COVID-19 FAQ

Monday, May 3rd, 2021

Paid Vaccination Leave
From CUPE BC

The provincial government recently passed legislation that entitles employees to up to three hours of paid leave to receive a vaccination against COVID‐19. The new provision is effective retroactive to April 19, 2021. The full new language can be found here.

Monday, March 29th, 2021

Employees asked to help bend the curve by working remotely wherever possible
From CamNews

Additional restrictions have been put in place by the Provincial Health Officer to help break the growing chain of COVID-19 transmissions in British Columbia. Amended public health orders were announced on Monday, March 29 and will be in place for three weeks until April 19, 2021.

With this in mind, the college is asking employees to work remotely during this period wherever possible and only attend campus if teaching or providing an approved service on campus. If you are approved to attend campus by your dean or director, please continue to complete on the on-campus attendance and daily health check form, wear a mask in all indoor public areas and where physical distancing cannot be maintained, and stay home if you feel sick or have any sign of illness. We all have a part to play in keeping each other safe and helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The fitness centres on the Lansdowne and Interurban campuses can continue to offer individual workouts and the COVID-19 Safety Plan is strictly followed. The cafeteria at Interurban is open only for take out with physically distanced outdoor seating available as indoor seating is no longer permitted under the new orders.

No indoor social gatherings are permissible. Outdoor gatherings are limited: do not gather with groups of new people, instead please stick with the same group of up to 10 people.

Please continue to follow the public health orders. While there is relief in sight as the B.C. government’s immunization plan rolls out it is important we do everything we can to get us there.

Please feel free to reach out to OHS@camosun.ca with any Health and Safety questions.

 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

A Safe Return to Campus
From Erynne Grant, Labour Relations Officer

Yesterday’s news has created excitement for some and anxiety for others. I know there are questions regarding the College’s Camnews announcement, and I take your comments, concerns and requests seriously and remain committed to assisting whenever possible.

Many of you have already reached out in previous months inquiring about the continuation of remote work, post pandemic. The messaging has remained the same: The College views remote work as temporary.

You’ll recall, in advance of ‘lock down’, we agreed with the College that safety was of paramount concern and the hollowing out of our campuses began. This decision was made with full understanding that we do not have remote work language in our Collective Agreement. Safety drove our decision then and will guide our return now.

A return to campus is an Employer directive and will be made in accordance with direction from the Provincial Health Officer and WorkSafe BC requirements.

For CUPE 2081, this means, if we are directed back to campus and our workplace safety can be reasonably assured, we go back. I respect this will be welcome news to some and anxiety inducing for others. Please know, I hear you and I mirror all your concerns. We are a unionized public sector workplace, directed by Government and must negotiate with the College, our Employer, in accordance with Government directives and the Public Sector Employers Association, of which Camosun is a member.

This means, for us, bargaining is the mechanism to address remote work post pandemic. When the CUPE 2081 bargaining survey goes out next year, I expect a high response rate for negotiating remote work language in a new Collective Agreement!

I anticipated engagement with the College regarding negotiating a safe return to campus this spring/summer but after yesterday’s announcement, all timelines have likely moved up. Please know, I am doing everything reasonably possible to support each of you, while advocating for safety. This has not been an easy path to tread and while competing interests crop up from time to time, I take my responsibility to you all seriously. I also thank you for your continued support and commitment to our community and too each other.

There will be more questions to follow now that we see light at the end of this roller coaster. Continue to read Camnews. Important information will be shared in the coming weeks and months. As we learn new information, I will also send out updates to you all.

Employee Resources – COVID-19 – Camosun College

Your concerns are duly noted, and I remain committed to assisting in all ways possible.
In solidarity,

Erynne Grant l Labour Relations Officer

 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Working from Home Expenses for the 2020 Taxation Year – FAQ
From CUPE National

Please read CUPE’s FAQ Sheet for information on claiming your Work From Home Expenses in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Friday, September 11, 2020 

Accessing Lunch Rooms on Campus
From Safe Start

For employees who are approved to be working on campus, these are the locations of lunch rooms at each campus that have been assessed or are in the process of an Occupational Health and Safety assessment.

Lansdowne: Library 146; Dawson 219; Ewing 314; Fisher 007, 127, 260; Paul 12; and Richmond 102

Interurban: Center for Health and Wellness 321; Technologies Building 258; CBA 131, 251; Campus Centre 118, 332; John Drysdale 139; Jack White 101A; and, Daycare 103

Please read and follow the guidelines on how best to use lunch rooms in a way that is safe for everyone.

Guidelines For Use of Lunch Rooms

Before coming to Campus:

  1. Please complete the COVID-19 Employee Safety Training, Initial Self-Assessment & Declarationalong with the COVID-19 Workplace Leader Safety Training (if applicable), and complete the On Campus Employee Attendance Form for dates of approved on-campus activity before returning to campus. Additionally, review the Camosun Directive D-1.2: Absences from Campus due to COVID-19 document
  2. Please complete the BC COVID-19 Self Assessment tool before attending campus for the first time, and continue to self-monitor for symptoms on a daily basis for each subsequent visit

 Once you enter the lunchroom:

  • Wash or sanitize hands as you enter the room
  • Maintain physical distancing of two metres / six feet between co-workers (mask is not a substitute of physical distancing)
  • Please use a face mask if physical distancing cannot be maintained (sanitize hands before donning mask)
  • Please cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve. When using a tissue, please dispose of it immediately after use then sanitize your hands
  • Avoid crowding and group gatherings
  • Lunches to be contained within lunch box and taken home at the end of day. Storing food supplies in the lunchroom fridge overnight isn’t available at this time

Checklist for lunch rooms: 

Do’s Don’ts
✔  Sanitize hands as you enter the room X          Do not store food supplies overnight or extended period of time
✔  Use a disinfecting wipe to sanitize utilized surface before and after use X         Do not share condiments and/or any other food items
✔  Bring lunch pack contained within one lunch box and take it home at end of day X        Do not share dishes
✔  Bring your own dishes and utensils for the day use X         Do not gather in groups
✔  Wipe fridge handle, kettle and microwave etc. before and after use X          Do not sit at one table with multiple people
✔  Wash hands before and after meal
✔  Continue to maintain physical distancing of two metres / six feet in interactions with others
✔  Avoid crowding and stagger lunchtime/break time
✔  Consider taking your lunch break outside

 If experiencing an onset of COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms while on campus, please don a mask, inform your supervisor, go home directly and call 8-1-1 BC Health Line for further directions.

If you have safety related concerns please contact: OHS@camosun.ca

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The BC Government has published some new guidelines as we move forward with Post Secondary scheduling for the Fall semester. Please review their PDF here: Post Secondary COVID Guidelines

Monday, March 16, 2020 – We know this is a challenging time and many of you have questions. Please know, we take your concerns seriously. The college is committed to providing up to date information and will continue to inform our community. Please refer to Camnews for up to date information from  the college. This is a dynamic situation and information may/will change as it progresses.

We’re in daily contact with college leadership and Human Resources.  As we learn new information, we will continue to update Camosun CUPE members via CUPE-ALL email.

We’ve received many questions from members regarding self-isolation, pay, sick leave, etc. Here are our general responses to questions:

Monday, March 16, 2020

If an employee is currently travelling out of Canada and would have been unaware of the travel advisory in advance of their trip, what occurs when they return?

  • 14 days of self quarantine is required based on the provincial direction;
  • The employee needs to contact their supervisor to notify them if they were out of country on their vacation prior to returning to work.

– If the employee is not ill (asymptomatic), the employee should discuss options with their workplace leader to see if remote work may be possible.

– It is recognized that, typically, a support staff employee would not work remotely; however, the College and union leadership are working collaboratively to respond and adapt to these exceptional circumstances.

– We will explore appropriate options based on the position’s job duties as temporary measures of remote work due to the trip advisory. It is recognized that this may be possible for some positions and not others. The circumstances will need to be reviewed with the workplace leader and Human Resources.

  • If the employee is asymptomatic and they are unable to work remotely, they would be on a general paid leave. This paid leave will be granted for this purpose until the person is cleared to return to work following the quarantine period, providing they remain asymptomatic.
  • If the employee becomes symptomatic during this period, then the employee should notify the supervisor and the leave would shift to sick leave and be treated as an illness.

If a student, staff or faculty chooses to travel out of Canada after the announcement made by the BC Government, how is the 14 day quarantine period managed after they return?

We are aware that public health officials are asking people who travel outside of Canada to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.  Employees should be made aware that there is uncertainty at this time as to whether the self-isolation period will be covered as paid leave or whether employees will be required to use their paid time leave or take unpaid leave.  We appreciate this is time sensitive and it is being considered within the broader public sector.

What happens with support staff employees after 30 days of sick leave if the person was either sick or sick and self isolated?

If the medical absence is related to COVID-19 and the employee continues to be ill after 30 calendar days, currently, the employee would be required to apply for short-term disability benefits. Manulife and the College have a revised process to address COVID-19 absences that does not require the full application process. Please note, the standard application process for short-term disability benefits remains in effect for other medical absences unrelated to COVID-19.

An employee who was not ill (asymptomatic) but was instructed by a qualified medical practitioner to self-isolate due to concern that they may have been exposed to the virus would be on a general paid leave, except in circumstances where it is feasible for an asymptomatic employee to work remotely during self-isolation.

Manulife has indicated that they no longer have to complete paper work.  What are employees required to do after the 30 day period?  Would they be receiving 100% pay?

In recognition of the increasing pressure on medical clinics and hospitals due to the COVID-19 global health emergency, Manulife has revised the short-term disability application process for COVID-19 related illness and will not, at the outset, require an Attending Physician’s Statement as part of a Short Term Disability claim submission. If an employee’s absence is due to novel coronavirus symptoms, a clinical diagnosis of the virus, or a quarantine order, there is a specific application form to be used (see link below.) This is a time-limited exception as we move through the current situation. Payment for the short-term disability benefit remains unchanged at 70% of an employee’s annualized gross earnings and medical clearance is still required in order for an employee to return to work following a short-term disability claim.

This is the link to the form that does still need to be completed: https://www.manulife.ca/content/dam/manulife-advisor-portal/documents/en/other/gbrs/newsroom/manulife-gb-plan-member-confirmation-of-illness-forme.pdf

If the college was closed down, would support staff continuing and term members receive 100% pay? 

If the college was completely closed down, then yes, 100% pay would be applied for continuing and term appointments during the closure period.

For casual employees, would they be entitled to any form of compensation if we were closed?

The college would review casual employees that are currently working at the College and review what offers for shifts have been extended to those employees. Where casual employees were already scheduled for shifts, they would be compensated for those shifts in the event of a College closure.  If not already scheduled, according to the provisions in the collective agreement, casual hourly (time-sheet) employees would not be entitled to any compensation.

For employees who are not eligible for uninterrupted pay, Employment Insurance provisions that have been revised by Service Canada related to the current events can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html

Unrelated to travel, if an employee has an absence or anticipated absence related to COVID-19, who do they tell?

Employees need to report any absence or anticipated absence related to COVID-19 directly to their supervisor, or exempt manager if the supervisor is not reachable. Additional information may be requested depending on the situation. Depending on the nature of the absence, the employee may be referred to the Employee Health Advisor.

Further questions and concerns

If you have specific questions your supervisor or manager are unable to answer, email coronavirusinfo@camosun.ca.

At all times, you are welcome to contact your union office via email (cupe2081@camosun.ca).

Thank  you for your collective efforts. This is a challenging time and anxiety is high.  We’re confident with mutual understanding, compassion and a concentrated effort to work together, we will continue to show our community the best of CUPE 2081.