Message from the National President: March 25th
Sisters and Brothers,
The situation is changing by the hour. These are unsettling times and there is uncertainty for employees, unions, and employers alike. The most important thing is that all of us have to be committed to each other’s health, safety, and wellbeing. There is no question that the coronavirus pandemic is at the forefront of everybody’s minds. If you are finding the stress difficult to cope with at this point, I encourage you to make use of our Homewood Health program by calling 1-800-663-1142 or visiting their website.
CPAA, like all the other unions, has been in constant communication with Canada Post, both at the National and Branch levels, and pressing management on the urgent need for safety and protective equipment for our members who are frontline workers.
It is important to keep up to date with federal, provincial, and municipal government instructions during this state of emergency. Federal and provincial governments are issuing updates daily – sometimes several times a day.
It is unsettling to be a frontline worker at this time. CPAA knows this and we are working around the clock to ensure your workplaces are as safe as they can be. Your workplaces are very important to the larger response to COVID-19. The Government has announced that post offices are part of Canada’s pandemic plan response. Our post offices are often a lifeline for our communities and will bring essential items for people in the community who need it. In this time of great need, we are asking for all our members’ help to ensure that Canadians, as a whole, get through this.
We are working with the Corporation to create enhanced safety measures. We are sharing your ideas with management and they are listening. In response to our demand for concrete steps to help ensure the safety of our members, Canada Post was finally able to secure gloves and sanitizing lotions which began to be shipped last week.
More changes to delivery reflect the need to reduce customer traffic and minimize contact with our customers. The new Knock, Drop and Go policy means that the carrier will knock or ring the doorbell, leave the item outside and move onto the next address. This new process includes signature items, with the exception of Proof of Age, Proof of Identity and Customs Owings items.
Plexiglass shields for installation at front counters are being shipped to individual offices, as well as floor markers to guide and safely distance customers. Post office hours are being reduced without any impact on members’ wages. We also asked CPC to limit the number of customers who can enter the post office at once. These are examples of what we have been able to do so far and we encourage you to continue sending us your constructive ideas and suggestions via our website contact form.
It is very important to take immediate action in your own office: be vocal, tell people to move back, and take the time to wash your hands thoroughly between transactions, particularly cash transactions. You can ask your customers to use debit or credit card instead of cash and if they have only cash, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after handling.
This is a global pandemic with the severe implications that such an event causes. Sorely needed medical supplies and protective equipment stocks are depleted the world over. As I write this, hospitals here and abroad are having difficulty securing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for frontline medical staff treating infected and seriously ill patients. Before governments even made the request, industries started retooling assembly lines in order to fill the gaps and provide the necessary equipment. Beer brewers are now making sanitary lotions, various manufacturers are looking at building respirators, convention centres are being turned into temporary field hospitals, and much more. As has been said many times by our political and civic leaders, we are all in this together and together we can overcome this crisis.
We will continue to update you on developments as quickly as we are able.
In solidarity, Brenda