The Council has passed a Band Council Resolution directing Chippewas of Nawash staff to return to work on August 4, 2020. Non-essential Band programs have been shuttered and staff asked to stay home since March, when the Council announced the State of Emergency for Neyaashiinigmiing in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, staff have continued to receive their full salary and benefits. The restart is delayed by a week to allow furloughed staff time to be notified and make necessary arrangements to return to work full-time. Note that the Board of Education staff are on duty but services are not yet available at the daycare and elementary school.
Band employees returning to work will have a raft of COVID-19 mitigation strategies to help keep them and community members safe. This may include hand wash or disinfectant stations in all offices, physical shielding between workers and the public, workspaces reorganized to promote physical distancing, and the new mandatory facemask policy. To further accommodate a return to work, program supervisors may implement staggered shifts so that fewer employees are present at the same time, authorize remote work, or enable part-time hours, particularly for employees that require childcare for their families.
Restarting programs and returning staff to work is a welcome and necessary step for the community. We are confident that diligently following our safety protocols will keep staff and residents safe while providing important services to the entire membership. We ask that, as programs open their doors again, clients are mindful of the health of the community and respect all health and safety directives.