Virtual Town Hall - September 10, 2020

Answers provided by Beverly Kravitz, Director of Human Resources, Communications, Legal Affairs and Global Security

Question #1

When will all of the benefit payments be paid out in full? I’ve been paid only half of what I’m supposedly entitled to, and I finished my deployment nearly two months ago.

This has been a very complicated procedure. We've had to enter premiums manually, and there have been many unfortunate errors in the process. We've been all working together very closely in the Payroll, Finance and HR Departments, along with managers of the various sites where these premiums are being paid.

We recently acquired a program to help us with the premiums. All of the premiums that are currently owed should have been paid. There are some retros which will take place for most people on September 24th. The ones that are more difficult or complicated to analyze will be paid on October 8.

We're very sorry and we apologize for this complication.

Question #2

Can Jewish General Hospital employees work from home if they’re equipped to do so (external access, etc.)?
Evidently, for those who can work from home, that’s always an option. It’s very important to see how we can deliver services and satisfy the needs of our facility, as well as those of our employees. We just approved a telework policy, which will be translated into English and French and will be sent to you shortly. It will give explain how and when telework is permissible.

There are also certain other aspects to consider before moving forward. Telework can be interesting for the work/life balance. For example, for people who have a long commute, perhaps it may help them to be more efficient. There is a great deal of literature that speaks to the advantages and disadvantages of remote work. I think that 100% of something is not great, because sometimes we can lose the distinction between work and private life. You also lose contact with your colleagues, which can be very motivating in moving our projects forward. 

So, to answer, I believe it is possible, but a good, practical balance must be found.

Question #3

How will you staff COVID-19 testing clinics if there is a lack of volunteers? Will there be mandatory redeployment during a second wave?

 Madam Dupuis made an appeal for volunteers to help us out. Our priority is to proceed with volunteers. We also have lists of professional who helped us in the first wave, such dentists and other types of professionals, upon whom we can call to help again on a volunteer basis.

Our goal is to exhaust all of the opportunities for volunteers to help out. But at the end of the day, we're obligated to deliver a service. And if we need to proceed with a mandatory assignment, unfortunately, we have no option but to take that route.

Question #4

How seriously do you accept staff's health status, or that of their families, when assigning employees to COVID-19 units?

We take the health and safety of our employees very seriously. This is a priority for us and it is not negotiable. We reassure our employees in all locations that their safety is protected to as great an extent as possible. We have a very experienced Health, Safety and Prevention team, which ensures that all Public Health guidelines, ministerial directives, and advice from our Infection Prevention and Control experts are respected.

 If there is ever a question or concern about your safety and COVID-19, you can call our COVID-19 line (514-739-7343) seven days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. If you leave a message, you will get a reply within 24 hours.

 As well, if you have any other psychosocial concern or problem (since we know that COVID-19 affects us in various way), and if you have anxiety or similar difficulties, psychosocial support is available at 514-265-6588, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Question #5

Why are the new, inexperienced PAB students, who are speeding through a three-month intensive course, being guaranteed a full-time position upon graduation? Meanwhile, part-time staff with plenty experience are staying in their part-time positions with no equivalent opportunities.

The program promises full-time employment to those who are coming out of the program. However, we are looking to offer full-time opportunities to those on our current staff. That's in the process of happening right now, primarily in the CHSLDs, where our current staff are being offered a full-time opportunity first, before we even start integrating the PABs who were in the program this summer.

If you're interested in the full-time program, we can certainly find something for you.

Question #6

If I catch COVID-19, what will be the policy for my return to work? What if a family member has it?

It used to be that you had to stay home for 14 days and come back to work if you had no symptoms for 24 to 48 hours. This has been shortened to 10 days, but you'd still have to stay home without symptoms and fever for 24 to 48 hours, depending on if it's a fever or a cough, before coming back to work.

Our Health and Safety Separtment will contact you, stay in regular touch, and see how you're feeling, in order to help you along the way.

If a family member is infected with COVID-19, call 514-731-7343 to explain your situation. The circumstances could vary greatly, depending on each individual case. You can explain your particular situation and receive the proper advice.



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