IBEW 1007 Civic Unit
July 2, 2020
Brothers and Sisters,
As you are aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced changes onto the City of Edmonton, and by extension, all of us. Many of you have been working from home, have been asked to take on new duties, or in the worst cases, have been temporarily laid off. When the pandemic first struck, each civic union signed a letter of understanding with the City to mitigate these temporary layoffs by allowing some cross-jurisdictional work to occur. This agreement was reached because we understood the financial challenges that COVID presented and sought to ensure that as many union members as possible were able to avoid layoffs.
While COVID remains a threat and the impacts of the first wave of the pandemic will be felt for a long time, many areas of the City are starting to come back online and as such, members have begun to return to their jobs. As things continue to settle, your union is preparing for the letter of understanding to expire and a return to the normal application of our collective agreements. During this period and in the future, it’s important for us all to keep two things in mind:
1. Change is coming to the City. While we don’t have details about what or when, we’ve all heard that the organization will try to re-imagine how it delivers service to the citizens of Edmonton.
2. While things may be changing, you retain all of your rights as a union member. In periods of transition, it’s critical that we work together to protect our rights and the rights of all members at the City. If you have a concern or a question regarding anything going on in your workplace, do not hesitate to reach out to your union. We are here to support you and can only do that if we hear from the members.
When experiencing economic hardship, organizations often look to privatization or service cuts to balance their budget. In reality, these actions only serve to erode the essential services that members like you provide to citizens every day. As unions, we know that public workers build and maintain the communities that cities like Edmonton want to see thrive, so we will be doing everything we can to ensure that you can keep doing your essential work.
As things continue to evolve, we will reach out to you for your feedback, to hear what you’re experiencing and how we can ensure that all members are being treated fairly and that your concerns are heard. In the meantime, we are here to assist you so please reach out!
In solidarity, Jimmy Connor