Dear CAPE members,
This year has certainly been one like no other. The workplace has been shaken up and completely redefined, and whether these changes are permanent has yet to be seen. The pandemic has given rise to a new way of life, for better or for worse. If there is any silver lining, it is the fact that the crisis has contributed to strengthening the labour community.
The rapid change from our normal working lives was deeply disrupted by the pandemic, and public service employees were faced with new and added challenges of working remotely, such as not having access to network connections and equipment, isolation, anxiety, increased family responsibilities, and many other challenges that this new reality brought to light. We quickly rallied behind our members, and all the unions immediately joined forces to offer support and assistance.
The labour community was also catapulted into the forefront of this crisis, working with the federal government to explore ways to keep it running while protecting the health and safety of our members. This left many of us working late night shifts and weekends to find common ground and deliver the impossible, at unprecedented speed.
The labour community has spared no resources in looking for ways to protect all employees, with special attention to those most at risk, in order to avoid administrative abuse or injustice, and keep members informed. It has been a bumpy road for everyone, but we appreciate and show gratitude to our fellow public service union friends and partners for their generous collaboration and solidarity.
The many collective successes we have had advocating for better transition measures proved that when our voices come together, we cannot be ignored. When the labour union community works together as a united front, we are unbeatable.
The next few months will be another test for us all as we brace for a possible second wave of COVID-19. While some people are looking forward to returning to the workplace, many still have concerns for their own health and welfare, and those of their families. As your union, we must press the government to resist the temptation to hastily force a return to the workplace or, if it is necessary for an employee to return to the workplace, to ensure that health and safety are being protected according to the latest information and protocols. This is not over yet. We are vigilant and unrelenting.
On this Labour Day, we can confirm that the Canadian federal public service labour community is alive and well.