Connecting with our community across the country
We could not have imagined a year ago what 2020 had in store. With the lockdown measures imposed in March, everyone had to adapt and adjust to a new way of working and connecting. This context imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic had an impact on how we at CAPE conduct our national tour of local annual general meetings. While we missed the chance to meet our members in person, we managed to tour to meet with CAPE members virtually.
CAPE President Greg Phillips and other members of the CAPE management team were able to connect with members from 11 regional locals across Canada, including 26 department locals. Attendance this year was unfortunately much lower, as we had expected, given the challenges we all faced.
Some of the topics covered during the AGMs ranged from teleworking conditions to the use of the 699-leave code, the struggle experienced by parents working from home and having to care for children not in daycare or school, and the eventual return to the workplace.
Also included were updates on the following:
- The CAPE National Election
- Joining the Canadian Labour Congress
- The unfair labour practices pertaining to the failure to implement the back-pay provisions of the EC and TR collective agreements by October 2017
- The Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP)
- Phoenix Damage Compensation Claim Tiers
Generally, the virtual tour helped CAPE get a clear perspective on how our members are coping with their new working arrangements, which has been useful in our conversations with senior management at Treasury Board.
During the tour, some members were able to report a rather quick transition to telework with fewer hurdles than they had originally anticipated. In fact, some members appreciated the opportunity to evidence their ability to work efficiently and effectively in a telework environment.
“It was good to reconnect with everyone and I’m proud of our members’ ability to adapt and thrive in such difficult conditions.” said Greg Phillips, CAPE President. “To say it has been a difficult year seems like an enormous understatement; however, we as faithful and dedicated public service employees have shown strength in our ability to adapt through these troubling times. Throughout this year we have received useful feedback and recommendations from our members, which has informed many discussions with the employer.”
The national tour ended on December 15 at Local 517, Indigenous Services Canada.