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BCIT Burnaby JOHS Committee Changes - BCGEU

As you may already know, WorkSafeBC recently approved changes to the Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOHS) committee structure at your workplace. Over the next few months, ten new JOHS committees will be established at the Burnaby BCIT campus. 

The BCGEU is pleased about these changes, and we think the new structure will positively impact the health and safety of our members working at BCIT. The new committees mean that all organizational groups at BCIT Burnaby will have a more focused, 'local' JOHS committee, and there will be more opportunities for workers to actively participate in improving health and safety within their school/department. Establishing formal JOHS committees also entitles the committee members to training, paid time for committee work, better access to health and safety-related information, and other support from the employer. 

A little background

After concerns were raised by BCGEU members in late 2019, WorkSafeBC ordered BCIT to re-establish its Burnaby campus JOHS committee, which had not met in almost two years. BCIT was also directed by WorkSafeBC to revise its JOHS committee structure to more effectively manage the hazards faced by the many diverse work groups at the Burnaby campus. For more than a year, your BCGEU representatives on the Burnaby Campus JOHSC discussed committee structure with the employer.

As a result of the determined and persistent efforts of your BCGEU OHS representatives, a proposal on JOHS committee structure was finally prepared by the employer and submitted to WorkSafeBC in July 2021. The proposal was supported by both the BCGEU and the BCIT FSA, and was accepted by WorkSafeBC in October. 

What's next? 

Over the next few months, ten new JOHS committees will be established that include both employer and worker representatives. Here's a list of the committees in the structure that was approved by WorkSafeBC:

  • Facilities and Campus Development 
  • Corporate Services 
  • School of Construction and Environment (plus 2 Area Health and Safety Teams)
  • School of Health Sciences 
  • School of Transportation
  • School of Computing and Academic 
  • School of Energy (plus two Area Health and Safety Teams)
  • School of Business 
  • Library, ITS, HR, Learning and Teaching Center JHSC
  • Student Services, Registrar’s Officer JHSC

What does this mean for me? 

Overall, the new structure will allow your committee to be more effective by giving OHS reps better access to OHS training (including paid leave for training), and more support from the employer.

Become an OHS rep!

We anticipate that more BCGEU worker representatives will be required soon after the JOHS committees are established. Being an OHS rep is a great way to make a difference in your workplace, access training, and build new skills. In particular, OHS reps are needed now in the following departments:

  • School of Business
  • Library, ITS, HR, Learning and Teaching Centre
  • Student Services and Registrar's Office
  • School of Transportation

To volunteer yourself as an OHS rep, please complete this form: 
Finally, we recognize this challenging time with the COVID-19 pandemic and returning to the workplace. If you have any concerns or issues, reach out to your OHS rep, or the BCGEU Lower Mainland area office, or email [email protected].
In solidarity, 

Amber Keane (703 Local Chair)

Megan Scott (BCGEU OHS Officer)