Send us your feedback on the latest town hall (recording now available)
During last week’s town hall, our CEO, Dr. Graham Sher, offered a few important updates in his opening remarks. He provided information on the recent news articles around paid plasma collection, our immediate need for filling blood donor appointments and the new voluntary masking protocols. In case you missed it, you can access the recording of the August 11 town hall on our employee portal or listen to the podcast on Connect on the Go. To improve future live events with our CEO, we ask you to please take a moment to provide us with your views by completing this anonymous, three-minute survey by this Friday, August 19, at 8 p.m. ET. At any time, you can submit questions or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or anonymously using this form.
Statement on plasma collections
Over the past week, some employees have expressed concern over speculation in the media about plasma collection in Canada. Canadian Blood Services operates this country’s national blood system where donors are not paid. This is not changing. We are not selling or privatizing any part of our business. Demand for immunoglobulins (IG) is outpacing the plasma collection needed to make them. Our goal is to increase collections so that approximately 50 per cent of IG is made from plasma collected in Canada. We are currently on track to improve plasma sufficiency to 25 per cent with the recent opening of five dedicated plasma donor centres, and 6 more to follow by 2024. We are in ongoing discussions with governments and the commercial plasma industry on how Canada can achieve a sufficient plasma supply without negatively impacting our current collections model. Your work to support our plasma journey is vital to our success. There are job openings (and more to come) with our new plasma centres. If interested, you should apply with confidence. For more details, read our public statement on blood.ca or you can watch or listen to the recording of the August 11 town hall where this issue was addressed.
Adding eligibility criteria for monkeypox
There has never been a reported case of monkeypox being transmitted through blood transfusion and, while the risk is low, there’s a theoretical risk of transfusion transmission. As a precaution, we will be asking donor eligibility questions about monkeypox beginning Aug. 29, 2022. If someone has had monkeypox or has had contact with someone who has monkeypox, there will be a six-week waiting period from when symptoms began, or the contact occurred. We want to reassure employees that our donor centres are not places where we would expect transmission of monkeypox to occur. Monkeypox spreads through close, personal contact — often skin-to-skin touching. Touching doorknobs or other surfaces asymptomatic individuals may have touched is not a high-risk activity for monkeypox transmission. We are not seeing rapid spread of monkeypox in the Canadian population; however, public health authorities are urging individuals who have monkeypox to stay at home and limit contact with others.
Question of the day
Can you provide some clarification on what type of leave should be used for a mental health/self-care day? Should this be taken as sick leave or can other paid time-off (PTO) options such as float days or accrued vacation be used?
Your mental health is a priority and Canadian Blood Services has leave options to support you should you need it.
Sick leave is available for employees who have underlying medical conditions that cause them to b too ill to attend work. These can be related to either physical, emotional or mental health conditions. It’s important to emphasize that CBS recognizes mental and emotional illness on a continuum with all other forms of illness. Therefore, using sick days for mental health reasons is as legitimate as taking a day for the flu.
Vacation is available for employees who need a break from work, but they are not sick due to an underlying medical condition. Everyone needs a break from work to rest and recharge and vacation is there for these circumstances.
Appointment leave is available for employees to attend medical appointments, including but not limited to those related to mental health.
If you have questions about a specific situation involving you or your team, or about leave provisions in your applicable collective agreement or non-union terms and conditions of employment, please reach out to your PCP business partner for further guidance.
To help manage stress and improve wellness in your work and personal life, we have several free resources available to support you, including licensed mental health professionals through the Employee and Family Assistance Program and drop-in virtual therapy; mindfulness tools through the popular insight timer app and weekly facilitator-led meditation sessions and monthly workshops dedicated to helping our teams thrive in an ever-changing environment.
For more information on these programs and how we are supporting employee well-being, visit connect.blood.ca/EmployeeSupports or email the team at email@example.com.