April 30, 2020 - 1:00pm
Update from the college president
From: Sherri Bell, President of Camosun College
Thank you for your ongoing adaptability, patience and support as we work together to get through one of the most challenging and complex periods in our careers.
Few people could ever have imagined the impact that COVID-19 would have on our studies, work and home life. It has created uncertainty, upset routines and generated questions that don’t have answers at this time.
Throughout it all, we’ve seen incredible examples of people working together, often at short notice, to support each other at home, in their communities and here at Camosun College. A heartfelt thank you to instructors and staff for getting us to the end of the winter semester. The pandemic has been hard on everyone.
The college’s COVID Response Coordination Team was established to get us through the initial challenges and create measures to keep us safe. It’s been six weeks since the transition from face-to-face instruction to going online. My thoughts are with students and employees as we begin the summer semester using online technologies.
While this pandemic has forced us into a new reality, we will continue to focus on ensuring the long-term future of our institution, students and employees.
One of the things we’ve committed to doing is to provide accurate and timely information.
Earlier this week, the provincial government issued a letter to all crown agencies and employers’ associations, including public post-secondary institutions, about employment and wage continuity. I have shared the letter with CUPE, BCGEU, CCFA, CCSS and the college’s Board of Governors.
Employers have been asked to determine staffing level plans going forward based on current needs and in compliance with the Provincial Health Officer’s direction, as well as WorkSafeBC regulations, to ensure safe working environments.
The letter notes that some employers have had operations temporarily impacted due to modified service delivery or the reduction of revenue sources. The letter provides principles to help employers in the decision-making process regarding staffing, while recognizing a ‘one size does not fit all’ approach. The six principles take into account service delivery, fiscal stability and business continuity.
We’ve met with the college’s unions and the Student Society to hear their questions, concerns and comments about the content of the letter.
We need to be prepared to manage a potential decrease in revenue, while ensuring education and support services continue to be delivered.
It is critical that we maintain momentum of the college. Education and training will have a critical role in the economic and social recovery of the province.
Life-changing education and training that is relevant, responsive and applied will be more essential than ever before. Camosun is uniquely equipped to support a highly-skilled workforce that is essential to prosperity for everyone in a thriving B.C.
You can be assured you will be hearing more from me and my executive colleagues about plans for the future.
Please stay safe and healthy.
Sherri Bell, President
COVID-19 Safety Plan
The most current copy of the college’s COVID-19 Safety Plan is available here.
- BC Centre for Disease Control
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- World Health Organization
- Travel & Tourism Canada
- COVID-19 Stigma Guide
- Ministry of Health BC COVID-19 symptom self-assessment tool
- How COVID-19 is affecting IRCC
- For non-health related COVID-19 questions (e.g. supports, programs, etc):