WINNIPEG -- Three unions representing multiple city employees are asking the City of Winnipeg to delay a special city council budget meeting due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Canadian Union of Provincial Employees Local 500, along with the Amalgamated Transit Union 1505 and the Winnipeg Association of Public Service Officers (WAPSO), sent a letter Monday afternoon asking City Council to postpone all committee meetings, as well as the special council meeting on the city budget, scheduled for Friday, March 20.

This special meeting had been rescheduled from March 25.

Committee meetings are currently scheduled this week, where residents can share any concerns they have about the budget.

The unions are asking for the meetings to be postponed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. As of Monday, seven cases have been reported in Manitoba.

“Expecting citizens to appear before public committee hearings, while the health authorities are calling for social distancing doesn’t make sense,” said Gord Delbridge, president of CUPE Local 500, in a written statement. “Now is a time when we all need to work together to flatten the curve – and that includes postponing these kinds of meetings.”

“How can members of the public understand the impact of the budget when they cannot, and should not, be attending public meetings because of COVID-19?” added Richard Mahé, President of WAPSO, in a statement.