CUPE members in health care have many questions. This Q&A will help answer many of the questions we’ve been hearing over the past week.
Q. Do I have to work still?
A. Yes, if you are healthy, able and have not been told to self-isolate/self-quarantine please report to work as normal. Unless the Employer informs you otherwise.
Q. Do I have to self-isolate or self-quarantine?
A. Please go to this link: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/index.html You may also be advised to self-quarantine/isolate by OESH or through the screening process when entering work. If you are asked to self-quarantine please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, facility, department, classification and phone number
Q. What if I am deemed essential?
A. You will attend work as always and follow any protocols put in place by the Employer. Including wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).
Q. What if I am not deemed “essential”?
A. So far staff have been redeployed/reassigned within their sites. Please raise any child care/elder care issues if you are asked to work different hours and are unable to. Let your union rep know if you are being reassigned. No one has been laid off as yet.
Q. Does the Employer have to provide personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks?
A. Yes, the Employer must provide required PPE. A new protocol has come out for PPE for facilities where patients visit. The protocol for Home Care has not been updated yet. https://sharedhealthmb.ca/files/covid-19-universal-ppe-requirements.pdf If this equipment is not available, please advise your CUPE rep.
Q. What if the client/patient has tested positive or is displaying symptoms?
A. Follow the universal precaution guidelines. Wear gloves and mask. Wash your hands when you enter and leave their residence/room. Do not touch the doorknobs or surfaces as much as possible. Contact OESH as soon as possible.
Q. What if my co-worker may have been exposed?
A. Maintain social distancing as much as possible. Cleaning protocols should have been increased. Follow the universal precaution guidelines. Do not touch the doorknobs or surfaces as much as possible. Contact OESH as soon as possible. There have been circumstances recently where OESH or public health will contact you and inform you there has been an exposure. Follow their direction. If that occurs fill out a critical incident form (you can do this online now through your site) and file a WCB claim https://www.wcb.mb.ca/ . Let CUPE know asap if this happens to you.
Q. If I have to self-isolate or self-quarantine how will I get paid?
A. You can use sick time first. Then you can use your vacation, overtime (OT), STAT banks to cover your time away. If you do not have any of those available, you can take an unpaid Leave of Absence (LOA) and apply for Employment Insurance (EI) or the CERB. If you do take an unpaid LOA, you will need to prepay your benefits if you wish to continue coverage. If you do go on an unpaid LOA, please contact HRSS about prepaying your benefits asap. CUPE is working on having this time covered by the Employer directly and not come from your banks.
Q. What if I have to be away from work because of child care issues?
A. You can use your vacation, OT, STAT banks to cover your time away. If you do not have any of those available, you can take an unpaid LOA and apply for EI. If you do take an unpaid LOA you will need to prepay your benefits if you wish to continue coverage. CUPE is working on having this time covered by the Employer directly and not come from your banks. If you are deemed essential and require child care there is a form to fill out from the Employer.
The federal government has announced assistance for employees who require income assistance. Introducing the Emergency Care Benefit providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This flat-payment benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to: “Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school or daycare closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.”
Q. Can I be mandated to work?
A. In this COVID-19 crisis, you can be mandated to work if staffing levels are affected because of
COVID-19. The Employer must take into account child care, elder care, etc. They cannot mandate you to work if it is not COVID-19 related.
Q. Can I be transferred to other sites?
A. In this COVID-19 crisis you can be asked to voluntarily work at other sites. You would be covered by your current collective agreement, continue to accrue seniority at your site, be covered by benefits and Workers Compensation (WCB) and be reimbursed for parking, mileage and receive a meal allowance. There is also some financial compensation if you are reassigned to another site. If no one volunteers or staffing levels get dangerously low at a site, you can be assigned to work at another site. See attached document: “MOA_Redeploymnet_of_Staff_COVID-19”
Q. Do I have to chose which site I work at if I hold more than one position at different sites?
A. Other provinces have mandated that staff can only work at one site. In Manitoba they have been asking staff if they work elsewhere. We believe they will eventually impose working at only one site. CUPE will fight to make sure your pay is not affected by this restriction. Please let CUPE know asap if you are informed you have to choose.
Q. What if Winnipeg Transit stops running?
A. If you use the bus to get to work and services are stopped, talk to your manager/supervisor about what to do.
Federal Income Supports : https://cupe.ca/cupe-backgrounder-federal-income-support-announcements