Support and Information to our Members
For more updates, please visit the page: http://psacunion.ca/covid-19. This page is monitored and updated daily.
It’s crucial to follow national, territorial and local health authorities’ measures. As we are emerging towards eased restrictions, please stay tuned to territorial health authorities’ websites and announcements:
Your rights at work:
Who is at the highest risk of contracting the virus at work?
Front line workers in direct contact with the public are at the highest risk. This may include airport personnel, border services and immigration employees, teaching assistants, passport offices employees, healthcare staff etc. Anyone who comes in close proximity with a possibly infected individual could be at risk for contracting the coronavirus.
What are the employer's responsibilities and my rights in the workplace?
If you have any questions or concerns about your health and safety at work, speak to a member of your PSAC local or a health and safety representative in your workplace. You can also reach out to your PSAC regional office.
What kind of leave can I take if I am quarantined or forced to self-isolate?
For Treasury Board members, the employer has agreed to our demand to use "other leave with pay" rather than force our members to use sick leave.
In the event that your collective agreement does not provide alternatives to sick leave as mentioned above and your employer is refusing to grant you paid leave, you are entitled to take sick leave if you are quarantined. Refer to your collective agreement for details.
The union is urging all employers to be flexible in allowing employees to take paid and unpaid leaves or to allow employees to work from home if possible.
Can I telework to avoid exposure to the virus, or if I am ill or quarantined?
PSAC has urged all employers to allow telework wherever possible. However, if you are ill, you should not have to work, but instead have the right to take sick leave.
In workplaces where telework is not possible, the employer must either allow you to take leave for quarantine or illness and take all necessary measures to ensure that your workplace is healthy and safe in accordance with health and safety legislation.
For more information on telework and “critical services,” click here.
What rights do I have if a family member is affected by the virus?
Many collective agreements contain provisions for family-related leave. Refer to your collective agreement to determine your entitlements.
What do I do if I face discrimination at work?
If you face discrimination, you should speak to your local or component representative about the possibility of filing a grievance and/or human rights complaint.
For more information on your rights at work, please click here.
Help for Workers
What the government is doing?
Federal and Territorial governments have announced a range of measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on individuals and the economy. Many of these measures address short-term needs and are a direct response to the deficiencies in our support systems, however the governments’ actions are urgently needed and we welcome them.
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is a taxable benefit provides $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lost their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to know who is eligible. The portal for accessing the CERB would be available in early April.
If you need to apply for EI, we recommend doing so online: If you need to apply for EI, we recommend doing so online: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-sickness.html
To learn more about governments’ new announcements and measures, visit: http://psacunion.ca/psac-welcomes-government-measures-to-support-workers
Many people are struggling with their mental health during this difficult time. What resources are available in the North?
If you are overwhelmed, under significant stress, or having any mental health difficulties, here are some resources to assist you.
Find information about how the Government of Canada addresses mental health in the workplace and access resources, tools and services for organizations, managers and employees.
This portal provides tools and resources to help Canadians get back on track. These include modules for addressing low mood, worry, substance use, social isolation and relationship issues.
Wellness Together Canada offers the following at no cost to Canadians:
- Wellness self-assessment and tracking.
- Self guided courses, apps, and other resources.
- Group coaching and community of support.
- Counselling by text or phone.
Resources for federal public service workers:
For government employees: contact the 24-7 Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or your departmental coordinator, access care through the Public Service Healthcare Plan (PSHP), or use the nationwide Specialized Organizational Services (SOS).
You can also check out Treasury Board of Canada's fact sheet for more resources on mental health.
Resources for all workers in the North:
Your component plays a vital role in providing support and resources. The contact information for the three resident Components or those with members in the North can be found at: www.psacnorth.com and www.psacunion.ca. You can contact us if you do not know which Component you belong to.
Information from Yukon Employees Union (YEU), Union of Northern Workers (UNW) and Nunavut Employees Union (NEU) can be found here:
COVID-19: Your Rights at Work
Government Help for Workers
Occupational Health and Safety in Legislation in Canada— Three Rights of Workers
Occupational Health and Safety Answers Fact Sheets
COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool
For updates on COVID-19 situation in Canada, please visit: Government of Canada (Public Health Agency of Canada) - 2019 Novel Coronavirus infection: Outbreak update
For the North, please visit the following pages:
Northwest Territories: https://www.hss.gov.nt.ca/en/services/coronavirus-disease-covid-19
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