This update was posted on March 16, 2020. Because this situation is evolving rapidly, we encourage you to visit the MGEU's COVID-19 Information page for more information about this issue.  

The MGEU is committed to serving its members through the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, while following the guidance of public health officials. That is why the MGEU is taking precautionary steps and making some adjustments to how we serve members until the COVID-19 threat recedes.

We are making these adjustments to protect members and staff, and to fulfill our responsibility to limit and slow the spread of the virus in our communities. The measures below have been developed on the basis of public health guidance and information.

Visiting MGEU Offices

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in our community, we are asking the following visitors to stay away from MGEU offices:

  • those who are experiencing symptoms (coughing, sneezing, fever, or runny nose, shortness of breath), or 
  • those who have returned from international travel within the past 14 days; or
  • those who have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19.

If you meet any of these criteria, please contact us through the MGEU Resource Centre so we can help you.

MGEU Staff Representative Meetings with Members in their Workplaces:

MGEU staff representatives regularly hold meetings with members in workplaces across the province. Travelling to so many workplaces increases the risk of transmission to members in those workplaces, to staff, and to our communities. For this reason, staff representatives have been directed to conduct such meetings with members by phone until further notice.

MGEU Meetings and Events:

We have used a federal government public health risk assessment tool to determine what MGEU meetings/events should be cancelled or postponed, and what risk mitigation measures should be implemented for those meetings that proceed.

The 2020 MGEU Women’s Conference will not take place in April, as previously scheduled. We will be working on options to reschedule this event.

All MGEU member education courses and events are postponed until further notice.

None of the following meetings will be held before May 15. A risk assessment will be done closer to then to determine if they can proceed, and if so, with what precautions. If any of these meetings were previously scheduled before May 15, they will be rescheduled:

  • Local meetings;
  • Area Council meetings;
  • Component Executive meetings;
  • Young Members Committee;
  • Women’s Committee;
  • Pension and Benefits Committee;
  • Technological Change Committee;
  • Health, Safety, and Environment Committee;
  • Member Education Committee.

The following meetings will proceed, with strict risk mitigation measures in place (see below):

  • Grievance and Appeals Committee;
  • Finance Committee;
  • Constitution, Bylaw and Structure Committee.

Risk mitigation measures will be worked out with employers for any bargaining meetings. Our preferred approach will be to conduct bargaining meetings by teleconference or videoconferencing. If a bargaining meeting must proceed in person MGEU will insist on strict risk mitigation measures (see below). Bargaining proposal meetings are postponed until further notice.

Risk mitigation measures for any meetings that proceed will include:

  • Assessing if the meeting can be delayed before it is scheduled;
  • Assessing if the meeting can be conducted by phone or video conferencing;
  • Notifying all participants that they should not attend if they have any symptoms (coughing, sneezing, fever, runny nose, shortness of breath) or meet the other public health criteria for self-isolation (those who have returned from international travel within the past 14 days or those who have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19);
  • Reminding all participants to practice proper cough etiquette and hand hygiene, and having alcohol-based hand sanitizer available;
  • Booking larger meeting rooms set up to allow for social distancing techniques.

If you have any questions about how these changes to MGEU meetings and events may affect you, please contact the MGEU Resource Centre.

COVID-19 issues in Member Workplaces:

MGEU members with concerns and questions about COVID-19 in their own workplaces should first speak with a supervisor/manager or consult their workplace health and safety committee/representative. If members have further questions for MGEU, please contact the MGEU Resource Centre.

The MGEU will continue to keep members updated as the situation evolves.
This story, originally posted on March 13,2020, was updated March 16, 2020.