The COVID-19 pandemic changes every day.
Here are some basic Q&As for CUPE health care workers.
*as of March 20, 2020
Q. Do I have to work still
A. Yes, if you are healthy, able and have not been told to self-isolate/self-quarantine please report to work as normal. Unless the Employer informs you otherwise.
Q. Do I have to self-isolate or self-quarantine?
A. Please go to this link: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/index.html
Q. What if I am deemed essential?
A. You will attend work as always and follow any protocols put in place by the Employer. Including wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).
Q. What if I am not deemed “essential”?
A. We are waiting for the Employer to determine if they will be sending non-essential staff home and what that will look like. We are not clear on how the Employer is determining who is essential yet. Questions we do not have answered yet are: Will you get paid? Will you have to work from home?
Q. Does the Employer have to provide personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks?
A. Yes, the Employer must provide required PPE. CUPE has dealt with sites that have failed to do so. If this equipment is not available, please advise your CUPE rep.
Q. What if the client/patient has tested positive or is displaying symptoms?
A. Follow the universal precaution guidelines. Wear gloves and mask. Wash your hands when you enter and leave their residence/room. Do not touch the doorknobs or surfaces as much as possible.
Q. What if my co-worker may have been exposed?
A. Maintain social distancing as much as possible. Cleaning protocols should have been increased. Follow the universal precaution guidelines. Do not touch the doorknobs or surfaces as much as possible.
Q. If I have to self-isolate or self-quarantine how will I get paid?
A. You can use sick time first. Then you can use your vacation, overtime (OT), STAT banks to cover your time away. If you do not have any of those available, you can take an unpaid Leave of Absence (LOA) and apply for Employment Insurance (EI). If you do take an unpaid LOA, you will need to prepay your benefits if you wish to continue coverage. CUPE is working on having this time covered by the Employer directly and not come from your banks.
Q. What if I have to be away from work because of child care issues?
A. You can use your vacation, OT, STAT banks to cover your time away. If you do not have any of those available, you can take an unpaid LOA and apply for EI. If you do take an unpaid LOA you will need to prepay your benefits if you wish to continue coverage. CUPE is working on having this time covered by the Employer directly and not come from your banks. If you are deemed essential and require child care there is a form to fill out from the Employer.
The federal government has announced assistance for employees who require income assistance. Introducing the Emergency Care Benefit providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This flat-payment benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to: “Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school or daycare closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.”
Q. Can I be mandated to work?
A. In this COVID 19 crisis you can be mandated to work if staffing levels are affected because of
COVID-19. The Employer must take into account child care, elder care, etc. They cannot mandate you to work if it is not COVID-19 related.
Q. Can I be transferred to other site?
A. In this COVID 19 crisis you can be asked to voluntarily work at other sites. You would be covered by your current collective agreement, continue to accrue seniority at your site, be covered by benefits and Workers Compensation (WCB) and be reimbursed for parking, mileage and receive a meal allowance. There is also some financial compensation if you are reassigned to another site. If no one volunteers or staffing levels get dangerously low at a site, you can be assigned to work at another site.
See link: “MOA_Redeploymnet_of_Staff_COVID-19”
Q. What if Winnipeg Transit stops running?
A. If you use the bus to get to work and services are stopped, talk to your manager/supervisor about what to do.
Federal Income Supports : https://cupe.ca/cupe-backgrounder-federal-income-support-announcements