Hello CUPE 4000 members,
As you know, COVID-19 has decreased our ability to safely gather as much as we would like.
Due to this, we’ve unfortunately had to cancel our June 9, 2020, General Membership Meeting (GMM) scheduled for 7:30pm.
Since the importance of discussing our working conditions is more critical than ever, we will hold a phone-in, conference call type Town Hall, on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 7:15 PM.
Instead of discussing regular Union business and following a GMM format, we will speak to an agenda of items, and then answer any of your questions.
Our current agenda is:
- Government Emergency Order Update
- Health and Safety Update
- Pandemic Pay Update
- Operating Rooms Reopening and Expansion
CUPE 4000 Town Hall, Wednesday June 10, 2020, 7:15 pm, phone number 1-877-229-8493 access code 119574#
Or access through your computer: https://video.teleforumonline.com/video/streaming.php?client=19574
We are looking forward to speaking with you all.
CUPE 4000 Executive
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 – 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.
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.
Sean McKenny – 613 862 5150
Ottawa and District Labour Council – 613 233 7820
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.
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.
If you have any questions regarding the governments CERB benefit plan; below is the link and it is a great source of information.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any issues crossing the border so we can support you.
*French Translation to follow.
Please help us send a message to the government that health care workers deserve protection, especially during this critical time. Email your MPP and ask them to help protect ALL health care workers.
Please find a draft letter (click link or image) to register your info.
*French translation to follow.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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 email@example.com
Alternatively, please call the main office at 613-722-0652 ext 270
French translation to follow