Message from your Business Manager - May 11

Dear Sisters & Brothers,

I trust that you are continuing to keep healthy and safe. As I’m sure you expected, we have officially cancelled all of our May Unit and Committee meetings. In April, the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus held their meeting via teleconference. This is an idea that has been explored for our monthly Unit meetings as well. However, guidelines from the International Office prohibit holding official Unit meetings electronically.

Be that as it may, we have been authorized to explore hosting online informational meetings that are not official Unit meetings. These information meetings would be an opportunity to connect and share but there would be no motions or notices of motions. These informal meetings would provide an opportunity for you to come together with your fellow members in more of an electronic ‘town hall’ type of gathering. We will be trying this idea out in one of our smaller groups this month, and if it is successful and proves beneficial, we intend to roll them out across the Units by June. We will of course keep you informed so that you can register to participate. However, our system’s technical capacity may require that we place a limit on participants. If you are invited to attend, please don’t hesitate to register your interest so that we can do our best to accommodate everyone.

I know what you’re thinking…won’t everything be back to normal by June? We were already on top of developing the Local’s office reopening before the provincial government’s Restart Plan was announcement last week. I am proud of what Canada and more especially BC has done to stem the tide of this pandemic. However, I do still have concerns about the ramifications of too quick of a return to pre-COVID life and the increase number of infections that my occur. Many of you may have noticed the increase in traffic, people heading out into work or public areas and over this Mother’s Day weekend, many families have begun reconnecting their inner family circles. These are good things, but also warrant cautious attention as we shift from the physical distancing measure that we know were working.

Local 213 was one organization that closed our doors to the public very early on, but this does not mean we should be one of the first to reopen. It is my intention to continue our own Restart Plan in a methodical manner, and monitor not only our internal risks as more people come into our building again, but to carefully watch how the government’s plan to reintegrate people and the economy plays out in the broader public.

I understand that a few members have been frustrated by the impact world events have had on the Local’s ability to provide services at our pre-pandemic speed, but it’s not a reason to rush back to business as usual. Throughout these challenges, our ABMs and staff have worked hard to maintain and our support of members. I thank you for your patience and appreciate your understanding as we move forward with restoring our full organizational capacity.

Watch for the June issue of our bi-monthly Moving Forward newsletter for more information regarding online, townhall style Unit meetings and news about your workplaces from your ABMs.

Until then, keep health and safe.

In solidarity,

Jim Lofty
Business Manager