'Covid Normal' Recovery Return Planning

Updated 19/11/2020

Thank you to everyone who has forwarded suggestions to be put forward in discussions with DPC and IRV over the coming weeks regarding the working arrangements in a 'Covid Normal' setting.  The options CPSU has been asked to canvass include:

Maintaining the ability to WFH either on an ongoing basis or to have a variable work location that suits the work life balance of the employee.

Any RTW options need to factor in issues regarding public transport, starting and finishing times.

High level and frequent office and accommodation and equipment cleaning including the option of Covid Safe Monitors to oversee the cleaning and provision of appropriate PPE. This to be expanded to include all equipment just as cars, other machinery and the operation of the shared toilet and kitchens.

Consideration of the development of guidelines for those who wish to return to be a clear criteria i.e. Ability to work in a outdoor setting, working in remote locations in an office with low staff numbers.

Guidelines to take account of issues such as employee mental health and well-being (MHWB) or high risk co-morbidities or being responsible for the care of an aged parent or a partner with co-morbidities.

Need to ensure guidelines are clear the choice is the employees and not something that has to be negotiated with line managers. A WoVG approach is necessary. Many of your resposnes indicated frustration with requests to WFH before the pandemic being denied but felt the lockdown has highlighted that this is a real way for many of you to work into the future.

PT needs to be part of any proposal as does the issue of numbers in a team to RTW, potential for private car usage, and starting and finishing times.

The WoVG approach needs to take into account different VPS roles.

The WoVG approach needs to factor in access to appropriate equipment and OHS guidelines. Making it clear that the location of choice for the employee to work is still the obligation of the employer to ensure appropriate equipment and set up is completed.

Arrangements for base camp work for upcoming fire season and other such emergencies need to have a specific Covid Safe plan that reflects the large scale movement of people into a confined space for operations.

These and the other specific issues will be tabled at the working party that has been set up comprising the CPSU and DPC and IRV that will develop a WoVG plan and will be supported by a working party comprising CPSU and the above agencies with the power to invite specific reps from the agencies that need to have unique or specific Covid Safe RTW plan (such as working with offenders on community projects, Child Protections, Courts etc) to ensure we have an agreed approach across the VPS and wider sector.

I undertake to table all member ideas to see if we can work with the VicGov to make the transition from Covid response to Covid Recovery one that suits your needs.

I will continue to keep you informed as these discussions progress (first meeting was last week 11th November) and the parties are working on a timeline into the new year.

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