Charles Fleury | National Secretary-Treasurer
Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis last March that forced CUPE to shutdown our offices, our staff have continued to offer critical services to CUPE members, working remotely. From servicing, to specialized and technical services, we have supported our chartered organizations and members during these difficult times and will continue to do so.
As we begin to reopen our offices, our 850 dedicated staff will continue to support you, whether working remotely or from one of our 68 offices across the country. The health and safety of our staff and members continues to be our top priority throughout the implementation of our reopening plan. We will respect public health parameters and guidelines in all jurisdictions, while taking into consideration the needs of staff and our specific operational needs to provide the best possible service to members.
The plan will happen in three phases. Phase 1, initiated in August, is the voluntary stage, which means staff may begin to work from the office. As public health measures evolve over time, we will be able to resume full office operations in future phases, when government restrictions are no longer in place.
In preparation for the reopening of our offices, CUPE has left no stone unturned to ensure the offices are safe. COVID signage has been placed throughout the offices, to notify everyone of new procedures around physical distancing, maximum occupancy in meeting rooms and other common spaces, and some public spaces have been closed. Masks will need to be worn in all common areas. Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes have been distributed throughout the offices. Stringent cleaning protocols have been arranged with the cleaning staff, including disinfecting touchpoints throughout the office on a daily basis. We implemented other preventative measures in terms of improved ventilation, and visitor screening. We strongly urge all chartered organizations to implement similar standards to ensure the safety of all members and staff.
For the foreseeable future, CUPE will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the workplace and follow the advice of public health and government authorities. Conditions will be assessed, and preventive measures adjusted if necessary, before moving to the next phase of reopening. And if COVID-19 cases start to rise in any region, our plan is flexible enough to revert back to an earlier phase. Whatever happens, the health and safety of our staff and members will be paramount and the quality services our members rely on will continue.