VICTORIA UNIVERSITY UPDATE #10 ON COVID-19April 23, 2020
Dear Victoria University USW Members,
Changes to the University’s Temporary Self-isolation & Sick Leave Pay Continuity Provisions
Vic USW members have been asking the Union questions about Tuesday’s announcement from the Human Resources Department. Human Resources announced that two of the temporary pay continuity provisions it implemented several weeks ago will no longer be in affect after April 30. As of May 1, employees who have COVID-19 and those who are in self-isolation because either they or someone they live with has a compromised immune system will be moved from the temporary pay continuity provisions to the sick leave provisions of the collective agreement (Article 14). This means that starting on May 1 they will use three regular sick days from their sick day bank before moving onto short term disability.
The University stated that employees who have COVID-19 and those who are in self-isolation because either they or someone they live with has a compromised immune system will continue to not have to provide medical documentation to justify their absence from work, but they must report their absence to their manager and submit a completed self declaration form to Human Resources.
While on regular sick days, an employee is paid 100% of their regular wages and while they are on short term disability they are paid 85% of their regular wages with the option of topping up their short term disability pay to 100% of regular wages by using banked regular sick days. Short term disability can last up to fifteen weeks.
The University also announced that the temporary pay continuity provision for employees in self-isolation because of a directive from a governmental authority will continue to be in effect past April 30. Employees who are in self-isolation because of a directive from a governmental authority will continue to not have to provide the University with medical documentation to justify their absence from work, but they must report their absence to their manager and submit a completed self declaration form to Human Resources.
The University expects employees to work from home if they are in self isolation past April 30 and if they are in jobs that can be done remotely. The Union rejects the University’s expectation that an employee who can work remotely and who is in self isolation because of a compromised immune system will continue to work remotely when they are on sick leave. If an employee is working from home for any reason, they should not have to use sick leave. We will raise this issue with Human Resources.
Local 1998 Office Staffing & the Continuation of Union Services
The physical Local 1998 office is currently closed in keeping with the latest business closure directive issued by the Government of Ontario, but everyone who usually works in the office, including John Ankenman and Mark Austin, are working from home and are available to answer your questions, address your concerns and fully represent the membership. Please do not hesitate to contact John or Mark or one of the other Vic USW representatives.
John Ankenman – Unit President
Mark Austin -Chief Steward
Alex Thomson – Unit Secretary
Wanda Hughes – Steward for salaried employees
Chris Greenwood – Steward for part-time