The federal government needs to take concrete steps to deal with an outbreak of bed bugs that is affecting workers in federal buildings across Canada.
Bed bugs pose a serious health and safety issue for employees that needs to be addressed immediately. The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) is calling on the government to inspect all federal government buildings across Canada for bed bugs, provide accommodations for employees to work from home where possible during the outbreak, and provide training on how to identify and report signs of bed bugs in their workplace.
The vermin have been found in federal buildings in Ottawa, Gatineau, Montreal, Hamilton, Toronto and Winnipeg so far.
Employees have a right to feel safe at work and want assurances that bed bugs won’t follow them home and impact their families. The employer has an obligation to take proactive measures to eradicate bed bugs in all federal buildings.
PSAC calls on the government to:
- Proactively inspect all federal government buildings across Canada with sniffer dogs to check for bed bugs.
- Fumigate the entire building if bed bugs are found, not just one floor or section.
- Cover all fumigation expenses for federal employees who find bed bugs in their homes if they work in a building where bed bugs were found.
- Provide accommodations for employees to work from home or telework where possible if bed bugs have previously been found in their workplace.
- Employees should not be obligated to return to their workplace after fumigation until a follow-up inspection has been conducted with their union and joint health and safety committee.
- All employees should be provided with training on how to identify and report signs of bed bugs in their workplace.
- Create a registry of federal buildings contaminated by bed bugs or other vermin.
- Employee unions and joint health and safety committees should be immediately advised of all incidents of bed bugs found in federal workplaces.
Learn more about bed bugs with our fact sheet.