AMAPCEO reiterates position on GROW date flexibility
Publish date: Wednesday, September 01, 2021 presidentsMessage
By now, most of you will have seen this week’s memo from Treasury Board Secretariat and I am sure that many of you have questions, specifically about the OPS Employer’s return to the workplace date – we know we did. So, I’ve reached out to our counterparts and want to take this opportunity to provide you, our members, with our understanding of the plan going forward.
The Employer has been deliberate when describing Phase II (beginning September 13) and Phase III (beginning October 18) of the GROW plan. The language used for a potential Phase II return is cooperative and flexible: it speaks of encouraging employees and managers to work together to find a flexible timeframe for return. Phase III language, by contrast, is directive and prescriptive, and outright states that employees, save for those with accommodations or exemptions, will return by October 18.
The Employer has directed Managers to be flexible in their engagements with staff and their return to the office throughout Phase II. In our discussions with the Employer last week, we made it very clear that from AMAPCEO’s perspective, absent an operational need for an individual’s return, any return prior to October 18 is not a demonstration of true flexibility.
In these discussions, we also pointed out that the Employer’s vaccination and/or testing policy has yet to be implemented – and likely will not be implemented until Phase III – as a reason why AMAPCEO members would want to exercise their ability to delay their return to the workplace.
Yesterday’s memo announced that only fully vaccinated remote workers would be allowed to return. It is important to note that until such time as the vaccination and/or testing policy is in place, disclosure of your vaccination status is voluntary.
If you would like to exercise this option and return to the workplace prior to October 18, you can do so provided you meet the disclosure requirements and consult with your manager.
However, given that the workplace remains without a policy in place that affords consistency in the approach to our mass return with a focus on your health and safety, we reiterate that AMAPCEO members be afforded the greatest degree of flexibility.
Regardless of whether you would like to return as early or as late as possible, we encourage our members to communicate the degree of flexibility they require with their local manager.
Should any AMAPCEO member encounter any concerns or resistance achieving the flexibility desired, we strongly encourage you to contact a local Workplace Representative or connect with a Workplace Advisor through our office.
President & CEO
More about AMAPCEO and our Members: Established in 1992, AMAPCEO is a bargaining agent that represents 14,000 professional and supervisory public servants, most of whom work directly for the Government of Ontario in every ministry and in a number of agencies, boards and commissions; in 130 communities throughout Ontario and in 12 cities outside Canada. We also represent employees outside the Ontario Public Service in: the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario; the Ontario Arts Council; Ontario Health (Quality Unit); Public Health Ontario; the Waypoint Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene; and in the former Offices of the Ontario Child Advocate and the French Language Services Commissioner (now part of the Ontario Ombudsman).