Dr. Bonnie Henry, the XIVth, has announced that socialization in groups of up to 100 people is now permitted, so long as we continue to wear our masks — oxygen and methane breathers alike. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, this pandemic may finally be coming to an end.
Well, I found it funny...
We're into month four (!!!) of dealing with COVID-related impacts on our work and all parts of our lives, so I wanted to revisit things that have been discussed, as well as talk about some new things important to APSA members.
Take care of your mental health as well as your physical health. Employee and Family Assistance (EFAP) program is a great tool, but it can be hard to navigate and is misunderstood as an "emergency only" resource. The main page on Homewood Health doesn't list everything available to APSA members. I encourage you to create an account, log in, and look at the more detailed offerings: parenting suggestions and advice, healthy exercise and eating plans, smoking cessation, etc.
Look for working from home resources and don't forget to take a walk or pay attention to how much time you've been at that computer. Vacation time is important too, but I personally know this can be tough. I've been faced with situations where I've asked myself, "What's the point of taking Friday off if I just have to work on Saturday to make up for lost time?" This may require a discussion with your supervisor about workload...
Pay attention to your workload. It is not uncommon for APSA members to work more than their regularly scheduled 7.2 hours per day: Financial Services APSA staff work extra hours at year-end, Student Services APSA staff work extra hours at convocation, etc.
If you're finding that every week is now a 50 or 60 hour week because of COVID, I encourage you to talk to your supervisor. If you need help with how to do that, feel free to contact the APSA staff. At the very least, I encourage you to keep track of your hours.
Let APSA know what we can do to help. In our June newsletter, there was a survey with questions about COVID and work. The University has now agreed to meet with APSA and other employee groups regarding COVID. In our last meeting, we passed your top concerns along to the AVP of Human Resources and the Chief Safety Officer.
If you have further concerns or anything new has arisen, let the APSA staff know, and we will advocate for you on those issues with the University. If there is anything APSA can do as an association, let us know that too.
An association is about working together, and by working together, we'll get through this (and on that note, I'm off to spend my refunded Airmiles in Chilliwack).