CUPE 204’s March 13 recommendations to COVID-19 preparedness for Community Services and Home Care members

Dear members,

CUPE is committed to standing up for the health, safety, and workplace rights of our Community Services and Home Care members. We have received a lot of feedback from members concerning the WRHA’s response and preparedness for COVID-19.

Thank you to all members who have reached out with your suggestions and concerns.
Our union’s greatest strength is you, the membership.

On March 13, 2020, CUPE Local 204 made the following three recommendations to the employer in the interests of clients, staff, and public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Given the global COVID-19 pandemic and the necessity of “social distancing,” CUPE is writing on behalf of Resource Coordinators in WRHA Community Health Services to request that the DSS Task Efficiencies Review be indefinitely suspended in the interests of client, staff, and public safety. The DSS Task Efficiencies Review requires Resource Coordinators to shadow direct service staff throughout their shifts, entering each client’s home. Given the exceptional circumstances of this global pandemic, the Union requests these door-to-door assessment activities by Resource Coordinators be suspended until such time as it is safe for them to recommence.

  2. Given the global COVID-19 pandemic and the necessity of “social distancing,” CUPE is writing on behalf of direct service staff to request that, during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, they not be mandated to be “in house” (physically inside the access centres) during available hours when they do not have clients scheduled. 

  3. CUPE would like to request that hand sanitizer and masks be made available for staff at all access centres. In addition, it has come to the Union’s attention that increasingly clients are denying direct service staff access to washroom facilities including towels and paper towels because of concern about toilet paper and towel shortages.  Consequently, CUPE requests that the WRHA send out a reminder to all home care clients that they are obligated to provide washroom facilities including toilet paper, soap, and a clean towel or paper towel to direct service staff. These circumstances are only expected to escalate without attention. 

These requests were sent to the WRHA on March 13, 2020.

We will update members on the responses we receive. We want to remind all members that the COVID-19 situation is changing every day, and CUPE 204 will ensure we continue to represent our members, and our members’ concerns to the employer.

It is important to report lack of equipment or any other concerns you have to your supervisor immediately.

Please contact CUPE 204 if you have any questions or concerns.