Three Queen’s University employees placed on temporary leave because of COVID-19

Three Queen’s University employees have been placed on temporary leave, according to their union the United Steelworkers.

The university administration, in an e-mail to Global Kingston, confirmed “a small number of employees” were notified they were being put on temporary leave as of Monday, May 11.

The e-mail statement from Donna Janiec, the vice-principal (finance and administration), also claimed they are working with the affected employees.

“We are providing supports to employees facing this temporary situation, and we hope to welcome them back as soon as conditions and public health guidelines allow for their work to resume.”

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United Steelworkers Local 2010 and 2010-01 president Kelly Orser says the employees work in the campus residences.

“We have negotiated with the employer to make sure that we’ve secured very good recall rights for our members. The current collective agreement that we have now has a very short recall time period.”

Orser says the original recall language was negotiated at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t exist.

“Our members will now have up to 34 weeks of recall time with an additional 12 months after that which, we believe, both parties believe will get us through.”

Orser says the local represents close to 1,400 employees and the university has been accommodating in trying to keep her bargaining unit members employed by letting them work from home or remotely.

“The employer has been really good to also juggle some of our workloads to give us special projects, so we’re not expecting a lot of leaves in the near future.”

Orser says the affected employees will be eligible for the federal governments Community Emergency Response Benefit, or CERB.

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