Health and Safety Measures for Members Working for NSLC

Dear NSLC member,

Thank you for your commitment and work ethic during this time of crisis. You are working on the front lines providing an important service to the people of Nova Scotia.

We know there are some of you who are feeling anxious and are concerned about your safety and the health of your families. The NSGEU is working closely with your employer to make sure appropriate actions are taken to protect you, your family, your colleagues and the people you serve.

Your employer has been very open to working with the union to initiate a number of key measures to help protect you while you work. If you see gaps or have ideas, please contact the NSGEU and we will pass them along to your employer.

As of today, the following measures are in place:

  • Increased cleaning: Cleaning products are in stock and sent to stores. If your location does not have enough supplies please let us know.
  • Gloves and hand sanitizer should be provided at all checkouts, if not please contact your supervisor and the union.
  • If you have access to a mask, you can wear it.
  • You have the right to refuse to accept or handle cash. Wipe down debit/credit machines regularly.
  • Customers can move their products down the line for scanning and they are responsible for bagging their own items.
  • As per the provincial directive, there should be no more than five customers in the store at a time. If stores are not enforcing the directive, please inform the union.
  • Maintain a physical distance of two-meters at all times. Whether you work in a warehouse or retail space adhere to the two-meter physical distance.
  • The employer is providing plastic barriers to hang at checkouts to better separate staff and customers. Tape can be used, until the employer provides something else, to install floor markings to show customers where they can line up both inside and outside the store.
  • Staff can use tape markings or beer cases to create distancing between themselves and customers at cashes.
  • Shift overlap at the distribution center has been removed so that there is 15 minutes between shifts; in addition, shift starters have also been eliminated.

These measures will help protect your health and safety while at work. All concerns should be brought to your supervisor and please keep the union updated.

As part of the provinces declared state of emergency, anyone returning from outside Nova Scotia, domestic and international travel, must self-isolate for 14 days. For full timers, regular pay will continue. For RPTs, your block hours will be paid and any additional hours outside of your block will be averaged over the past three months. For casuals, your hours will be averaged over the last three months.

If you feel sick, you must stay home and use sick leave, or if you do not have access to sick leave, you can apply for sick leave Employment Insurance.

Some of you are concerned about a potential NSLC closure. This is the decision of the Province, not the employer. At this point, it is unclear what would happen in terms of pay in this scenario.

The NSGEU is advocating strongly on your behalf and we will keep you updated as we learn more.

Your health and safety is our top priority. If you feel your work place is unsafe and endangers your health and safety you have the right to refuse work. Here is a useful fact sheet from Pink Larkin that may help.

These are uncertain times. The NSGEU is working hard on your behalf. Your employer is working with us, which is a positive sign. Many people must stay home; you are working the front lines to provide an important service to Nova Scotians.

Thank you for your commitment and dedication. As you can appreciate the situation is changing at a rapid rate and the provincial response will continue to have impacts on everyone. We will continue to keep you updated as information becomes available.

In solidarity,

Jason MacLean

President, NSGEU

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