BCGEU Privacy Policy

BCGEU Members' Personal Information Operational Policy

The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) is committed to protecting the privacy, confidentiality, accuracy and security of members' personal information collected and to use and retain it in the course of conducting our duties as a trade union.

The Members' Personal Information Operational Policy ("Operational Policy") outlines the BCGEU's operational practices concerning the collection, use, disclosure and protection of personal information to meet the requirements of the British Columbia Personal Information Protection Act (the Act).

The purpose of the Act is to govern the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by organizations in a manner that recognizes both the right of individuals to protect their personal information and the need of organizations to collect, use or disclose personal information for purposes that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances.

Updated versions of this Operational Policy will be posted on the BCGEU's website. Copies will also be available at BCGEU headquarters and area offices.

Personal Information defined

The Act defines "personal information" as information about an identifiable individual and includes employee personal information but does not include the name, business contact information or work product information of an employee of an organization.

The BCGEU is responsible for protecting members' personal information in its possession including personal information that has been received from a third party or personal information that may not be in the custody of the BCGEU but which has been transferred to a third party.

Collection of Member Personal Information

The BCGEU collects personal information from the following sources:

  • membership application;
  • grievance, appeal or claim forms;
  • employers, with respect to dues submissions;
  • members' interactions with the union (e.g. telephone, correspondence, email, etc); and
  • members' interaction through BCGEU-operated websites and other online activities. See our Online and Social Media Privacy Policy ("Online Policy")

Use of Member Personal Information

The BCGEU retains certain personal information in order to:

  • maintain a complete record of membership in the union;
  • maintain communication with members and respond to their enquiries;
  • investigate and settle grievances, appeals and claims;
  • collect and manage dues and assessments;
  • assist the union in representing its members with respect to employment under collective agreements;
  • verify eligibility for strike pay and benefits;
  • provide information about union membership programs and benefits;
  • administer the business of the union such as component/local business, correspondence and research (e.g. member surveys);
  • provide web information services (e.g. address changes, e-mail bulletins, convention and conference registration); and
  • communicate about issues of interest and concern to our membership (e.g. union campaigns, actions).

Personal information may be collected, used or disclosed for any of these identified purposes as set out above. If members' personal information is needed for any purpose other than those set out above, the BCGEU will not use or disclose it without obtaining additional consent from the member(s).

Disclosure of Member Personal Information

Requests should be in writing addressed to the BCGEU Privacy Officer stating as specifically as possible what personal information you are requesting:

Address: 4911 Canada Way
Burnaby, BC V5G 3W3

Response to such requests will be within thirty (30) working days or as soon as possible. If, for some reason, the union is unable to respond within this timeline, the member will be advised.

A minimal fee to respond to a request for access to an individual's personal information will be applied if the time involved to respond is greater than three hours. Members will be provided with a written estimate of the total fee, if applicable, prior to responding to the request.

There may be some types of information the union is prohibited from providing, such as information about another individual that cannot be separated from your information, information that can identify another individual or information which cannot be disclosed for legal reasons.


Protection of Member Personal Information 

In order to protect members' personal information in the union's possession or control, the BCGEU has made reasonable security arrangements to protect personal information such as:

  • access to personal information is limited to selected employees and officers who require access to the information in the performance of their job function and/or duties;
  • security safeguards are in place to prevent unauthorized access on computer systems;
  • the union will not collect or disclose personal information for purposes other than what has been listed in this Operational Policy;
  • the union will do its best to ensure that personal information is accurate and current;
  • membership lists or information (with the exception of leaves of absence) will not include a member's social insurance or employee number(s); and
  • membership and reference reports produced for the purpose of conducting the union's business, will be distributed with advice on the appropriate use of such information in order to comply with this Operational Policy.

Elected officers found to be abusing membership information, can be subject to the disciplinary procedure in the BCGEU Constitution and Bylaws.

Staff of the BCGEU found to be abusing membership information, can be subject to disciplinary action.

Accuracy of Member Personal Information

The BCGEU strives to ensure that the personal information we have on file is accurate and up-to-date as necessary for the identified purposes for which it is to be used.

Can a member decline to have their personal information collected, used or disclosed for certain purposes?

Yes.  A member can decline to have their personal information collected, used, or disclosed for certain purposes. For example, you can opt out of the use of your personal information with respect to marketing initiatives relating to membership programs and special promotions.

A member may also decline to have personal information collected, used or disclosed for other purposes. This may, however, restrict the union's ability to represent their interest. The member will be informed if this applies.

Complaint process

Complaints relating to this Operational Policy, the Online Policy, or any of the procedures, should be forwarded to the attention of the BCGEU Privacy Officer at . If the complaint is justified, the union will take the steps necessary to resolve the issue, including amending the Operational Policy, the Online Policy and practices, if necessary.

If the union is not able to resolve a complaint, or if a member has any other concerns about this Operational Policy, the Online Policy, or procedures, the member may contact the Office of the Provincial Privacy Commissioner at:

Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia
PO Box 9038 Stn. Prov. Govt.
Victoria B.C. V8W 9A4

PDF of Privacy leaflet

Revised January, 2016