Sisters and Brothers,
Foremost, the National Council of the Union and Health and Environment Workers (UHEW) wishes to extend our thoughts and prayers to all affected by the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
The UHEW wants to advise you as a member, we are continuously ensuring the health and safety of our members. As such, your National Council has been working responsibly, day and night to ensure there is no violation of your rights during this pandemic.
The UHEW has vigorously been in constant communication with the senior management at Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Indigenous Services Canada as well as the separate agencies and employers. As situations arise in the workplace that are not consistent with the Treasury Board’s message on the COVID-19 response plan, the UHEW immediately takes action by reaching out to the employer.
The Treasury Board has now committed to being “as flexible as possible” in granting leave and other provisions for our members. They have issued the following statement:
“Managers are to consider telework for all employees, at all worksites, and identify and approach that is flexible while ensuring continued critical government operations and services to Canadians.
Federal organizations must identify and determine how to manage through exceptional situations that do not lend themselves to telework such as; critical services requiring on-site presence; security limitations; other operational imperatives where there are no alternatives.”
Please consult the following link, a clear understanding of your right to refuse dangerous work: http://psacunion.ca/covid-19-your-rights-work.
You will also find reliable information on how to stay safe at the following link: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has made selected courses and publications freely available to help support workplaces in their efforts to protect the health, safety and well-being of their employees during the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic: https://www.ccohs.ca/topics/hazards/health/pandemics/.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your local representatives as noted on our website: https://uhew-stse.ca/about-uhew-stse/contacts/.
Wishing safety and health to you and your family.
The UHEW National Council