I know you are looking for answers. These are very unsettling times, and you want to know what's in store for you at work.
We are still working to get the details sorted out and employers are scrambling to put policies in place for a situation no-one imagined was likely.
At the moment, we have very little in the way of concrete news for you. I have been on the phones all day, and so have Vice Presidents Paul Johnston and Tony Thomas, working with employers and demanding you are treated fairly.
We do not believe our members should be required to use their leave banks to stay home when they're directed to do so by the employer. We know many of our workers are AOC and have concerns that differ from employees who can accrue leave. That group of workers is extremely vulnerable, and we are working on ensuring you're protected.
Below is a partial list of questions we are discussing with employers at this time:
- What has your organization determined as "essential services" during this pandemic? Please provide us with the list of positions and how many positions are the minimum you will require to be at work
- How are you determining if a position is able to work from home?
- How will you manage any potential lay-off list due to the pandemic?
- If an employee is laid off as a result of the pandemic and its' impact on the operation, how will you manage the payout of leave banks and other entitlements? Will the employee have the option to retain their bank if the lay off is known to be temporary?
- If a member is immuno-compromised and their position has been deemed essential, the employer is expected to accommodate them into another position as with any medical accommodation under the Human Rights Act. What is your plan in these cases to ensure they are not required to continue working in their essential position if it is a risk to their health and safety?
- What are you doing to ensure adequate cleaning and other PPE supplies for members in the workplace? Have you directed additional precautions to ensure the office/facility or equipment is cleaned thoroughly?
- What is your communication plan to the employees related to workplace operational updates? How do you plan to ensure all members receive these updates as well as any updates from the Chief Medical Officer's office?
- When can the union expect to know what your plan is for working from home initiatives or whether there will be impending layoffs?
I ask for your patience while we hammer out the details. As we get answers from individual employers, we'll send an email blast to everybody in that Local. Make sure your colleagues have signed up for these messages - send them to yeu.ca/subscribe so they don't miss the messages. They will need to add us as safe senders or they'll miss those updates.
We've created a new webpage for ongoing details. Visit any time at this link.
If you believe your workplace is unsafe, or you believe the contract or your rights have been breached, please use our online Intake Form at yeu.ca/intake
If there is something going on in your workplace that you think I need to know about, please shoot me an email asap. I can be reached at [email protected]
Steve Geick, President