This is a difficult time for all of us, as we face the challenges and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve just returned from spring break with my son (everything we were supposed to do was closed), I have family in Northern Italy (they are fine), and I've just had to self-isolate because I've come down with a cough (I am fine). All of which is to say that I can understand the variety of emotions, concerns, and questions that everyone is facing.
I know that literally hundreds of APSA members have been working on the University's response to COVID. From communicators to supervisors, to individual departments like IT, SRS, Student Services, etc. (I can't name them all) thanks to everyone who is going above and beyond to get messaging out, making allowances for individual staffing health needs, working on business continuity planning... the list is almost endless.
At the same time, I know that as the University needs to respond to all of its stakeholders (students, staff, faculty, researchers, etc. etc.) sometimes communications can get lost in the shuffle. My intention with this email is to narrow down the information to that which is specific to APSA members.
The most important thing is to keep you, your family, and your loved ones safe and healthy. To that end, Fraser Health has created a great website for shareable resources on COVID-19. In particular, if you click on the drop-down titled "How to talk to your friends about COVID-19" there is a great printable poster.
Simplifying greatly, in situations such as these the golden rule of "Do unto others..." applies. We are lucky to have in our agreement flexibility in hours of work and working from home - speak to your supervisor about this. If you are a supervisor, understand that some people will be immuno-compromised, some people will have others they need to care for, some people are just scared. This is an opportunity for each of us to stand up and show both leadership and compassion.
SFU's HR department has provided some general guidance on sick leave, work accommodations, etc. and that can be found here, but remember that APSA members have always had the ability, when appropriate, to adjust their hours of work and/or work remotely. You can find information from SFU on the main HR page and by clicking the "staff and faculty" box halfway down SFU's COVID FAQ page.
Lakshmi Gosyne (APSA's Communications Co-ordinator) has created a quick FAQ for COVID information specific to APSA members and it can be viewed on the APSA Central website here:
As we collectively respond to COVID-19, there will be changes to how we work, how we play, and how we live our lives and interact with each other. What will not change is APSA's commitment to supporting our members. The APSA office staff remains available to you, via phone at 778-782-5423 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org should you need any assistance in the workplace.
Be kind to each other. Be safe.