A petition opposing York Region’s recently issued return-to-office notice has been signed by over 500 flex workers represented by CUPE 905 and affected by the policy. A group of workers delivered the petition to a representative of CAO Erin Mahoney on May 23rd.

“For the last 4 years, our members have shown remarkable productivity and dedication while working remotely,” said CUPE 905 President Katherine Grzejszczak. “The Region’s return to work notice disregards legitimate concerns our members have raised. We urge York Region to meet with affected employees and reconsider this policy change.”

On February 27, 2024, York Region announced that flex workers - workers who maintain a hybrid work schedule - would be required to report to a York Region worksite for at least 50% of their schedule. The change is scheduled to come into effect July 1st, 2024.

Issues raised in the petition include increased productivity generated by work-from-home arrangements, associated cost savings for the Region, decreased use of sick time, and environmental impacts of commuting.

“Many of our members can no longer afford to live in York Region due to skyrocketing housing costs, not to mention the negative effects an enforced return to the office will have on recruitment and employee health,” Grzejszczak continued. 

“We are hopeful that this petition will lead to the Region revoking the return-to-office policy,” Grzejszczak added. “Our goal is to prioritize employee health and productivity so we can continue delivering exceptional service to our communities.”