Dear Fellow UWOSA member,
The UWOSA office and our Executive Officers continue to stay in regular contact with you, our members. We will support members primarily through email and phone call.
As we all experienced several closings due to this pandemic, and ever changing work environment, we continue to address your concerns, experiences working on campus, and immediate issues for you who are working either remotely or on campus with Western Human Resources. We ask for your patience as we work through each member question and concern as we work with Western’s senior administration to tackle our common challenges and address these issues.
While the UWOSA office remains open, we are taking the extra precaution of communicating only through our website, emails and phone calls. Our UWOSA office does not have the capacity to maintain social distance to keep everyone in a face to face meeting safe. We hope you will support us with this decision, so that we can continue to support you, both on and off campus.
Prior to contacting us, please take a moment to read through our frequently asked questions section, as your question may be answered. If not, please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Frequently Asked Questions (from the week of March 16, 2020)
#1. Are UWOSA members considered an essential service at Western?
Under our current Collective Agreement, UWOSA members are not deemed an essential service at Western. However, since at this time the University has chosen to remain open and operational, they are directing staff member’s working locations. Each department has been adapting to fill operational needs and while some of our members are being required to work from home, others are being required to report to campus. Working schedules and assignments have been adjusted for staff in order to reduce risk. This includes rotating schedules, practice social distancing and use proper hygiene as outlined by the Public Health Unit. This applies to everyone, not just UWOSA members, across campus.
#2. What resources are available for UWOSA Members regarding COVID-19?
We ask that you please access resources that contain accurate, factual, and the most recent information. Please continue to check Western’s website: https://www.uwo.ca/coronavirus/staff.html. This link includes helpful information such as Absence Reporting, Staff returning from International Travel and FAQs. It also includes links to the Middlesex London Health Unit, Public Health Ontario and Western’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP).
Employees with health-related inquiries:
Contact your family doctor; Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 (toll-free TTY: 1-866-797-0007); or Workplace Health at Western at 519-661-2047 (Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Telehealth Ontario, individuals with health concerns about COVID-19 are being asked to first take this self-assessment to determine if they need to seek further care.
Employees with non-health related inquiries:
- Weekdays: Workplace Health at Western at 519-661-2047 (Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
- 24 hours/7 days a week: Western’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) at 1-844-880-9142
#3. What are my rights if I no longer feel safe at work?
- If you do not feel safe, please contact your immediate supervisor with your specific concern.
- If your supervisor is unresponsive, or if you are unable to resolve the issue, we encourage you to contact email@example.com or Workplace Health at Western at 519-661-2047 or Rehabilitation Services at Western.
- Please reach out to UWOSA at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can advocate on your behalf to Western Human Resources to work collaboratively with you and your supervisor to have your specific concern addressed.
#4. What happens if I am sick or need to self-isolate?
- If you are sick, please stay home.
- Use the Absence Reporting system.
The UWOSA office will remain open during this time to support our membership. We are working both remotely and on-campus. We will support members primarily through email and phone call. In-person meetings will be provided only where absolutely necessary. We are working hard to continue to support our membership, both those working remotely and here on campus.
If you have returned home from another country, please follow the Government of Canada’s instructions for self-isolation: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/covid-19-how-to-isolate-at-home.html
Thank you to our members that Western has deemed to remain working on campus. Thank you for your courage, to show up every day on campus, and for the value you continue to provide to our Employer. If you are working on campus this week, feel free to send us an email (email@example.com) and let us know how you are doing, is your supervisor on campus with you, and what communications you have received from your department, faculty or service unit.
Thank you to our members who are working from home, on their own computers, sitting at dining room tables, using their internet and cell phones to stay connected. We also thank our members who have come home from another country, and are working in self-isolation. Working from home can be hard as there are kids, pets, spouses and other distractions, so thank you for the value you continue to provide to our Employer. If you are working from home, please let us know what communications you are getting from your supervisor and how work is being distributed to you.
We are UWOSA and we know Western will have a hard time working without us. So thank you everyone for doing your part, pulling your weight, showing up, logging in, and continuing to work.
As always, any other questions, concerns, or comments, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Meg Perinpanayagam (President), Nikki Grozelle (Chief Steward), James Taron (Secretary), Karen McDonald (Treasurer), Jen Heidenheim (Membership Services Officer), and Rob Harbottle (Health and Safety Officer)