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OPS Employer announces return to the workplace process

Publish date: Thursday, July 29, 2021 update

The OPS Employer has announced the next phase of the Gradual Reopening of Ontario Workplaces (GROW). The full details of this phase can be found in an email from the Employer which you should have received this afternoon.

In summary, the Employer is looking to begin the return to workplace process with deputy ministers, associate and assistant deputy ministers, directors, and managers, who are being asked to return August 16, 2021, to ready the office and prepare for employees’ return.

The Employer will abide by capacity limits and other public health measures—such as enhanced cleaning, signage, and entry protocols—in accordance with provincial health authorities.

Starting September 13, 2021, employees who are currently working remotely will be returning to the workplace on a part-time basis (two to three days a week). This will be gradual, and will happen over the course of several weeks, with the goal of bringing all employees back to the workplace on a part-time basis by the week of October 18, 2021.

Although the directive comes from the Employer, we anticipate that the details of the return to the workplace process will be overseen at the local level by each individual ministry or, in the case of multi-ministry buildings, by those ministries in tandem. The Employer has said local conditions and operational needs will determine the specific details and timeline of the process. In all circumstances, individual employees are to be afforded a minimum of two weeks’ notice.

It is important to know that family status and health accommodations will continue to be available for those that need them.

At this point, it is AMAPCEO’s understanding that the Employer’s plan is for the part-time return to the workplace to remain in effect for at least the rest of the year, with the eventual goal of a full-time return at a time yet to be determined.

As always, the health and safety of AMAPCEO members is paramount. AMAPCEO is in ongoing conversation with the Employer to ensure that the return to the workplace process is safe and measured, and that all public health standards are respected. We are also urging the Employer and public health authorities to be aware of the experiences of jurisdictions that are further along in the reopening process and to take those experiences into account when making their decisions.

We understand that you will have questions about returning to the workplace. AMAPCEO will be hosting a Town Hall on Wednesday, August 25 at noon ET. President Dave Bulmer and Vice-President Cynthia Watt will provide any further updates on the OPS Employer's plans (as available) and answers to any questions you may have, as well as updates on the OPS bargaining team.

In the meantime, we encourage you to review the AMAPCEO COVID-19 updates and resources page, our list of COVID-19 frequently-asked questions–updated to include questions about vaccination status–and the Employee and Family Assistance Program if needed.

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).