Over the past weeks, we have been listening and responding to many of you who have expressed concerns and questions about the COVID-19 pandemic, using our Collective Agreement and the Canada Labour Code as guidelines. As conditions change daily, and new restrictions have been implemented in Nova Scotia, we continue to reach out to the company for answers. The safety of our members and their families remains at the forefront of our concerns. While we know that there is a worldwide shortage of masks and hand sanitizer, and we are aware that Bell is still in the process of waiting for supplies, remember that your safety is paramount. In the call centres and offices, ensure that your desks are spaced out and that in addition to constant hand washing, your environment is thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis. If you have been given the opportunity to work from home, and are comfortable doing so, avail yourself of this. For technicians in the field, do what work you can outside the customers’ houses but if you feel unsafe entering the premise, you have the right to refuse to enter—call your manager to let them know you have completed what you could and ask for them to direct you to your next task. Many of you have asked about stats and our position at the moment is that this is not currently a significant issue in light of recent events. We are all professionals, and will do what we can to maintain the status of our network, while keeping ourselves safe. This remains our priority.
We have asked that Bell provide direction to all members regarding our status as, “essential”. We are looking for the exact details of what this terminology means, and if it applies equally to every member of our teams. Currently, Unifor National is looking into this in relation to Federal and Provincial laws. Also, we reached out to the company for direction regarding interprovincial travel as it pertains to our work, and have been told that those who are required to cross a provincial border for work purposes may do so without the 14 days of self-isolation, ensuring they have their company IDs with them.
In these uncertain times, your Unifor Local 2289 executives, shop stewards, and unit chairs remain committed to being available to you for questions and concerns. Our union office number is 902-425-2440. In addition to the office, your president, Cullen Bolger, can be reached at email@example.com, or at 902-302-8798, your vice-president, David Gates at firstname.lastname@example.org and your secretary/treasurer, Wendy Bradley Reynolds can be contacted at email@example.com or 902-599-1109. Please go through the proper channels as much as possible if you require a shop steward. To find out names of shop stewards please go to www.unifor2289.ca.
Regrettably, unit meetings for at least the month of April will be cancelled, as per our provincial state of emergency guidelines. We ask our unit officers to kindly consider staying in place until such time as the required in person voting can take place in a meeting.
For your executive officers (president, vice-president, secretary/treasurer, and 4 regional directors), women’s committee, and shop stewards the voting is electronic, and in the interest of continuity and to fulfill our duty to represent, we will be asking for expressions of interest to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 30th, 2020, for those wanting to put their names forward. A candidate profile will be required to be submitted to the office by May 16th, 2020, and the electronic voting will take place from June 1st, 2020, until June 21st, 2020, with the results shared on June 22, 2020.
Please know that we will continue to share all information that we receive from the company, and that we are available to you for your questions and concerns.
Your Unifor Local 2289 Executive