As AUPE members on the frontlines contend with the Fourth (4th) wave of COVID-19, it is prudent that our union continue to show extreme diligence in prioritizing the health, safety, and wellness of its members. In July the UCP government announced their “Best Summer Ever” plan and made the careless decision to remove the pandemic restrictions that were essentially keeping Albertans safe. Instead of following suit, AUPE chose to adhere to its much more cautious restrictions around in-person gatherings, and it now appears as if the cautious approach was the best way to go.
Recently the UCP government introduced the “Restrictions Exemptions Program” (REP), and this new vaccine passport model is changing the landscape of restrictions in Alberta. As such, AUPE is issuing a slight revision to the directive around in-person gatherings as follows:
- AUPE offices will continue to remain closed until further notice. As such, it is strongly recommended that members continue to use virtual platforms to conduct their business. This continues to be the safest option for meeting.
- Members may conduct business in-person provided they meet the current government restrictions which includes proper masking, social distancing, and following the REP requirement if the meeting facility currently has one in place.
- Members who choose to meet in-person continue to do so at their own risk, and meeting coordinators are obligated to share with all potential attendees that insurance coverage is void for anyone who contracts COVID-19 at in-person AUPE gatherings (i.e., WCB). You are encouraged to discuss insurance coverage with the facility you are looking at hosting an event/meeting at.
- In-person meetings/events will be at the cost of the component, and no reimbursement for facility rental will be covered by AUPE HQ.
- All meetings and events must take all steps to ensure remote access and engagement is possible for members who are unable or unwilling to meet in-person.
- There is no guarantee that AUPE staff or officers will be in attendance, and participation will continue to be looked at on a case-by-case basis.
Should members have a need to organize direct action, please reach out to your Membership Services Officer (MSO) by phoning the Member Resource Centre at 1 800 232-7284, or by emailing them directly. MSOs will connect members with AUPE staff who can assist with coordinating appropriate direct action.
The AUPE Executive is committed to monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Alberta. Should changes be necessary we will revisit the measures in this advisory to reflect our continued efforts to assure the safety and well-being of members.
Please continue to be safe and strong as we navigate the 4th wave of this pandemic.
In Solidarity, Your AUPE Executive Committee.