While we have been on Christmas break there has also been much advocating and communication with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training (AEST), Provincial Health Office (PHO) and the Employer about the ever evolving COVID-19 pandemic situation. As posted yesterday and emailed today (click here don’t check your work email while on break!) VCC “will delay in person instruction where feasible, to January 10. Students can expect emails from their instructor/program with any changes to their start date, or if they will be required to be on campus during the week of January 4. VCC campuses will open on January 4. Other campus operations and current work arrangements for staff and faculty will continue as scheduled. Student services will be available based on operational needs and institutional capacity.”

What can you expect? Direction from your leader–be that from an excluded manager (e.g. Registrar) or from a faculty Department Head. Other Post-Secondary Institutions such as UBC and SFU announced prior to the Christmas break the delay in instruction and that facilities, student services, library, “campus operations” are returning on January 4, 2022. If you are one of the many who have been approved for Telework you will also return to Telework as of January 4, 2022.

We’ve asked for flexibility and support when it comes to accommodating members who have K-12 dependents who will not be returning to school until January 10, 2022. This flexibility and support may include approval of vacation in areas with blackout dates, use of compensating time off (CTO), and possibly remote working*. Contact your supervisor to make arrangements. If you have any issues please contact a Shop Steward.

The Union and Occupational Health & Safety Representatives have also brought forward to Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) health and safety concerns such as: reduced capacity in classrooms, physical distancing, ventilation, and N95 masks. We expect more fulsome answers after a meeting with government and you can expect further updates.

This stage of the COVID-19 pandemic is fluid to say the least. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we are doing our best to keep individuals safe and informed. Please do complete the daily self-assessments and follow the guidance. If you are sick then report sick to your supervisor.

*This will require the completion of the Fall 2021 Remote Working Acknowledgements and Agreement; for those members who have already submitted Telework and not been approved submit the Fall 2021 paperwork for January 4-10, 2022.

Happy New Year! 🎉🎇 🤷‍♀️