Message #5 to Our Members Re. COVID-19
As you are aware, both President Barnard from the University of Manitoba and President Trimbee from The University of Winnipeg sent emails earlier this week to all employees indicating that there has been a new directive from the provincial government with respect to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both messages included the concept that we had to work together as a community to find ways to support the front-line workers during this health crisis. However, we feel it’s important that our members are aware that the government’s directive to all public-sector employers has been to find substantial costs savings in relation to salaries in particular.
AESES is busy petitioning both Universities and the provincial government to reconsider this exercise as it pertains to University employees, as any reductions would severely impact the ability of both Universities to continue their obligations of teaching and research. However, if cuts are determined to be necessary to comply with the government’s directive, we will do all that we can to ensure these are as minimal as possible and are shared across the Universities’ employee groups. This includes pressing the Universities to ensure that any potential reductions are not permanent in nature.
AESES understands that this may be disturbing news to hear at a time when people are already concerned about their health and safety, and may be having difficulty adjusting to the requirements for physical distancing. As soon as we have more information that we can share on these developments, we will be sure to send another communication to our membership.