Now that most members are working from home I've heard some concern about workload. The Employer has reassured me that they are committed to maintaining pay during this situation. If your work demands are reduced by withdrawal from the community, there are so many things we all have to put off because we don't have time -- you now have time for them! There are trainings, webinars, special projects, development and revision of forms/processes/plans. I encourage you to connect with your manager and your team for brainstorming and sharing of ideas.
For those members still working out of a CMHA site I implore you for your own safety and for the safety of all to observe the social distancing measures while on-site. In addition, it is vital that you are following the screening protocols and using all suggested personal protective equipment (PPE) if you are coming in contact with anyone who screens positive. It is just as crucial that you use the proper procedure for donning and doffing PPE so please familiarize yourself with those documents (a reminder that doffed PPE must be disposed of in a lined garbage for safe disposal). And a special thank you -- you're providing critical support and services and we see you and appreciate you.
And for all of us -- whether working from home or still on-site: PLEASE follow the public health recommendations and take this seriously. I choose to believe it's not too late to flatten the curve and every effort is meaningful. Every single one of us needs to practice social distancing. Curious what that means in practical terms? Ottawa Public Health provided me with the best explanation. The Region of Waterloo Public Health has provided updated recommendations as of yesterday, and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is today making suggestions for taking care of our mental health at this time (special shout-out to 24/7 members providing the support listed at the end of that article!). There's too much information out there and we need to be informed without being overwhelmed. Please stick to the trustworthy and factual sites for information (see below). And please reach out to your co-workers to connect, to ask for support, and to provide support. Our phenomenal IT members work so hard all the time to provide us with reliable access to the technology we need -- now more than ever let's honour their dedication and skill by using it to our full advantage.
As always, you are welcome to contact a steward if we can be of assistance to you. OPSEU and its staff continue to work diligently to advocate and protect. We're all in this together and I'm privileged to work alongside you. Stay safe and be kind.
OPSEU Local 291 President