City and Parks Members - Workforce Adjustment Measures Letter of Understanding

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

In recent days I have heard from many of you. I have heard about your questions, struggles and fears in what has quickly become a very insecure time for all of us. This email will outline work CUPE 15 has done on your behalf to ensure that we deliver as much certainty as we can in the weeks to come.

As you well know, in response to the ongoing health emergency, the City of Vancouver has joined with municipalities and provinces across Canada to restrict public access to facilities in an attempt curb the spread of COVID-19. As a result, we have already seen significant changes to our workplaces, with many civic facility closures already in place. This week will see more City and Parks operations suspended, and significant layoffs will ultimately follow.

Early Sunday morning, CUPE Local 15, along with CUPE Locals 1004 and 391, concluded discussions with the City of Vancouver, the Board of Parks and Recreation, and the Vancouver Public Library to develop a Letter of Understanding (LOU) addressing workforce adjustment measures that cover CUPE members working across the City. This LOU exists to protect CUPE members, and provides increased certainty in an unpredictable and unprecedented time. This LOU was unanimously ratified by the CUPE Local 15 Executive Board and was subsequently ratified by the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Public Library. It is attached below for your reference.

We will circulate the Letter of Understanding once it has been ratified by all parties, including City Council.

The Letter of Understanding covers the following for City and Parks Employees:
- Seniority protection during the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis.
- Wage and benefits protection when work group layoffs occur. The protections are a negotiated resolution to collective agreements’ requirements for notice and pay in lieu of notice and the requirements under section 54 of the Labour Relations Code.
- No bumping during temporary layoffs and members will largely return to their position after the crisis.
- Procedures for laid off City and Parks members along with affected Britannia and Ray-Cam members to access City work by Expression of Interest List during the crisis, and redeployment, if necessary. 
- Occupational Health and Safety Provisions
- Expedited Dispute Resolution Procedure

Please note: If you have not been formally notified of any change in your workplace, please report to work as normal until you hear otherwise from your employer. If you have been formally notified of reassignment, please follow the direction of the employer subject to your right to refuse unsafe work and other such health and safety standards. If you have questions or concerns, or are seeking an accommodation, please contact your shop steward.

As you can imagine, our office and elected officials have been experiencing a much larger volume of enquiries from members and we know this will only increase in the coming weeks. We are doing our very best to respond to members in a timely fashion and will continue to respond to questions as quickly as we can. Please ensure you visit our websites regularly for updates:

Friends, these are truly unprecedented times but we are in this together. Our thanks go out to those members on the front lines, and our hearts go out to those who are without work and are concerned about covering rent, food, and other basic costs. Know that I and the other CUPE 15 officers, stewards, and staff are working around the clock to make sure we are doing everything we can to support members to get through this public health emergency.

In solidarity,
Warren Williams, President

Letter of Understanding City and Parks.pdf269.99 KB