Dr. Hinshaw announces new rules for employment and procedure masks
Beginning next week, the government of Alberta will impose new rules that limit staff at all continuing-care sites to working at one site.
The government will also be imposing new rules requiring health-care workers at these sites to wear procedure masks.
Alberta Chief Medical Office of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced the changes on Friday, April 10. She said guidance on the new rules would be published on Saturday.
For now, we know you have lots of questions. Here’s what we know so far.
Does the single-site rule apply to me?
The rule limiting staff to working at only one continuing-care site applies to all workers employed in continuing care and to all continuing-care facilities, including for-profit, not-for-profit and public-sector facilities. This applies to continuing care workers belonging to AUPE, other unions, as well as those without union protection. No one is excluded.
Will I get full-time hours?
Dr. Hinshaw said the government would try to make sure workers were “made whole” and mentioned trying to get them full-time employment at the site where they remain working.
She said the government was looking at how to support workers so they will not be significantly disadvantaged by having to give up jobs at other sites.
She also said that guidance on this will be published tomorrow (Saturday, April 11). AUPE will provide updates at aupe.org as soon as we know more.
When does the new rule take effect?
The new rule limiting employment to a single continuing-care site will begin late next week, but a specific day was not mentioned. AUPE will provide updates on the website as soon as we know more.
New rules about wearing procedure masks
The government is also introducing new rules about the use of procedure masks by workers at continuing-care facilities when providing direct patient care or working in patient-care areas within two metres of others.
Dr. Hinshaw said that beginning early next week, workers at all continuing-care facilities will be required to wear procedure masks at these times.
She said the rule was not implemented before because the government wanted to wait until it had enough masks. It has now acquired enough supplies and will be sending them to care facilities on Monday.
The AHS guidelines for continuous masking can be found here.
Where can I get more information?
We know you have a lot more questions, so does your union. These important questions include whether your other jobs will be kept for you after the pandemic, whether your benefits at your other jobs will be protected and about access to benefits now. We are working hard to get answers for your. As soon as we know more, we will let you know.
Please visit the website for the latest updates. You can also call the Member Resource Centre (MRC) at 1-800-232-7284.