Black Lives Matter Here. Indigenous Lives Matter Here. Yukon Employees’ Union and our members can play an important role in fighting racism together. To do that, my job, and that of white folks is to step out of the way and make space for the voices of people who face racism in their daily lives. It’s long past time for us to listen. It’s time to take on the personal challenge of self-education on the reality of ongoing, systemic racism in Canada. YEU is working on a plan to share our platform with BIPOC; please let me know by email if you’d like to be part of this.
Watch for a Breach of the Collective Agreement
Work for YG? The June 8 Global Note about summer vacation plans said that some workers would be required to use vacation leave following holidays if they couldn't work from home. Please note that your collective agreement contains language in Article 25 that allows you to use your sick leave and not vacation, should you need to quarantine upon return to the Territory. If your employer denies your use of accrued sick leave, let us know right away; you are not required to use vacation leave. We can and will grieve this breach to your contract!
Has your employer provided you with details about their return to work plan? Quite a few employers have shared their RTW plans with the union, but not all have communicated effectively with their workforce. This practice is causing a great deal of angst and uncertainty.
Not getting the answers you need to return safely? Feeling unsafe because the RTW plan isn’t being followed? Bring the issue to your OH&S committee; If they can’t get it addressed there, let us know and we’ll involve WCB.
If you have a medical condition that would make it unsafe for you to return to the office, or are caring for someone in precarious health, your employer has a duty to accommodate you. Let us know if your employer is failing in their legal duty.
The efforts to protect workers and the public from Covid-19 transmission were undertaken with good intentions but some employer responses have resulted in the creation of a 2-tiered work force. While many have been able to work from home, other workers have either been expected to fulfill their duties in the workplace. At the same time, a contingent of seasonal employees have been forced out of work due to program and facility closures. All of this has contributed to a sense of anger and frustration for many struggling with reduced or no wages, feeling vulnerable in the workplace and like the employer and union has let them down. YEU has been working to address these inequities throughout the crisis, but it is been an uphill struggle to say the least and we’d really like to talk with you about it.
I hope you and all affected YEU members will join me in one or both of our two upcoming Zoom discussions to talk about how this has affected you, and what we can do to restore equity. These meetings will happen Thursday June 18 and 25 at 6:30pm. Details are on the event page, linked here. Please join the conversation – your perspective is important.
Christie Harper has left her role as Executive Director at YEU, and we want to thank her for her excellent work. Susan Koser continues as Acting Executive Director and we are beginning the recruitment process to find Christie’s replacement. We wish Christie all the best in her future endeavours.
We’ve made the very difficult decision to cancel our annual Labour Day BBQ this year. After our rollicking 25th anniversary celebration last year, it’s a bitter pill to swallow but one we feel we can’t avoid in light of everything that’s happening. Once again, our committee has ordered one pallet each of tuna and peanut butter for the Whitehorse Food Bank in an effort to feed the people one way or another. We look forward to meeting again in Shipyards Park over a great burger in September of 2021.
And finally, the Laundry Project will resume Tuesday July 14th 6-9pm at the Family Hotel Laundromat. We will proceed with caution, following the guidelines of the CMOH, and with new procedures to keep both our guests and our volunteers safe. This project has been missed by everyone, and we’re very happy to relaunch this initiative.
As always, please reach out to me or the staff through our website – use our Contact page to ask a question or provide info,and our Intake form if you wish to file a grievance or a complaint. Our offices remain closed for the time being, but we are all looking forward to the time we can welcome you back to the YEU Hall.
Steve Geick, President