President's message Week 32

In this weeks update: 1. Lecce Response to Pandemic Pay Request 2. Vaccine Poster 3. Heat Stress

Lecce Response to Pandemic Pay Request

In April I shared with you correspondence between Harvey Bischof and Doug Ford regarding pandemic pay for Educational Assistants. In this letter dated February 3rd, Harvey OSSTF President advocated that the Pandemic Pay provided to PSWs should also be provided to Educational Assistants. I have attached Harvey’s letter again. Premier Ford responded that he would pass the letter on to Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce. You can also find Minister Lecce’s (frustrating) response, dated May 10th, attached.

Vaccine Poster

The Government of Ontario has distributed the attached poster, COVID-19 Vaccines Now Available Ages 12-17, that informs students that they should talk to their teacher for advice on vaccines. OSSTF/FEESO members are not trained to provide vaccine advice to students and families. OSSTF/FEESO strongly advises members not to give any medical advice or vaccine advice to students or families. Members providing advice outside the scope of their duties could be disciplined by their employer and the subject of a report filed with their professional college. Vaccine information is available to the public through the Government of Ontario website

Heat Stress What is Heat Stress? “Heat stress is our body’s biochemical response to extreme heat or to a hot environment. Heat comes from hot working environments, but it also comes from within the body itself. The harder the work, the more metabolic heat is generated inside the worker’s body. It is this combination of hot working environments and heavy manual work that poses the greatest health threat.” Source: Worker Health and Safety Centre Personal Control Actions

  • Avoid heavy large meals before working in a hot environment

  • Wear light coloured, loose fitting clothing made of breathable material such as cotton which allows sweat to evaporate

  • Stay hydrated by drinking water but avoid dehydrating beverages with caffeine and alcohol

  • Be aware of medication that may affect heat tolerance

  • When outside, avoid direct sunlight, use sunscreen and wear a hat

  • Take frequent breaks

Source: Talk to your Principal if you any health and safety-related concerns—This is part of the Internal Responsibility System and within your rights to do so!

Source: First Aid for Heat-Related Illness

  • Call 911—Heat related illnesses can be life threatening

  • Loosen clothing, remove extra clothing such as socks and shoes

  • Move to a cooler shaded location

  • Spray with cool water; Apply cool wet cloths to head, face, neck

  • Stay with the person until help arrives

Source: Health and Safety Concerns? Contact: Julie Wagner, Health and Safety Officer 226-962-7508

Upper Grand Employee Assistance Program

If you are finding yourself or a family member or a colleague is needing additional support or resources please refer to the board's employee and family assistance program. This service is free and confidential. The board is not given the names of members who are using the service. It has been a challenging year with COVID and many of us are dealing with other challenges unrelated to COVID. This resource may be of help to members who need it.

Access the Upper Grand District School Board’s Employee & Family Assistance Program 24/7 by phone, web or mobile app 1-800-387-4765 |

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