AMAPCEO calls for immediate review of what’s “essential”
Publish date: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 update
With Ontario under another state of emergency, and a 28-day “stay-at-home order” taking effect tomorrow, the union representing the province’s professional employees is pushing the Ontario Public Service (OPS) Employer to see if more of its public servants can work from home.
The vast majority of AMAPCEO members are currently working remotely and have been doing so productively since mid-March. A small number have been considered “essential” and have been reporting to workplaces across the province.
Yesterday, AMAPCEO President Dave Bulmer requested Secretary of the Cabinet Steven Davidson, who leads the OPS, reconsider what’s “truly essential” over the next 28 days.
Bulmer acknowledges that to keep public services operational, this may be unavoidable to a degree, but implored Davidson to transition more staff to remote work and to implement staggered schedules in the physical workplace, as much as possible.
“Our top priority right now is the health and safety of our members,” Bulmer said. “With case numbers where they are, and incidences of spread happening in all kinds of workplaces, the more we can limit the number of people sharing the same space, the better.”
“It’s safer for our members, and in turn, their families and communities.”
The union has secured many protections for its members since transmission of COVID-19 became widespread, including job security measures, sick pay top-ups, advance notice period of any return to the workplace, and flexibility with work hours.
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).