CUPE Secures Quarantine Leave Pay

We are glad to advise that CUPE has secured agreement from the Ministry of Education that they will direct the BC Public School Employers’ Association and the School Districts to assure all employees who need to quarantine by a direction of a public health official are provided alternative duties or paid regular wages during the period of the quarantine. 

EDIT: (02/06/2021) The original version of this news story stated that CUPE & BCTF had negotiated this provision; we have since been informed that BCTF was not involved since this issue primarily affected support staff as teachers have been routinely accommodated in the event of quarantine and worked from home or via videolink.  This matter was not thus an item of huge concern for BCTF and the mistake arose from incorrect information circulated by a BCTF error on social media. 

Public school employees. 

Situations where an employee is directed by a public health official to self-isolate due to potential exposure to COVID-19 and is asymptomatic

  1. Explore work from home options in the employee’s current position for the duration of the required self-isolation;

  2. Where work from home in the employee’s current position is not possible, consider options for re-deployment to work which can be completed remotely;

  3. Where work from home and re-deployment are not possible, provide the employee with general paid leave, provided the direction of a public health official to self-isolate is directed at the employee, and not a family member or person residing with the employee.

Should a member of an employee’s household, but not the employee, be directed to self-isolate, per current practice, the employee may request vacation, other applicable leaves of the collective agreement or employment contract, or an unpaid leave of absence. Employers are encouraged to exercise flexibility in considering options for such requests.

February 1, 2021 and is not to be applied retroactively. For employees currently in a self-isolation period, it applies from the effective date (February 1, 2021).  CUPE and BCTF are still fighting this part. 

Where an on-call employee had accepted an assignment and is then directed by a public health official to self-isolate, districts should follow the steps outlined above. Where an employee is scheduled to work only a portion of the self-isolation days, the general paid leave would only extend to the already accepted scheduled assignment

No.  For unionized employees, this general paid leave is gratuitous to the collective agreements and is not a deduction of existing collective agreement leave banks. In the same way, this general paid leave is gratuitous to the employment contract for non-unionized staff.

Where an employee is directed by a public health official to self-isolate and is symptomatic, employees are not to be placed onto general paid leave, but rather, should be placed on sick leave. Sick leave is to be administered per the collective agreement or the employment contract.

CUPE 716 Constitution

The Constitution and Bylaws Ad Hoc Committee has completed the required reviews and the amendments received 2/3 membership endorsement in October, November and December of 2019 meetings.

It was reviewed and approved by the National President’s Office in February of 2020 and the recommended amendments will be made when the next major revision is undertaken.

CUPE 716 Constitution & Bylaws to the National Constitution – FINAL 2020

DID YOU KNOW – Quarantine

What happens when I am asked to quarantine and not sick?   Here is the answer we have received from the District…as of September 9th, 2020

At this time, it is not covered under Work Safe. That could change, but for now:

  1. If someone is in quarantine or self-isolation and are acting in accordance with an order of the provincial health officer, an order made under the Quarantine Act (Canada), guidelines from the BC Centre for Disease Control or guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Canada (due to exposure at work, home or in the community).

A) they may access their paid sick leave for the 14 day quarantine period

B) if they have no sick leave, it would be coded as a COVID-19 unpaid leave and they will be eligible to apply for government benefits.

  1. This would not apply to someone who travels and returns from overseas. Their quarantine would be a COVID-19 unpaid leave (they could still apply for government benefits).


We are always here for you and are working hard to make this transition as smooth and safe as possible.  Don’t hesitate to be in contact with your rep or steward. 

 

Did you know… Few reminders from Stacey Robinson and Nancy Williams

Accommodations:

If you are seeking an accommodation, as per our Collective Agreement, please note the steps below:

• Member needs to contact , preferably by email, Lori Campion, Senior Manager, Human Resources at lcampion@sd38.bc.ca
• Lori will send you a letter, “Request for Accommodation”, read and if it applies to you, return with the necessary documentation to Lori Campion.
• Member will need to see their doctor and get a letter with their recommendations.
• Member returns necessary forms to Lori Campion. At this time it will be determined whether you meet the criteria for an accommodation.
• If the Accommodation request is declined the employee has the option to apply for a unpaid leave.
Please note: Accommodations are for high risk groups and are based on the employee’s medical issues – not those of family members, etc.

Unpaid Leave(s):

If a member decides to go on unpaid leave they need to be aware that they will be able to keep their position at their location for up to six (6) months. If the unpaid leave continues after six (6) months, the member will lose their position at their location and go on regular unassigned. Employee benefits will continue for one month once leave has started. Employees have the option of paying into the medical plan to continue their benefits by contacting Hardel Grewall in Payroll.

Subs:

When EA Subs are called out by ADS (Automatic Dispatch System), this system will try to send out the same sub to the same location – this will hopefully keep movement between locations to a minimum.

All other subs (ie: clerical, operations, etc.) the same protocol will be applied.

With reference to Safety Protocol training for subs – this will be provided to the Sub by the Administration at each individual location.

Calling In Sick & Atrieve:

If you are reporting a sick day, either by entering into Atrieve (before 4:00am) or calling the callboard (604-668-6221 after 4am) you will need to supply a reason (ie: doctor/dentist’s appointments or being sick) This will be especially important as it could effect your sick leave and/or sick leave pay. You will need to specify if you are displaying any COVID symptoms and will be required to call 811 and take the next steps. If you are tested for COVID and it comes back negative, you will still be required to stay at home until your original symptoms have cleared up. You will utilize your sick pay, whether you have tested positive for COVID or not, as you are displaying illness.

Sick pay cannot be utilized as a preventative measure.

 

Province Approves All School Board Safety Plans

Education Minister Rob Fleming announced this afternoon that all K-12 safety plans have been approved. Most safety plans, which required input from CUPE locals, are now available for review on individual district web sites.

CUPE members will be returning to schools on September 8 for orientation on the safety plans. The plans will be monitored and adapted as needed to ensure safety for students and staff throughout the evolving situation of the pandemic. In addition to health and safety measures, the plans include:

  • how learning groups will be organized;
  • when masks are required;
  • daily schedules for classes, lunch and recess;
  • daily health assessment requirements;
  • pick-up and drop off times;
  • protocols for common areas;
  • hand washing directions;
  • orientation information.

 

School districts will contact all families to confirm if they are planning for their child to attend school classes in September, or if they need alternative learning options such as remote learning.

Minister Fleming talked about additional funding through the Province as well as the federal funding announced today. The government release notes that while schools may look different in different communities, all school districts are also required to follow operational guidelines developed by a provincial steering committee made up of parents, teachers, support workers, Indigenous rightsholders, school leaders and trustees. School districts were also required to consult local First Nations on the development of their plans.

“There is no better place than in-class learning. With these plans now in place, parents can feel confident about sending their children back to school and assured that strict health and safety measures are in place to protect students and staff.”

— Education Minister Rob Fleming

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$2B in federal funding for K-12 Restart

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced more than $2 billion in federal funding to help provinces and territories re-open schools safely. The money can be used to help adapt learning spaces, improve air ventilation, increase hand sanitation and hygiene, and buy additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies. The funding is being allocated based on the number of children aged four to 18 years old in each province and territory, with a $2 million base amount for each jurisdiction. B.C. is allocated $242.4 million. According to a CBC report, Trudeau said that the money is meant only to top up provincial resources and comes with no strings attached.