This week the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, a global pandemic.
We recognize this is causing great concern for our members, many of whom are on the front lines providing care and support to the most vulnerable in our communities.
Public services are the backbone of a safe and healthy community, and are never more important than in the face of a crisis. We have always been proud of the work our members do despite the many challenges they face, including chronic underfunding and austerity measures by governments. We want to acknowledge that work today as you help your communities navigate this new crisis while dealing with your own challenges and family responsibilities.
It is important that our members know that their union will be there for them throughout this crisis. In the coming weeks, our members may face closures, cancellations and quarantines that impact their work and their workplaces. As always, CUPE staff are available to help ensure our members’ rights and benefits are fully protected. The work of our union continues, and COVID-19 does nothing to change that.
We know that spring is a busy season for union meetings. CUPE locals should check advisories from local and provincial public health agencies before making decisions to cancel or postpone meetings and events. Democratic principles of accountability and transparency remain important, and staff are available to assist in the application and interpretation of the National Constitution and your bylaws.
CUPE will continue to monitor the situation and will make decisions about whether to proceed with upcoming national meetings, courses, and events as required.
CUPE will be posting updates for our members as they become available on our website at https://cupe.ca/search/COVID. We recommend checking back regularly.
Stay safe, and stay strong.