News Archive – COVID-19


Apr 10,2022: District Review of COVID Protocols

Senior District Management continues to review remaining COVID-19 protocols on an ongoing basis.

This past week, Caretakers should have received notification from Caretaking Supervisors of the cessation of the requirement to record daily sanitization times on their Boiler Logs & other documents.


Mar 16,2022: COVID “deep cleaning”

Discussions are being held with & amongst District management regarding all COVID-19 protocols.

For now, the “deep cleaning” protocol remains unchanged. There is a form that needs to be filled in by school Admin & submitted through ASK with a request for extra help for deep cleaning. For school based Custodial staff, this item remains “as time & manpower allow”.

COVID-19 protocols will all eventually be removed. Watch for updates from Central Office & the Chief Superintendent in your District email.


Feb 27,2022: District Announcement on End of COVID Restrictions

The following is taken directly from the Feb 26 email from the Chief Superintendent of the CCSD:

  • Through this pandemic, there have been opportunities to learn and grow. For example, we all learned how to use Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Classrooms. Some of these essential learnings will become part of our “better” normal as we go forward. We also learned to practice good health. The 1-2-3 of good health includes:
  1. If you are sick, please stay home until you are better.
  2. Continue to wash your hands regularly.
  3. Sanitize high touch surfaces.

Here are three more significant changes for the week ahead:

    • On Tuesday, March 1, 2022 the wearing of masks by all adults in our buildings will be optional.
    • AP 168 will be suspended. Monday, Feb. 28 will be the last day of mandatory rapid testing for unvaccinated staff.
    • Effective Tuesday, March 1 our 25% absenteeism guideline for transitioning to at home learning no longer applies. Thus, classes who are currently at home for 10 calendar days of isolation can return to school on Tuesday, March 1 (Note: Anyone sick should stay at home until symptoms go away).

Thank you for your patience as we transition out of our health restrictions. A detailed question and answer document will be shared with everyone early in the week.  


Feb 13,2022: COVID endemic period

As we move into the endemic period of COVID-19, please begin to be aware that the District Supervisors will likely increase their attention to absenteeism rates. The Caretaking working group fared very well over the course of the pandemic & you are all to be applauded. However, as we move towards normalcy, so will the District wide averages of absenteeism upon which the District’s Absenteeism System protocols are based.

Please look after you health & well being while being aware of your overall workplace attendance.

Stay healthy. Be smart.


Oct 22,2021: District Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Protocol

The District has released its mandatory COVID-19 vaccination protocol under its newly developed Administrative Procedure 168.

You can access the AP through the link on either the Chief Superintendent’s Oct 21st or 22nd email update or you can go to ASK & type “administrative procedure” into the search bar & follow the links.

At this time, the Union is satisfied with the options available, including the ability to chose to not disclose your vaccination status while participating in twice-weekly self-administered antigen testing at the employer’s expense & during paid, on-duty time.

The option not to disclose is NOT on the HR self-service portal. It requires you to have that discussion with your supervisor either directly or via email.

Additional information should be forthcoming from your Supervisor via email.


Oct 07,2021: District Vaccination Policy

Late last night, the District’s Chief Superintendent notified all staff “…the Board of Trustees approved supporting administration’s recommendation to move forward with mandatory vaccination for staff”.

We are awaiting clarification of the parameters of this policy. The Union has yet to be consulted on this issue & will craft a response & plan of action once we are provided with more details.

Contact a Union Executive if you are requested to do anything or provide information that makes you uncomfortable.

You have rights & protections under your Collective Agreement, the provincial laws of Alberta, Canadian federal laws, & the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms.


Aug 31,2021: COVID Masking at work

With students returning on a rotational basis on Sept 1st, the District has announced masking requirements in the schools.

As pertaining to our night cleaning staff (working in virtually empty buildings), I direct to this recently emailed quote: “When it comes to masks, please be reasonable and use good judgement. Remember the phrase “keep the space or cover your face”. Hence, if you have lots of space between you and others you don’t have to wear a mask.”

Those of you on dayshift in schools or workplaces with high occupancies are entitled to have masks provided to you by the employer at the employer’s cost. If asked to wear a mask, be sure to request one be provided to you. Cloth masks (more than one) need to be supplied to cover your personal laundry cycle. Disposable masks need to be supplied as needed, to a MINIMUM of one per shift. If it becomes soiled or damaged, you are entitled to another.

From our Collective Agreement: “Article 21.3 : Personal Protective Equipment :
Personal Protective Equipment will be issued without cost to the employee when it is
considered necessary by the Employer; such equipment will remain the property of the


Aug 12,2021: District Thought Exchange survey

There is an email from the District’s Chief Superintendent in your District email inbox dated Tuesday Aug 10 containing a link to a Thought Exchange survey regarding potential COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming school year. The survey is open for one week. Open it up & input your opinions today!


May 11,2021: COVID Vaccination Leave

Today, each Member of Local 520 should have received an email from the District via your District email account regarding the procedure for booking COVID vaccination leave of 3 hours for 2 separate instances.

Up until this point, the direction from HR was to enter the vaccination appointment into Absence Management as a “doctor’s appointment”, which would then be taken from accrued sick leave.

Those Members who have already used accrued sick time on or after April 21, 2021 for this purpose are entitled to have that time returned (up to 3 hours). The following direction comes directly from the District email:

  • “If any employee received a COVID-19 vaccine during work hours on or after April 21, 2021 (when the legislative change took effect), and would like to retroactively change a leave already submitted as a regular medical leave/appointment for that COVID-19 vaccination appointment, please contact our Employee Health and Leaves team via ASK.”


Apr 27,2021:  Providing paid COVID-19 vaccination leave *

All working Albertans are eligible for paid, job-protected leave to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

*Taken directly from the official Government of Alberta website.


Mar 20,2021: Alberta Critical Workers Benefit: Paid

Each of those eligible for payment should have received the Alberta CWB along with your regular pay of Friday March 19. As it was added to your pay for that period, you will likely have paid slightly more in taxes than if it had been a separate payment. That being said, it’s better to pay a little more upfront with the possibility of a future tax credit than to pay too little, only to find yourself owing taxes in the future.


Mar 16,2021: Alberta Critical Worker Benefit: District UPDATE

This just up on the District’s ASK Portal under “Announcements”:

  • Submission of the CWB list of qualifying and eligible workers was made to the Ministry of Education earlier this month.Subject to final approvals by the ministry, district employees who qualified and were eligible for the benefit will have the payment of $1,200 less statutory deductions included in the pay for Friday, March 19, 2021.Should you have any questions, please submit an ASK HR General Inquiry.


Mar 13,2021: Alberta Critical Workers Benefit: UPDATE

When Alberta’s CWB was announced, it contained some exceptions regarding eligible positions within our Union. We have worked closely with Chief Superintendent Bryan Szumlas & the CCSD Board of Trustees to receive clarification on these positions through the Alberta Government.

We, unfortunately, were not 100% successful in our efforts.

The good news is that funding has been secured to cover all Caretakers & Cleaners at St Leo, St Paul, St John Reception Centre, & Central Office. The one Caretaker that works for an hour at St Leo was already eligible by virtue of the 7hrs/day he works at a school location.

Unfortunately, we were not able to get an eligibility exemption for the SBAC warehouse or Maintenance positions.

This Alberta regulated benefit was not available to Admin, Teachers, or a significant percentage of UNIFOR staff. Although we tried to get all our Members into it, our Local has the highest eligibility rate at 98.3% of active Members (those not on LTD).

The final list was submitted to the Alberta Government this past Friday. The program will be paid out upon CCSD’s receipt of final approval from the government. Although the District is hoping to be able to pay it out during this pay cycle (on March 19), it is more likely the final approval will not arrive in time & the payout is more likely to occur on April 2.


Feb 25,2021: Alberta Critical Workers Benefit: CLARIFICATION

If you are assigned to work 2 locations & one of them is ineligible for the Benefit, you still qualify if your other worksite is eligible & you worked the required 300 hours (average 20 hours per week during the required time frame) at the eligible location.

This information was garnered through an HR General Inquiry on the District’s ASK portal. It really is that easy…& it took less than an hour from inquiry to resolution.

Keep yourself informed.

Knowledge is power.


Feb 24,2021: Alberta Critical Workers Benefit: IMPORTANT UPDATE

There is an important update from the District’s Chief Superintendent in your District email.

Along with the CS, we too are disappointed that not every Member of our Union is included in this initiative.

The rules are not the District’s nor the Union’s. The government has restricted it to school based positions meeting the minimum paid hours worked at location.

Read both the CS’s email & the attached memo carefully. We don’t have any information other than what has been included.

Please note the very last line on the memo; “Should you have any questions, please submit them as a HR General Inquiry on the district’s ASK portal.”


Feb 10,2021: Important news from the Government of Alberta


Feb 10,2021: February Staffing Formula

We have received a copy of the February 2021 Staffing Formula. It remains unchanged from the October 2020 Formula. The District has committed to “staying the course” with last February’s staffing allotment to allow for the extra caretaking time involved with meeting COVID-19 pandemic protocols.

February’s Formula will be available soon in the Members section, as soon as it is fully scrutinized.

The next Staffing Formula adjustment won’t occur until October, during the 2021-22 school year.


Feb 10,2021: Temporary COVID pandemic contract cleaners

In discussions today, District management has assured us that the temporary cleaners assigned to high schools are to free up resources for COVID relief coverage. The contract will only last as long as pandemic related restrictions & protocols.

Also under the heading of temporary enhanced help, there is a contractor travelling between school sites doing electrostatic disinfection. Think of this more along the lines of pest control…it’s a temporary enhanced service over & above what we actually do as part of our daily routine.

A reminder, once again, that no Member of our Local has suffered from reduced hours, reduced pay, or layoffs. We are simply receiving the government funded temporary assistance we’ve all been asking for.


Feb 03,2021: Extra Cleaners during COVID-19

As some of you will recall, during our November RMM Members brought forward the suggestion of hiring temporary cleaners under our CBA Article 2.6. This item was brought to the December Labour Management Meeting & was subsequently rejected by the employer due to the uploading costs of hiring new employees without being able to guarantee either daily hours or the ultimate term of the employment. For example, had there been new hires & a week later the schools were all shut down under new COVID restrictions, they would all be laid off.

Although the Local was not informed of the District’s next initiative, it appears one has been implemented.

Apparently, each high school has been assigned 2 contract cleaners (who can be more easily monitored in high schools by either the Head Caretaker or Asst Head Caretaker, depending on shift), thus freeing up 2 CUPE Member Cleaners to utilize as COVID coverage.

It is not optimal nor is it what we had hoped for…but to be clear, no Member of our Union has lost hours or pay or been laid off…& we are receiving some much needed help on the frontlines.

Please notify the Local if there are any issues involving the new people & we will bring them to management’s attention immediately.


Dec 30,2020: Custodial Staff relief during COVID-19

As you all know, custodial resources have been stretched thin in 2020. Along with all the usual absences for sickness, injury, disability, training, & vacation, we have had to work with fewer people due to absences created by legal requirements of COVID-19 health protocols. Going into the new year, CUPE 520 will be attempting to track the frequency at which our regular Caretakers & Cleaners are not replaced with Relief Staff for their assigned shift.

Caretakers, if a member of the custodial staff is not replaced at your worksite, please email the details (Caretaker or Cleaner, date, day or evening shift, number of hours) to so that we can create a broader view of the issue.

As you may know, high schools operate on a modified Staffing Formula to ensure a ready supply of a few extra Cleaners in each quadrant of the city. That being said, high school Head Caretakers should also send in their own observations so that the Union can calculate any patterns of discrepancies that may appear excessive.

Although students will not yet have returned to school, please begin forwarding your observations on Monday January 4 so that we can begin to identify any noticeable patterns.

Please supply only the requested information for dates moving forward. Additional commentary or history of past instances will not be helpful, as we are endeavoring to identify patterns present in the new year.


Dec 03,2020: Our Meetings during COVID-19 are classified as BUSINESS…

…& as such, have limited capacity by law. Our Hall can easily accommodate our normal expected turnout with social distancing, masks, & sanitization. Regular Meetings will continue unless further COVID restrictions render them infeasible.

To be clear, “business meetings” are NOT “social events”.

See the Homepage of this website for all meeting details.


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