April 14 Message to Members

Dear 391 Vancouver family,

I hope you have had a chance to find ways of connecting with family, friends, and community over this weekend. It is a time of reflection and faith for many and ideally you have been able to access some sense of comfort and peace through whichever channel works best for you.

We have had some questions regarding the messaging from the Mayor over the past few days. We are aware that hearing words such as insolvency or bankruptcy for a municipality is very concerning and making projections at a time of such uncertainty is difficult. Not knowing how long this crisis may continue, there are talks of potentially more layoffs to come. It is important to note that our membership makes up an already large percentage of the cost-cutting that has happened – it is other areas of the city operations’ that we would likely see the impacts in the short term.

Mayor Kennedy is pushing hard for provincial and federal support and that is what you are seeing in the media. We are monitoring and gathering information from council and city staff, and the unions are in close communication with each other in order to be adequately responsive. The intent of the LOU Framework agreement is to have members returning to the positions that they have had to temporarily leave. Of course we cannot ignore potential long-term impacts on the workforce and we will work through those as always with your best interests at heart and in mind. At this time, there are no specifics we are aware of and the intention of having you return remains a priority. The unions continue to advocate for minimal work disruption – we see the road to recovery for the city as being an easier one with more people working, not less.

Christina has talked about this today in her video, and there are a couple of links we can share with you in terms of the context of the budget discussions at council.

Watch today’s city council meeting – reconvening at 3pm.
Read COV staff budget report to council.

In solidarity,