CUPE Ontario Telephone Townhall – Equity Seekers & COVID-19

Join the CUPE Ontario Human Rights Committee at 6:30 pm EST on Thursday, May 28th for a telephone town hall call with NDP MPPs to talk about the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on equity-seekers.
Members will have the chance to share their stories about working on the front lines and ask questions of the MPPs.
On this call, we will be joined by:
·       Jill Andrew, MPP for Toronto—St. Paul’s and Critic for Women’s Issues
·       Sol Mamakwa, MPP for Kiiwetinoong and Critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
·       Laura Mae Lindo, MPP for Kitchener Centre and Anti-Racism Critic
·       Terence Kernaghan, MPP for London North Centre and Critic for LGBTQ issues
·       Joel Harden, MPP for Ottawa Centre and Critic for Accessibility and Persons with Disabilities
To join, you can dial the numbers below:
English: 1-877-229-8493 (114235#)
You can submit questions in advance to ctaylor@cupe.on.ca.
If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can access video relay services here: https://srvcanadavrs.ca/en/.
Please RSVP here.

May 12 Membership Meeting Canceled

With the Ontario Government announcing that it will be extending the Emergency Order until May 19, 2020. This must be their way of controlling social distancing until after the long weekend.

With that being said, we’ll have to cancel our membership meeting for May 12 2020.

Ottawa Local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to send Heartfelt Appreciation to Health Care Workers at Ottawa Hospitals

OTTAWA – The Ottawa Local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers will tomorrow April 30th, 2020 acknowledge and show their appreciation and thanks to all those working in Ottawa area hospitals by forming a caravan at the Ottawa General, Ottawa Civic and the Queensway Carleton Hospital.

“Our membership wanted to reach out to health care workers in the city and show our tremendous appreciation and thanks to all those workers for what they have done and continue to do during this coronavirus pandemic.  It was decided a Health Care Workers Express convoy of our members driving safely past the hospital with signs and waving was a small way we could perhaps show that sentiment”, said Ian Anderson, president of the CUPW Ottawa Local.

The caravan at the three Ottawa area hospitals is set to commence at approximately 10:15am simultaneously at the Ottawa Hospital General Campus on Smyth Road, the Civic Campus on Carling Avenue as well as the Queensway Carleton hospital on Baseline Road.

The Ottawa Local 580 of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers is comprised of approximately 1200 members employed by Canada Post.

Day of Mourning for Workers Killed or Injured on the Job

OTTAWA – Although officially observed by the Canadian Labour Congress since 1984 April 28th was first proclaimed a Day of Mourning by an Act of Parliament in 1991. Today in over one hundred countries around the world, in cities and in towns, April 28th is officially observed.

This year marks the 37th year since the first observance. It is also the 28th anniversary of the Westray Mine disaster that saw the lives of 26 miners taken on March 9th, 1992 as a direct result of the workplace. The disaster also brought forward changes to Canada’s Criminal Code in 2004 making it possible to prosecute employers for negligence leading to workplace death and/or injury.

Across Canada close to one thousand workers die each year and many more are injured as a direct result of the workplace.

The annual ceremony attended by approximately 500 people including injured workers, coworkers, family members, elected officials and others at Vincent Massey Park in Ottawa will be instead taking place as a virtual ceremony. The approximate 40 minute Zoom webinar ceremony commences at 12:30pm on April 28, 2020 and will feature speakers and a minute of silence for all those workers impacted as a result of the workplace.

The virtual ceremony is open to all and accessed through https://zoom.us/j/93891174077

“We need to continue to mourn for the dead and to fight for the living. This includes ensuring that all workers are provided with PPE and the proper training to use it safely. Our role as labour and indeed that of our elected officials, employers and the broader community is to ensure we strengthen health and safety for all workers. COVID-19 did not create this need rather it reinforced the necessity”, said Sean McKenny, president of the Ottawa and District Labour Council.

The Ottawa and District Labour Council (ODLC) has been the voice of working people in the Ottawa area since 1872. The ODLC currently represents 92 local unions with a combined membership of 50,000 working men and women and is the largest democratic and popular organization in the Ottawa area.

Contacts:

Sean McKenny – 613 862 5150

Ottawa and District Labour Council  – 613 233 7820

COVID-19 Update – April 2, 2020

COVID-19 Update

Dear Members,

Below are the most recent changes for the co-vid outbreak that affect our group. We will be sending updates when we have them to keep members informed.

Updates for usage of surgical/procedure masks:

 CUPE’s stance on N95 masks is:  if you see someone from the medical team wearing an N95 mask, then you should also be given the same PPE. Please ask the employer for one and if denied speak to your site rep as soon as possible. Make sure to include who denied you and the reasoning for the denial.

Parking Accommodations

 If you believe you require a parking accommodations please reach out to Occupational Health regarding your circumstances. They will be able to assist with the proper information.

 CERB Benefit

If you have any questions regarding the governments CERB benefit plan; below is the link and it is a great source of information.

Canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan

Non-essential travel into Western Quebec

As is being widely reported in the news, the Quebec government announced that beginning at noon today it is banning non-essential travel into Quebec.  Hospital workers are essential and therefore exempt. However, you must be prepared to show evidence of your employment, so please ensure you have your hospital ID badge with you at all times. Please email human resources at labourrelations@toh.ca if you have any issues crossing the border so we can support you.

 

*French Translation to follow.

Changes related to COVID19

CUPE 4000 Membership Bulletin concerning changes related to COVID19 from legal counsel

Because of the many changes that have occurred to employment legislation recently due to the COVID19 health crisis, we have produced a summary for members of these changes, along with some FAQ’s at the conclusion. All of the documents referred to are available below and we encourage members to read the documents, understand your rights and keep informed in a quickly changing time.

TOH Q & A

First, we have received a Q and A from the Ottawa Hospital which addresses how absences related to COVID will be coded, both for full-time employees and for part-time and casual employees. The Q & A was sent to the union by the Hospital.  We encourage you to read it carefully. Members will see that part-time and casual employees who are not normally entitled to paid sick leave, will be paid sick leave for any absence between March 15 and April 5, 2020 inclusive for suspected or confirmed cases of COVID19. Hospital payments to part-time and casual employees end on April 5, 2020 and afterward any part-time employee or casual who does not qualify for sick leave can apply, if eligible, to the federal government for benefits, including Canada Emergency Response Benefit (‘CERB’) which is discussed below. Here are the federal benefits for which an employee can apply. https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

CANADA EMERGENCY RESPONSE BENEFIT (CERB)

Employees who involuntarily cease employment because of COVID19 are entitled to apply to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to receive CERB payments of up to $2000 per month. This is an entirely new benefit and applications can be made on the CRA website beginning April 6, 2020. If you plan on applying for CERB and are not registered on the CRA website you should register now rather than waiting until April 6, as this may speed up processing. Employees who would normally be entitled to apply for EI, remain entitled to EI payments. Once again, application for this benefit must be made on the CRA website.

INFECTIOUS DISEASE EMERGENCY LEAVE

The Province of Ontario has amended the Employment Standards Act to provide for unpaid leave for employees in emergency circumstances arising from the COVID19 outbreak. The circumstances giving entitlement to the leave are as follows:

  • The employee is under medical investigation, supervision or treatment for COVID-19.
  • The employee is acting in accordance with an order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
  • The employee is in isolation or quarantine in accordance with public health information or direction.
  • The employer directs the employee not to work due to a concern that COVID-19 could be spread in the workplace.
  • The employee needs to provide care to a person for a reason related to COVID- 19 such as a school or day-care closure.
  • The employee is prevented from returning to Ontario because of travel restrictions.

The list of affected family members for whom a COVID19-related leave is available to provide care is lengthy and set out here.

  • The employee’s spouse.
  • A parent, step-parent or foster parent of the employee or the employee’s spouse.
  • A child, step-child or foster child of the employee or the employee’s spouse.
  • A child who is under legal guardianship of the employee or the employee’s spouse.
  • A brother, step-brother, sister or step-sister of the employee.
  • A grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild or step-grandchild of the employee or the employee’s spouse.
  • A brother-in-law, step-brother-in-law, sister-in-law or step-sister-in-law of the employee.
  • A son-in-law or daughter-in-law of the employee or the employee’s spouse. An uncle or aunt of the employee or the employee’s spouse.
    A nephew or niece of the employee or the employee’s spouse.
    The spouse of the employee’s grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece.
  • A person who considers the employee to be like a family member, provided the prescribed conditions, if any, are met.
  • Any individual prescribed as a family member for the purposes of this section.

Finally, in order to obtain leave from the Hospital under this amendment, an employee does NOT need to provide a medical certificate. However, an employee may be required to provide other reasonable proof. For example, if an employee needs to look after her child because of a daycare closure, she may need to provide some proof of the closure if asked.

REGULATION UNDER THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND CIVIL PROTECTION ACT

On March 21, 2020 the Province of Ontario filed Regulation 74/20 under the EMCP Act. The Regulation permits hospitals to override provisions in the collective agreement related to the performance of bargaining unit work, where reasonably necessary to deal with the COVID19 outbreak. The Regulation permits the assignment of work to those excluded from the bargaining unit such as contractors, volunteers, supervisors and other excluded employees, where reasonably necessary, even when it would otherwise violate the collective agreement. Also, the Regulation permits the Hospital to make redeployment decisions that conflict with the terms of the collective agreement and to decline vacations and other leaves, again where reasonably necessary.

Finally, while the Union will be assiduously monitoring to ensure that any non-compliance with the collective agreement meets the test of being reasonably necessary, the Regulation allows the Hospital to suspend dealing with grievances during the period of the COVID19 outbreak.

We are providing a copy of the Regulation for members to review.

FAQ’s

  1. I’m a casual employee who isn’t getting called for shifts. Will I be able to apply for EI or CERB? ANSWER: Yes. The CUPE 4000 Executive has raised this with the Hospital and TOH has agreed to provide an ROE to a casual employee in that circumstance who requests one, so that you will be able to apply for CERB or EI.
  2. I’m part-time and still getting some hours but not as many. Can I get CERB to make up the difference? ANSWER: While the Union does not normally provide advice to members on matters relating to the CRA, which will administer CERB, it appears fairly clear that there will need to be a cessation of employment, rather than just a reduction of hours, in order to be entitled to CERB.
  3. If I am entitled to leave under the Employment Standards Act amendment for Infectious Disease Emergencies, am I also entitled to payment under CERB? ANSWER: It depends. The leave arises from an Act of the Province of Ontario and the payment under CERB is federal. The two pieces of legislation will likely overlap in some areas and not in others. But again, questions about entitlement to CERB are best put to the Canada Revenue Agency and you will need to contact that Agency and explain your circumstances.
  4. If the Hospital lays me off contrary to the collective agreement and then assigns my work to contractors or supervisors or volunteers, will CUPE 4000 fight that? ANSWER: Just watch us!
  5. Can I choose to leave employment on my own and collect CERB? ANSWER: Once again, without providing advice on a payment from the CRA, it appears clear that an employee who chooses to leave employment will not be eligible for CERB.

 

Stay safe everyone!

If you have any questions regarding COVID please forward to cupevd19@cupe4000.com

Alternatively, please call the main office at 613-722-0652 ext 270

French translation to follow

COVID-19 Update – March 30, 2020

COVID-19 Update

Dear Members,

Below are the most recent changes for the co-vid outbreak that affect our group. We will be sending updates when we have them to keep members informed.

Updates for usage of surgical/procedure masks:

 Management gave an update on the deployment of masks. Currently there is no shortage and Housekeeping and Logistical Services staff will start each shift with a minimum of 4 masks. If your mask ended up damaged and/or is in need of replacing; management will be able to provide you with more masks.

Casuals and Hours

 If you are casual and have no scheduled hours you can make a request for a LOA. Please reach out to your employer for your Record of Employment (ROE) for your files.

Possible Reduction of Hours

If you believe that your hours are being reduced please notify the Redeployment Team, specifically Robert Gauthier, at 613-722-0652 ext 273

Vacation cancellations

If you have pre-scheduled vacation and would like to cancel, you are more than able to. Staff would keep the hours of vacation that were not used. Please reference staff bulletin provided by the employer, March 13, 2020 for clarity.

Any questions or concerns please email us at covid19@cupe4000.com.

All Hospital members, in addition to medical professionals, provide essential services during a public health crisis and should be recognized for the critical support they provide to TOH.

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

Dear Members,

Below are the most recent changes for the co-vid outbreak that affect our group. We will be sending updates when we have them to keep members informed.

Guidelines for usage of surgical/procedure masks:

CUPE’s stance is that anybody who wants a mask should be provided one. That would also include N95 and fit testing. If you are declined then please document who declined you and inform your CUPE representative for follow up. Whatever PPE is being provided to medical staff should be provided to CUPE members. If you have never been fit tested and they can’t fit test you, the employee may have the right to refuse unsafe work.

Sick leave/benefits

 The employer has notified us that as of April 6th they will no longer be paying sick leave to part-time casual staff. The federal government has introduced a benefit for staff who are not typically entitled to sick leave and the staff can go that route. The new benefit is called Canada Emergency Response Benefits (CERB).

Any staff who meet the criteria for co-vid related sickness MUST notify OHW of their status and may access the following health benefits as of April 6, 2020, made available by the federal government: (click link)

  • Employment Insurance (without the one (1) week waiting period)
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for workers who do not otherwise qualify for EI
  • One-time GST Credit to those eligible in May
  • Increase to Canada Child Benefit payments (extra $300 per child granted in May)

The following criteria is what they deem co-vid related sickness

  • If you are sent home by OHW or Ottawa Public Health and placed in self-isolation due to exposure to a COVID-19 positive or suspected positive individual;
  • If you are symptomatic (even milder ones) of COVID-19;
  • If you are confirmed positive for COVID-19 AND/OR living with someone with a confirmed positive result of COVID-19 and must stay home and self-isolate until the family member has been cleared and is no longer infectious as deemed by Ottawa Public Health.

All FT staff on self-isolation with suspected or confirmed cases of the virus will be coded “LSK” for all pre-scheduled shifts. LSK is a paid sick leave code.

Deployment Clause

 With the new temporary order, the employer has the ability to suspend certain parts of the collective agreement and redeploy staff.  Our stance on this is that they use our members as much as possible and fill in all the gaps as they come arise. After discussion with the employer this is also their intent and they agree on principle. If you have any concerns document them and speak with a representative.