COVID-19 Update #7 - A resource and strong voice for each and every member
Apr 09, 2020
As we head into the holiday weekend,
I wanted to give you all a quick update on what we've been doing on your behalf
as the COVID pandemic continues to unfold.
Province-wide Campaign Launches Today: Support Essential Workers by Staying Home!
Starting today, we'll be running a province-wide public information campaign on Manitoba radio, as well as online.
Our message is simple: thousands of MGEU members and other essential workers continue to head into work every day to keep us safe and healthy -- we can all show our appreciation by staying home and following the guidelines that will protect as many Manitobans as possible.
PPE and Protective Measures on the Job
Over the past few weeks our MGEU staff representatives have advocated for additional protective measures in workplaces and to ensure the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is available to members.
We’re also working with our National Union, along with other provincial bodies to ensure appropriate standards are being adopted by public health authorities.
Locally, MGEU has pushed employers to implement protective measures, such as working from home, social distancing, regular hand-washing, and enhanced cleaning of surfaces that are frequently touched in workplaces.
These measures are still important in the fight against COVID-19. However, due to the continued spread of the virus in Manitoba and evolving advice from public health officials, the MGEU has urged employers to take additional measures, depending on the work environment and risk of exposure.
In some cases, like Home Care, the protective measures in place have not gone far enough. That is why our union pushed health authorities to provide the same PPE for these health care workers as other front-line health care providers, such as doctors, nurses, paramedics and health care aides.
MGEU also called for plexiglass shields to be installed in all Manitoba Liquor Marts, and we worked with Manitoba Justice to provide correctional officers and inmates with masks because of the social distancing limitations in these workplaces.
We’ve also advocated for those working in community social services and today the province called for assistance from the garment industry to source non-medical cotton gloves, suits, and gowns for social service workers.
Employers must follow the advice of public health officials on PPE
As a result of Health Canada’s latest advice regarding non-medical masks and
facial coverings, many MGEU members who aren’t working directly with those
infected or in close proximity with others are wondering if they should request
masks or other forms of PPE from their employer.
If you feel you should have a certain type of PPE to perform your job, here is what you should do:
- Ask your supervisor or manager for the equipment. This is the same as with any other health or safety concern. Explain your concern to them and find ways to mitigate the risk. Employers must follow the advice of public health officials.
- If you are not satisfied with their response, we recommend you speak with your Workplace Safety and Health Rep.
- If it still can’t be resolved, please contact the MGEU Resource Centre.
As the pandemic continues and as public
health advice changes, the MGEU will continue to speak with employers about
additional protective measures for workers.
If you are being asked to wear PPE or use protective measures that are following current public health guidelines, please do so to protect yourself and others.
EI Top-Up: Keeping the Pressure On
Since we began calling on the Province to top-up current EI benefits for those
who've been laid off due to workplace closures, hundreds of Manitobans have
signed our EI top-up petition. Haven't signed yet? Do it
Stay in Touch! We’re Here to Give Voice to Your Concerns
Please remember that our COVID-19 What You Need to Know page is updated regularly and that MGEU Resource Centre representatives are on hand to respond to questions and follow-up with concerns as soon as possible.
By staying in touch, you continue to help us identify areas of common concern
that we can then raise with your employers and the Province.
I want to thank all of you for your patience, support and commitment as we move forward together through the most unsettling of times.
working over the next few days, our deepest thanks and please stay safe.
This update was posted on April 9, 2020. Because this situation is evolving rapidly, we encourage you to visit the MGEU's COVID-19 Information page for the latest information.