Dear Fellow UWOSA member,
Over the past two days we may have experienced an increase of uncertainty, fear, and anxiety regarding the rapidly changing information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as it continues to unfold and how our Employer, Western University, is responding based on information it receives from the Middlesex London Health Unit.
Nikki Grozelle our Chief Steward and Meg Perinpanayagam our President have been meeting with other employee groups on campus and Western Human Resources to receive updates on how Western University is responding. To that end, we can provide the following information:
Communication. For any and all information regarding the COVID-19 virus and the University’s response, please frequently visit Western’s homepage at www.uwo.ca and click on the link “ongoing updates from the university regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) https://www.uwo.ca/coronavirus/.
This site, in combination with the University sending frequent updates to your Western email are the two main communication vehicles at this time for accurate and factual information on Western’s response.
Report to work. As indicated in President Alan Shepard’s March 12, 2020 announcement, the University will remain open. UWOSA members therefore are expected to report to work as usual, unless you feel unwell, then stay home and follow the instructions as per Western’s website: https://www.uwo.ca/coronavirus/
Extraordinary circumstances. If you have an extraordinary circumstance that requires an accommodation for you to work, please contact Rehabilitation Services .
Ontario primary and secondary school closures. Western University is working through a plan in order to provide flexibility to accommodate families due to the additional school closures for the weeks of March 16 – April 3, 2020. It is important that you work with your supervisor and your colleagues in your units so that everyone is accommodated during this unprecedented circumstance. In addition to speaking with your immediate supervisor, you are also able to contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or concerns that still need to be addressed.
Self-Care and Self Awareness. There is a lot of information on the internet, some factual, some fictional, both of which may increase fear, uncertainty and undue stress. To limit increased anxiety, the option exists to decrease time reading about COVID-19 on the internet, decreasing time spent on social media, and/or taking a break from watching the news. Visit reputable websites (London Middlesex Health Unit, World Health Organization, Canada Ministry of Health) that are known to have accurate information.
It is important for all of us to continue with our normal daily routines, that we support one another, and help one another during this time of uncertainty.
~ 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).