2022, we brought forward to the employer and the Dept. of Ed the concerns that many of you had shared with our Stewards and Executive. Once again, with this announcement came the same concerns for many of our members as last year, specifically those that deal with child care issues. Though your Local supported the decision to extend the holiday break to the general student population in an effort to mitigate the possible transmission of COVID-19 due to the recent number of exposures and cases within our province and the HRM, we once again insisted it shouldn’t come as a detriment to any employees. Though we were not consulted in the process of opening Learning Centres to some students, nor what the criteria was for which students would be invited in, we want to acknowledge the candor to which you dealt with such surprising information. Your concerns did not fall on deaf ears, and our concerns were shared throughout the HRCE and to the top of the Department of Education. As said recently, if you need an accommodation to support yourself or your family through any of those days, please request one ASAP in writing to your immediate supervisor. We also insisted that the health and safety of our members was paramount, and any and all concerns you share at your site should be discussed.
Lately, information and the processes surrounding the epidemiology of the pandemic has changed at a rapid pace. If there are any changes to the information shared with the Local recently, or any upcoming public announcements, we commit to verifying and sharing with all as quickly as possible. These updates will be sent out via email and posted to our website as quickly as possible. Throughout the Holiday Break there may be different announcements and press releases. You can stream any or all by visiting https://novascotia.ca/Coronavirus/ As well, don’t forget to check your employer email account periodically throughout the break to be sure you have information that may be specific to your classification or work site.
Our Local will use continue to use this email platform, as well as our website, to send out updates regarding bargaining and upcoming membership meetings (next one is set for January 11, 2022 via Zoom), as well as any confirmed information CUPE receives regarding the Education Sector.
The holiday season, for some, can often a time for rest, reflection and for family, but it also can be a time of struggle for others, myself included. We wish to remind our members that there are resources they can utilize throughout this season if they encounter any difficulties. Your Employee and Family Assistance Program can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can visit https://www.workhealthlife.com/ or call 1-844-880-9137.
We can recognize that this Holiday Season will once again be different than we’ve been accustomed to, so on behalf of myself, the Executive Board and Shop Stewards of CUPE Local 5047, we send to you and yours warm wishes of peace and joy throughout the upcoming holiday season, and a healthy new year ahead. Now matter how you celebrate, celebrate wisely and stay safe! Be kind to yourselves and others, and remind yourselves that you are important to the safety, well being and education of all students within the HRCE!
CUPE Local 5047