Members urged to continue filing complaints and grievances
The good news is that the Government of Alberta (GOA) has decided it will not renew the lease on the Melcor Centre in Lethbridge.
The bad news is that the lease doesn’t expire until May 2025. That’s nearly three years away.
While the employer has informed you that it is “actively exploring other space” to use before a new permanent site is found, you might be stuck at the Melcor Centre for some time.
That means continued risks to your safety and health. Flooding has continued to be a problem in the building, with more incidents reported as recently as last week.
Members are legitimately concerned that these repeated floods pose not only a risk of physical injury if ceiling tiles collapse on their heads, but they are also afraid that the frequent floods will bring mould problems. This can be a threat to health as well, especially for people with respiratory issues.
What all this means is that we need to keep pressure on the employer so that a solution can be found for you as soon as possible.
If (or rather when) there is more flooding, we need the employer to continue to allow members to work remotely. We also need to find a safe space for those members, particularly those in administrative and support services, who have been working on site full time as the catastrophes have unfolded.
Stay vigilant on any change in your health. If you start to experience any respiratory or skin conditions or allergies, it’s important to document them and to consult a doctor.
Please continue to file Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) complaints with Occupational Health and Safety, Alberta Labour. You can do that online here or by phone at 1-866-415-8690. AUPE’s OH&S expert Diana Griffith can help you fill out and submit those forms and answer any questions you may have about the process. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also want to consider filing a grievance. Diana or your Membership Services Officer (MSO) can help with that. You can contact your MSO by phone at 1-800-232-7284 or by clicking here.
It is thanks to the pressure that you, the members, have put on the employer that there is now light at the end of the tunnel. We need to keep that pressure on to bring a permanent solution that assures you have a safe and healthy workplace as soon as possible.
AUPE members employed by Alberta Health Services (AHS) also work in the Melcor Centre and have been affected by floods. The union is in contact with AHS about those problems, but there is no news to report on that front.