First -- let's talk about time off work. The Collective Agreement outlines all the leave entitlements available to you (Articles 18, 21, and 22) and all provisions continue to be in effect. Remember that though the vacation year is now April 1st-March 31st, all other annual leaves (including wellness leave, float days, and personal leave) remain January 1-December 31st based. You may also have comp time that you have banked.
Second -- let's talk about working from home. CMHA WW has provided many members with the tools needed to work from home. If sites are open but you need to work from home (and are able to do so), I encourage you to discuss this with your manager. If you are not permitted and you believe you have been unreasonably denied, please contact a steward for assistance.
Third -- let's talk about working in the community. I am certain CMHA WW management will direct the work of our members with the health and safety of all paramount in their decision-making. That being said, if you believe you are being directed to perform unsafe work, remember that under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Part V) you have the right to refuse or to stop work where health and safety are in danger. I strongly encourage you to talk to your manager (perhaps together with your team), to identify health and safety hazards and safety procedures to address them. You are also encouraged to bring any and all health and safety issues to a Health & Safety Representative on your Joint Health & Safety Committee. We all have a role to play in health and safety -- be an active participant. To learn more about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and occupational health and safety please review this notice.
Fourth -- let's talk about information and fear. We all know there are too many unreliable information sources and bad information makes for bad decisions. Let's ensure we're sharing good information with each other and referring each other to trustworthy sources. For up-to-date and reliable information, visit any of the following sites:
- Public Health Ontario:
- Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
I understand this only scratches the surface of the information you want and need. With so many things still uncertain, and the situation evolving daily (and now hourly), I unfortunately don't have all the answers. As always, you are welcome to contact a steward if we can be of assistance to you and feel free to include me so I can stay updated on how our membership is being affected and what is being experienced. We're all in this together. Stay safe, and wash your hands.
OPSEU Local 291 President