National COVID-19 Update March 23, 2020

RCMP Veterans’ Association

Members Helping Members


This information is being provided to all Association Members


Dear Association Members,

The Force has provided us with the latest bulletin being sent to the serving members by Commissioner Lucki.

It is provided for your information.

James Forrest
Director of Communications
RCMP Veterans’ Association


National COVID-19 Update March 23, 2020

As we begin a new week, we, like all Canadians, are starting to fully realize the scope and scale of the impact that COVID-19 is having on our country, our communities and ourselves. We are still in the early days of this outbreak, when the actions we take now can still make a critical difference down the road.

Our mission this week is to keep our core operations going to keep Canadians safe, keep ourselves healthy and do our part to flatten the curve and fight the spread of the virus.

So far, we have been able to maintain most of our normal administrative functions in support of operations through telework. Teams of people from our national COVID response team, occupational health and safety, labour relations, procurement, finance and many more at both a national and divisional level are moving mountains to get us the guidance, equipment and support we need to accomplish this, in circumstances that are changing fast and often outside of our control. Please do everything you can to support them, as they do everything they can to support you.

ON-SITE CRITICAL SERVICES

While most of our office staff have been able to continue their work remotely, our operational nature means that some employees will need to work on-site. In these cases, managers must only require employees to work on-site if the work meets the definition of critical service and working remotely is not feasible.

A critical service is one that, if disrupted, would result in a high or very high degree of injury to the health, safety, security or economic well-being of Canadians, or to the effective functioning of the Government of Canada. While front-line policing, investigations and related roles like operational communications are more obvious, keeping our IT systems working, ensuring pay and benefits flow and maintaining our fleet and real property assets are all vital.

This is not to be confused with essential service, which is a labour relations term relating to positions that must continue to provide essential services in the event of strike activity. Essential service agreements are agreed to with the bargaining agents and only a small number of employees are designated essential. In our current context, we are concerned with critical services.

Unlike other government departments, our operational needs and realities are somewhat different. Many of our core functions simply can’t stop and can’t be done remotely, which at times, makes it challenging to adapt to some of the general government direction.

WORKING REMOTELY

Following Government of Canada guidelines, employees, at all work sites, should work from home whenever and wherever possible and managers should be as flexible as possible, focusing on ensuring critical operations and services to Canadians.

This guidance remains in force until April 10, 2020, and will be reassessed closer to that date, based on how the situation is evolving.

GATHERINGS

In the context of COVID-19, gatherings have been discouraged in order to limit the spread of the virus. Guidelines have been developed for event organizers and planners to make decisions. The Public Health Agency of Canada now defines a gathering in this context as 50 people or more. Some provinces have adopted other thresholds, some as low as 5 people.

For the RCMP, attending work is not considered a gathering as long as employees or visitors to the workplace are not required to be in close contact with each other, such as in a meeting room, a waiting area or a boardroom. By avoiding close-contact situations where people would have less than two metres of distance from each other, we can continue to keep important functions operating safely.

STAYING INFORMED

If you are a manager and have employees who do not have access to RCMP information systems, please ensure you are staying in touch and passing along information that may be important to them:

  • RCMP corporate social media accounts: site
  • Watch for a new external page on RCMP.ca that will capture these broadcasts and other essential information for employees without access to internal networks

This is a stressful time filled with much uncertainty and it is normal to be worried about the safety of our families, friends, colleagues and loved-ones. However, this is also the time when we realize how vital we are to Canadians. In a pandemic, public health and public safety go hand in hand. We need to be out there, and we need to be safe so that we can keep others safe.

So please, stay the course. Don’t underestimate the virus take all the precautions. Follow the direction of our health experts, keep yourselves and those around you safe and healthy, and keep doing the outstanding, professional job that you do every single day.

Brenda Lucki
Commissioner

 


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RCMP VETERANS’ ASSOCIATION
P.O. Box 8900
1 Sandridge Road
Canadian Police College
Ottawa, Ontario
K1G 3J2
Canada

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