NEWS

April 04, 2016

OHS Reps in Area 02 - BC Federation of Labour "Emergency Preparedness" Course

The “Emergency Preparedness” course will be offered at the Nanaimo area office on Monday May 2, 2016 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. This course will be facilitated by a BC Federation of Labour Health and Safety Centre facilitator. This course has been designed to provide participants with a fundamental understanding of the planning and preparations needed to assist workplaces to respond before, during and after an emergency/disaster in order to reduce the effects.

Your employer must pay for you to take at least 8 hours of annual Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) education so you must apply for this training through your employer. The cost of this training is $115 per person. Employer OHS representatives are invited to register but will only be accepted if there is space. The maximum registration is 24.

A pre- requisite for this course is the BCGEU 1 day Basic OHS (Labour Code) or 2 Day Basic Government OHS training.

If you have already taken your 8 hours of annual training, the OHS department will consider sponsoring you to take this training. Please indicate your need for this sponsorship when you register through your area office. The area office will then confirm the funding with the OHS department. 

Call the Nanaimo area office at 250-338-7774 to register and to provide your leave requirements and dietary restrictions.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to improve your ability to advocate for worker’s health and safety rights and to ensure you are prepared in case of an emergency– register today! 

If you have any questions, email ohs@bcgeu.ca

Download PDF of notice here.

UNIFOR467/MoveUP

March 21, 2016

OHS training at the BC Federation of Labour

The BCGEU Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) department is offering additional training through the BC Federation of Labour for government and labour code OHS worker representatives. These training sessions are for specific courses we do not offer through the BCGEU. The one or two day OHS course is a pre-requisite to the BC Federation of Labour OHS training.

Your employer must pay for you to take at least eight hours of annual OHS education, so you must apply for this training through your employer. The cost of this training is $115 per person. Employer OHS representatives are invited to register but will only be accepted if there is space. Maximum registration is 24.

If you have already taken your eight hours of annual training, the OHS department will sponsor you to take this training. Please indicate your need for this sponsorship when you register through your area office.

The schedule is listed below; course descriptions can be found by clicking on this link:

https://www.healthandsafetybc.ca/course-calendar/course-descriptions/

 

Area Office

Date

Course Name

Nanaimo

Monday, May 2

Emergency Preparedness

Castlegar

Friday, June 3

Preventing Workplace Stress

Fort Saint John

Friday September 30

Improving Committee Effectiveness

Vancouver

Friday, October 21

Women’s Health & Safety in the Workplace

Kelowna

Friday November 18

Occupational Health

 

Please take this opportunity to improve your knowledge and skills. Learning how to protect your health and safety and of those around you is vitally important. Register early as these sessions fill up fast.

Any questions? Email ohs@bcgeu.ca

Download PDF of notice here.

UNIFOR467/MoveUP

March 17, 2016

Urgent Action - Honduran activist assassination

Berta Cáceres, a prominent environmental activist, was assassinated in Honduras on March 3, and a witness to the assassination is being held against his will. We need people to urge both Canadian & Honduran authorities to take action and conduct a full investigation. Full details and letters to sign can be found on the CoDevelopment Canada website by clicking here

UPDATE: There has been another assassination of an activist from the same indigenous group - see the Guardian article here

The Amnesty International urgent action for the latest killing, of Nelson Garcia, is here

March 16, 2016

Have you taken your Occupational Health and Safety training?

Are you an Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) worker representative for your workplace? 


If the answer is “yes”, your employer is required by law to pay for at least eight hours of annual OHS education for you (Workers Compensation Act). If you are unable to take the training yourself, you have the right to assign your eight-hour annual allotment to another worker representative. 


Your collective agreement may entitle you to even more time for health and safety education. By taking your annual training, you will increase your knowledge and skills and represent your members more effectively at your workplace. You will learn how to prevent injury and illness, what your health and safety rights are, and what your employer is required by law to provide for workers.


BCGEU offers OHS courses for non-government workers - those that fall under Labour Code agreements. Labour Code courses include:

  • 1 Day OHS (basic) Training                                                 
  • Ergonomics                                                                            
  • Prevention of Violence                                                        
  • Incident Investigations                                                        

We also offer OHS courses for direct government workers that fall under the Public Service Agreement. Direct Government courses include:

  • 2 Day OHS (basic) training
  • Ergonomic Assessor
  • Prevention of Violence
  • Incident Investigations

Click here to see the 2016 schedule of courses.

To register for labour code (non-government) courses, call your area office. 

To register for direct government courses:

  • Go to My Learning by clicking here: 
  • Once in My Learning, in the “SEARCH THE CATALOG” field type “Occupational Health and Safety” then click on “SEARCH ACTIVITIES” 
  • Details specific to the range of OHS courses can be found on the pages – click enroll to register

There’s also a video available via https://hr.gov.bc.ca/learning/SitePages/Home.aspx

Call the OHS department at 1-800-663-1674 or 604-291-9611 if you have any questions. You can also contact us at ohs@bcgeu.ca

UNIFOR467/MoveUP

March 14, 2016

Change to OHS course dates

Description: http://www.bcgeu.ca/sites/default/files/OHS_logo_web.jpg

 

Labour Code OHS Scheduled Courses

March - December - 2016

 

Courses

Location

Day 1

 

Course Type

Course Name

City

Venue

Mar 17/16

 

Labour Code

Incident Investigations

Victoria

BCGEU

Mar 18/16

 

Labour Code

Prevention of Violence

Victoria

BCGEU

Apr 6/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Fort St John

BCGEU

Apr 7/16

 

Labour Code

Ergonomics

Fort St John

BCGEU

Apr 12/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Castlegar

BCGEU

Apr 13/16

 

Labour Code

Incident Investigations

Castlegar

BCGEU

Apr 20/16

 

Labour Code

Prevention of Violence

Vancouver

BCGEU

Apr 26/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Cranbrook

BCGEU

Apr 27/16

 

Labour Code

Prevention of Violence

Cranbrook

BCGEU

Apr 28/16

 

Labour Code

Incident Investigations

Cranbrook

BCGEU

Apr 27/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Terrace

BCGEU

Apr 28/16

 

Labour Code

Ergonomics

Terrace

BCGEU

May 4/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Kamloops

BCGEU

May 5/16

 

Labour Code

Ergonomics

Kamloops

BCGEU

May 17/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Williams Lake

BCGEU

May 18/16

 

Labour Code

Ergonomics

Williams Lake

BCGEU

May 25/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Vancouver

BCGEU

May 26/16

 

Labour Code

Incident Investigations

Vancouver

BCGEU

Jun 1/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Kelowna

BCGEU

Jun 2/16

 

Labour Code

Ergonomics

Kelowna

BCGEU

Jun 8/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Vancouver

BCGEU

Jun 14/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Prince George

BCGEU

Jun 15/16

 

Labour Code

Incident Investigations

Prince George

BCGEU

July 27/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Victoria

BCGEU

July 28/16

 

Labour Code

Prevention of Violence

Victoria

BCGEU

Sept 14/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Terrace

BCGEU

Sept 15/16

 

Labour Code

Incident Investigations

Terrace

BCGEU

Sep 21/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Vancouver

BCGEU

Sep 28/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Victoria

BCGEU

Sep 29/16

 

Labour Code

Incident Investigations

Victoria

BCGEU

Oct 5/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Kelowna

BCGEU

Oct 6/16

 

Labour Code

Incident Investigations

Kelowna

BCGEU

Oct 12/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Fort St John

BCGEU

Oct 13/16

 

Labour Code

Incident Investigations

Fort St John

BCGEU

Oct 12/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Cranbrook

BCGEU

Oct 13/16

 

Labour Code

Ergonomics

Cranbrook

BCGEU

Oct 25/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Kamloops

BCGEU

Oct 26/16

 

Labour Code

Incident Investigations

Kamloops

BCGEU

Oct 27/16

 

Labour Code

Prevention of Violence

Kamloops

BCGEU

Oct 26/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Williams Lake

BCGEU

Oct 27/16

 

Labour Code

Incident Investigations

Williams Lake

BCGEU

Nov 2/16

 

Labour Code

Prevention of Violence

Vancouver

BCGEU

Nov 22/16

 

Labour Code

Incident Investigations

Vancouver

BCGEU

Nov 23/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Victoria

BCGEU

Nov 24/16

 

Labour Code

Ergonomics

Victoria

BCGEU

Nov 22/16

 

Labour Code

1 day Committee Training

Nanaimo

BCGEU

Nov 23/16

 

Labour Code

I Incident Investigations

Nanaimo

BCGEU

Nov 24/16

 

Labour Code

Prevention of Violence

Nanaimo

BCGEU

 

Download PDF of OHS schedule here.

UNIFOR467/MoveUP

March 09, 2016

North American Occupational Safety and Health Week

NAOSH week is recognized annually throughout North America to promote the prevention of injury and illness at the workplace. Organizations are encouraged to participate by planning activities during this week. The theme this year is to “make health and safety a habit”. For more information go to Worksafe BC’s website at http://www.worksafebc.com/news_room/campaigns/naosh_week/

This link will give you suggestions for activities and promotional materials you can order. If you are a worker representative, share this information with your employer or your OHS committee to plan how your organization will recognize NAOSH week. Educating your colleagues on how to protect their health and safety will lessen the number of incidents at your workplace and make your job as a worker health and safety representative much easier! 

If you have any questions, contact your BCGEU Occupational Health & Safety department at ohs@bcgeu.ca

Download PDF of notice here. 

UNIFOR467/MoveUP

 

March 07, 2016

Celebrate International Women's Day - March 8

In Canada and around the world, March 8 is celebrated as International Women's Day. 

International Women's Day and trade unionism are historically linked. The day was initiated to commemorate the 1908 strike of women garment workers in New York, and has evolved into a world-wide movement to celebrate advances and demand improved rights for women and girls.

As part of this fight for social justice and equality, the BCGEU has bargained for provisions in collective agreements that make life better for our women members: wage parity, bridging of service, enhanced maternity leave, health benefits, and other protections.

Within the BCGEU, our current membership is two thirds women, and over half the membership of the Provincial Executive is women. But strengthening female members to become leaders wasn't always the norm. According to Bruce McLean's history of the BCGEU, "a 1976 breakdown of employees in the union's public service bargaining unit showed 36 percent of them to be women… A union analysis of officers elected by its public service membership at the same time showed 17 percent women… The overall picture, covering the component, area council and local levels, was that 20 percent of the union's officers were women."

We have come a long way toward ensuring our leadership is an accurate reflection of the gender balance in our union, including electing the BCGEU's first woman president in 2014.

However, we all know the fight for women's equality extends beyond the borders of our work – in B.C., women have not achieved wage parity in all areas, they are more affected by poverty than men, and women struggle against discrimination in all areas of life. We will continue to fight alongside our community partners to demand improved conditions for all women. 

We wish all BCGEU members a happy International Women's Day, and hope that you will join us in continuing to fight for justice and equality!

Click here for a list of IWD events around the province.

Click here to read the President's Blog on IWD. 

February 17, 2016

BCGEU unionizes advocacy group Leadnow

Leadnow employees have organized to join the BCGEU.

The organization works to promote democracy and social justice in Canada. It describes itself as: ‘an independent advocacy organization that runs campaigns on the major issues of our time, engages people in participatory decision-making, and organizes in communities across Canada.’

“We’re delighted to welcome Leadnow into the BCGEU family. These employees came together to protect their rights through collective bargaining and to achieve greater job security,” said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. “We have worked with Leadnow on several campaigns. Their work is of the highest caliber.”

“Unionization will help us walk the talk by making sure the core values of social justice and promoting democracy are reflected in our organizational structure. We're ensuring Leadnow continues to be a great place to work as it evolves into a mature organization,” said Jolan Bailey, a Leadnow organizer.

The BCGEU represents more than 67,000 members in B.C. in a variety of sectors. The BCGEU organized more than 1,200 new members in 2015 and over 100 to date so far in 2016.

February 16, 2016

Increased funding for MCFD welcome news, investment overdue in other ministries

“We welcome the increased funding for the Ministry for Children and Family Development announced in today’s budget. Our union, and especially our frontline members, have worked hard to convince government that a significant increase is crucial for the ministry. Their concerns were detailed in the BCGEU report Choose Children, and these efforts have paid off. Additional frontline social workers, and support staff, will improve the lives of vulnerable children and families in crisis who rely on these services. However, the province still needs to increase wages in this sector to prevent skilled social workers from moving to provinces that pay considerably more,” said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith.

“We are disappointed there has not been a similar investment of new resources for other ministries which have faced more than a decade of frozen and shrinking budgets. Last week, a B.C. Supreme Court judge criticized the provincial government for failing to fund the justice system following courtroom delays due to staffing shortages. This budget does nothing to address these very real problems. The justice system is just one of many branches of government that need additional resources to carry out the important work they do,” said Smith.

“In the Throne Speech the government indicated it would modernize community care and assisted living. Last month the B.C.’s Seniors Advocate said services are not keeping pace with the province’s aging population, in particular cost-effective home support services that allow seniors to remain in their homes. Today’s budget does not provide the funding that is needed. We owe it to our seniors to provide services they need to live independently,” said Smith.

“This government’s tax policies have left it unable to fund critical services. B.C. has the leanest public service in the country. In many cases it is too lean and continues to shrink relative to population growth. A commission on tax competitiveness, announced today, should include tax fairness to increase revenues in its terms of reference. We also call on the government to anticipate the federal legalization of marijuana and prepare to use the existing liquor distribution and retail system to create new revenue to pay for public services,” said Smith. 

For more information: Evan Stewart, BCGEU Communications 604-220-3095.