We are all in this together. And we are proud of all of our members doing critical work now – research, science and mathematics are fundamental to understanding the virus and the pandemic. Many of you are responding to the call to assist, with your expertise, skills or offering up needed equipment. You also may still need to go to your research facilities to tend to live organisms and sensitive devices.

For many of us, the best thing we can do is stay at home to keep our families safe and healthy. This is an important contribution that should not be underestimated. Wherever you are, we hope you are staying safe.

Field and sea work, international collaborations, experiments and trials of all sizes are being cancelled. This is disappointing, especially if these have been months or years of administrative work in the making.

Not everyone has the same ability to work from home, whether due to their living situation, lack of equipment or bandwidth, or lack of ready access to the data and publications required to do our work. In these cases, members are taking leave with pay (code 699).

There should be no impacts on career development of our incumbent-based researchers. Career progression committees need to consider the impact of extended absences on promotion cases, so we encourage you to formally record the time you have not been able to productively work. Rest assured, the RE executive is committed to working with the employer to find ways to deal with this fairly. For all work-related challenges, the RE executive is here to help, please contact us.

This is a challenging time and it is always okay to not be okay. We encourage you to reach out to your community, your union colleagues and your employee assistance program for support. 

Management and human resources are in regular communication with your union representatives, so your department or agency’s consultation team is another good resource. Specifically, if you are accessing leave with pay (code 699) and have concerns, please get in touch.

As all in-person PIPSC meetings and events are postponed until at least June 30, our RE Annual General Meeting and Sub-Group Presidents meetings in June are postponed or potentially cancelled. We strongly believe that limiting the travel of our members from across the country is the right thing to do at this time. We will keep you informed.

We are proud of you, we are here for you and we are all in this together.