Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOHS) COVID-19 Update – September

OPSEU Local 415

OPSEU Local 415 is the democratically-run body that represents Algonquin College full-time and partial-load faculty (professors and instructors), cousellors, and librarians.

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Dear Colleagues,

As mentioned in our July message, the Local 415 Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOHS) representatives participate on the college COVID-19 Coordinating and Workplace Return Group Committees. The planning for the spring and summer included the pilot projects for “winter teach outs” which had successful and safe results. We are still meeting and planning for the fall term as part of the same committees, and will continue to do on-campus inspections.

Employee information about returning to work, COVID-19 training, and FAQ’s are posted on the college Coronavirus Information site. In the FAQ’s there are many new answers to questions that we asked directly to the Senior Vice-President Academic, such as: “What is the strategy for faculty when a student arrives without a mask?” “What exactly are Faculty being directed to say or do?”  “Are faculty being directed to clean the work space in the classroom?”, “Who does faculty contact if they are unable to wear a mask?”, and “If a student is not feeling well in class, is the class cancelled?”.

For those classes being held on campus there is no assumption that the use of masks replaces other health and safety protocols (like hand washing) and class sizes will be limited. Upon entering campus, the requirement is for everyone to wear a mask and the college will have masks to hand out, if needed. 

The college COVID-19 Training must be completed by any employee accessing or returning to work on campus. Documentation is essential for anything related to health and safety, so it is important that you keep a copy of the certificate of completion for your own records and submit a copy to your Chair before going on campus.

Please note that when notifying your Chair about any concerns or illness/injury, we recommend that you do so in writing and keep copies of all communications. We also encourage you to fill out this OPSEU questionnaire if you believe or know that you have been exposed to COVID-19 (whether working on-campus or remotely), in addition to reporting to the college.

If you have any questions or concerns about health and safety or regarding information you are receiving within the department, please contact us at  andlamarcj1@algonquincollege.comMessages submitted will also be forwarded to us.

Stay safe,

Leslie Wyman & JP Lamarche
JOHSC Representatives (Woodroffe Campus)

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