Open Letter to the McGill Administration

Dear Principal Fortier et al,

We have some questions regarding ramping up and bringing Faculty members, staff and students back on campus.

Considering the following;
– The second wave is here with a vengeance, over 750 new cases today (28/09/20).
– The Federal and Ontario government’s are urging everyone to get flu shots, Quebec is not, and McGill is not offering flu shots this year,
– McGill is unwilling to provide masks or face coverings for employees working on campus. 
– McGill is unwilling to extend complimentary parking so that employees may avoid public transit and its associated health and safety risks. 
– Our southern neighbour is a potential powder keg and has the worst record dealing with the pandemic. With just around 4% of the population of the planet they have more than 25% of the cases and more than 25% of the deaths. The Trump Administration has, to say the least, downplayed the severity of this crisis and are now considering a herd immunity solution, which some scientists have reported that this plan could see over 2 million deaths, 
– The provincial government had issued an orange alert and as of 17:30, we are now in a red zone
– Today (28/09/20). In Quebec since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 72,651 cases and 5,826 people have died, 
– McGill students question the Administration’s account with regards to the numbers of COVID cases at McGill. The Administration has reported 6 whereas the students claim many more:
Given the above, what is the McGill Administration doing?
– Allowing 30% capacity of student and staff to be on the campus,
– Recalling back to work, staff members who have 100% capability of fulfilling their duties from home. The rationale for this is that the Administration does not want employees to get used to working from home but would rather risk their health and safety by forcing them onto campus.
– The Administration has decided that previously acceptable health concerns for remaining at home, such as being a cancer survivor or diabetes, is no longer an acceptable reason for not being called back to work,
– McGill’s Administration claimed last week that there was no need to slowdown the ramping up of the return to work and classes due to the orange alert,
– The Administration is following the strictures of the provincial government, the one with the worst record in dealing with the pandemic in the country. This same administration claims that they are one of the best employers.

Principal Fortier et al, do you think these policies advisable under the circumstances? These policies are incongruent to your stated concern for a healthy workplace. Is now not the time to take a step back, and place the health and safety of all the community as the number one priority? We are not contesting the humanity, nor sincerity, of those making the decisions
regarding returning to work. We know they have family members, children and friends affected by this crisis. We are simply asking for a reconsideration of priorities. Put the health and safety of students, staff, and faculty first and not the resumption of on-site activities.

The MUNACA Executive Committee