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COVID-19 Update: Vacation Scheduling 2020 - BCGEU


As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the order of the Solicitor General under the Emergency Program Act deeming workers in the community social services sector to be essential, vacation requests in some workplaces may not have been granted since mid-March of this year. If this situation continues, vacation credits may accrue to unusually high levels and create significant challenges for approvals and accommodations of requests for the remainder of the year. Members may be prevented from taking sufficient vacation time to rest and rejuvenate from the challenging work that you perform.

As the parties look ahead to managing vacations for the remainder of the calendar year and in light of the uncertainties around the unfolding of the pandemic, CSSBA and CSSEA agreed to certain principles that our members and employers can use to guide the vacation scheduling process in the event that the regular scheduling process under the Collective Agreement is not fully addressing these challenges.

These guiding principles are in effect until December 31, 2020 and are intended to enable members and employers to reach agreement on how to utilize vacation credits for the remainder of this calendar year, while ensuring that employees receive their full entitlement of vacation. 

Article 18 – Annual Vacation applies unless the member(s) and the employer agree to vary those terms using the principles outlined in the agreement.

Members and employers are not obligated to depart from the full and usual application of Article 18. This is voluntary.

As a starting point, employers should be making every effort possible to approve vacation requests using the provisions of Article 18 – Annual Vacation.

If this is not possible as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, then our members or employers can initiate discussions using the agreed upon principles to resolve vacation scheduling issues in individual workplaces. 

Variations to Article 18 can be triggered by members or employers, but must be agreed upon by both.

If variations to Article 18 are necessary to facilitate scheduling of vacation entitlements, and members or employers want to vary those terms, they should do so as soon as possible. Once an agreement is reached, the employer is required to provide a copy of the agreement to your area office staff representative.

If you do not agree with an employer proposal you must immediately advise your shop steward or, in the absence of a shop steward, contact your area office, so that they can assist in the negotiation of a fair resolution.

Thank you again for the work you are doing to keep our most vulnerable members of society safe and supported.

To read the full agreement, click here, Vacation Letter of Understanding.

In solidarity,

Andrea Duncan,
Component 3, Vice-President



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