COVID-19: Message from the President

April 02, 2020





Dear members,

It has been two weeks since our community began feeling the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which quickly threw everyone into crisis management mode. 

This unprecedented situation has put the resilience of our public institutions and that of the entire public service to the test. Within hours in some cases, you had to deal with and adjust to new working arrangements. While I recognize that this transition has not been smooth sailing, significant progress has been made.

The mobilization around COVID-19 has been impressive and highly effective. From the onset of this chaotic transition, many of you contacted us with your concerns and we immediately connected with the broader union community and Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) to get answers to your questions and to fix major problems. 

I am on regular conference calls with the TBS, departments and many other union champions, and I can tell you everyone is very eager to help you. I can also confirm that many of your concerns have been addressed and that some of the solutions we have proposed have been adopted and have produced positive results.

I feel my message would be incomplete without acknowledging and praising your efforts to keep the government running under incredibly difficult circumstances. Canadians count on the federal public service community to offer a range of essential services at a time when the reliance on the government is at the highest it has ever been.

Some of you may also feel frustrated of not being able to contribute as much as you would want to, but there will soon be opportunities for all of us to make a difference in the lives of millions of Canadians who need us at this critical juncture.

The Road Ahead: Health, Safety and Well-Being

The crisis has created serious administrative and logistical challenges that we have all tried to fix as best we could. Today we recognize that the crisis has also created its own share of mental health challenges that we are now trying to address collectively.

We know and understand that isolation and physical distancing measures are taking their toll on people, causing stress and anxiety and leading some to depression.  In some instances, people are at risk of injuring themselves or others.

I have discussed this issue with my team and we are committed to doing our part to support those most in need.  For starters, we have put together a list of resources we encourage you to use if you need help. Please visit our new mental health & safety resource page for more information.

You can also download a PDF document to access resources related to domestic violence.

In addition, find below other useful information on our Website here:

• FAQs: COVID-19 and the Federal Public Service
• COVID-19 Useful Links

A small act of kindness, such as reaching out to someone who is alone or could use a friendly hello, can go a long way.  The silver lining from this crisis could be the opportunity to show our humanity by helping one another.

I am confident that by working together we can overcome this crisis and emerge stronger.

I thank you for your cooperation and willingness to follow the advice provided by public health experts who are working hard to curb the spread of COVID-19.   We will continue to monitor the situation, keep you appraised of changes and developments as they occur, and answer any questions and concerns you may have.

As always, we are here for you.

Please take care of yourself and your loved ones. We are going to get through this, together.

#StrengthInUnity

Sincerely yours,

Greg Phillips
CAPE President