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Updates for Members on COVID-19

AMAPCEO is continuing to monitor this evolving situation, and will keep this page updated.

Summary

  • Ontario Public Service: Current work arrangements will likely continue until at least September 2020. Only employees who support critical services are required to attend the workplace. Employees who do not support critical services and who can telecommute will continue to do so. Employees who do not support critical services and who cannot telecommute will be on paid leave. Info for employees can be found on InsideOPS.
  • FSRA: telecommuting arrangements and resources are being increased.
  • Ontario Arts Council: all employees are to telecommute until further notice.
  • Ontario Health - Quality (formerly HQO): all employees are to work from home and waived the requirements for medical notes until further notice.
  • Ontario Ombudsman: offices are closed to public and staff; employees are telecommuting until further notice.
  • Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care: visitor restrictions and other measures are in place.
  • If you are being told to report to your office, and you do not think it is necessary, please contact a Workplace Representative in your bargaining unit right away by phone or by email.
  • Each employer will maintain regular contact with staff through workplace channels. AMAPCEO will also provide updates where appropriate.

  • Members are encouraged to use attendance credits (including special/compassionate leave) to cover care needs.
  • If you have a concern about your workplace, let your manager and your local Joint Health & Safety Committee know.
  • AMAPCEO meetings and events are under review; some will be postponed or cancelled, while others will occur via audio/video conferencing.

  • AMAPCEO staff are now working remotely while ensuring no loss of service to members.

Province-Wide Telephone Town Hall with President Dave Bulmer

Listen to our COVID-19 Telephone Town Halls 

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your most frequently asked questions on our COVID-19 FAQ

 

Updates

Friday, June 12, 2020 (3 pm)

The OPS Employer has announced that it will likely maintain its current arrangement until at least September 2020; however, there may be some instances where staff will be asked to return to the workplace or attend the workplace more frequently. If you are being told to report to your workplace and you do not think it is necessary, please contact a Workplace Representative. If you have concerns about your safety while in the workplace, please let your manager and your local Joint Health & Safety Committee know.

After advocacy from AMAPCEO and other bargaining agents, the OPS Employer has assured AMAPCEO and its members that a return to the workplace will be gradual, with many details still not finalized. The OPS Employer will be posting updates on its intranet at ontario.ca/OPSreopen.

No further change to other bargaining units.


Wednesday, June 11, 2020 (3:30 pm)

The OPS Employer has informed us that all employees in the OPS with remaining Compensation Option Credits ("COC days") are to use them by August 1, 2020. There will be no extension to this deadline.

No further change to other bargaining units.


April 2020

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 (1 pm)

After questions from AMAPCEO, the Ontario Public Service Employer has clarified that their latest extension of current work arrangements is until Sunday, May 31.

No further change to other bargaining units.


Tuesday, April 28, 2020 (Noon)

The Ontario Public Service Employer has announced an extension of their current work arrangements until further notice. 

No further change to other bargaining units.


Wednesday, April 22, 2020 (3:30 pm)

Second province-wide telephone town hall to be held on May 7

We want to hear how you're helping other Ontarians!


Friday, April 17, 2020 (3:15 pm)

Members receive update on province-wide telephone town hall (includes recording)


Wednesday, April 8, 2020 (3:30 pm)

AMAPCEO to host province-wide telephone town hall on Wednesday, April 15 (sign-in required)

AMAPCEO donates $50,000 to support vulnerable Ontarians during crisis 

EI? CERB? What does it all mean? - A primer on some of the economic relief benefits for Canadians.


Thursday, April 2, 2020 (4 pm)

The Ontario Ombudsman Employer has announced an extension of their current work arrangements until further notice. 

No further change to other bargaining units.


Thursday, April 2, 2020 (3:15 pm)

The Ontario Public Service (OPS) Employer has announced an extension of the current work arrangements until at least Friday, May 1, 2020. 

No further change to other bargaining units.

March 2020

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 (4 pm)

The Ontario Public Service (OPS) Employer has announced that, effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and until Wednesday, April 8, 2020:

  • Only employees who support critical services will be required to attend the workplace. The Employer is taking additional precautions, such as enhanced cleaning, to maintain the health and safety of staff.
  • Employees who do not support critical services and who can telecommute will continue to do so.
  • Employees who do not support critical services and who cannot telecommute will be on paid leave.

If you are being told to report to your office, and you do not think it is necessary, please contact a Workplace Representative right away by phone or by email.

No further change to other bargaining units.


Thursday, March 19, 2020 (10 am)

Ontario Arts Council employees are to telecommute until further notice.

No further change to other bargaining units.


Wednesday, March 18, 2020 (3:15 pm)

"We want to ensure that no one falls behind in this time of need." - read President Dave Bulmer's latest message to members.

New to telecommuting? Read our top tips for social isolation success.


Tuesday, March 17, 2020 (2:30 pm)

AMAPCEO continues to be in close communication with each bargaining unit employer to ensure the safety of our members and the continuation of critical public services.

Updates:

  • Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario is increasing telecommuting arrangements and resources.
  • Ombudsman Ontario has closed their offices to the public and staff and implemented telecommuting through April 3.
  • Ontario Arts Council has cancelled all in-person meetings and is putting a business continuity plan in place.
  • Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care has put visitor restrictions and other measures in place to protect patients, clients, and staff.

AMAPCEO members at Public Health Ontario (PHO) are helping coordinate the fight against COVID-19. The union continues to be in communication with the PHO Employer to ensure the health and safety of members while their critical work continues.

No further change to Ontario Health - Quality (formerly HQO) or Ontario Public Service (OPS).

AMAPCEO leadership and staff are working to ensure members receive the most accurate and up-to-date information about members’ working conditions, and that no AMAPCEO members are being required to go into the workplace unless absolutely necessary.

If you are being told to report to your office, and you do not think it is necessary, please contact an AMAPCEO Workplace Representative in your bargaining unit right away by phone or by email.

Yesterday, President Dave Bulmer spoke with Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board Secretariat, who reaffirmed his commitment to supporting our hardworking AMAPCEO members and other public servants in these difficult times.

President Bulmer also took part in a teleconference, along with many other unions, led by the Minister of Labour, Monte McNaughton, about strengthening the Employment Standards Act to provide income protection for those most affected by this crisis.

The AMAPCEO Employee Relations Committee (ERC) Tele-Town Hall will meet as scheduled on Tuesday, March 24 at noon. ERC members will find information about this call on the ERC Resources Page shortly.

Our COVID-19 response page will be updated as new information comes available.


Friday, March 13, 2020 (5:15 pm)

Workplace update for AMAPCEO members in the OPS

The Ontario Public Service (OPS) Employer has announced that effective immediately, AMAPCEO members may request the ability to telecommute, in full or in part, between now and Friday, April 3, 2020.

“Thank you to the OPS Employer, and especially Secretary of the Cabinet Steven Davidson for listening to employee and union appeals and introducing this measure,” AMAPCEO President Dave Bulmer said. “Working together, we can keep Ontario’s public services running and the professionals who plan and provide them safe.”

Members who already have telecommuting arrangements in place and who wish to increase the number of days will have to submit a request to their manager for approval. Based on service requirements, some telecommuting requests may be denied outright or only partially granted. Should any member believe they are being unreasonably denied this option they are advised to contact the AMAPCEO office for assistance at 1.888.262.7236 or amapceo@amapceo.on.ca.

If employees are unable to arrange for telecommuting before their next business day (for most members, Monday, March 16), the Employer’s expectation is that they meet with their local reporting manager, at the workplace, to discuss arrangements.

AMAPCEO continues to be in discussions with each of its bargaining unit employers on ways to help keep the union’s members and their families safe and public services open for business. Our COVID-19 response page will be updated as new information comes available.


Friday, March 13, 2020 (2:30 pm)

Workplace updates for AMAPCEO members on COVID-19

AMAPCEO leadership continues to be in close contact with the employer of each bargaining unit to determine ways to help keep AMAPCEO members and their families safe while ensuring the continuity of important public services.

President Dave Bulmer said employers are being responsive. “They’re following advice from experts and acting accordingly,” he said. “We’re continuing to strongly advocate for increased access to alternative work arrangements, including telecommuting, where possible.”

  • Ontario Health – Quality (formerly HQO) has directed all employees to work from home and has waived the requirements for medical notes.
  • Ontario Public Service, Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario, Public Health Ontario, the Ontario Arts Council, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, and the Ontario Ombudsman are currently reviewing their plans.

“Obviously, our goal is to get all employers to where Ontario Health – Quality has landed,” Bulmer said.

To escalate pressure on decisionmakers, AMAPCEO is also convening a special Employee Relations Committee Town Hall meeting next week that will focus on advocating for wider access to telecommuting options for members of all bargaining units and for health accommodations for the vulnerable.

Bulmer added, “While we continue to apply pressure for safer workplaces for all our members, I strongly encourage those with greater susceptibility to the virus, such as those with existing medical conditions, to immediately make formal written requests for temporary health accommodation in the form of telecommuting.” Members requiring help with this process can contact the AMAPCEO office at 1.888.262.7236 or amapceo@amapceo.on.ca and a Workplace Advisor will assist you.

The government’s announcement to close public and secondary schools from March 14 to April 5 is a further complicating, but understandable decision. AMAPCEO appreciates the impact that this will have on parents in the public service. Members are encouraged to use their attendance credits, including special/compassionate leave, to cover childcare needs where they can.

Employers will maintain regular contact with AMAPCEO members through workplace channels, and the union continues to monitor the situation. Our COVID-19 response page will be updated as new information comes available.

Impacts of COVID-19 on AMAPCEO events and services

AMAPCEO has the two-fold responsibility of being a bargaining agent for its members and an employer for its staff. Following advice from public health experts, AMAPCEO announced today that it will be reviewing all meetings scheduled between March 16 and April 30, 2020.  

In the interest of slowing the spread of COVID-19 and minimizing member and staff contact with crowds, large scale events may be postponed or canceled outright, while smaller meetings or events may occur by audio/video conferencing.

The union will be in touch with members directly for updates on events and scheduling changes.

Leading by example, AMAPCEO is arranging for its staff to work remotely while ensuring no loss of service to its members. President Bulmer said, “we are doing our part to minimize transmission of the virus amongst ourselves and to ensure we are capable of helping our members in their time of need.”

Bulmer also expressed his thanks for the many AMAPCEO members working diligently to plan, coordinate, and provide critical services to Ontarians during this time.

“Having spent my public service career in emergency health services, I’m well aware of the good people we have protecting our health, before and after an illness,” he said. “While each of us worries about ourselves and our loved ones, Ontario’s public servants look after all 14.5 million of us.”

“Thank you to all public servants, unionized or not, for being there for this province and country, day in and day out, crisis or not,” he said. “We can all rest a little easier knowing we are in the good hands of one of the world’s best public health services.”


Wednesday, March 11, 2020 (2:30 pm)

While the risk to Ontarians is still considered low, AMAPCEO leadership has been in touch with each bargaining unit employer to discuss their preparation and response plans in the event of widespread transmission of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Ontario Public Service (OPS) Employer, for example, is taking direction from the hard-working experts at the Ministry of Health and Public Health Ontario (including many AMAPCEO members). The OPS Employer will maintain regular contact with its staff through workplace channels.

AMAPCEO also continues to monitor the situation and will provide you with updates where appropriate.

The OPS Employer confirmed with AMAPCEO that an employee in a Ministry of Energy, Northern Development, and Mines office in Sudbury is now in self-isolation following a positive test for COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution, the OPS Employer has temporarily closed that office and is working with local public health authorities to determine next steps.

Remember, these everyday steps can help protect you, your family, and your colleagues from exposure to many illness-causing germs:

  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water, especially before eating or after touching common surfaces or using the washroom.
  • Sneeze or cough into your sleeve.
  • If you’re feeling unwell, stay home from work.

If you have a particular concern about your workplace, please bring it to your manager’s attention and let your Joint Health & Safety Committee know.

The outbreak of COVID-19 also underscores some of AMAPCEO’s concerns regarding the government’s changes to labour laws through the Making Ontario Open for Business Act.

Last year, the government revoked two paid sick days for every worker and reenabled employers’ ability to request medical notes.

While AMAPCEO members’ collective agreements entitle you to paid provisions in the event of illness, we share experts’ concerns that these legislative changes put too many workers at risk and place unnecessary strain on our healthcare system.

It’s never too late to reverse these decisions to extend fairer protections to every worker—and help keep Ontarians safe.


Resources

Workplace Help

Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)

  • Work Health Life: offers free, immediate, and confidential assistance for any work, health, or life concern. Website features many helpful resources, and personal services are available by phone, live chat, email.

Medical Advice

  • ontario.ca/coronavirus: information from Ontario's Ministry of Health on how to protect yourself, what to do if you're sick, and how to recognize possible symptoms. Available in 30 languages.
  • Telehealth Ontario: a Registered Nurse will take your confidential call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for free. 1-866-797-0000
  • Find your local Public Health unit.

Travel Advisories & Restrictions

  • travel.gc.ca: important travel advisories and restrictions from the Government of Canada related to COVID-19.

Mental Health

Health & Safety

Domestic Violence Resources