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President’s Update June 26

Posted in Unifor 5555

It feels like we keep saying this, but it is still true; campus keeps getting busier.  We have some news and Health and Safety updates in here this week, so it is a bit longer, but is important information we wanted to share.

Pride Committee

We are quite happy to announce that a Local Pride Committee is being formed.   It has long been a concern for us that our LGBTQs+ members may feel under-represented in our local, but without a member of the community to take on the task of getting one started, we haven’t been able to until now.  We will be sending out a call for interested members in the next week or so once we have some dates confirmed, but in the meantime, any members interested in finding out more or participating in the Pride Committee can email

Extra-Long Weekend

We hope that our members have heard the news that, in recognition of the extraordinary work our members and the campus community have put in over the past few months, the University is closing on July 2nd and 3rd to give everyone an extra-long Canada Day Weekend.  Some members will be required to work in certain areas, but in those cases, members will be able to take those two days at an alternate time.  If you had already booked vacation for those days, you will get them back to book at another time.   We hope our members take the opportunity for some much needed and well-deserved downtime.

Heat Safety Ergonomics

As we are seeing the temperatures rise, it is worth a reminder that heat stress is a safety concern.  When the weather is hot and humid, we need to listen to what our bodies are telling us when we are working (or playing) outside.  Unifor National’s Health and Safety department has compiled an excellent information sheet on Heat Stress that can be found on our Health and Safety Committee Page.

Ergonomics at Home

The Ergonomics of Working from home webinar ran again this week through the ETOP (Educational, Technical, Office Professional) Industry Council we affiliate with and it was quite well attended.  ETOP is looking to run another session when the webinar education series start back up in August, so if you missed this one, you will get another opportunity to attend.  Also, as this webinar was initially sponsored by our Local for CALM (Canadian Association of Labour Media) we do also have a recording of the original offering of this webinar that can also be found on our Health and Safety Committee Page.

Injuries at Work

We want to remind our members that if they see a safety concern or are injured while performing the duties of their role, it is imperative that they fill out an incident report, regardless of whether or not the injury happened in the workspace, or while working remotely from home.  Incident reports are how hazards are brought to the attention of our Joint Health and Safety Committee to be reviewed, and document workplace injuries in the event that a WSIB claim will be required.  An injury does not have to be ‘major’ to be reported, and it is worth noting that the severity of some injuries, especially joint/muscle injuries aren’t apparent until some time has passed, so having proper documentation is important.  A copy of the Incident Report form can be downloaded from our Health and Safety Committee Page.

If you have questions relating to Heat Stress, Ergonomics, or any Health and Safety Matter, we encourage you to reach out to our Health and Safety Coordinator, Jim McAndrew for advice and assistance.

General News

We have run some successful virtual meetings recently and hosted our first ever Virtual New Member Orientation this week.   We will be running another New Member session later in the summer or early fall and will send details on that when we have a confirmed date.

We are also working on a couple webinars style events to bring information to the members on topics that may be of interest.  The first of which will be an information session on our benefits package.  We know the summer is tricky for vacations but will be booking a few sessions so keep an eye our for information on those as well.

Our Retiree Committee decided to spend some of their COVID-19 time fundraising.  They put a call out to their members and in very short order raised almost $350 for the United Way, which the Local Executive Board has decided to match.

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