CUPE 379 – COVID 19 Update #1 – Mitigation Discussions
April 1, 2020
To: All MoveUP Members at CUPE Local 379
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold. COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new coronavirus. Symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick very quickly.
We have been monitoring the situation closely. Things are changing fast. Reports and governmental recommendations are changing daily. We are working diligently to keep track of any mandates from government, discussing changes with your employer, making recommendations and seeking clarity on issues that have any potential impact on the health and safety of our members.
Here is what we can report today:
We have been in discussion with leadership at CUPE 379 to try and assess next moves for staff, and who are most at risk. Everyone is important and everyone has a unique circumstance, but we are trying to prioritize our efforts to be most effective and efficient. As well, we are working to support those with compromised immunity and health concerns. It is our understanding, as of right now, that there are no cases of COVID-19 within the staff and leadership at CUPE 379.
Increased OH&S protocols at CUPE 379 were implemented by your employer early into the Covid-19 pandemic, including the closure of the office to almost everyone except MoveUP staff. We anticipate no changes to these protocols for the near future.
Remote operations will be available immediately in case of a provincially mandate closure of non-essential businesses. We have confirmed with senior leadership that you will be given paid administrative leave until remote operations are activated and available to you if such a closure were to occur.
Layoffs or reduction of work hours are not anticipated at this time. We’ve confirmed with the senior leadership at CUPE 379 that the local is currently financially stable, and you are integral to the ongoing support of frontline CUPE 379 members.
To protect those most vulnerable, please self monitor your health and apply a low threshold when feeling unwell. Call in sick and stay home until you are feeling better.
Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.
Symptoms of COVID-19 are like other respiratory illnesses. Commonly, these are fever/chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose. Shortness of breath and chest pain can be signs of severe illness.
If you are at a higher risk of infection due to diagnosed medical issues, and are currently working in the office as essential staff, you must self identify as such to local leadership. No medical documentation or disclosure of diagnosis will be required, and we will work together with the employer to implement accommodations that reduce your risk of exposure.
We will continue to monitor the situation daily, and we are expecting updated mandates and directives from B.C Government and B.C Health Authority. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding COVID-19’s impact on your health and safety in the workplace.