CAPE asks to postpone the face-to-face return of federal public servants

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CAPE request to postpone the return to face of federal civil servants” />

The gradual return of federal civil servants to face-to-face was announced on February 28 (archives).

Amid growing seventh wave of COVID-19, Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) calls on Treasury Board Secretariat to suspend employee return-to-work plans civil service until the health situation improves.

The third largest union in Canada's federal public service is concerned about the risk of the virus spreading. The BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron are highly contagious. They can be transmitted to 19 people on average.

However, for his part, the general president of the Union of Public and Parapublic Service of Quebec, Christian Daigle, is not particularly concerned about the current situation. However, he remains on his guard for the future.

In his eyes, public health and the government seem to be comfortable with the current situation.

Christian Daigle is the General President of the Union of Public and Parapublic Employees of Quebec (archives) .

Thus, he is waiting to see the reaction of the members of his union. If there are concerns, we will certainly intervene with the employer.

We are here to make sure ;ensure that our people are at the least possible risk in the course of their work, that they can perform at work without putting the public, their co-workers and themselves at risk, explains Mr. Daigle.

“So we want to make sure that our people are well protected and we will take all measures with the employer to do so. »

— Christian Daigle, General President of the Quebec Public and Parapublic Service Union

The President of the Treasury Board of Canada, Mona Fortier, announced the gradual return of federal public servants to face-to-face on February 28. She has yet to comment on issues related to the Seventh Wave. As has been the case since the start of the pandemic, employees can be assured that effective measures continue to be taken to protect their health and safety at work.

En as leaders of their organization, deputy heads will continue to make health and safety decisions within the context of their specific activities, guided by the advice of public health authorities and their occupational health and safety committees , she reiterates in a written statement.

Professor of management and law at the University of Ottawa, Gilles LeVasseur believes that it is imperative to tighten sanitary measures as soon as possible.

The employer must take strong action, knowing that there is a possibility that this seventh wave could have an impact on the workers, he believes.

Gilles LeVasseur is a professor of law and management at the University of Ottawa (archives).

However, he recognizes that some workers must remain face-to-face, given their responsibilities. We can't ask that everyone be teleworking, it's impossible, because a system cannot work teleworking, says the professor. Except that the unions also have the duty to propose mechanisms and systems precisely to find a fair balance between the organizational needs, [the fact of] serving the public and at the same time the safety of the employees.

In his opinion, if no action is taken quickly to curb or even limit the spread of the BA.4 or BA.5 variants of Omicron, it sends a very bad message. If the employer does not give this signal to take this action quickly, one has the impression that there is an indifference or that there is a leadership absenteeism to take the file and manage it quickly, he argues.

There is uncertainty about the impact of these new variants on individuals and on working relationships. , however, recalls Mr. LeVasseur. The system must immediately provide mechanisms to be able to deal with a crisis, a situation that could lead to rapid changes in labor relations.

With information from Benjamin Vachet and Stéphane Leclerc

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