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AUPE Pandemic Information Hub

This page will be updated continuously with information relevant to AUPE members regarding pandemic response and related issues during the COVID-19 outbreak. (Last updated July 27, 2020)

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About

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AUPE.org/albertacares is the pandemic response microsite of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees.

This information hub is for the heroes in all sectors of Alberta’s public services who belong to AUPE. As Albertans stand together in the face of the ongoing pandemic, working people like you are showing up for their rural and urban communities by delivering the public services we all rely on.

This site is here as a source of support, care and information for those AUPE members who continue to be called to the front-lines.

Solidarity is at the heart of AUPE, and it’s at the heart of #Albertacares - the hashtag the Chief Medical Officer of Alberta has put forward to share stories of success, stability, and acts of community during the pandemic.

 
Have suggestions for resources and information to include?

Have stories you want shared of how you and your co-workers have been staying strong and showing the #Albertacares spirit?
 
Email: albertacares@aupe.org

 
AUPE is working nonstop so members in all sectors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic response can stay safe through this challenging time. 

Union-wide updates

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It takes all of us staying informed to protect our families, our communities, and working people across Alberta.

AUPE COVID-19 bulletins by date:

AUPE COVID-19 member updates and media releases by date:

Visit www.alberta.ca for all Government of Alberta updates.

Your health and safety

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Health and safety at work during the pandemic response period

It is always your employers’ responsibility to make sure you have personal protective equipment (PPE) and a safe workplace. Every worksite’s requirements are different. And as the COVID-19 situation changes, so too do our health and safety needs. Now more than ever, it’s important we know who we can turn to for the latest information, so we can keep each other safe.

WHO YOU CAN TALK TO

YOUR STEWARD
This is the AUPE member who can help you better understand your rights. Don’t know who they are? Call the Member Resource Centre at 1-800-232-7284 and have your Local and Chapter number ready so they can help you find a contact.

When you do, ask your steward about any relevant changes to the standard operating procedures on your worksite in light of COVID-19, and keep in touch.

YOUR JOINT WORKSITE HEALTH & SAFETY COMMITTEE
Alberta employers are required by law to have a committee of representatives to address health and safety concerns on the workplace. This allows workers like you to have a say in your OH&S.

Find out who your elected representatives are and go to them with any ideas and questions you may have about health and safety policy, or if you have a dangerous work incident to report.

YOUR AUPE MEMBER SERVICE OFFICER
AUPE Member Service Officers (MSOs) are the resource staff that are here for members if you’re worried the employer isn’t following the collective agreement.

Call the Member Resource Centre to find out who your MSO is and contact them if have any worksite concerns.

Now more than ever, it’s important we’re all on the same page and employers are respecting our rights, so we can continue to support Albertans through this pandemic.

REPORT IT, ASK QUESTIONS

If your employer is not enforcing COVID-19 Stop the Spread measures, like social distancing and working from home when possible, fill out an AUPE Occupational Health and Safety Report.

If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19 and how it affects your work, follow these steps:

Step 1
Start with your employer’s internal staff website or portal, and check back often for the most up-to-date information.

Step 2
If your employer does not have an internal staff website or portal, contact your direct supervisor or Human Resources staff for up-to-date COVID-19 information.

Step 3
To protect your employment, you must talk to your management about working from home before you do so. Contact your direct supervisor if you feel you can or should work from home.

Read more...

YOUR RIGHT TO REFUSE DANGEROUS WORK

If you have reasonable grounds to believe there is a danger at your worksite that needs to be fixed, consider exercising your right to refuse dangerous work. Read more about how to refuse dangerous work.

Mask Information

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There are four types of face-wear Albertans are using to stop the spread and protect themselves and each other against COVID-19
four masks in a row includes n ninety-five, face shield, surgical mask, DIY cloth mask

Each one serves a different purpose and is only effective if it’s worn in the right place, at the right time, by the right people. Not all Albertans will need access to all of these masks. Find out which one is the right fit for you. Download our union’s guide on best mask practices and help stop the spread

Right to Refuse Unsafe Work

All Alberta health-care workers in the public and private sector have a right to wear a mask that fits properly and does not make you ill.

If you identify a mask that you believe will not work for the intended purpose (because of size issues or breaking ear loops), or a mask that is causing ill effects, such as a sore throat or skin irritation, you have a right to refuse that mask and the work for which it’s required until you have a proper mask.

Immediately ask for a proper fitted mask, and if no proper alternative can be issued, ask for an N95.

*Remember, in continuing-care centres it’s mandatory to wear a procedural/surgical mask when providing direct patient care or working in patient-care settings within two meters of others. It’s your right to have a mask that fits properly and does not cause ill effects.

Report Your Concerns

The first step all members must take if you have a concern with a mask is report it to an on-site supervisor.

Health-care members not employed by AHS or Covenant Health can call the AUPE member resource centre (1-800-232-7284), which is open 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday. If you have any concerns related to your collective agreement, masks or other occupational health & safety issues and more, reach out during these times to connect with your membership services officer (MSO).

Your supports and resources

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As an AUPE member, you have access to a variety of resources, including benefits and services.

GET SUPPORT
As a benefit of your AUPE membership there is free, confidential help available. This support is made possible through the union dues all members contribute to allow for benefits in times of trouble.

If you are experiencing intense anxiety or vulnerability due to traumatic or crisis events occurring at work, call AUPE’s Crisis Support Service at 1-844-744-7026. After an initial assessment to ensure that your crisis is related to workplace events, you will receive up to six counselling sessions per crisis situation. This includes financial counselling. Visit the AUPE website for more info.

KNOW YOUR HEALTH BENEFITS
Health benefits are an important part of a contract, and many AUPE members have had to fight to get benefits, keep them, and improve them. All working Albertans will also be subject to changes made to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code that will allow all Alberta workers to take 14 days of job-protected leave if they are required to self-isolate, are sick or caring for a loved one with COVID-19.

https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx#p22780s6

Short-term disability or additional health or leave benefits may have been negotiated into your collective agreement, look up your local to find your collective agreement. If you have questions about your benefits as outlined in your collective agreement, contact the AUPE Member Resource Centre by phone or email.

 

Additional information and resources

SUPPORTS AVAILABLE TO ALL ALBERTANS

FURTHER AUPE RESOURCES

LINKS FOR GOA MEMBERS

If you are having problems logging in, please do not contact AUPE. Contact the GoA Service Desk:
Phone: 780-427-1462
1-888-427-1GoA (1462) 
Email:  goa.servicedesk@gov.ab.ca   
WEBchat:  http://WEBchat.gov.ab.ca

OTHER LINKS

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Updated April 17, 2020

These are uncertain times that have probably left you with a lot of unanswered questions.

To get through this, we can share accurate and current information with each other. Frequently asked questions AUPE have been raising include:

Is my job safe for the duration of the pandemic?
As many members know Budget 2020 was slated to axe jobs in the public sector. In light of the COVID-19 crisis and the need to have as many hands on deck as possible to absorb the added pressure of this health emergency, Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Covenant Health agreed to suspend bargaining and extend job protections for members until May 31.

Do I continue to report to work even when the government is recommending Albertans work from home?
To protect your employment, you must talk to your management about working from home before you do so.

Contact your direct supervisor if you feel you can or should work from home. If you believe you have been unreasonably denied working from home, contact the AUPE Member Resource Centre.

If I have to continue to report to work, what do I do about child care?
A limited number of child care centres have reopened to provide child care for core service workers, including:

  • front-line health care workers
  • critical infrastructure workers
  • first responders
  • military personnel
  • essential service workers

Parents who work in these essential areas can contact the child care centres directly. An updated list of these centres can be found here.

I’ve been laid off because of the pandemic, and I don’t know what income supports are available to me.
If you have been laid off, Service Canada has set up a phone line to set up expedited EI claims for this purpose. The number is 1-833-381-2725.

As of March 25, EI claims will include the Canada Emergency Response Benefit: $2,000/month for up to four months.