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AMAPCEO pushes back on rumoured return

Publish date: Wednesday, November 18, 2020 update

Last week, rumours swirled that the Ontario Public Service (OPS) Employer was planning to resume its Gradual Reopening of Ontario Workplaces (GROW) plans now that the government has launched its latest colour-coded system to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and monitor the re-opening of the economy.

AMAPCEO President Dave Bulmer and Association of Law Officers of the Crown (ALOC) President Jeremy Glick reached out to Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, the President of the Treasury Board, for clarification and to express their concerns. Together, Bulmer and Glick represent the majority of OPS members currently working remotely.

Ultimately, Bulmer and Glick were reassured that the government understands their concerns and will continue to hold off on reinitiating GROW for the foreseeable future.

“The reality is that 98% of AMAPCEO members still continue to work remotely, and with great success,” Bulmer says. “There’s no sense risking people’s health and needlessly busying the streets and transit systems of our communities when transmission rates are skyrocketing. With news of vaccines being available in three to six months, the government would be wiser to commit to the safety of its public service and employing remote work until that time arrives.”

Bulmer, along with Vice-President Cynthia Watt and AMAPCEO staff, continue to monitor the OPS Employer’s plans to ensure the health and safety of AMAPCEO members. The union will share any changes to those plans with members, and its COVID-19 information hub is continually updated at amapceo.ca/covid19.

Earlier this year, Bulmer negotiated a minimum two week notice for any AMAPCEO members directed to return to the workplace, and the union continues to advocate that any return be cautious, gradual, and flexible.

In the meantime, members who require employment accommodations for health purposes and who have not yet pursued one with their manager are encouraged to do so sooner, rather than later. Information on how to do so is on the AMAPCEO website at amapceo.ca/covid-faqs.
 

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).