COVID-19 – A Message from the
President of CUPE Local 5167
I want to begin this message by acknowledging every single one of our 3800 members who have continued to deliver valuable services throughout this unprecedented time in our history.
In your own way you’ve done your part, so thank you to:
City of Hamilton – Macassa and Wentworth Lodges workers
City of Hamilton – Inside and Outside workers
DARTS – Inside and ATO workers
Good Shepherd – Women Service’s, Family Centre & Reaching Home Division workers
Hamilton International Airport workers
Royal Botanical Gardens workers
St. Matthews House workers
CUPE Local 5167 is a membership that is comprised of a diverse group of workers, in various workplaces, with varying opinions and beliefs. As such, there’s never been a time when it’s been so important to strive to respect and support each other’s physical, emotional, and mental well being. We’ve all endured nearly 19 months of learning how to live in a world none of us could have imagined living in. A world that now includes masks, hand sanitizing, screening questionnaires, long line-ups, home schooling issues, working from home challenges, social distancing, cancelled events, virtual on-line meetings, and perhaps worst of all fear and anxiety.
None of this has been easy, and we’re all tired of it.
While COVID-19 has been a long and arduous battle, it is a battle we are winning. A big thank you to everyone who followed the advice of the Public Health professionals and got vaccinated when you were able to do so, in line with CUPE National’s direction.
To those of you that chose not to get vaccinated, know that I support your right to make that choice for yourself. The union has and will continue to support you, in any way we can.
So, what does that mean exactly? It’s important you know what the union can and cannot do. The union does not have the right to pre-emptively tell anyone’s employer that they cannot implement new policies, especially when those policies come to pass based on Public Health recommendations during a Global Pandemic. It is only when and if those policies adversely affect a member can we begin the process of utilizing the grievance procedure as outlined in each unit’s Collective Agreement. For example, you have been sent home on an unpaid leave for not complying with the vaccine verification policy.
What the union has done:
- Filed a policy grievance
- Regularly met with Labour Relations
- Attended CUPE Ontario’s leadership calls
- Attended CUPE Ontario’s Vaccine Town Hall
- Obtained an independent legal opinion from an employment lawyer
- Posted information and updates on the website
- Countless conversations and responses to members
- Supported members seeking accommodations
What the union will do:
- File individual grievances
- Continue to monitor and update membership
It is imperative we continue to follow the expertise of Public Health, along with our own National office’s leadership.
Please see the direction provided from the CUPE National:
I encourage each and every one of you to be safe, tolerant, and understanding. We’re all doing the best we can during these trying times.
Please visit the CUPE Local 5167 website to see COVID updates, and how they affect our daily operations. www.cupe5167.org
Please reach out to the union and supports available to you.
Please stay well and stay safe.
President, CUPE Local 5167