This is what a successful return-to-workplace plan looks like

PSAC is working hard to make sure the federal government takes every necessary precaution to ensure that the return to federal offices and workspaces across the country is safe for employees, their families, and the general public.

PSAC insists that 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.

PSAC also takes the position that:

  • All return-to-workplace provisions must be in line with collective agreements and legal obligations.
  • Since specific equity groups have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, the plan must be created with a strong equity and human rights lens.
  • The overall plan and any specific measure must adhere to direction from public health authorities and assessments from professional experts in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Additionally, PSAC is urging the following measures:

Conditions for returning to the workplace

  • Provide clear guidelines for determining who will be selected to return to workspaces and who will continue to work from home. Decisions should not be left to the discretion of management to avoid discrimination.
  • Provide employees who are returning to the workplace with a reasonable notice period of at least two weeks to allow them to manage the transition and to do so gradually.
  • Allow workers living with an immunocompromised individual to continue to work remotely to minimize exposure within their household until a vaccine becomes available.
  • Continue our members’ access to “Other Leave with Pay” (699) to accommodate various circumstances including, but not limited to, child care responsibilities that are related to COVID-19, including if parents are unable to or choose not to send their children back to school or daycare.
  • Acknowledge that productivity will be negatively affected by the pandemic and that employees’ performance evaluations should not consequently be negatively affected.
  • Allow for genuine consultation and negotiation with bargaining agents on any reorganization of work. Especially in the event that changes would trigger Work Force Adjustment obligations.

Public transit and shared spaces

  • Consider how returning to offices or workspaces increases a worker’s risk of exposure to the virus as it may require them to drop children off at school or childcare, ride a bus or train, use a public washroom or ride an elevator.
  • Include a strategy to ensure workers can remain at a 2-metre physical distance from others, including in shared spaces, but still have access to necessities such as washrooms, elevators, microwaves and fridges.
  • Address how an employer will proceed when 2-metre physical distancing is not possible in elevators, entrance ways, stairwells, washrooms, and routes to and from public transit.
  • Consider the impact on workers who cannot take public transit because of risk of exposure, and therefore support accommodations like additional or reduced-price parking available for those who can drive to the work site.
  • Ensure that employers implement health and safety strategies such as staggered scheduling, controlling or restricting access to common spaces, more frequent cleaning/disinfecting of the workplace, preparing and training for emergency situations, as well as training and communication on COVID-related health and safety procedures and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

General health & safety, sanitation and workers’ needs

  • Provide a robust sanitation plan and risk assessment of federal government workspaces.
  • Include a plan to track cases of COVID-19 in the public service, including procedures that must be followed after a worker tests positive.
  • Address Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needs and align these needs with the recommendations of provincial and territorial health agencies who have called for the use of masks and gloves, especially when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Outline support for teleworkers in terms of ergonomic support, mental health, and appropriate working equipment.
  • Provide managers and Occupational Health & Safety Committees with additional situation-specific training to deal with the range of mental health problems that are likely to result, or have already, due to COVID-19.
  • Provide sufficient medical research and an assessment by a technical professional to determine how ventilation systems can contribute to virus transmission.
  • Include a plan to ensure all sanitation and ventilation systems are in ongoing compliance with the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (COHSR).
  • Consider slowing the pace of the conversion to Activity-Based Working. All work arrangements should be considered and evaluated in the context of COVID-19.

Child care

  • Provide clear guidelines on how to accommodate employees who may have to continue to provide childcare while also working due to COVID-19.
  • Allow parents to use “Other Leave with Pay” (699) to fulfill childcare needs related to COVID-19, including if some parents may be forced to keep their children home despite some schools and childcare facilities re-opening.
  • Include plans to negotiate with PSAC at the bargaining table so that its childcare proposal can be implemented as part of collective agreements.

Domestic and family violence

  • Provide an outline for the steps that will be taken to ensure employees are supported and feel protected from violence at home; whether they return to the workplace or continue to work from home.
  • Include a plan to finalize an agreement with PSAC on domestic violence leave.

Employment equity and human rights

  • Include a management approach that recognizes the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on specific groups, such as people with disabilities, women, racialized and Indigenous people.
  • Incorporate guidelines that will ensure that human rights, privacy rights and employment equity obligations are being met by the employer.
  • Include plans to consult with the NJC Joint Employment Equity Committee and departmental employment equity committees on changes to any practices, processes and policies that can potentially effect workers (telework, technological changes, workspaces, etc.) due to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on equity groups.

Privacy

  • Stipulate that any disaggregated information (age, gender, race etc.) collected that may be relevant for collective bargaining will be provided to PSAC so that we can determine any disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on our members.
  • Ensure that any health or employment data collected by an employer observes privacy obligations and is stored in a secure manner.

PSAC is demanding that the government continue meaningful consultation with federal unions throughout the development and implementation of a return-to-workplace plan.

Until an acceptable overall plan is developed, PSAC strongly recommends that our members continue to work from home where possible.

We will provide further updates on the development of a plan as more information becomes available.

Source: http://psacunion.ca/what-successful-return-workplace-plan-looks

Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on the Asian community

May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada, dedicated to celebrating the contributions of Canadians of Asian ancestry. But this year, it is an opportunity to understand some of the challenges faced by racialized people of Asian descent in the context of the global pandemic.

East Asians face a new wave of racist incidents

Racism in Canada has reared its ugly head once again with the COVID-19 pandemic—understood to have first emerged in China—serving as a catalyst.

Similar to what happened during the 2003 SARS outbreak, anti-Asian racism has been on the rise all across Canada since this current pandemic first emerged. Reports from people of Asian heritage living across the country have revealed various kinds of harassment as they go about their lives in their communities and workplaces — from experiencing racial tirades to physical assaults to front-line health care workers experiencing racism even as they try to save lives.

poll in Canadas’ three largest cities found that 1 in 5 people felt unsafe sitting next to an Asian person on a bus. In Quebec, the rise of harassment incidents directed at people of Asian background has led the province’s Human Rights Commission to warn that “the pandemic must not be a justification for any form of discrimination.”

More recently, anti-Asian racism was shown by a federal Conservative leadership contender, MP Derek Sloan, who publicly questioned whether the country’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, who is of Asian descent, is “working for China” rather than Canada and calling for her dismissal to keep Canada “sovereign.” Although the Prime Minister was quick to condemn the remarks as racist, the Conservative Party leader, Andrew Scheer, and other contenders for the party’s leadership all refused to condemn them.

To address anti-Asian racism, the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice was forced to launch its Stop the Spread campaign to counter rampant misinformation found across the internet. A similar campaign has also been launched by the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations.

PSAC calls on the federal government to urgently increase support, including through new public funding, for anti-Asian racism initiatives and to swiftly condemn incidents of anti-Asian racism. 

South Asians at higher health and financial risk from COVID-19

South Asian people are more vulnerable to COVID-19 because they have higher rates of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, which puts them at higher risk for health complications. Moreover, many Asians, including South Asians, live in multi-generational households, meaning elderly members are at higher risk of exposure to the virus.

Asian people, like other racialized people, also tend to be over-represented in precarious employment in the health, transport and service industries, which involve coming into close contact with the public during the pandemic.

Unfortunately, to date there has been no disaggregated race-based data (i.e., data with subcategories of race, such as South Asian) collected in Canada on those who test positive for COVID-19 or those who die from it, and health authorities have shown little interest in starting to collect and publish such information. In Ontario, the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health dismissed calls to do so despite pressure from various public health associations. Yet, preliminary research from the United Kingdom reveals that South Asians—along with other minority groups—are dying of COVID-19 at a higher rate.

Thankfully, Toronto Public Health has initiated its own data collection during the pandemic, which will include race-based data. As stated by Toronto Board of Health chair Joe Cressy, “It’s absolutely essential, as it has always been, that we have comprehensive data to fully understand and in turn respond to COVID-19. In the absence of appropriate disaggregated race-based data, we cannot properly respond.”

Moreover, with jobs vanishing quickly, many South Asians are now facing economic crisis. For instance, an April 2020 national survey by the Association for Canadian Studies revealed that South Asians are among the mostly likely to be financially affected by the pandemic—experiencing income loss and difficulties with paying bills and making rent.

PSAC calls on all Canadian governments to urgently begin the collection of disaggregated race-based data to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on racialized communities and ensured adequate interventions are made available. 

Speak up and support one another 

PSAC reminds all members, including those of Asian descent, that they can count on their union to fully support them if they experience racism in their workplace. Moreover, PSAC encourages all members to be vigilant at work and speak out against racist views and actions.

The origin of Asian Heritage Month

Asian Heritage Month has been celebrated in many communities across Canada since the 1990s. In December 2001, Senator Vivienne Poy, an accomplished Canadian of Asian heritage, proposed a motion that was adopted by the Senate of Canada, designating May as Asian Heritage Month nationally. In May 2002, the Government of Canada signed an official declaration to designate May as Asian Heritage Month.

 

Source: http://psacunion.ca/understanding-impact-covid-19-asian-community

SV Bargaining: Public Interest Commission report says union proposals are fair and reasonable

The Public Interest Commission (PIC) has released a report recommending the government move on several important issues raised by PSAC’s Treasury Board Operational Services (SV) bargaining team. The report identifies several of the union’s key concerns—such as closing wage gaps and increasing allowances—as areas where the government can improve its offer.

Though the PIC does not recommend moving forward on everything in our proposals, its support of key issues demonstrates the union’s demands have been fair and reasonable. There are, however, some glaring omissions, specifically the absence of any specific recommendation in relation to the HP (Heating & Power) classification. The report also contains a recommendation of the government’s concessionary Inmate Training Differential (ITD) proposal.

Moreover, similar to the PA and TC group PIC reports, this report recognizes that a fair Phoenix deal must be part of an overall contract settlement.

Economic increases

The PIC panel acknowledges that the government needs to address wage rates if a settlement is to be reached. In particular, the 1% special adjustment offered by the government may need to be increased.

Wage Adjustments

The PIC singles out the following specific classifications/sub-groups for favourable commentary on our proposed wage adjustments:

  • Firefighter (FR)
  • General Labour & Trades Group (GL)
  • Machine Driving-Operating Sub-group (GL–MDO)
  • Electrical Installing and Maintaining Sub-group (GL-EIM)
  • Vehicle and Heavy Equipment Maintaining Sub-group (GL-VHE)
  • Ships’ Crews (SC)

Allowances

The PIC report also comments on our proposals to adjust and increase a number of allowances:

  • Firefighter (FR): Convert Long Service Pay from a flat rate to a percentage (in line with the practice in municipal fire services)
  • General Labour & Trades – Machinery Maintaining sub-group (GL-MAM): The report notes that expanding the allowance “would appear to be an area of potentially fruitful discussion.”
  • Ships’ Crews (SC): Increases to the various allowances.
  • Lightkeepers (LI): Despite the union advancing a suite of proposals to address both long-standing low wages and unique working conditions of the LI group, the report only mentions an increase to the Supplemental Allowance.
  • Heating & Power (HP): Despite the need to address the clear wag gap and other HP group-specific proposals, the PIC report fails to include any steps to address them.

Inmate Training Differential concession

The PIC recommends that the government’s concessionary Inmate Training Differential (ITD) proposal be adopted for the GL, GS and HP groups, leading to the Commission’s union nominee to issue an addendum on the matter. Adoption of such a concession completely disregards the fact that the existing variations in rates is attributed to the number of offenders a worker is responsible for training in their trade, variation in the associated responsibilities, and the particular contribution of SV members in correctional institutions. Such an approach undervalues the teaching responsibilities that workers take on in addition to their regular duties.

Next steps

Although National President Chris Aylward has authorized strike votes for the SV bargaining unit, all strike votes are currently suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite this, PSAC is committed to reaching new a collective agreement and calls on the government to return to the table as soon as possible to negotiate a fair deal for SV members.

We will be updating our national and regional websites, social media, as well as sending information by email as the situation develops. We encourage all our members to check these resources regularly and subscribe to our mailing list.

Source: http://psacunion.ca/sv-bargaining-public-interest-commission-report

Postponement of PSAC Convention and Timelines

UNE National President Kevin King attended the PSAC National Board of Directors meeting this past week where motions were passed to suspend the PSAC National Convention, PSAC Regional Conventions and all associated timelines.

Canadian health directives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have banned public gatherings, closed many workplaces and enforced the self-isolation. The uncertainty and changing landscape of regulations were the ultimate factors in the decision to postpone until the picture becomes clearer.

All conventions will be postponed by a calendar year; Regional Conventions scheduled in 2020 will be rescheduled to 2021 and the PSAC 2021 Convention will be scheduled for 2022.

Finally, the Board also passed a motion that timelines related to Component Conventions will be suspended. For UNE members, this was an important decision so that resolutions and elections at our postponed Convention will line up with PSAC. Should the suspensions require further extensions, that will be evaluated by the Board at a future date.

“This is the most democratic decision that could have been reached in this strange time,” said King. “We explored many alternatives, but in the end, postponing conventions and suspending timelines takes into account the safety and well-being of all members and their families.”

Amethyst Women’s Addiction Centre: On the frontlines of a small service agency during COVID-19

Lois Ross, President, Local 70400

For close to four years, I have worked part-time as the Community Relations Coordinator for Amethyst Women’s Addiction Centre, a feminist collective, that is unionized with PSAC and UNE, which is a component of PSAC, under Local 70040.

I also work part-time as a freelance writer and editor and belong the Canadian Freelance Union.

In some ways my work has changed a lot since the announcement of the shutdown, and in others not so much. As a freelancer, I am accustomed to working remotely. These days my home office is getting much more use though, since I am also using it to work remotely for Amethyst. Much of my work revolves around communications and publications of one sort or another, including web, social media, etc. It is a busy time now, as everyone strives to accomplish online, what was once done in person.

But that’s enough about my work…. what I really want to tell you about is how Amethyst, a small independent non-profit health agency, is punching above its weight.

Amethyst Women’s Addiction Centre was founded more than 40 years ago by a group of concerned women who understood that women’s experience of substance use and addiction stemmed from a different place than that experienced by men. Those who founded Amethyst knew that many women needed a place where they felt safe, in an environment they could trust. And so Amethyst was born.

Amethyst’s years of longevity are testimony to its resilience with a small half dozen staff and a volunteer board of directors. COVID-19 is showing once again Amethyst’s agility and dedication to its clients and to providing free counselling services to as many women as possible.

As of mid-March, Amethyst like many other organizations, has been working over-time to rearrange the way in which we engage with our clients and our community. Amethyst has managed to remain open — virtually. Not easy for a small agency with limited resources to do.

Because the work of counsellors is confidential there are many new processes that had to be put in place in order to ensure our clients receive remote counselling sessions (by phone and online) that are supportive and secure. Amethyst is adapting to the reality of COVID-19 and for the last few weeks has been offering remote counselling sessions, by phone and online.

Amethyst has secured a confidential online platform as well as private telephone lines. Working remotely meant that our small team of IT contractors were kept busy bringing counsellors up to speed on how to locate files in the ‘Cloud’, and how to engage on a ‘zoom-like’ online platform, but one that we believe is more secure. We also had to quickly engage with current clients and reach them by telephone when possible, email, via our website, or Facebook, to let them know that our offices were physically closed, but that Amethyst was working remotely to provide much-needed counselling support.

There have been and continue to be many practical and ethical challenges.

While things were shutting down quickly, Amethyst staff ramped up at what felt like lightning speed to begin working remotely and offer support to our clients.

Transitioning from in-person counselling services to virtual is particularly difficult when counselling those who suffer from trauma. Amethyst clients are already dealing with marginalization and isolation in many cases, and now, because of the pandemic, they are only able to connect with counsellors virtually — and from self-isolation.

The pandemic has triggered additional difficult reactions and fears from clients because of requirements to isolate even further. Providing effective counselling services is all about human connection — so counselling remotely demands new ways of reaching out, new ‘tools’ and increased efforts to provide meaningful and effective support. Some aspects of counselling are just not possible virtually. That said, all of us at Amethyst are learning how to stretch our support virtually in ways that we had not anticipated.

For example, Amethyst has a wait list of clients, clients who were supported through in-person group sessions while waiting for individual counselling. Those group sessions are not physically possible right now. Will they even be possible virtually? Time will tell. Amethyst is working to see if online group sessions are a ‘thing’.

And what of clients who do not have access to the technology — to the smart phones, computers, internet, or data plans required to receive remote counselling sessions. How many of these clients are falling through the cracks? Access to technology is not equal in our society — and so working remotely is not a one-size fits all. That is a huge gap that we will need to consider going forward.

So, there is much that is new for us working at Amethyst, no matter what our responsibilities might be. Our administrator is doing an amazing job trying to prepare year-end financials and having books audited virtually. It takes much longer to scan, and email, and review questions because the auditor cannot visit Amethyst to go through files.

And then there is the impact on staff working both remotely and with technology constantly. There are few breaks from the computer, as counsellors undertake their sessions online or on the phone. Meetings are held via Zoom or Teams and always online. Eyestrain, repetitive motions on the keyboard, and constantly being at a desk, can even take a toll on those who are accustomed to working remotely, and even more so on those who are accustomed to providing face-to-face counselling sessions. But that is the work we do for our clients.

So, while we endeavor to work remotely, Amethyst staff, like so many others working in the health sector, have personal concerns generated by COVID-19 and its impact on the health of their family, elderly parents, close personal friends, and co-workers. The pandemic is affecting us all as workers, but also as individuals.

We check-in, try to share and support each other during online staff meetings. We know, that while things could be better, they could also be far worse, and that we still have much to be grateful for. We are working, we have a job, and we have the benefits that come with being unionized (and a feminist collective!).

We will get through this. Our clients are depending on us. We are depending on each other.

Statement by UNE National President on the National Day of Mourning

Today we honour and remember all the people who died or were hurt from work related illness and injuries on National Day of Mourning.

Every worker has the right to return home safe after a day of work. We must continue to put pressure on the federal government to replace the current definition of danger in the Canada Labour Code, amended in 2014, with the pre-existing one.

We demand employers in federal and other jurisdictions to respect the rules on workplace health and safety committees and urge them to collaborate more with those committee members to ensure safe workplaces.

In 2019, over 1000 workers died in workplace related accidents in Canada, a similar statistic as in 2018, which is about 3 workers a day, 3 workers a day too many.

I encourage all UNE members to remember those workers and invite you to attend virtual events that will be held on Tuesday, April 28 across the country to commemorate and honour them or to observe a moment of silence.

Respectfully and in Solidarity,

Kevin King
UNE National President

UNE Convention postponed until 2021

 The UNE national executive has passed a motion to postpone its Triennial Convention originally scheduled for August 24-28, 2020 until 2021. As such, all registration deadlines and timelines related to convention business have been postponed to a date to be determined.

  • Timelines associated with Locals to elect their delegates are suspended
  • Convention Committee meetings scheduled for June 7-10 are also postponed
  • If you have already registered online, it has been registered. Registration will remain open, and new deadlines pertaining to registration will be posted at a future date
  • Members can still submit resolutions, as described by the governance documents of UNE

The decision to postpone was not easy, but given the factors outlined by the Public Health Agency of Canada, provincial and territorial emergency measures, and municipal directions, it was necessary to reorganize our logistics and our delegate expectations for their health and the safety of their families, along with UNE Staff, while preserving the integrity of our democratic institution.

 

Respectfully Submitted, and In Solidarity,

Kevin King

UNE National President

 

 

Phoenix: Recovery of salary overpayments during the COVID-19 pandemic

In our regular communication with the government, we have received the following notice regarding the recovery of salary overpayments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How will the recovery of salary overpayments be addressed during the Covid-19 pandemic?

In light of the current pandemic situation, the Pay Centre is temporarily suspending the overpayment recovery plans for all new overpayments that, effective March 23, 2020, meet the criteria for repayment under the “Recovery over an extended period as a result of the implementation of Phoenix” flexibilities provision outlined in the Directive on the Terms and Conditions of Employment. This operational measure will allow the Pay Centre to prioritize pay transactions to employees.

The Pay Centre will continue informing employees of any new overpayment. However, overpayments that fall under the flexibilities outlined in the Information Bulletin: Additional Flexibilities with regards to the recovery overpayments, Emergency Salary Advances and priority payments will be suspended until further notice.  This covers overpayments, emergency salary advances and priority payments received by employees due to issues arising as a direct result of Phoenix. An employee can still choose to repay their new overpayment in the manner that best meets their situation. Employees will need to advise the Pay Centre accordingly.

The recovery of overpayments will continue for the recovery of amounts owing arising from routine pay transactions, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • overpayments of less than 10% of an employee’s gross bi-weekly pay;
  • periods of leave without pay of 5 days or less;
  • overdrawn leave (vacation/sick) upon termination of employment (for reasons other than incapacity/illness and layoff);
  • cancellation of a leave with income averaging agreement by the employee, where the leave has been taken;
  • amounts advanced on behalf of employees for union dues;
  • maternity/parental allowance, where the employee has not fulfilled their obligation as set out in their collective agreement or terms and conditions of employment; and
  • amounts owed to public service health insurance plans, pension, supplementary death benefit or disability/long-term disability due to periods of leave without pay.

The recovery will also continue for overpayments associated with the termination of employment, end-of-term or casual contracts without further extension or renewal (from first available funds).

Note that the recovery plan will continue for employees who already have repayment plans in place as agreed upon. However, these plans can be modified should employees experience financial hardship; employees in such positions should contact the Client Contact Centre at 1-855-686-4729 or complete a Phoenix feedback form to request a more flexible arrangement.

Departments and agencies which are not serviced by the Pay Centre may also wish to temporarily suspend the collection of new overpayments covered by the flexibilities. They may also make available the option to modify repayment plans where employees may be experiencing hardship consistent with the Directive on the Terms and Conditions of Employment.

Source: http://psacunion.ca/phoenix-recovery-salary-overpayments-during-covid

April 17 – Equality Day in Canada

Every human being is entitled to the same fundamental human rights: the right to live free from torture, the right to live free from slavery, the right to own property, the right to equality and dignity, and to live free from all forms of discrimination etc. just to name few among others.

If all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, why are we still fighting against discrimination, racism, inequal pay and gender inequality? Why are we still fighting against social and economic inequalities deep rooted in some communities in this country?

Well! Should we say Equality or Inequality Day instead? Well, let’s see, shall we?

Tomorrow will be Equality Day in Canada. We celebrate Equality Day every April 17 to mark the coming into force of the equality provisions in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter was signed on April 17, 1982. However, Section 15 of the Charter on Equality Rights and Freedoms for all without discrimination, was implemented on April 17, 1985, three years later. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom is here to protect all Canadian’s fundamental rights. Well, easy said than done!

The reality is, many decades later after this great breakthrough, we are still talking in this country about gender inequality: Canadian women still face major income inequality – gender pay gap between women and men. For example, in 2017, on average, women earned between 64 cents and 79 cents for every $1 that men earned. The pay gap is even wider for racialized women, immigrant and migrant workers, indigenous women, women with disabilities and LGBTQ2+ people.

Research also shows that there is a growing gap between the rich and the poor in Canada. Nonetheless, 35 years later, we are still fighting to address gender-based violence towards girls and women, fighting for equal opportunity in our workplaces and fighting against all forms of discrimination and racist behaviors! In addition, and surprisingly some communities are still fighting to have their basic needs met such as clean water, medical accessibility etc.

Yes, the implementation of the section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on the rights for equality was a touchstone in Canadian history. It is one of our country’s greatest accomplishments and widely admired around the globe! As Canadian, this is one of the things I proudly brag about. However, have we reached the rights to equality and dignity goals? No! It is work in progress! Let’s admit it, there is still much work that needs to be done at home before reaching full equality rights in all areas in our society, workplaces and community at large.

Brothers, Sisters and fellow activists, today, April 17, is Equality Day in Canada. Let’s celebrate! However, every day should be Equality Day because every day we need to fight against the systemic inequality we experience or witness. In doing so, we reaffirm our commitment to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

We don’t need a special day to promote or to defend our rights for equality. Let’s reflect today on the right to equality, its role in our society, and what we can do to promote and protect those rights. In conclusion, calling April 17, Equality or Inequality day in Canada, is up to you and me. Happy reading!

Céline Ahodekon
UNE Steward of Local 20278 & PSAC-BC Secretary for the Lower Mainland Human Rights Committee

Sources:

 

 

 

 

 

PA group: Summer leave request deadline extended due to COVID-19

PSAC has successfully negotiated an extension to May 15, 2020 for members of the PA group to submit summer leave requests in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PSAC and Treasury Board agreed to push back the deadline from April 15 in a memorandum of agreement signed this week. The employer’s deadline to respond to leave requests will also be extended to June 1.

However, employees who want to submit annual leave requests for the first two weeks of June must do so before April 15, and the employer will make every reasonable effort to respond before May 1.

The deadline may be extended depending on the duration of the pandemic.