While there are still no definitive return to the office dates, CEIU has been meeting with our three departments regarding the topic of return to work plans.
As mentioned on the PSAC web page for a successful return-to-workplace, “the health, safety, wellness, and privacy rights of public service workers must be at the centre of the return to workplace plan and that it reflect the fact that , until a COVID-19 vaccine is created, the virus poses an ongoing threat to the physical and mental health of workers”.
CEIU has reiterated on many occasions that all health & safety committees must be involved at all levels in the development of these plans. While IRB and IRCC seem to understand the legal requirement as per the CLC Part II, ESDC had moved ahead and presenting a draft plan at the regional level, and even to the ESDC Minister, before consulting the National Policy Health and Safety Committee. For these reasons, national leadership has written the Deputy Minister, Graham Flack, to voice our outrage at the lack of transparency and consultation with the unions. CEIU must be satisfied that the employer has taken all necessary measures to ensure safe re-entry before we will advise our members that we feel it is safe for them to return to their offices.
It is imperative that all union activists who participate on union-management committees and employee members who sit on health & safety committees play an active role in the return to the workplace planning. While at the national level CEIU will continue to work with the three departments on generic plans and overall measures, the employer must trickle down the information efficiently. There must also be specific considerations and additional measures put in at the local level. Front line workers are best placed to provide this necessary feedback to their employer.
I invite you to read the PSAC web page on what is a successful return-to-workplace on what should be your checklist. We will continue to keep our members informed regarding any concerns with these conversations.