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About the Employer's gradual return to the OPS workplace

Publish date: Wednesday, September 02, 2020 presidentsMessage

President Dave Bulmer

Dear members in the OPS,

Earlier this afternoon, Secretary of Cabinet Steven Davidson sent an email to all employees in the Ontario Public Service (OPS) with an update on the OPS Employer’s plans for a return to the workplace.

In the email, Secretary Davidson announced the OPS Employer is preparing for a gradual return to the workplace for all employees between late September and the end of the calendar year.

If you are currently working remotely, Secretary Davidson’s email is not an indication that you will be returning to the workplace right away.

I have spoken with the President of the Treasury Board, Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, about the OPS Employer’s plans.

While today’s announcement is vague, we have been advised that a small number of AMAPCEO-represented employees will be returning to the workplace in the next month, based on work unit need and the Employer’s assessment of remote work productivity. The majority of those who will be returning will be not doing so full-time—now and throughout the process.

The Employer’s plan is gradual, as we have advocated for. This means that the majority of AMAPCEO-represented employees will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future, and that a return to the workplace will occur over the coming months.

AMAPCEO has negotiated the following provisions:

  • at least two weeks’ notice from the Employer,
  • as much flexibility with their work hours as possible, as well as
  • access to existing provisions, such as health or family status accommodations.

We also continue to monitor the Employer’s return to the workplace plans to ensure they protect your health and safety. If you have specific concerns about your physical workplace, please contact an AMAPCEO Health & Safety Representative.

We are arranging a special AMAPCEO telephone town hall on Thursday, September 10 at noon ET in response to Secretary Davidson’s announcement. On the call, I’ll provide any further updates on the Employer’s plans (as available) and I will take your questions.

Details on the telephone town hall are available on the AMAPCEO website (sign-in required).

I understand that for many of you currently working remotely, the Secretary’s announcement may cause worry—especially for those with health risks or those with child, elder, or other dependent care needs.

If you receive notice from the OPS Employer asking you to return to the workplace, and you have health risks or child, elder, or other dependent care needs, please contact the AMAPCEO Workplace Advisor for your Ministry. AMAPCEO can help you work with your manager to develop a plan based on your specific needs, or failing that, see about applying for accommodation.

As always, thank you for your patience, professionalism, and hard work keeping Ontario’s public services strong.

And a special thank you to those AMAPCEO members who have been required to go into the workplace throughout the pandemic, and those who have already returned.

Stronger together,

Dave

Dave Bulmer
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; Health Quality Ontario; the Ontario Arts Council; 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).