Following on from the decision by Government to abolish most of the restrictions to curtail the spread of the COVID virus, I wish to update in relation to discussions with An Post on the manner the work place restrictions can be stood down.
Although the timing and speed of the decision took many by surprise, the CWU and An Post have been actively engaged in planning for a structured process to do this while at the very same time, remaining cautious of the safety of members. It is important to remember that notwithstanding the changes to public health advice the pandemic is not over and the virus level is still present in large numbers. Indeed, there are currently 270 employees unable to attend work on COVID related absence, which is a significant level of absence.
Each workplace is required to abide by the Work Safely Protocol, which is reviewed on an ongoing basis at the Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF), the forum for high level dialogues between the Government, Employer and Trade Union representatives. Given the changes to the public health guidance this protocol will shortly be updated to provide guidance to employers and workers in order to maintain safe workplaces and to provide direction in discussions between the Union and the Company.
The Unions priority, as it has been throughout the pandemic, with the easing of restrictions is to protect the health and safety of our members and ensure that they can attend work in a safe environment. Notwithstanding this the Union appreciates the restrictions have inconvenience members in particular staggered attendances. We are seeking the removal of this measure at an earliest opportunity. For the Company’s part, it has indicated the requirement to cease the home garaging facility. Furthermore, the prohibition on face shields in the workplace is also under review.
In relation to remote working we have agreed that a return to the workplace will be on a phased and gradual basis. Priority will be given to those that have expressed concern they are finding remote working difficult, so members requiring assistance in that regard should contact their Branch Secretary for advice and assistance. Members are reminded that we recently agreed a voluntary remote working policy and we will be seeking its implementation in tandem with the return to the workplace.
We expect to finalise agreement on the easing of restrictions and expect to shortly be in a position to advise members of the agreed approach and timelines for the changes
In the meantime, members are reminded the following measures remain in place:
- Wearing a face mask
- Regularly washing and sanitising hands
- Stay away from the workplace and self-isolate if you have symptoms.
Please bring this circular to the attention of all members.
Publication Type: Circular