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According to CIC, about 88% of employees have returned to work. The question union leaders are asking themselves is, if crown attorneys were able to fire employees home before, why can’t we start over?
“From the union’s perspective, we think SaskTel should go back to telework agreements. It worked well, ”said Dave Kuntz, president of Unifor Local 1-S.
Kuntz said the union had weekly meetings with SaskTel management. He said the union started raising concerns in October, when cases of COVID-19 in the province started to rise.
SaskTel has a remote work program, but it requires employees to request it. Kuntz said there are currently hundreds of applications pending approval. He wants SaskTel to give every employee the option to work from home if they prefer.
“If people want to work from home, let them work from home. If they still want to stay in the workplace, let them stay in the workplace. But give them that option, streamline it, don’t do a lot of bureaucracy about it, ”Kuntz said.
He was aware of at least four cases of SaskTel employees testing positive for COVID-19.
Ian Davidson, president of Unifor Local 649, said SaskEnergy and SaskPower employees were also nervous.
“I would say there’s definitely some anxiety,” Davidson said. On November 9, SaskEnergy was among the sites listing SHA’s COVID-19 exposures.
The union lobbied for a policy of permanent homework. Davidson said management had considered it, but nothing has come of those talks yet.