A number of MAGE members have contacted me to ask whether the Government of Manitoba’s recent travel restrictions on Order-in-Council appointees applies to us.
The employer has recently confirmed to me that MAGE members are not appointed by ‘Order-in-Council’. As a result, the directive does not apply to us.
As per the directive issued on February 1, 2021 (news release), Premier Brian Pallister states that “… all Manitoba Government Order-in-Council appointees, including those serving on Agencies, Boards, and Commissions, may not travel for leisure purposes outside permitted travel areas, effective immediately. Should they do so, their appointment will be terminated.”
While the employer has confirmed that this specific directive does not apply to MAGE members, it also indicated that ‘the Manitoba Government Code of Conduct and the travel restriction does apply to all Manitoba Government employees.’ Therefore, if a concern arises with your travel, we will deal with it on a case-by-case basis to determine the appropriate action that should be taken.
While I believe the spirit of the original communication from the employer is intended to minimise any opportunity to contact or spread COVID-19, the manner in which they have communicated this message is somewhat heavy handed and perhaps misleading.
I would encourage all of you to follow the various health guidelines related to COVID-19, including travel restrictions. COVID-19 information for Manitoba can be found at https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/index.html. You may also wish to confirm your obligations as a Civil Servant by reviewing the employer’s ‘Code of Conduct’ and how it relates to you; this Code can be found at: https://www.gov.mb.ca/csc/conduct/index.html.
To say that these are trying times is an understatement. On behalf of our MAGE Group Executive, we want to express my thanks to you for your efforts over the duration of your employment and especially the last 10 or 11 months to maintain your level of productivity and professionalism while dealing with COVID-19. Whether you are working from home, your office, on a construction site or wherever your work has taken you, your dedication to the public good ensures our customers are never compromised with their safety and well being in our areas of responsibility.
Should you need any assistance or clarification, please do not hesitate to contact one of the Group’s Stewards or a Member of the Group Executive at your convenience.
Regards and stay well,
MAGE President, PIPSC