COVID-19: A message from the President (CUPEU)

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all managing, both personally and professionally, in these very unfamiliar times and circumstances.

The CUPEU Executive committee recently sent out two emails asking for your feedback since COVID-19 measures were put in place: one on March 26 and one on March 31. This was to gage how our membership is doing and to be better prepared to express its concerns to the University.

We had 18 responses to our first email asking for your concerns, questions and feedback with regard to the university’s FAQ for Staff. Most concerns expressed dealt with working from home and all that entails, as well as, job security risk (layoffs). We also received questions regarding personal time and vacation.

We received a whopping 240 replies to the survey on working remotely. While more than half who replied were working on their personal computers that were at least compatible with their work computer, more than half felt that they did not have all the necessary tools required to work from home. The largest obstacle to working remotely was not having a second monitor while more than half wished/wanted an office chair.

Results from CUPEU's COVID-19 remote working survey

The clear, and consistent, message from the University is that if you are having concerns or difficulties working from home, you must speak to your manager. According to the University, management is expected to show some flexibility regarding work hours and performance. Your manager needs to know what the issue is so that, together, a solution is found.

Please keep in mind that articles regarding overtime and work schedule are still applicable but, if you need to move your hours of work, to accommodate a home situation, inform your manager (in writing).

Vacation days can be carried forward. Speak to your manager about that number. Personal days are not being carried forward. Speak to your manager about how you can use that time before May 31, 2020.

Regarding job security or layoffs, from what we understand, this is not something the University is considering.

Many of you may have already taken advantage of bringing home your office chairs, screens or computers. Unfortunately, as of last Friday, April 3, we no longer have access to the University campuses to remove items from our offices. If, however, you feel that not having appropriate equipment is affecting your ability to do your job, speak to your manager. DO NOT make purchases in the hopes that the University will reimburse you.

I would like to personally thank each one of you who took the time to reply to our outreach.

The CUPEU Executive is still working to serve the membership.

If you have concerns or questions, please email us at cupeu@concordia.ca.

Best,

Shoshana Kalfon
President, CUPEU