Personal protective equipment (PPE) exists to create a barrier between you and a patient/resident/client to prevent spread of a contaminant such as the virus that
causes COVID-19 to either you or the patient. It exists to help protect your skin, airways, mucous membranes, and/or clothing. This fact sheet summarizes use and care of gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection. PDF: PPE Use and Care
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Thank you to all locals and members for your extraordinary work during this unprecedented time. Members are doing important work across both provinces in our region during the COVID-19 pandemic. We always appreciate and value everything that you do, especially during this crisis.
Members Contracting COVID-19
Currently, we have no reports of CUPE members in our region contracting COVID-19. In order to help everyone stay safe, we would like to track our members who contract COVID-19 and would appreciate that you forward this information to us as you receive it. Basic information is required: local number, occupation of the member and information if this was a workplace transmission. For obvious privacy concerns, we are not asking for the names of the individuals.
If you have been laid off due to COVID-19, please notify your local’s executive.
Provincial COVID-19 Information Websites
New Brunswick: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/ocmoh/cdc/content/respiratory_diseases/coronavirus.html
Prince Edward Island: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/covid-19
PEI & NB Emergency Child Care Services
Emergency childcare services are reserved for children of essential service workers who have no other alternatives. Please complete the form linked below only if you require childcare services during this time and are an essential service worker.
Federal government announced laid-off workers who have applied for EI due to coronavirus-related job losses should be eligible for a $2,000 benefit for up to four months. After this period, they will be switched over to standard EI if they are still out of work. To apply for EI benefits, you can do it online: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-sickness/apply.html
Afterwards, you can apply to have the one-week waiting period waived by calling the government’s toll-free number at 1-833-381-2725. Applicants usually need a medical certificate along with records of employment, though the new rules allow quarantined workers to apply without the former. We have also included below the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Q & A: https://cupe.ca/canada-emergency-response-benefit-qa
State of Emergency in NB, PEI and the rest of Canada
State of emergency laws mean many closures and restrictions are now required to be followed by law. There are still too many people not abiding by the restrictions and recommendations from chief medical officer of health. All non-essential retail businesses must cease all operations immediately. Gatherings of 10 or more people are now not permitted.
CUPE Taskforce on Virtual Work and Member Registration
Virtual tools and phone work permit us to coordinate and carry out our union duties. Thus, we set up a CUPE Maritimes staff taskforce to find the best tools and actions to take on those challenges we face. Our goal is to get information and power to you, but we need your help. Every CUPE member must register so that we can have emergency communication lines and electronic voting capacity. Please consult your union emails or your executive for registration info.
Mass member registration is necessary to build lists for all locals. The provisions to engage in social distancing (i.e. staying home as much as possible, keeping 2m apart when you have to go out) could remain in force for many more weeks and possibly longer. All locals must gain the ability to conduct virtual meetings, ratification votes, sharing of meeting minutes, etc. Personal cellphone numbers (not work cellphones) are needed to ensure mass member emergency texting.
Postponement of AGMs
As social distancing rules and gathering restrictions remain at this point, no large union gatherings or AGMs can be held. Below are the cancellations that we have confirmed:
- CUPE New Brunswick Convention
- New Brunswick Community Services Unions Annual General Meeting
- CUPE Local 1252 Convention
- CUPE Local 1253 Convention
- CUPE Local 1418 Convention
- CUPE 1190 Annual General Meeting
- CUPE Local 2745 Convention and July Education Sessions
Please send us your intent to cancel your AGMs and we will add them to our list.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Servicing Representative or myself.
Maritimes Regional Director
Charlottetown (PEI) & Fredericton (NB), March 18, 2020 – In order to focus all resources to fight the COVID-19 crisis, CUPE is halting bargaining for all CUPE locals in both New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
“Collective agreement bargaining meetings, membership meeting, ratification and strike votes will all be postponed until April 3, 2020, in both provinces,” said Simon Ouellette, CUPE Communications Representative for NB and PEI.
CUPE will reassess the situation and send information to members on April 4, 2020.
“We hope government will want to resume collective agreement negotiations when the situation is firmly under control,” said Ouellette.
CUPE takes the precautions required by the authorities seriously.
“We will act proactively to protect the health and safety of workers and the public,” concluded Ouellette.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is caused by a virus from the same family as the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus. According to Health Canada, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that can cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.
Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu.
Symptoms may include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Pneumonia in both lungs
Though it has been determined that the virus can spread from person to person, how exactly the virus is transmitted remains unclear. There continues to be a debate over whether or not COVID-19 transmission is “airborne”. However, it is the position of CUPE that in the absence of a definitive proof, a conclusion that COVID-19 is “not airborne” is not appropriate and the precautionary principle should apply.
For CUPE members that are working with infected (or potentially infected people), we recommend the use of a fit-tested N95 mask and eye protection like a face shield. This includes front-line health care workers, acute care providers, paramedics, and flight attendants who deal with symptomatic passengers, just to name a few. Additional precautions should be implemented for health care workers doing patient care that requires aerosol generating procedures (such as intubation, airway suction etc.), which require higher levels of protection.
What we learned from SARS – follow the “precautionary principle”
In the aftermath of the SARS outbreak, Ontario established a commission to look at the introduction and spread of SARS. In its final report, Commissioner Justice Archie Campbell wrote that “we cannot wait for scientific certainty before we take reasonable steps to reduce risk”.
Campbell’s report identified the precautionary principle as an approach for protecting workers in circumstances of scientific uncertainty. This reflects the need to take prudent action in the face of potentially serious viruses without having to wait for complete scientific proof that a course of action is necessary. This means that unless we know with certainty that the virus is not spread through the air, we must conduct ourselves as if it were.
Common practices still hold
To help reduce the likelihood of becoming infected by any viral infection, common practices still hold:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Practice physical distancing where possible.
When new viruses are identified, employers, in consultation with their health and safety committees or worker representatives, should follow an appropriate hazard-assessment methodology that looks at the virus and considers if existing controls are appropriate. The goal of a prevention plan must be to eliminate exposure to the infectious virus as much as possible. The selection of controls should be guided by a hierarchy of controls and include both engineering and administrative controls. More information is provided in the general COVID guideline (found below).
Note: The use of surgical-type masks does not provide adequate protection from viral exposure. N95 respirators usually grant minimal protection. All workers who are fit-tested with N95 respirators must carry identification indicating the type and size of their respirator. Additionally, workers need to receive training on all aspects of personal protective equipment (putting on, wearing, removal, disposal, etc.).
CUPE will continue to monitor and advise our members when there are any significant changes. Please review the document below for additional information and check back frequently for updates.
Date of Posting: February 24, 2020
The PEI Federation of Labour is seeking applications from qualified individuals to provide administrative/financial support to its organization. This is a temporary position with a tentative start date of March16th until August 30th 2020 with the possibility of extension. The successful applicant will be a member of CUPE Local 1770-7.
To provide general secretarial support including telephone/reception inquires; typing, data entry; open and sort mail; make travel arrangements; maintain up-to-date lists and records; organize meetings and events, educational sessions, and Annual Convention. Financial support includes administer of accounts, review invoices and issue payments, assist Treasurer in annual budget preparation and payroll. Other duties as assigned by President.
Grade 12 graduate plus successful completion of a recognized secondary program in related field required, or a combination of related educational and experience; working knowledge and experience in computers and computer systems; WordPerfect and Microsoft software, Simply Accounting, email programs, internet and ability to post to and update Facebook page. The applicant will be well organized, work well with others, and possess strong oral and written communication skills and also work well alone. Must be detail oriented and meet regular deadlines. Background knowledge of the labour movement would be considered an asset.
Hours of Work: 30 hours/week (9 am – 12 noon & 1 – 4 pm) Monday to Friday
Salary: $18.00/hr (as per Collective Agreement)
Closing Date: March 03, 2020
Please submit a letter of application and resume with references by March 03, 2020 to the PEI Federation of Labour, 326 Patterson Drive, Charlottetown, PE C1A 8K4 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We thank all applicants for their interest. Only those selected for interview will be contacted.
CUPE Workshop Calendar – 2019-2020
|Date / Location
|Oct. 26-27, 2019
|Introduction to Stewarding
|Oct. 25, 2019
|Nov. 13-14, 2019
|Bargaining Program / LET
How Bargaining Works, Conflict-ready Executives, Leading as a Team
|Nov. 12, 2019
Dec. 12-13, 2019
Credit Union Place
Local Executive Training:
|Dec. 11, 2019
|Jan. 16-17, 2020
|Local Executive Training:
Mobilizing for Bargaining and
Leading as a Team
|Jan. 15, 2020
|Feb. 13-14, 2020
|Health & Safety Modules
Workload and Overwork, Violence Prevention, Making Committees Work
|Feb. 12, 2020
|Mar. 7-8, 2020
Credit Union Place
|March 6, 2020
|Apr. 21-22, 2020
|Leadership Executive Training
|Apr. 20, 2020
|May 6-7, 2020
|Steward Learning Series
Popular Economics for Stewards, What Stewards need to know about Arbitration, Understanding Mental Health
|May 5, 2020
|June 4-5, 2020
|Respect at Work and Essentials for Inclusive Unions
|June 3, 2020
“This is certainly a status quo budget for PEI” said Leonard Gallant, president of CUPE PEI.
CUPE PEI is pleased this government is maintaining the previous administration’s investments in Education, such as 42 additional educational assistant positions. Unfortunately, the new minority government is also repeating some previous mistakes in long-term care services.
“Four million dollars in grants for private-sector long-term care beds is not a winning formula to improve senior care. A 100% public model, which is for the public, by the public, would be preferable,” said Gallant.
CUPE PEI notes the promised 100 new long-term care beds does not necessarily mean 100 new spots. “It will likely mean that current private providers receive more money to cover their existing beds that were not subsided, rather than new spaces,” said Gallant.
“I am disappointed the new Green MLAs did not push for general minimum wage increases in this budget,” said Gallant. “This certainly leaves a big hole in this government’s poverty reduction strategy,” concluded Gallant.