“The COVID-19 pandemic has created severe staffing shortages in some areas of the broader public sector, such as long-term care homes.
We know that in these challenging times, many of our hardworking, dedicated staff are looking for ways in which they can help support the fight against COVID-19, and to be of service where their skills are most needed.
Following discussions among the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA), and our union partners, we are pleased to announce that we have agreed on a framework (the “Supporting Communities Agreement”) that allows staff from our school boards to volunteer to be temporarily redeployed to other areas of the public service that are particularly strained as a result of the pandemic.
We are supportive of school boards across the province providing this opportunity for their staff to give back to their communities during this time of crisis. Each school board will decide whether they have the capacity to redeploy staff, and only those staff who volunteer will be eligible for redeployment. Our expectation is that staff who do volunteer will be provided the necessary equipment and training to do their jobs safely, and according to the direction of public health officials.
OPSBA continues to be in regular communication with the Ministry of Education about the timeline for reopening schools. Any plans to reopen schools will take into consideration the need to have redeployed school board staff appropriately transitioned back into their core work.
To overcome the challenges that we are facing as a result of COVID-19, we need to work together across sectors, and help out those with the greatest need however we can.”
– Cathy Abraham, OPSBA President