Local 20: Important Message regarding Workplace Safety

Dear member,

Earlier today, the NSGEU sent a letter to Anne Mason Brown, CEO of Hearing and Speech, conveying workplace safety concerns we have been hearing from members.

The NSGEU has made its position clear: where possible every effort should be made to allow members to conduct home visits virtually in accordance with the countless recommendations of Dr. Strang. When a virtual visit is not possible, families should be mandated to wear masks in their home during visits in order to receive service, unless there are underlying medical reasons, then alternate arrangements can be made.

If you encounter a situation and do not feel comfortable, you do have the right to refuse unsafe work. This right is enshrined under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The Right to Refuse is an individual right for you as the individual to exercise. The union cannot tell someone to refuse, but our role is to try and educate you on the process and support you should you choose to utilize this right. If you choose to exercise this right, you must communicate to your supervisor that you believe it is dangerous to work in those conditions. You should maintain your refusal through all the steps unless additional precautionary measures are put in place.

If you are interested in further information on the Right to Refuse process, please see: https://novascotia.ca/lae/healthandsafety/docs/YourRightsandResp-en.pdf

If you decide you must exercise your Right to Refuse and you would like assistance navigating this process, please contact the NSGEU’s Occupational Health & Safety Officer Paul Cormier at 902-424-4063 (toll-free 1-877-556-7438). We will be here to support you throughout this process

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