Community Resources Hot Topics – workplace issues Mental Health

That Side of Depression

Why do people never talk about the part of depression when you just don’t want anything anymore? Everybody talks about when it hurts like hell, when you cry, when you cut, when you take drugs, when you break down. But no one ever talks about when you just lay down in your room, with a hole inside of you that you don’t know how to fill, and you don’t want to do anything even things you usually like. So, you just spend your day kinda waiting for it to end and it’s horrible because you feel empty and guilty for that at the same time.

Depression_8 Warning Signs You_eng

Member Resources

Fact Sheet: Anxiety Disorders

Everyone experiences symptoms of anxiety, but they are generally occasional and short-lived, and do not cause problems. But when the cognitive, physical and behavioural symptoms of anxiety are persistent and severe, and anxiety causes distress in a person’s life to the point that it negatively affects his or her ability to work or study, socialize and manage daily tasks, it may be beyond the normal range. People with anxiety disorders have excessive levels of anxiety that significantly interfere with day to day to living.

Member Resources

Mental Health Passport

Think about your mental health. What do you do to take care of it? Dedicating even a short amount of time every day to taking care of your mental health will rejuvenate you and give  you confidence. It can also prevent the onset or relapse of a physical or mental illness.

This passport presents articles on more than 20 topics that mental health care professionals have found influence people’s health and happiness. The passport offers tools to help you identify and reflect on areas you may want to improve in your life. Developing positive mental health habits that work for you will stand you in good stead.

The Mental Health Passport was conceived, written and produced by Statistics Canada’s Mental Health Working Group, which is part of the Workplace Wellness Committee.  Although originally created for the employees of Statistics Canada, this version has been modified to suit a wider audience. Feel free to share the passport to encourage habits that foster well-being and better mental health.

Member Resources News

Operational requirements

As a Local President, I often hear members say that their leave was denied for operational reasons (requirements).  There are circumstances when operational requirements are legitimate reasons for decisions made by management but those special circumstances are not encountered often.

Member Resources

Violence in the Workplace – The Definition May Surprise You

My message to everyone who reads this message is “Spread the word”.  Our membership is not huge but the number of cases that we manage and that meet the criteria is shocking.

People suffering abuse through the day go home at night incredibly stressed and they lose precious family time because their quality of life is compromised by a situation that they feel is out of their control.  Some people attempt to avoid confrontation through sick leave but eventually they return or they lose their jobs and – worse yet – the situation hasn’t changed one iota.  Some may think that it’s not a reasonable response, but it is very difficult to reason with fear.

Consultations with the union are 100% confidential and nothing happens unless you say it needs to happen.

Most remedies do not involve grievances.

At least learn what your options are.  You may be surprised.

Events Hot Topics – workplace issues Member Resources

Bullying in the Workplace

Our Union of Environment Workers Component President Todd Panas has championed the cause of a respectful workplace and he has launched and anti-bullying campaign vigorously.  The following information needs to be read and understood.  Employees have rights and those rights need to be understood in every workplace.

If you are a victim of bullying in the workplace, talk to your union advocate – there is hope and support available.

Member Resources Mental Health

Workplace Stress

Managers can be open to the concept of flexible hours and to temporarily reassigning work when they see symptoms of stress.  Additionally, they can encourage an open dialogue about the employee’s needs and attempt to work with the employee through a difficult time.  Many stress-related circumstances are temporary in nature.

Member Resources

Disability Insurance – Step by Step

Disability Insurance: Information for PSAC Members

Do you need help with a Disability Insurance (DI) Claim?

• Often problems related to DI claims can be prevented through counselling provided by your departmental or agency human resources office. You should get most of your information from them.

• The PSAC as your union tries to help our members understand the complexities of the Disability Insurance Plan. We also explain who does what in the union, and how to contact them.

• PSAC represents members with DI claims. You do not have to pay union dues while off work on DI.

• The Disability Insurance (DI) Group Policy No. 12500-G between Treasury Board as policy holder and Sun Life explains what is covered. Information is available on the Treasury Board website.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions on the key areas where members have difficulties getting benefits.

Member Resources

Duty to Accommodate

Return-to-work situations where the employee has requested relocation

In return-to-work situations, it is important to note that the obligation to accommodate is neither unlimited nor one sided.

An employer is able to terminate based on undue hardship. Nevertheless, the responsibility for the employer to create and maintain a respectful workplace remains, and a return-to-work must be accommodated as far as reasonably possible.

Employees cannot insist that they be removed from the department and appointed to a substantive position in another department but they can insist that the hardships they faced – which forced them to leave their work or which are forcing them to contemplate “flight” – are resolved by the employer.

Obligations of the Employer

The employer is obliged to provide a respectful, harassment-free work environment, and to remove obstacles to a successful return to work.

The employer is obliged to examine the possibility of adjusting the occupational requirements of the work to facilitate the employee’s return to work, or to make serious efforts to find the employee alternative work. The employer may not refuse to help the employee return to his or her job unless it can be demonstrated that the changes to the occupational requirements would themselves cause undue hardship.

The employer is obliged to provide assistance in resume preparation and referrals to available positions in other departments, should that be the chosen option of the employee.

The employer is not obliged to appoint an employee to a position in another department.

Obligations of the Employee

For his or her part, the employee must be receptive and open-minded to the efforts being made by the employer to achieve a successful return-to-work, either in the substantive position or in another position within the department.

Role of the Union

The union can assure their members of support and guidance when issues develop in a workplace that force a member to consider going on sick leave as a remedy and we can help with the return-to-work transition.

It is very important that members contact their local representative early. Remember that Labor Relations represents management, and the union represents the membership.


Disability Insurance Member Resources

Disability Insurance – What You Need to Know!

“Disability Insurance (DI) Benefits”/ “Who is eligible to receive DI benefits?”

According to the plan, you are eligible to receive benefits for up to 24 months if you become totally disabled (i.e., you are in a continuous state of incapacity due to illness or injury and are prevented from performing the duties of your regular occupation).

The 90-day elimination period does not mean that your claim will be approved in 90 days – that is the elimination period that must pass before your claim is considered “active.” This means you will not be covered by Disability Insurance for the first 90 days, and may or may not be covered thereafter.