Campus Re-Entry FAQ

August 13, 2020 - by admin - in Announcements, Uncategorized

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Where can I get information on MacEwan’s re-entry plan?

How have MSA members responded to the potential of returning to work on campus?

So far, it has been varied with a range from very concerned to not concerned at all.

What percentage of employees are expected to return to campus? How is that decided?

The last we have heard is that they anticipate somewhere around 25% of students on campus for hands-on learning like labs etc. This means the physical jobs (custodian, maintenance, security) and the forward-facing roles (eg: advising, experiential learning, Registrar’s Office) will be expected to also be on campus. However, in addition to following the protocols put in place by the government related to post-secondary institutions, management has been instructed to minimize people on campus through staff rotation as well as having work performed remotely if it can be done effectively from home. 

Besides face coverings, what standards will be in place to support the continued health of MSA members? (Ex. Sanitation of high touch surfaces, staggered work schedules to limit gatherings etc.)

MSA has not received full details, but we have been assured (and we expect) that the protocols set by Alberta Health will be followed.  See the portal for the manager guide to re-entry. 

In the event of illness:
What evidence will be required to not attend the work site?
What if a person in your household becomes ill? What if a co-worker becomes ill?
What will be required to return to work?

MSA is still working with HR to receive these details. Please refer to under COVID-19 Self Reporting.  One important item for MSA members to know is that communication about their situation with their Manager(s) is important, and if they have concerns that are not being addressed, they should let MSA know.   

What will the financial implications be if a member has exceeded their earned sick time/vacation but must not attend work due to illness?

This will probably be dealt with on a case-by-case basis because there are so many variables.  If they are ill themselves and can’t work, they should apply for short-term disability, if they are quarantining/caring for someone else’s illness, other options need to be explored, which could include continuing to work from home, going into 2 week vacation deficit, or an applicable government program (which program will depend on the circumstances like how sick the dependent is, whether CERB is still in effect, etc). 

Has Canada Life indicated any shifts in coverage for members who become infected with Covid-19?

Currently, there are no exceptions to coverage in relation to COVID-19. 

I have been asked to return to working on campus even though I’m working effectively from home right now. Do I have to return? Can the union challenge this?

As long as the employer has met all the safety requirements and precautions that the applicable provincial and federal government and health authorities have put forward, the work would be deemed to be reasonably safe and, if requested, the employee is required to return to work. The union could grieve if the employer breaks the following:   

  1. Rules must not be inconsistent with the collective agreement;  
  1. Rules must not be unreasonable;  
  1. Rules must be clear and unequivocal;  
  1. Rules must be brought to the attention of the employee affected before the company can act on it;   
  1. Rules employee concerned must have been notified that a breach of the rule could result in his discharge (if the rule is used as a basis for discharge); and  
  1. Rules should have been consistently enforced by the employer from the time it was introduced.  

We encourage all MSA members to discuss with their OOS Manager whether the work they are being asked to do could be done from home, and to be vigilant to ensure that all required safety precautions have been put in place when they arrive. If you have concerns, please contact MSA.  

I have underlying health conditions but have been told to return to working on campus. Is it possible for me to make alternate arrangements? Perhaps reducing my days on campus?

Yes, it is possible. Please discuss this with your Manager. If an employee has a health condition that places them at greater risk, this should be brought to the attention of the employer and they must consider it appropriately.   

I will soon return to working on campus full-time and my child will be returning to school. If my child has to stay home for any reason (for example, a cold), I will then have to stay home until their symptoms have passed and they can return. I won’t have enough personal days to cover this. Will I be permitted to work from home? 

This is something that we are currently discussing with HR. If you are able to work from home, then ideally, the answer is yes. It is our understanding that Managers are to be flexible to allow working from home as much as possible, and that staff may need to rotate attendance on campus to cover the needs of students who are on campus, but also minimize the number of staff to allow for childcare needs. The duty to accommodate for medical reasons and family status under Human Rights is a requirement for the employer up to the point of undue hardship. That being stated, the employee is also legally required to make arrangements for alternate childcare so they can attend work as required. We recommend discussing this issue with your Manager, to see what options are available and to work out a plan in advance.  

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