Dear Fellow UWOSA Members,
As incoming President, I am proud and honoured by the opportunity to lead us through this period of change and uncertainty. I am committed to proudly serving and advancing the rights of everyone in our bargaining union. Rest assured, I am dedicated to building upon the strengths and gains of my predecessor and ensuring that we continue to uphold our rights in the collective agreement and to maintain as many union positions as possible. I am excited to work with the new Executive Officers and Stewards.
I never imagined 5 months ago that my role as UWOSA President for the 2020-2022 term would begin in this forum, a virtual world of communicating over email, Zoom, teleconference, etc., but here we are. If there is one thing I have learned over my past 3.5 years as Chief Steward, it is that UWOSA members are resilient and strong – we will get through this, together.
We all fare better when we work together. I firmly believe that there is no greater purpose than to be of service to others. When unions stand up for fairness, they raise the bar for everyone and I am committed to working with and for each of you during my term as President.
There are several updates that the Executive Officers would like to share with you at this time:
UWOSA has been advised that the employer has put a ‘pause’ on hiring, effective April 15, 2020 until after June 2020 in order to provide time to assess student enrollment for the fall. You may still see some postings however, these are only those proved to talent acquisition as being `essential’ for operations at the current time. The goal is to keep our current staff employed. If there is hiring happening in your area, including non-union/part-time contracts, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
The Road Map Back to Working on Campus:
The Executive Officers were advised that the University will begin bringing people back to campus over the next few months, commencing today, May 12, 2020. We have been advised that Western is planning for a phased and gradual approach for everyone to return to campus. At this time there are no deadline dates assigned as Western must comply with public health guidelines, government protocols, and continue to ensure that the obligation for the health and safety of Western employees will be met. UWOSA has not been advised of any details regarding this transition (which roles will return and when), except that plans change daily as the situation evolves. We repeatedly ask for information so that we can be able to support you through these challenging times. If your schedules are changing, or if you are being asked to return to campus, please let us know (email@example.com) so that we can ensure you are being supported and your concerns are being addressed. We will continue to seek further details regarding `the plan’ from senior leaders in Human Resources and we are optimistic that more information will be shared. We understand that uncertainty is stressful and we have shared with leadership that sharing details, even if they are general, about a plan/timeline can help reduce the anxiety.
In closing, thank you for your patience, your kindness, and your resilience. As we continue dealing with these unprecedented times, having support from each other is needed now more than ever. Our Executive Officers and Stewards continue to be here to support you, and we appreciate the support you give to us whether it be information, a kind word, or an uplifting email. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or need supports.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.
~ Nikki Grozelle, President, UWOSA