Employment Standards Branch Updates – Paid Illness Leave

With the changes to the Employment Standards Act on January 1, 2022 we have seen an increase in questions from our Members about what exactly this means for them.  Please see the FAQ below put together by BCPSEA. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Shop Steward.

Highlights of the December 2021 National Executive Board meeting

Our National Executive Board (NEB) met December 14-16, 2021 in Ottawa, with some members joining virtually. These are the highlights of their deliberations and decisions.

Read the NEB highlights online

National President’s Report and National Secretary-Treasurer’s Report to the December 2021 National Executive Board meeting

Read the National President’s Report online

Read the National Secretary-Treasurer’s Report online

CUPEBC News Release: School support workers call for daytime cleaning

Burnaby – With students returning to B.C. classrooms, the union representing over 30,000 school support workers is calling for additional measures to reduce absences due to COVID-19 and other illnesses, in particular adding daytime cleaning. In the face of the Omicron variant and the Public Health Officer advising school districts to prepare for functional closures, CUPE BC President Karen Ranalletta says steps like bolstering daytime custodial service can minimize disruptions to in-person learning.

 “I join CUPE’s school support members in welcoming students back to our schools. The work our members do is vital to protecting these clean and healthy spaces for our students,” says Ranalletta. “Very few schools in B.C.’s K-12 system have daytime custodians. Regular daytime cleaning could greatly reduce other illness and alleviate pressures on our school system already dealing with the surge in COVID cases. But these vital services are missing from the vast majority of schools.”

To read more: click here

CUPEBC: Vaccine Mandate for Provincial Public Service

Vaccine mandate for provincial public service makes sense—CUPE BC

Given rising cases in public schools, K-12 system vaccine mandates next logical step

BURNABY—Today’s announcement from the B.C. government implementing mandatory vaccinations across the public service makes sense as they are the best proven measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, CUPE BC President Karen Ranalletta said today.

“Throughout the pandemic CUPE BC has supported the efforts of public health officials as they’ve led the fight against COVID-19, and the introduction of a vaccination mandate for the public service is the next logical step to protect our communities,” said Ranalletta. “Given the rise in COVID cases in our schools, we think it also seems prudent to apply this mandate to the K-12 system.”

Ranalletta said that CUPE locals representing workers in the B.C. K-12 education system are ready to work with school districts and the provincial government to ensure any immunization plans are effective, efficient, and respect the rights of K-12 school workers.

“Although individual school districts are responsible for bringing in such a mandate, there can’t be a patchwork quilt of differing approaches to this across the province,” said Ranalletta. “We are urging the provincial government to develop a uniform set of standards to guide the implementation of mandates so that all districts—and all employees—have a consistent framework. And of course, there needs to be reasonable accommodation for the small number of education workers with recognized human rights exemptions.”

CUPE BC continues to strongly encourage all its members to get vaccinated, as it is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. In addition to considering vaccine mandates, CUPE is urging school districts to expand safety measures that promote clean and healthy schools, such as permanent daytime custodial services.

Vaccine mandate for provincial public service makes sense—CUPE BC

Given rising cases in public schools, K-12 system vaccine mandates next logical step

BURNABY—Today’s announcement from the B.C. government implementing mandatory vaccinations across the public service makes sense as they are the best proven measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, CUPE BC President Karen Ranalletta said today.

“Throughout the pandemic CUPE BC has supported the efforts of public health officials as they’ve led the fight against COVID-19, and the introduction of a vaccination mandate for the public service is the next logical step to protect our communities,” said Ranalletta. “Given the rise in COVID cases in our schools, we think it also seems prudent to apply this mandate to the K-12 system.”

Ranalletta said that CUPE locals representing workers in the B.C. K-12 education system are ready to work with school districts and the provincial government to ensure any immunization plans are effective, efficient, and respect the rights of K-12 school workers.

“Although individual school districts are responsible for bringing in such a mandate, there can’t be a patchwork quilt of differing approaches to this across the province,” said Ranalletta. “We are urging the provincial government to develop a uniform set of standards to guide the implementation of mandates so that all districts—and all employees—have a consistent framework. And of course, there needs to be reasonable accommodation for the small number of education workers with recognized human rights exemptions.”

CUPE BC continues to strongly encourage all its members to get vaccinated, as it is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. In addition to considering vaccine mandates, CUPE is urging school districts to expand safety measures that promote clean and healthy schools, such as permanent daytime custodial services.

Options Paper on Paid Sick Leave

Dear CUPE member,

As working people, we all know that access to paid sick leave is much more than just a workplace issue. During an ongoing pandemic, it’s also essential to maintaining public health and building a resilient province; it’s critical to ensuring that our workforce is prepared to weather this COVID storm and confront future crises. But most of all, it’s a matter of equity and fairness: workers should never have to be forced to choose between their health and their financial well-being.

According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, only 53 per cent of working people have access to paid sick leave in B.C., and nearly 90 per cent of low-wage workers have no paid sick leave at all. The provincial government is now seeking public input to create minimum standards for paid sick leave. Using an online survey, they are gauging public support for three options: the provision of 3, 5 or 10 days of employer-paid sick leave for all workers.

These changes will benefit all workers—including CUPE members, many of whom do not have fully-employer-paid sick leave at 100 per cent of their pay rate. Many earn sick days over the course of the year based on time worked; they have to wait, unpaid, for a number of days before they can access short term disability or other sick leave protections. Ten days of fully-employer-paid sick leave at full wages would make a significant impact for CUPE members and all workers in the province, including some of the most vulnerable.

We urge you to fill out the BC Government consultation survey and say that you “Strongly Favour” Option 3 (10 days paid sick leave). A link to the survey can be found here: Options Paper on Paid Sick Leave

Please note that, in completing the survey, you can skip the response sections for Options 1 (3 days of paid sick leave) and 2 (5 days of paid sick leave) and go straight to Option 3 to indicate that 10 days of paid sick leave is the best option.

In solidarity,

Karen Ranalletta

President

CUPE British Columbia

#410-6222 Willingdon Avenue

Burnaby, British Columbia

V5H 0G3

P: 604.291.9119

www.cupe.bc.ca