Since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic CAPE has been gathering, and continues to gather, information on the rapidly unfolding events. It has also been exchanging information with other labour unions to assess risks to our members and to engage in joint advocacy activities to press the government to urgently adopt the right measures to slow down the outbreak. CAPE will continue to advocate for better measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 through its weekly calls with the National Joint Council (NJC) community.
CAPE prioritizes the prevention and risk protocols available on the Government of Canada’s website including social distancing to help flatten the curve of contagion. Social distancing has proven to help curb the spread of infections out over a longer period, reducing the burden on the health care system, and making sure everyone needing critical care can get it and on time.
These are extraordinary times that require extraordinary measures, and we continue to call on the government to take swift preventive action.
CAPE’s immediate recommendations to the government include:
1- Wherever possible allow federal public service employees (FPSEs) to telework
2- Provide paid leave for all FPSEs who are unable to telework and are not required to support essential services.
3- Suspend the need for a doctor’s note for all FPSEs to take sick leave if they develop flu-like symptoms, immediate quarantine is preferred and critical.
4- Ensure FPSEs receive clear, coherent and regular internal updates from all levels of government.
5- Enforce an automatic 14-day quarantine policy for all FPSEs who have travelled to countries with active travel health notices for COVID-19 and/or show flu symptoms, and/or who live with family or non-family members who meet the travel and/or symptom criteria.
We understand that there will be a directive from the TBS today that we hope will address our recommendations.
Early this afternoon, the government announced new measures in response to COVID-19, which includes:
- Recommending that Canadians avoid non-essential overseas travel.
- Increasing screening at airports and streamlining overseas arrivals.
- A fiscal stimulus plan will be released next week.
We will continue to keep you updated as the situation evolves.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or need guidance, please speak with your manager or the Occupational Health and Safety Committee in your workplace or call the National Service Centre at 1-800-463-1850.
Useful links and news
Advice for public (WHO)
Labour Code of Can (OHS)
FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA
- Public Health Canada
- Coronavirus infection: Symptoms and treatment
- 2019 novel coronavirus information line
OTHER USEFUL LINKS