You can read GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner’s email to employers, below.
If you have problems or concerns as you are dealing with Covid-19 responses in your workplace, don’t hesitate to contact your GSU staff rep. Contact information is available here.
March 16, 2020
RE: Response to COVID-19 Virus
I am writing to address measures and responses to the COVID-19 virus.
Please advise what occupational health and safety measures [you] will be
taking to address and prevent COVID-19 virus exposure or spread in the
In addition, although there are existing provisions of the collective
agreements that address sick leave and/or family related leave the COVID-19 virus situation is extraordinary and dynamic. Accordingly, please advise what income protection measures [the company] is willing to extend to employees who unable to report for work as a result of their own health-related concerns and/or child care and family care responsibilities stemming from the COVID-19 virus and related public health directives.
This is a complex societal problem requiring exceptional measures and GSU is willing to work with [the company] to ensure that the health and safety of
employees and the community are protected.
GSU proposes the following for your consideration.
- Where possible employees should be enabled to work from home
without loss of pay or benefits.
- Employees whose work cannot be fulfilled remotely should be assured that the maximum workplace health and safety protective measures are in place and are clearly communicated.
- Employees who are required to be absent from work as a result of health concerns and/or family care responsibilities should be able to respond to those concerns and responsibilities without loss of pay or benefits and should not be required to provide physicians’ notes.
- Employees who are advised not to report for work or are sent home as a result of curtailment or shutdown of operations should not suffer any loss of pay or benefits.
GSU realizes that the response to the COVID-19 virus requires socially
responsible actions and solidarity. Our collective response also requires
trust and we assure you that we will work with [you] in good faith.
Hugh Wagner General Secretary
Grain and General Services Union