The situation in our province, and across the country, concerning the COVID-19 outbreak is changing quickly. CUPE Ontario is committed to doing our part to limit the spread of COVID-19.
As we all know, this infectious disease is spreading rapidly around the globe and as such, the World Health Organization declared a Global Pandemic as of March 11, 2020.
While the risk to Ontario continues to be low, recommendations exist encouraging the limiting of large gatherings in an attempt to help stop or slow the spread of the infection.
CUPE Ontario has been working with CUPE National and we have been monitoring this situation closely.
Our Executive Board had a conference call this evening to discuss the events that we have scheduled over the next six weeks.
After thoughtful consideration, with the guiding principle of the health & safety of our members, our staff, and our communities being top of mind, we have made a decision to cancel and/or postpone the following events:
The Social Services Conference scheduled to take place in Toronto March 26 – 29, 2020;
The Library Workers Conference scheduled to take place in Windsor March 30-31, 2020;
The Municipal Workers Conference scheduled to take place in Windsor April 1 – 4, 2020, including the forums scheduled for public health, and ambulance workers, and;
The Trades Conference scheduled to take place in Niagara Falls April 21 – 23, 2020.
The board has established a deadline of April 15, 2020 in order to make a recommendation on the May 2020 CUPE Ontario Convention scheduled in Toronto. Locals are required to continue to meet Constitutional deadlines regarding Convention.
At this point, in making this decision, we are uncertain how long this pandemic will continue. We are also unclear on our ability to reschedule the events prior to the 2021 schedule. Priority for rescheduling will be given to those events where elections were scheduled to be held.
In the meantime, all committees where elections were scheduled will remain in place, and as previously stated, elections will be held at the first opportunity we have to host the cancelled event.
We are working with CUPE National to seek advice from the National President on the postponement of elections, including what would happen should we have to consider postponing our Convention, should that be necessary.
CUPE’s participation at community events like Town Hall meetings and rallies will be determined on a case by case basis.
The CUPE Ontario office will remain open to provide full support to the members and if anything changes in that regard, we will update locals accordingly and without delay.
Thank you for your continued support and for the work that you do on the front lines keeping our communities safe and public services strong. Please be assured that the cancellation of these events in no way means that the work of the union has stopped. CUPE Ontario will continue to represent members, hold government to account and be a forceful advocate for members who work in sectors with increased risk.
Fred Hahn, President
Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer