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BC Public Service COVID-19 Update - Remote work and masks policy - BCGEU

With the dramatic increase of new COVID-19 cases that B.C. has seen over the last month – and the introduction of new regional restrictions to help stop the surge in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health regions – our union has urged the BC Public Service to re-evaluate their workplace safety protocols to decrease the potential spread of the virus.

In a phone call with Deputy Minister for the BC Public Service Don Wright, President Stephanie Smith requested specific policies requiring masks in all common areas province-wide as well as a suspension of the PSA's return to office plan for non-essential workers where operationally possible in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions. The policy requests are based on a briefing note prepared by the BCGEU Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) department regarding how workplaces can adapt to the latest scientific findings on how the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads.

While the PSA has confirmed they will suspend the return to office plan and support remote work for non-essential workers in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser health regions, they did not agree to implement a province-wide mandatory mask policy in their worksites.

Given the spread of the virus in recent weeks, we expect more changes to come, and we will continue to work alongside government to ensure that any changes protect workers and are in-line with the latest science.

As more information becomes available, we will continue to update you on the latest developments

COVID-19 and your workplace

If you have any concerns about how COVID-19 precautions are being handled at your workplace. Please consider the following to protect the health of yourself, your family, fellow workers and any clients:

  • Review in full your employer’s COVID-19 Safety Plan, especially the section about outbreak management.
  • Ensure your questions and concerns are answered by your employer to your satisfaction.

If not, then: