COVID-19 – May 13 update
We hope this message finds you well and you are continuing to look after yourselves, members of your family and enjoying the pleasures of spring. We are grateful as we see members of the #ECCC family rising to the challenge of these uncertain times, adapting to new working arrangements and steadfastly serving Canadians with dedication and determination. Be very proud of your accomplishments.
Our thanks to everyone who completed the ECCC pulse check survey in April. Over 2,000 people responded! It is good to know that so many of you are coping well and managers are in regular touch with employees. There will be more detail on the results in the near future, but in the meantime, the responses provide useful insights that will help inform our approaches on communications, human resources and information technology going forward.
Along with the survey, we continue to reach out to employees across the country to check-in on how people are doing. Recently, we spoke with staff based in Alert and Eureka (Nunavut), our northernmost worksites. Some of our staff there were scheduled to be rotated south in mid-March, but had to remain in the far North due to travel restrictions. They indicated that they are doing well despite their extended stays. We would like to thank them for their service to Canadians and tell them we are thinking of them!
We also thank our Managers’ Network for inviting us to be part of their Coffee and Chat Series last Wednesday. Thank you for sharing your perspectives and your questions. We are impressed by your resilience and professionalism, ability to adapt, and the support you provide to members of your teams.
Given that provinces, territories and municipalities have begun announcing their gradual re-opening of their economies, we know that the question of returning to the workplace is on your minds. Doubtless, most of you are already giving some thought to how the loosening of current public health restrictions might affect you and your families. Business resumption, a gradual and safe easing of some COVID-19 restrictions in the workplace and getting back to regular business operations does not mean everything will go back to how things were before the onset of this COVID-19 pandemic situation.
In light of this, our department is beginning to plan for a phased and gradual transitioning back to the workplace. An ECCC Steering Group has been formed to develop needed guidance and advice. Their work will be informed by guidance and directives from the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Chief Human Resources Officer, Health Canada and public health authorities. Our planning will be based on a set of principles that will protect the health, safety and wellness of employees while also ensuring that programs and services that Canadians rely on will be maintained.
As we have said from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, we are committed to abiding by public health guidance and will share with you information and instructions received that can help inform a safe transition from current exceptional work measures to our "new normal." Rest assured that we are committed to keeping you informed as we move forward.
Before closing off this message, we want to encourage you to check out the new internet page for employees.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.
T. Christine Hogan
Associate Deputy Minister
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