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Employment standards act changes five days paid sick leave - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

2022 Public Service Bargaining Bulletin #2

The Province of B.C. recently introduced five 100 per cent paid sick days under the Employment Standards Act (the “ESA”). 
Members in the public service have been questioning the application of this legislative change to employees in the public service. This bulletin describes the impact of this legislative change on our collective agreements and the BCGEU’s response.
Details of the change to the Employment Standard Act can be found here.
The change to the ESA means that after 90 days of employment, employees can take up to five paid days and three unpaid days of job-protected leave in their employment year, based on their starting date. 
However, under the ESA, if a collective agreement contains any provisions that, viewed in their totality, “meet or exceed” the requirements of the Act, the corresponding parts of the Act do not apply.
For example, if your collective agreement provides for more than five days of sick leave, even at less than 100 per cent pay, it is very possible that an arbitrator will decline to award the union with five sick days at 100 per cent because the total existing benefits in our current Main Public Service Agreement already “meet or exceed” five sick days at 100 per cent pay.
Instead of proceeding with risky and time-consuming litigation before an arbitrator, the Public Service Bargaining Committee will be pursuing this issue at the bargaining table. Bargaining for the Main Public Service Agreement begins in February.
We will update members on this and other issues as bargaining proceeds.
In solidarity,

Your BCGEU Public Service Bargaining Committee
Stephanie Smith, President
Paul Finch, Treasurer
Judy Phipps, Executive Vice President
Dean Purdy, Vice President - Component 1
Kusam Doal, Vice President - Component 5
Judy Fox-McGuire, Vice President - Component 6
Cynthia Mepham-Egli, Component 6 Acting First Vice-Chairperson
Maria Middlemiss, Vice President - Component 12
Matt Damario, Component 12 First Vice-Chairperson
Robert Davis, Vice President - Component 20
Doug Dykens, Director - Field Services & Negotiations
Michael Eso, Secretary and Chief Negotiator
Lisa Lane, Support Staff