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All BCGEU Members at VCH - COVID-19: Your rights at work - BCGEU


Our union has been made aware that during the month of December, multiple employees from the three Vancouver home support offices have tested positive for COVID-19. As such, we would like to share some important information regarding your rights under your collective agreement and your rights under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

  1. Sick Leave: To be used if you are sick and have not tested positive for COVID-19 or if you are sick from COVID-19 because you contracted the virus outside of work.
  2. Medical Employment Insurance: You are sick and have run out of your sick leave entitlement. (https://www.bcgeu.ca/ei_faq)
  3. WCB: The BCGEU strongly urges you to file a WCB claim if you have experienced any of the following situations:
    1. If you are contacted by contact tracing and are advised that you have come into contact with a COVID-19 positive person and you need to be tested;
    2. If you are contacted by contact tracing and are advised that you need to self-isolate due to a possible exposure to COVID; or
    3. If you are symptomatic and test positive for COVID-19.

      If your WCB claim is approved, WCB will compensate you for your wages as long
      as your claim is active and valid. 
 
     WCB has the ability to backdate claims, so if you previously tested positive for
     COVID-19, you can still contact WCB and file a claim.
    (https://www.worksafebc.com/en/claims/report-workplace-injury-illness)

    4. Right to refuse unsafe work: As an employee of VCH, you have the right
        to a safe work environment.  Below are the steps you can follow should you
        need to refuse unsafe work:

        Step 1: Immediately report the unsafe work to your supervisor. Explain why
        you believe the work is unsafe and advise them that you are exercising your
        right to refuse unsafe work as per Section 3.12 of the Occupational Health and
        Safety Regulations


       Your supervisor needs to investigate the matter and determine if the work is
       unsafe and needs to stop OR they may assign you to alternate duties until they
       can eliminate or minimize the hazards OR they may deem the work to be safe
       and request you return to work.

        Step 2: If you are not satisfied with the supervisor's decision, you can ask for a
        member of the OHS committee to attend and assist with the investigation into
        unsafe work. The results of the new investigation may be that the work is
        unsafe and needs to stop OR they may assign you to alternate duties until they
        can eliminate or minimize the hazards OR they may deem the work to be safe
        and request you return to work. The health authorities also allow workers the
        option to refer the matter to the director of OHS for an expedited review and
        response.

        Step 3: If you are not satisfied with the supervisor and the OHS Committee
        member's decision, then both you and the supervisor must notify
        WorkSafeBC. WCB will then assign an officer to this file and the officer must
        investigate without undue delay and issue their findings after an
        investigation. The results of their investigation may be that the work is unsafe
        and needs to stop OR they may assign you to alternate duties until they can
        eliminate or minimize the hazards OR they may deem the work to be safe and
        request you return to work.

This is a challenging time and your union is working hard to ensure your safety. If you have any questions about your entitlements under the collective agreement, please contact your local steward or your local chairperson. Additionally, if you have an urgent issue related to COVID-19 or a workplace health and safety issue, please contact your Occupational Health and Safety Committee or email ohs@bcgeu.ca.

 

In solidarity,

 

Scott De Long
Component 8 Vice President



UWU/MoveUP