I hope you are all safe and staying well.

The Covid-19 pandemic is now going into the Winter months, and I understand how hard this may be on some members.  Although vaccines are on the horizon, there will still be many months of work and social restrictions to abide by.

If a member needs help or needs to talk to someone the Employee Assistance Service Program is always available.  This is a voluntary program. Any member wishing to talk to a counsellor or make an appointment can call the Employee Assistance Program, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call EAS at 1-800-268-7708 – a toll-free, bilingual line operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. EAS services for the hearing impaired are available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 1-800-567-5803.

The constitution amendment on-line vote was sent out on Monday November 16, ending Monday November 30.  It passed by 97.7%.  Thank you to Marijana Kalinic for organizing the amendments, meetings and presenting at the AGM.  Thank you to Laurette Ernst and Shelagh Till for their work on preparing the document and all the preparations for the on-line vote.

For your information 1285 e-mail voting packages were sent out and exactly 50% voted.  This is an increase from the last mail-out vote for the Constitution in 2016 where 34% of the membership voted.

I would like members to be aware that the new legislation for Bill C-65 for Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention comes into effect on January 1, 2021.  I encourage all members to read any information sent and to sign up for courses provided by the NRC and the Canada School of the Public Service.  Both the NJC SWOHS and the NRC NCOSH committees where I sit on both, and the NRC bargaining agents (RCEA and PIPSC) have had consultations with TBS and the NRC Secretary General Office to prepare for the January 1, 2021 launch to bring information to public service employees.

Many members have been asking about the T2200 tax form regarding working from home.  In the Federal Government’s Fall Economic Statement an income tax credit of $400 was announced for Canadians working from home.  Early in the new year I hope to have more information on this for members and information will be posted on the RCEA website.

I wish you all a very happy and healthy holiday season, and good wishes for 2021.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.