Agreement Reached to Deploy Municipal Staff to Support Community Response to COVID-19
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Agreement Reached to Deploy Municipal Staff to Support Community Response to COVID-19

Upon receiving instructions from City Council on April 1, 2020, City of Windsor Administration immediately drafted a Memorandum of Agreement designed to facilitate a new Staffing Plan and presented it to both CUPE Local 82 and CUPE Local 543.

The Plan will lead to the staff reduction announced on April 1, 2020, but also facilitate the recall and redeployment of nearly 250 municipal staff. Employees would be deployed into critical functions across the organization, and, most significantly, assigned short-term roles with vital community partners to support the overall community response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specific roles and functions are being finalized over the next few days. Examples of community service roles that recalled employees will now be paid to undertake include:

  • Supporting the ongoing delivery and distribution of Hiram-Walker produced hand sanitizer to priority locations across the City of Windsor;
  • Deployment to the Unemployed Help Centre to support community projects;
  • Assigned work with Meals-on-Wheels and other meal-provision organizations;
  • Enhanced cleaning at City Hall facilities, which are closed to the public, but operating with a reduced staff complement; and
  • Working at Huron Lodge to increase the screening of staff, dietary support for residents and increased cleaning capacity.

In determining how and where to deploy recalled staff, specific care has been undertaken to ensure the ongoing health and safety of municipal employees. No worker will be tasked with an assignment that would place them at significant risk, and where required, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is being made available.

Confirmation from Labour Partners

On Thursday, April 2, 2020, Administration received confirmation from CUPE Local 82, who quickly signed back the Memorandum of Agreement to allow for the implementation of the Staffing Plan.

On Friday, April 3, 2020, Administration received notice from CUPE Local 543 that their Executive Team had rejected the Memorandum of Agreement.

After learning of this development, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens called a Special Meeting of City Council to seek further direction and administrative approvals.

On Sunday, April 5, 2020, Administration received notice from CUPE Local 543 that the Memorandum of Agreement had, in fact, been approved.

As of Monday, April 6, 2020, Administration is now working to implement the Staffing Plan across both CUPE Local 82 and CUPE Local 543 membership. Redeployment of municipal employees to vital community groups, listed above, will be completed in the coming days.

“I’d like to thank those within the labour movement who helped facilitate the resolution of the impasse the City of Windsor had experienced this weekend – chief among them Rob Kolody, President of CUPE Local 82,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. “Rob took an early and principled stand that helped us shape the City’s response and ensure as many workers continued to contribute through the Staffing Plan as possible, helping to minimize the overall number of headcount reductions.”

The Special Meeting of Windsor City Council, which had been scheduled for 9:30am on Monday, April 6, 2020 has now been cancelled.  

Visit www.citywindsor.ca/covid-19 for the latest information. The Windsor Essex County Health Unit continuously provide updated information on the latest health advice and local COVID-19 data.

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