Policy Grievance Filed: Remote Working

Dear MRSA Members,

On September 22, 2021, the MRSA filed a policy grievance against MRU disputing the ongoing refusal of the employer to allow employees to work from home, particularly where proven possible. The MRSA is concerned with this requirement, particularly while in a declared Public Health State of Emergency. 

On September 15, 2021, the Alberta Government announced additional restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures include an immediate work from home mandate.

Under these measures, employees are to work from home unless the employer has determined that a physical presence is required for operational effectiveness. Since most of our MRSA members are not essential workers, this directive needs to be addressed.

The MRSA is aware that some employees have been “approved” to work from home, but in other cases, employees who have successfully worked from home previous to July 2021 have been required to return to the workplace on an ongoing basis. We further understand that the preference to work from home may be an individual decision outside of a pandemic, but given the current mandate to work from home from the Government of Alberta we request that our employer comply with this directive.

We are further concerned for the employees who must attend the workplace for the requirements of their job or are considered essential services. The MRSA wants to reduce the overall number of people in contact with one another, thereby reducing the risk of transmission of COVID in a largely non-socially distanced environment.

We are working steadfastly to clarify MRU’s requirements for reporting of vaccinations, rapid testing and any other requirements which may be applied by the employer.  This grievance is but one way we are working to support you.

If you are an employee who has been directed to be physically present at the workplace and you view that direction as unreasonable, you have a right to grieve the employer’s decision.  Please contact Laine Fowler, Labour Relations Officer, to file a grievance.  An individual grievance is necessary to address any individual concerns.

Continue to care for yourselves and know that you do have employee rights and support through your MRSA membership.

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