COVID-19 Update: Contract Rollover and Masks

Dear CUPE 3261 Members,
I am writing to thank those that joined the General Membership meeting with me on Saturday, June 27th, 2020.
During this difficult time that we are facing, I want everyone to know that we are in this together. I’ve heard some of your concerns and want to let you know that your union is listening. There are some things we still need to get through, but in the meantime, it is about sticking together as a union so we get through this together and become stronger!  
Recap what was discussed during the meeting — the employer had not yet agreed or disagreed on rolling over the contract for one year. The union’s position is that it is better to maintain the existing language and wait until things improve next year to resume negotiations. Another important requirement for us is to have the bridge maintained if the contract is rolled over.
We will let the membership know when the employer officially approves the rollover. We will organize a ratification vote for the membership to approve the rollover shortly after.
The union has received a large supply of reusable non-medical masks for all members. I have been visiting workplaces to distribute these masks. Please be patient with me while I continue delivering them. 
Since the masks are branded with the union logo, it is important you receive permission from your supervisor if you want to wear them at work.
Yesterday, the U of T administration sent out an email to all workers regarding a new mask policy. U of T has decided to follow in the footsteps of the City of Toronto’s recent by-law that mandates masks to be worn in all indoor public places starting July 7th, 2020. U of T will now require individuals to wear a mask or face covering when inside U of T buildings that are publicly accessible. 
To support this initiative, U of T will distribute two reusable, non-medical masks to every staff member. Details regarding their distribution will be released shortly. 
The overall new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario continues to fall everyday, and yesterday, for the first time in three months,  zero deaths were reported as a result of COVID-19. Meanwhile, nearly 87% of all COVID-19 cases in Ontario are now classified as ‘resolved’. This is good news for all our members and the province as a whole. As new cases dwindle, we can expect a further loosening of restrictions with a potential to enter Stage 3 this month, which would involve the reopening of nearly all workplaces and businesses.
However, we must continue our collective responsibility in limiting the spread of COVID-19. The virus is still here, and the potential for a second wave still exists. As a result, it is imperative we continue to practice the guidelines of health officials. This includes wearing masks, frequent hand washing, practicing physical distancing, avoiding large crowds, and staying home when sick. 

As always please stay safe and look out for one another.

Thank you,
Allan James
President, CUPE 3261
Masks can be picked up at the union office, located at 703 Spadina Ave, floor two. Email or call if you plan on grabbing one.