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OPS Employer pauses return-to-workplace plans

Publish date: Monday, September 28, 2020 presidentsMessage

President Dave Bulmer

Dear members in the OPS,

Today, we received word that the Ontario Public Service (OPS) Employer is putting a temporary pause on their Gradual Reopening of OPS Workplaces (GROW) plan, effective immediately, and until at least mid-October.

Ministries are being told to encourage staff to continue to work remotely, where possible, and only have staff come into the workplace where absolutely necessary.

If you are currently working remotely, and receive a notice from the Employer asking you to return to the workplace in the next couple of weeks, and if you do not feel it is necessary, please contact a Workplace Representative in your District.

If you were notified on or after September 28 that the OPS Employer expects you to return to the workplace, please contact your manager to see if it is still required. If it is, and you do not feel it is necessary, please contact a Workplace Representative in your District.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, AMAPCEO has worked with the OPS Employer to ensure that the return-to-the-workplace is as cautious, gradual, and flexible as possible.

Last week, at the AMAPCEO-Central Employee Relations Committee (ACERC) table, at the Multi-Bargaining Agent meeting, and in direct conversations with the Employer, we implored the Employer to rethink the GROW plan in light of the alarming trajectory of the province’s case counts and the plan’s timeline.

One case of COVID-19 is one case too many. While I am especially worried about Ontario’s upward trend, I am relieved to see the Employer has listened to our concerns and put a pause on their plans.

While it’s not yet known when implementation will resume, OPS Ministries are still required to submit their reopening plans this week. At the central table with the Employer, and on a Ministry-by-Ministry and worksite-by-worksite basis, your union will review each of these plans, conduct workplace health and safety assessments of our own, and work with the Employer to resolve any concerns.

We’ll share any critical updates with you as we receive them, but until then, please subscribe to our Member News e-newsletter (choose either a weekly edition or a monthly digest) at amapceo.on.ca/subscribe for even more updates.

Stay safe, be kind, and remember—one week longer, one week stronger.

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).