I would like to start out by commending everyone on their patience and understanding while this pandemic unfolds throughout New Brunswick. I wanted to let you know that I have been in contact constantly with the senior management team as well as the bargaining agent who is in constant contact with the Department of Health and the Treasury Board.
I would like to assure you that all measures are constantly being looked at, assessed and changed as and where appropriate. I cannot stress enough the importance of checking your ANB email account or logging onto iTacit. For easier access, there is an app for your mobile device if you are so interested.
I was contacted by the employer and discussed the postponement of the current job posting round. The purpose of this postponement is to try and maintain stability in the system as well as reduce movement of personnel from one area to another. By keeping status quo, this allows Operations to get a good look at where the current staffing complement is at and where we currently have holes and will require part-time and casuals. This decision was not taken lightly as we understand that this also has a bearing on many people. We hope that this will only be delayed for this round of postings. Anyone who is currently in a temporary assignment (TA) that is ending will have their TA extended. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.
ANB has communicated that anyone who is currently scheduled for vacation can cancel their vacation if they so choose. As I am sure you can understand, there has been a few members within 4848 who had vacation destination and plans in place but with the pandemic those plans have been cancelled and with everything shutting down people would rather work. This direction is to allow those people to do it.
2020-21 Union Vacation sign-up process has been temporarily suspended. Part of this suspension is for the same reason as above. Also if COVID19 does get out of control and the EMS system becomes crippled, ANB may have to cancel all leaves. Our employer has asked if members would consider cancelling any pre-approved vacation at least until the end of April. This is just a request and not mandatory.
Currently EM/ANB have been rushing to fit the staff with N95 masks that is needed and or required. At this time, I would suggest wearing the mask you were previously fitted for until we can get further clarification.
We have been asking questions to the employer about the proper PPE in the form of gowns. We have been directed to wear the yellow gowns. As this is the recommendation by the employer, we ask that you follow company protocol until such a time as directed otherwise.
It has been communicated that some of our PPE Stock have been declining at our stations. We would ask that you please refrain from taking any overstock. We currently have adequate supplies at the moment; however our ability to replenish the stock if this pandemic continues may become limited. The Health and Safety of every member is our number one priority so let’s make sure we have the gear available to everyone when we need it.
Work of the Executive
There may be a slight reduction in the amount of communication that will be coming from the Executive. As things are developing day by day and even hour by hour, ANB with DOH are getting the relevant updates and information out to you as quickly as possible. By the time that some communication may be made available, the information or direction may have been changed. Myself, and the rest of the Executive Board, are remaining in daily communication. For the time being, I would ask that any questions or concerns you have, to please contact your regional presidents. The regional presidents, if unable to answer your inquiry, will have it forwarded to me so I can bring it to the employer or DOH. As you can imagine, my workload as a liaison between management and the members has become quite busy. I want to ensure your questions and concerns are answered as quickly as possible and by deferring your questions to the Regional Presidents first will help me greatly to achieve that.
During this time our profession can be both physically and mentally demanding, I ask that if anyone ever feels the need to reach out for help please don’t hesitate to do so.
President, Local 4848