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VIHA Pandemic and Disaster Staffing Guidelines

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					                VIHA Pandemic & Disaster Staffing Guidelines
                 for Non-Unionized and Unionized Employees
 Note: These guidelines are intended to help Managers/Leaders and staff to navigate workforce issues
           raised when an “emergency” is declared as a result of a Pandemic or Disaster.

Purpose:
1. To ensure VIHA can meet its obligations as a health care provider during a time when the public
   requires services;
2. To provide general information on a reasonable human resource response to support VIHA and
   department emergency plans;
3. To encourage a flexible and varied approach depending on scale and type of emergency;
4. To minimize disruption to patient care and client services in emergency situations;
5. To ensure employees are deployed in accordance with applicable employment contracts and
   collective agreements; and
6. To incorporate any specific directions for emergency plans that may be provided by legislation or
   Ministry of Health policy that must be considered at such time.

Principles:
1. VIHA will plan for the best use of staff skills, abilities and qualifications throughout the emergency
   time frame;
2. VIHA’s expectation is that when an employee and their family are safe, then the employee is to report
   to work for their assignment;
3. Each department’s Manager/Leader is responsible for emergency plans in coordination with VIHA’s
   Advanced Planning Team, including plans for human resources requirements;
4. All provisions of applicable employment contracts and collective agreements apply during declared
   emergencies; some collective agreements have specific language for emergencies (see attached table);
5. Labour relations disputes need to be addressed with an approach of “work now, grieve later” to
   ensure timely and respectful handling of urgent matters; and
6. Managers/Leaders must respond to a pandemic and disaster with an understanding that the financial
   considerations that result from staffing will be addressed after the emergency is completed.

Procedures:
    1. Pandemic and Staffing Process
          a. Pandemic or disaster type, scope and duration of the emergency are determined by an
             authority:
                  i. VIHA Directives (Internal):
                        1. Manager/Leader deems staffing levels for workload to be critical.
                        2. Administration deems an influx of acute patients as a minor or major
                            disaster.
                 ii. Emergency Program Act (External):
                        1. Provincial Medical Health Officer or Lieutenant Governor declares an
                            outbreak or pandemic.


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October 7, 2009 Updated November 30, 2009
                            2. Mayor or Lieutenant Governor declares an emergency.
            b. Once an emergency has been determined, the Manager/Leader refers to VIHA emergency
               plans to guide appropriate level of service and staffing levels required for their
               departments.
            c. Manager/Leader consults with Human Resources in cases where collective agreement
               requirements or implications are unclear;
            d. Manager/Leader communicates with other departments within the program and the
               applicable Emergency Operations Centre to best utilize human resources.
            e. Manager/Leader assigns work based on operational requirements.
            f. Manager/Leader will continually assess and adjust duties, assignments and deployment of
               staff based on immediate needs.
            g. Under the Emergency Program Act, the duration of a provincial emergency is a
               maximum of fourteen (14) days, and a local emergency is seven (7) days, both of which
               may be extended.
            h. Staffing process returns to normal upon notice of emergency completion.

For information regarding Pandemic and Disaster Staffing Guidelines, please refer to the attached
Questions and Answers, or contact your Human Resources Consultant.


Relevant Contracts:

    •   VIHA Terms and Conditions of Employment for Non-Contract Employees
    •   Health Services & Support Facilities Subsector (Facilities Agreement)
    •   Nurses’ (Nurses’ Agreement)
    •   Health Science Professionals (Health Science Professionals Agreement)
    •   Health Services & Support Community Subsector (Community Agreement)




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                VIHA Pandemic & Disaster Staffing Guidelines
                 for Non-Unionized and Unionized Employees

                                      Questions and Answers

General
    1. When do these Pandemic and Disaster Staffing Guidelines apply?

        As stated in the procedures, these Guidelines are in effect when either VIHA (Internal) or
        Government (External) declare an emergency due to either a pandemic or disaster. The
        Guidelines are NOT meant to be used in any other situation.


    2. What is an “emergency”?

        For the purposes of the Pandemic and Disaster Staffing Guidelines, there are two (2) categories
        of emergencies:

            1. VIHA Directive (Internal)
                   i. Manager deems staffing levels for workload to be critical.
                  ii. Health Administration/Official deems an influx of acute patients as a minor or
                      major disaster.
            2. Emergency Program Act (External):
                   i. Medical Health Officer or Lieutenant Governor declares an outbreak or
                      pandemic.
                  ii. Mayor declares an emergency.

        Internal Directive
        Internally, VIHA will develop its own criteria for determining when emergency operating
        procedures will be engaged.

        External Directive
        Under the Emergency Program Act:
        An "emergency" means a present or imminent event or circumstance that:
        a. is caused by accident, fire, explosion, technical failure or the forces of nature; and
        b. requires prompt coordination of action or special regulation of persons or property to protect
            the health, safety or welfare of a person or to limit damage to property.
        A “disaster” means a calamity that:
        a. is caused by accident, fire, explosion or technical failure or by the forces of nature, and
        b. has resulted in serious harm to the health, safety or welfare of people, or in widespread
           damage to property.




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        During a declared state of emergency, the provincial or local government may take steps they feel
        are necessary to prevent, respond to or alleviate the effects of an emergency or resulting disaster.
        Among the measures available at both levels of authority are:
        • authorize or require people to render assistance they are qualified to provide;
        • control or prohibit travel to or from any area of British Columbia;
        • provide, maintain and coordinate emergency medical, welfare and other essential services;
        • procure, fix prices for or ration medical supplies or other essential supplies; or
        • use any property, services, resources or equipment within any part of British Columbia for
            the duration of the state of emergency.


    3. Are employment contracts, collective agreements and related labour and employment
       legislation in effect during a pandemic or disaster?

        Yes. Attached are provisions in the collective agreements and other employment contracts that
        explicitly address emergencies. Collective agreements, employment contracts and any related
        labour and employment legislation (federal and provincial) remain intact. If any Memorandum of
        Agreements are negotiated between HEABC or Ministry and Union (s) to address pandemics or
        declared states of emergencies, then HR Consulting will advise Manager/Leaders of new
        provisions.


    Call In:
        Note: When emergency procedures are engaged, staffing – including redeployment and
        reassignment of staff – may be coordinated through a centralized VIHA Emergency Operating
        Centre. However, the principles outlined below would continue to apply.


    4. Do the normal pay rules continue to apply?

        Yes, timekeeping will be administered as usual for all staff and all collective agreement/contract
        pay rules will continue to apply.


    5. Will I be called in by seniority?

        Call in procedures should maintain current practice, in accordance with applicable collective
        agreements. As per collective agreements, consider the qualifications of employees and the jobs
        they are registered to perform, as well as seniority as applicable. Note that the call-in list may
        change if your department or VIHA pandemic and disaster plans provide for re-deployment of
        staff.




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    6. Will my scheduled vacation, leave of absence or days off be cancelled?

        Employees may be called back from vacation, although this may trigger overtime under the
        collective agreements. Managers/Leaders may choose to cancel other paid or unpaid leaves of
        absences, with the exception of medical leaves. Employees may be called in on days off, although
        this may trigger overtime depending on the work schedule and collective agreement/contract pay
        rules.

    7. Can I decline to come in to work?

        The challenge for health care employers during a pandemic is to have all or as many employees
        as possible prepared to work, particularly as demand for certain health services surges and health
        care workers start to contract the illness in the community. Staff is encouraged to plan ahead and
        make alternate arrangements for childcare in the event current childcare services are interrupted
        or refuse to take sick children.

        An employee cannot refuse to come in to work where the employer has deemed an emergency,
        unless there is a bona fide reason. Refusals without a bona fide reason may result in discipline.
        Your Manager/Leader will carefully consider all such refusals. Other than a bona fide reason,
        attendance at work is mandatory, both for straight time as well as overtime call-ins. Where a
        dispute arises, employees are to work now, grieve later. For questions and answers about
        refusing unsafe work, please refer to Question #11.




    Scheduling Provisions

    8. Can my work schedule be changed?

        Yes. There are provisions in each of the collective agreements to change work schedules.
        Overtime may apply to the first shift only, when short notice is given. The notice period
        requirements for changes to employee schedules differ in each collective agreement.


    9. Will my FTE and hours of work continue?

        When an employee reports to work, every effort will be made to deploy and/or redeploy the
        employee for their full shift. Please refer to the section “Layoffs” below for further details.


    10. Is there a maximum amount of overtime that is determined to be safe?

        No. The Manager/Leader will need to assess safety considerations on a case-by-case basis, taking
        into account the number of consecutive hours worked, the number of consecutive shifts worked,
        the demands of the work itself, and observations of the employee’s level of fatigue. Under
        Worksafe BC regulations, managers have an obligation to effectively manage any reported or
        observed “impairment”, including fatigue, which may affect an employee’s ability to perform


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        their duties safely. Likewise, employees have an obligation to report any such impairment to their
        supervisor. These obligations are specifically referenced in VIHA’s collective agreements, which
        also require that Employers promote safe working conditions.


    11. What happens if I refuse work for safety reasons?
        In British Columbia, if an employee has reasonable cause to believe that a work process or
        practice would create an undue hazard to the health and safety of any person, they have a right to
        refuse to carry out that work process under Occupational Health & Safety Regulation Sections
        3.12 and 3.13 (WorksafeBC).

        VIHA has a specific process in place to assist staff and managers to address these situations.
        Please refer to the web link below. Managers and staff should consult a Safety Advisor in
        Wellness & Safety for assistance.

        https://intranet.viha.ca/departments/hr/safety/Documents/wspp_right_to_refuse_protocol.pdf

        Generally, the Manager/Leader needs to investigate the safety concern and determine if the safety
        concern is valid. If the safety concern is valid, the Manager/Leader needs to remedy the unsafe
        situation. If the problem is valid and cannot be reasonably managed, then the employee has the
        right, under WorksafeBC regulations, to ask for the assistance of the Wellness and Safety team
        and a Safety Committee member to investigate the matter further. If that still fails to resolve the
        matter, under WorkSafeBC regulations the worker can be temporarily assigned to other work
        until a WorkSafeBC officer can attend the site to assess the matter.


    12. Will I be guaranteed rest periods (coffee and meal breaks)?

        Collective agreements require that Managers/Leaders make every effort to schedule applicable
        rest and meal breaks. Where operations preclude pre-scheduled breaks, employees should be
        encouraged to take their breaks when operationally possible. If an employee works during a
        meal period, they will be paid the appropriate overtime rate. If an employee works through a 15-
        minute rest period, there is no additional compensation.


    13. For unionized employees, can my schedule be changed from a regular/standard hour
        rotation to an extended hour rotation for the duration of the emergency? Or vice versa?

        Extended hour rotations require a memorandum of agreement between the employer and the
        employees’ union, with approved master rotations and signed overtime waivers. Therefore, a
        change from a regular to extended work schedule, or vice versa, will attract overtime.


    14. Do we need to follow our department’s Essential Service levels?

        No, the essential service levels are for the sole purpose of bargaining and do not apply to
        pandemic or disaster planning.



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    15. Who will submit/perform my timekeeping? What if they are off sick? How will I get paid?

        Managers/Leaders are encouraged to have well-documented timekeeping-related processes and a
        back-up plan including additional staff members trained to perform timekeeping functions to
        ensure continuity of timekeeping during a pandemic or emergency.


        Note: In the event normal timekeeping cannot be continued, payroll will be run based on hours
        scheduled, and any required adjustments will be done once normal processes are back in place.


    Redeployment/Reassignment
    16. Is it possible that I could be redeployed during a pandemic or disaster?

        Yes. As the scope and scale of the pandemic unfolds, our success at providing health services
        while containing the effect of the pandemic will be dependent on extraordinary efforts by all
        those who work within our health system.

        It is possible that certain departments and services may experience surges in demand for health
        services (for example, Public Health and ICU). It is also possible that departments and services
        may experience increased absenteeism given the community-based nature of the H1N1 illness in
        particular. In either case, VIHA Emergency Planners may need to supplement current staffing
        levels by redeploying staff and managers to high priority health services. For example, VIHA
        Emergency Planners are presently identifying a list of current VIHA employees with ICU and/or
        Critical Care experience who may be needed to augment baseline ICU staffing. Similarly, our
        Public Health teams may need to be expanded to support both a seasonal influenza immunization
        campaign and perhaps as many as two H1N1-specific immunization campaigns.


    17. Am I expected to only work in my own job description?

        No. The Manager/Leader will need to determine the staffing levels required during a pandemic
        or disaster. Ideally, employees should be assigned according to their job descriptions. However,
        if an employee is redeployed to other duties, or to another department or VIHA location, the
        employee may be asked to work outside the job description, provided the duties are within the
        scope of their qualifications and abilities.


    18. Can I be reassigned/redeployed to a different department? To a different VIHA sites within
        VIHA?

        Yes, within certain parameters. First, the Manager/Leader should assess the patient care needs of
        the department and the qualifications and abilities of available employees. If a Manager/Leader is
        unable to meet operational requirements:

        a. Non-unionized employees may be reassigned or redeployed provided:


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               i.   they have the qualifications and abilities to perform the work; and
              ii.   if assigned to perform bargaining unit work, the process outlined in question #20
                    below has been followed.

        b. Unionized employees under the Health Sector collective agreements (Facilities
           Subsector/Nurses/Health Sciences Professionals/Community) who are qualified and able can,
           pursuant to the Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement Act, be temporarily
           reassigned to another department or worksite within the health authority.

    19. Can non-contract employees perform the functions of unionized staff?

        A pandemic creates an extraordinary situation and in the best interests of patient care, a non-
        contract employee could be asked to perform duties of unionized staff, but only after making
        every reasonable effort to assign the work to members of the appropriate bargaining unit. For
        example, where unionized work needs to be performed, a Manager/Leader would make every
        reasonable effort to:

            1. Call-in or redeploy employees from the applicable bargaining unit who currently perform
               the job in question and who are available to perform the work at straight time rates.
               Overtime may be called where there are no employees from the applicable bargaining
               unit available to perform the work at straight time rates.
            2. If unsuccessful, the Manager/Leader should consider calling in or redeploying employees
               from the applicable bargaining unit who work in other job classifications. Specific
               duties that can be performed by others, including those in other bargaining units, should
               be reassigned.
            3. If there are no other unionized staff available that can reasonably perform the duties, then
               the Manager/Leader will need to decide if the duties are operationally required.
            4. If the duties are operationally required, then excluded employees may be deployed.
        Note: It is important to notify the Union of the duties performed by the excluded employee, the
        duration of the work, and steps taken to assign bargaining unit work to the applicable bargaining
        unit. Documentation may be required.


    20. Can unionized employees be reassigned or redeployed across bargaining units?

        Yes. As referenced in question #20 above, where job duties are common to more than one
        bargaining unit, a Manager/Leader may assign such duties to an employee from another
        bargaining unit – if qualifications and abilities permit – once efforts have been made to reassign
        the duties within the original bargaining unit.


    21. Are there any restrictions under the Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement Act on
        the ability to temporarily reassign unionized Health Sector employees within or across
        VIHA sites?




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        When reassigning employees under the Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement Act,
        Managers/Leaders should keep in mind the following:

            a. There is no geographic restriction on temporary assignments under the Health and Social
               Services Delivery Improvement Act. Such assignments can be made to any VIHA
               worksite, regardless of location and distance. However, assignments outside of the
               employee’s geographic location (50 km) cannot exceed thirty (30) days in any four- (4)
               month period.

            b. A reassignment under the Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement Act does not
               require a notice of shift change; however, should the start/stop times of the assigned work
               be different than the employee’s regular position, the relevant collective agreement
               provisions would apply.

            c. Finally, when unilaterally transferring an employee to another position, VIHA should
               transfer the employee to a position that is equal in terms of FTE and pay rate.


    22. Will I be paid for travel and meal expenses?

        Yes. Where VIHA is requesting an employee to travel between sites, or work additional hours
        requiring a meal allowance under the applicable collective agreement, additional costs will be
        incurred. For those employees going from one site to another, outside of their normal
        requirements, mileage applies in accordance with applicable collective agreements or VIHA
        Policies. Where there are missed meal breaks, applicable overtime rates will be paid, and where
        the collective agreement provides for meal allowances for extended hours, that too will be paid.



    23. Will I receive any training and/or orientation when redeployed or reassigned to a different
        task, department, or site?

        When assigning an employee to a different function or to duties that are not familiar, the
        Manager/Leader must provide the employee orientation and/or training required to perform the
        duties safely. Typically, this training need not be lengthy and/or onerous, but be part of the
        regular practise with any new employee and encompass pandemic specific issues such as
        exposure/infection control, personal protective equipment etc. In some cases, a more
        comprehensive, tailored learning plan will be used depending on the clinical setting. In addition,
        WorksafeBC officers may require evidence of worker safety orientation during inspections of the
        workplace. Reassigned employees should also have access to appropriate clinical supervision.




    24. Are there special considerations for redeployment or reassignment if I have been
        accommodated pursuant to Human Rights Code as a result of a disability, religious belief or
        other prohibited ground of discrimination?



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        Reassignment or redeployment of employees with an existing accommodation, including
        religious, medical disability, etc., may require additional consideration and documentation in the
        planning process. It is important to consider the known restrictions and limitations of each
        accommodated employee if reassignment or redeployment is required. Human Resources
        Consultants and Ability Management Consultants are available as a resource as needed.


    Temporary Change in Service Levels

    25. Will a temporary reduction in our program result in my lay-off?

        A temporary reduction in the scheduled hours of regular status unionized staff may trigger the
        layoff provisions of applicable collective agreements.

        For these reasons, if it all possible, Managers/Leaders should make every effort to reassign or
        redeploy unionized staff and avoid reducing scheduled work hours.


    26. My Manager may need to increase service levels provided by my department. How does the
        current vacancy management process impact my Manager’s ability to hire additional staff
        during pandemic or disaster?

        The current vacancy management process includes an approval process for hiring of new staff or
        retention of new contractors. It is expected that this process would remain in effect during an
        emergency. However, an expedited process for hiring casual employees and contractors during a
        declared emergency or pandemic is under development.



    Leave Management


    27. What happens if I call in sick during a disaster or pandemic?

        Normal processes continue to apply for calling in sick during a pandemic. Employees must be
        able to demonstrate a bona fide medical reason to be away from work. Employees need to be able
        to advise the Employer of when they will be able to return to work and if there is any way to
        come in to perform a portion of their work, while adapting to the nature of illness or injury.

        Please refer to “Pandemic Considerations” below for instructions where an employee calls in sick
        with flu-like symptoms during a pandemic.


    28. How will my other leave requests such as special, bereavement, and compassionate leave
        requests, be managed during a pandemic or disaster?




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        The process for approving and managing employee leaves of absence will remain the same.
        Where the Manager/Leader requires more information or evidence in order to approve, the
        Manager/Leader should seek clarification.


    29. How are WorksafeBC claims administered during pandemic or disaster?

        The administration of WorksafeBC claims remains the same. It is the responsibility of the
        Manager/Leader to perform the investigation and the employee is responsible to complete a
        Worker Incident Injury Report, which is available to employees in your department.




    Pandemic Considerations (H1N1)
    Note: The following information has been developed with specific reference to the current risk of an
    H1N1 pandemic.

    Symptoms and Exclusion from Work

    30. What are the symptoms of H1N1 influenza?

        As our knowledge of H1N1 is continually evolving, please refer to the VIHA H1N1 web site
        below for the most current information regarding H1N1 symptomology:

                VIHA H1N1 Flowchart for Symptomatic Employees (PDF)



    31. How can I learn more about H1N1 symptoms and steps I can take to minimize the spread of
        H1N1 influenza?

        Managers/Leaders are encouraged to commence discussions with their employees at appropriate
        forums (such as department meetings). Information updates regarding H1N1 will be coming out
        continually over the coming months, so please refer to the H1N1 web site links below for the
        most up to date information and advice.


                •   VIHA H1N1 Home Page

                •   BC Centre for Disease Control - Guidelines for Home Isolation

                •   Provincial Government H1N1 Home Page




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    32. Can I get H1N1 influenza more than once?

        Once an individual has recovered from a particular strain of influenza (such as H1N1) he/she is
        immune to that particular strain and cannot get the same illness again. However, there can be
        several flu viruses circulating at any given time, and it may be impossible to distinguish
        symptoms of various strains of influenza. Therefore, unless an individual has been tested for the
        H1N1 virus, it may be difficult to know whether he/she has had the virus.


    33. If I am sick with influenza-like illness symptoms, will I be tested?

        Not likely. In order to minimize the spread of the H1N1 virus, systems are being established to
        facilitate assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients with suspected or active H1N1
        symptoms without requiring the patient to attend a physician’s office.


    34. Do VIHA’s Influenza Prevention Program (#5.8.6) and VIHA’s Influenza Prevention
        Program Procedure (#5.8.6PR) apply during an H1N1 or other influenza pandemic?

        With the availability of a vaccine, the basic principles of the program and procedures are now in
        effect. Should a facility outbreak occur, VIHA will take instruction from the Medical Health
        Officer with respect to the application the procedures, including the use of anti-viral medication
        and exclusion of employees from the workplace.


    35. Will VIHA be reassigning pregnant employees or other employees in high-risk
        groups (e.g. those with chronic underlying medical conditions or who are First
        Nations) in the event of an H1N1 or other influenza Pandemic?

        Any reassignment of pregnant employees or other employees in high-risk groups (e.g. those with
        chronic underlying medical conditions or who are First Nations) will be determined on a case-by-
        case basis through Wellness & Safety. However, the following information may be helpful for
        employees to better understand their risks in the event of an H1N1 (or other influenza) Pandemic:

            •   As a community-acquired disease, employees are far more likely to acquire H1N1 at the
                grocery store than at work.
            •   Pregnant employees and other employees in high-risk groups (e.g. those with chronic
                underlying medical conditions or who are First Nations) are not at greater risk of
                acquiring the disease – just at greater risk of complications if they get the disease. Proper
                point of care risk assessment and use of personal protective equipment (discussed below)
                will protect all employees.
            •   Pregnant employees and other employees in high-risk groups (e.g. those with chronic
                underlying medical conditions or who are First Nations) should talk about H1N1 with
                their health care provider and have a plan, including an antiviral plan, should they get the
                flu.




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            •   All employees should be vaccinated as soon as the H1N1 vaccine is available.


    36. What do I do if I develop influenza-like illness (ILI) or H1N1 symptoms at work or at
        home?

        You follow the same processes for reporting to the Regional Staffing Office or your Manager.
        Please ensure that you identify that you have ILI symptoms to ensure that our Infection
        Prevention and Control processes can be activated as necessary. You may expect a follow-up call
        from your Manager or a Health Nurse. Please refer to the web link below to obtain the process
        in the event you exhibit H1N1 symptoms at home or at work.

                VIHA H1N1 Flowchart for Symptomatic Employees (PDF)



    37. Can I be sent home if I exhibit any of the above H1N1 symptoms while at work?

        Yes. Please refer to the link below for the most current information regarding appropriate action
        where an employee exhibits H1N1 symptoms while at work.

                VIHA H1N1 Flowchart for Symptomatic Employees (PDF)


    38. Should I supply a medical note when excluded from work due to H1N1 symptoms?

        Individuals exhibiting H1N1 symptoms have been advised by the Provincial Medical Health
        Officer and Public Health Agency of Canada to stay home, and not go to their GP’s office or
        emergency department unless symptoms worsen or recovery is delayed. Therefore,
        Managers/Leaders should avoid requesting a medical note or Proof of Illness Form in these
        circumstances.


    39. What if I have been excluded from work as a result of H1N1 symptoms and have either
        exhausted my sick leave bank or STIIP, or am casual (and therefore have no sick leave
        bank or STIIP)?

        During the period of a pandemic, employees who have been excluded from work as a result of
        H1N1 symptoms, but do not have access to sick leave or STIIP, may access any overtime or
        vacation banks. Employees who do not have overtime or vacation banks will be required to take
        an unpaid leave for the duration of the exclusion period.


    40. What do I do if I have an immediate family member that is symptomatic and I must stay
        home to care for them?

        The process for approving and managing employee leaves of absence will remain the same.
        Where the Manager/Leader requires more information in order to approve, the Manager/Leader


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        should seek clarification. Again, given the community-based nature of this illness and the
        expected need for all health care workers to be available to support pandemic health services,
        staff should be making alternate arrangements for childcare, etc.


    41. Is it possible for me to work from home, if, for example, I am staying home to care for a sick
        family member, or if I am ill for less than the recommended quarantine period but feel well
        enough to work?

        Where the nature of an employee’s work is such that they are able to effectively perform their
        duties from home, an employee may be permitted to work from home until the end of their
        quarantine period, or until the ill family member has recovered sufficiently for the employee to
        return to work. Managers/Leaders may wish to make plans in advance for this eventuality by
        providing staff with the tools necessary to work from home.

        In addition, Managers/Leaders should encourage all staff to plan for how they will care for ill
        family members and should emphasize the importance of immunization in protecting family
        members from illness.


    Influenza Vaccination

42. When will the vaccines for H1N1 and seasonal influenza be available?

     B.C.’s seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccine program focused first on those in designated high risk
     categories. As of November 19, 2009 all British Columbians are now eligible to receive both
     vaccines.

     Information about the VIHA employee influenza immunization campaign is available via the VIHA
     H1N1 web site at:
                             VIHA H1N1 News Home Page.


43. I never get sick – why should I obtain a vaccination?

    About one in five people can have an influenza virus, including H1N1, and show no symptoms
    whatsoever. As a result, although you show no symptoms, you may be unwittingly passing the virus
    along to your co-workers and family members, including those who may be particularly at risk of
    developing severe symptoms –infants, pregnant women, and individuals with chronic health issues
    such as diabetes.

44. What happens if I have not been vaccinated?

    To limit disease transmission in the community and in the workplace, all health care workers are
    encouraged to be vaccinated. Unvaccinated employees will be protected in the workplace by
    following our published exposure/infection control procedures and wearing clinically appropriate
    personal protective.



VIHA Pandemic and Disaster Staffing Guidelines www.viha.ca/h1n1                                     14 of 19
October 8, 2009
    Should additional guidance from the Provincial Medical Health Officer and the Public Health Agency
    of Canada become available, VIHA will share this information via the H1N1 web site.


45. How and when do I access antiviral medication?

    This is an evolving area for public health officials. Recent studies are revealing that antiviral
    medication like Tamiflu does not necessarily shorten the duration of the H1N1 virus. Nor is it seen to
    be effective means to avoid contracting H1N1 or seasonal influenza. Having said that, rapid
    treatment of symptomatic patients may help some to clinically recover more quickly. Thus the
    direction at this time is:

    •   Health care workers who have underlying conditions that put them at increased risk of
        severe illness should be following the same process as the general public: talk to your
        physician about obtaining a prescription in advance. If you do develop influenza-like
        illness this fall, then have the prescription filled and start on Tamiflu rapidly (likely in
        consultation with the physician).

    •   Health care workers without underlying conditions who develop symptoms should phone
        a physician or 8-1-1 to discuss their symptoms. Those with moderate or severe
        symptoms may be prescribed Tamiflu or other treatment.

    •   Antivirals are not recommended for prevention (prophylaxis) of H1N1 influenza. They
        are intended for early treatment, as described above.

    Personal Protective Equipment

46. What is Personal Protective Equipment and what equipment is appropriate for me?

        For comprehensive information and updates regarding use of PPE, please refer to the H1N1 web
        site links below:

                VIHA Personal Protective Equipment and Fit Testing Home Page



    Non-Employees

47. Can we utilize volunteers, students and contractors during a pandemic or disaster?

        The collective agreement(s) remain in place during a disaster or pandemic situation. Therefore,
        volunteers, students and contractors can continue to be used, but only in the roles they performed
        prior to the disaster and/or pandemic.

        In the event the provincial or local government declares an emergency, volunteers, students
        and/or contractors could be used to undertake any assignment they can safely perform.


VIHA Pandemic and Disaster Staffing Guidelines www.viha.ca/h1n1                                    15 of 19
October 8, 2009
        Managers/Leaders will carefully review additional assignments or roles provided to volunteers,
        contractors or students, to avoid risk to patient and staff safety.

        It is also possible, however, that in the event of a pandemic, volunteers, students and others who
        are deemed not to be critical human resource assets may be excluded from VIHA workplaces, in
        order to limit the spread of the illness. In the event of a declared emergency or pandemic, VIHA
        would provide further instructions to Managers/Leaders on its impact on the use of volunteers,
        students and contractors.




VIHA Pandemic and Disaster Staffing Guidelines www.viha.ca/h1n1                                     16 of 19
October 8, 2009
                      VIHA Pandemic & Disaster Staffing Guidelines
              Emergency Provisions for Unionized and Non-Unionized Employees
                  Hours of Work         Overtime                Vacations           Contracting Out         Unusual Job            Rate of Pay
                                                                                                            Requirements
Communities       Article 15.6 –        Article 16.8 –          Article 18.3 –      No provision or         No provision or        Article 16.11 –
Bargaining        Every reasonable      Where an employee       Vacation            exceptions for          exceptions for         Call Back
Association       effort will be made   is requested to work    scheduled, once     emergencies.            emergencies.           Minimum of two (2)
                  to ensure that no     overtime on a           approved by the                                                    hours’ overtime pay
                  regular employee      scheduled workday       Employer, shall                                                    at the applicable
                  is assigned to        or on a scheduled       not be changed                                                     overtime
                  work less than        day off, the employee   other than in                                                      rate, or shall be
                  four (4) hours in a   may decline to work     cases of                                                           paid at the
                  given day with the    such overtime. Only     emergency,                                                         applicable overtime
                  exception of          in cases of             except by mutual                                                   rate for the time
                  emergency             emergency may an        agreement                                                          worked, whichever
                  situations.           employee be             between the                                                        is greater.
                                        required to work        employee and
                                        overtime.               the Employer.                                                      Call back travel
                                                                                                                                   allowance of $0.50
                                                                Article 18.8 –                                                     per km or taxi fare.
                                                                Employees who
                                                                have commenced
                                                                their annual
                                                                vacation shall
                                                                not be called
                                                                back to work,
                                                                except in cases
                                                                of extreme
                                                                emergency.
Facilities        Article 20.04 –       Article 21.08 –         Article 28.09 –     Article 17.12 –         Article 19.02          Article 23 – Call
Bargaining        No split shifts       When an employee is     Employees who       The Employer            The nature of          Back
Association       shall be worked       requested to work       have commenced      agrees that they        health care is such    Minimum two (2)
                  except in cases of    overtime on a           their annual        will not contract       that at times it is    hours at the
                  emergency.            scheduled workday       vacation shall      out bargaining unit     necessary for an       applicable overtime
                                        or on a scheduled       not be called       work that will          employee to            rate.
                                        day off, the employee   back to work,       result in the lay-off   perform work not
                                        may decline to work     except in cases     of employees within     normally required      Article 24 – Call
                                        such overtime except    of extreme          the bargaining unit     in her/his job and,
                                                                                                                                   In
                                        in cases of             emergency.          during the term of      therefore, the
                                                                                                                                   Minimum two (2)
                                        emergency. Only in                          this agreement. The     requirements of the
                                                                                                                                   hours at regular
                                        cases of emergency      If such occurs,     Employer will           moment shall
                                                                                                                                   rate, four (4) hours
                                        may an employee be      an employee         discuss with            determine the type
                                                                                                                                   if they start work.
                                        required to work        shall receive two   representatives of      of work to be
                                        overtime. When an       (2) times her/his   the local in a timely   performed. It is
                                                                                                                                   Transportation
                                        employee does not       applicable rate     manner, functions       understood that an
                                                                                                                                   allowance of $0.46
                                        agree that an           of pay for all      they intend to          employee shall not
                                                                                                                                   per km or taxi fare.
                                        emergency exists, the   hours worked        contract out after      be expected to
                                        employee shall work     and shall have      the date of signing     perform a task for
                                        such overtime under     vacation period     this collective         which she/he
                                        protest and may file    so displaced        agreement that          is not adequately
                                        a grievance.            rescheduled with    could otherwise be      trained.
                                                                pay at a mutually   performed by
                                                                agreeable time.     Union members
                                                                All reasonable      within the facility,
                                                                travel expenses     except where an
                                                                incurred shall be   emergency exists
                                                                reimbursed to
                                                                the employee.




          VIHA Pandemic and Disaster Staffing Guidelines www.viha.ca/h1n1                                                         17 of 19
          October 8, 2009
                 Hours of Work     Overtime                Vacations         Contracting Out   Unusual Job        Rate of Pay
                                                                                               Requirements
Health Science   No provision or   No provision or         No provision or   No provision or   No provision or    Article 28.03 –
Professionals    exceptions for    exceptions for          exceptions for    exceptions for    exceptions for     Call Back
Bargaining       emergencies.      emergencies.            emergencies.      emergencies.      emergencies.       Paid two (2) hours’
Association                                                                                                       minimum at
                                                                                                                  appropriate
                                                                                                                  overtime rates

                                                                                                                  Article 28.04
                                                                                                                  Call back travel
                                                                                                                  allowance of $0.50
                                                                                                                  per km or taxi fare.

                                                                                                                  Article 26
                                                                                                                  Transportation
                                                                                                                  expense – if an
                                                                                                                  employee travels to
                                                                                                                  a different worksite
                                                                                                                  they can claim
                                                                                                                  mileage for distance
                                                                                                                  travelled in excess
                                                                                                                  of their regular
                                                                                                                  travel to work

Nurses           No provision or   Article 27.03(a) –      No provision or   No provision or   No provision or    Article 29.04 -
Bargaining       exceptions for    The Employer may        exceptions for    exceptions for    exceptions for     Call Back --
Association      emergencies.      request an employee     emergencies.      emergencies.      emergencies.       Minimum two (2)
                                   to work a reasonable                                                           hours' pay.
                                   amount of overtime.
                                   Should the employee                                                            Article 29.07 -
                                   believe that the
                                                                                                                  Call In –
                                   Employer is
                                                                                                                  Regular part-time or
                                   requesting the
                                                                                                                  casual employees
                                   employee to work
                                                                                                                  reporting to work at
                                   more than a
                                                                                                                  the call of the
                                   reasonable amount
                                                                                                                  Employer for
                                   of overtime, then the
                                                                                                                  unscheduled work
                                   employee may
                                                                                                                  shall be paid a
                                   decline to work the
                                                                                                                  minimum of two (2)
                                   additional overtime,
                                                                                                                  hours or four (4)
                                   except in emergency
                                                                                                                  hours if they
                                   conditions, without
                                                                                                                  commence work.
                                   being subject to
                                   disciplinary action.
                                                                                                                  Article 29.06 -
                                                                                                                  Travel Allowance
                                                                                                                  Call back travel
                                                                                                                  allowance of $0.50
                                                                                                                  per km or taxi fare.




                 Hours of Work     Overtime                Vacations         Contracting Out   Unusual Job        Rate of Pay
                                                                                               Requirements



          VIHA Pandemic and Disaster Staffing Guidelines www.viha.ca/h1n1                                        18 of 19
          October 8, 2009
VIHA Non-       No provision or   No provision or     No provision or   Not applicable.   No provision or    Article 14 -
Contract        exceptions for    exceptions for      exceptions for                      exceptions for     Overtime
                emergencies.      emergencies.        emergencies.                        emergencies.       Overtime, for
                                                                                                             eligible employees,
                                                                                                             is pay at 1.5 times
                                                                                                             after eight (8) hours
                                                                                                             in a day or forty
                                                                                                             (40) hours in a
                                                                                                             week. Hours worked
                                                                                                             in excess of eleven
                                                                                                             (11) hours in a day
                                                                                                             or beyond forty-
                                                                                                             eight (48) hours in a
                                                                                                             week will be paid at
                                                                                                             2.0 times.




PAR-BC          No provision or   No provision or     No provision or   No provision or   No provision or    21.01 On-Call/Call-
                exceptions for    exceptions for      exceptions for    exceptions for    exceptions for     Back and On-
                emergencies.      emergencies.        emergencies.      emergencies.      emergencies.       Site/On-Call
                                                                                                             On-Call
                                                                                                             Allowances:
                                                                                                             A single, blended
                                                                                                             allowance is
                                                                                                             established as
                                                                                                             follows:
                                                                                                             $400.90/month
                                                                                                             21.04
                                                                                                             A Resident,
                                                                                                             scheduled by the
                                                                                                             Program Director to
                                                                                                             be on-call (off site)
                                                                                                             and who is called
                                                                                                             back shall receive:
                                                                                                             (a) an allowance of
                                                                                                             fifty cents ($0.50)
                                                                                                             per kilometre; or
                                                                                                             (b) taxi fare from
                                                                                                             home to the hospital
                                                                                                             and return. The
                                                                                                             minimum allowance
                                                                                                             shall be two dollars
                                                                                                             ($2.00) per each
                                                                                                             round trip.




         VIHA Pandemic and Disaster Staffing Guidelines www.viha.ca/h1n1                                    19 of 19
         October 8, 2009

				
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