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NEWS

June 09, 2021

70%+ of Independent Thomson Reuters Shareholders Demand Action on Human Right...

70%+ of Independent Thomson Reuters Shareholders Demand Action on Human Rights Risks Related to ICE Contracts

The majority of independent shareholders demand human rights due diligence related to contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security

Burnaby - At the Thomson Reuters (NYSE, TSX: TRI) annual general meeting of shareholders held today, 19% of all shareholders, and over 70% of independent shareholders (shareholders other than Thomson Reuters controlling shareholder) voted in favour of a proposal asking the company to investigate and report on potential human rights abuses enabled by contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the purposes of tracking migrants and asylum seekers for detention and deportation on an unprecedented scale.

The proposal was presented by the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU), a Thomson Reuters investor. The proposal earned a strong vote despite being voted against by Thomson Reuters's controlling shareholder, The Woodbridge Company. Last year's similar proposal received 33 million votes in favour and today's vote received at least 84 million supportive votes, over 150% more supportive votes than last year. This is an outstanding result and clearly demonstrates that shareholders are worried about the risks associated with helping ICE to enforce their agenda of deporting millions of people from the United States.

In response to the AGM results, BCGEU President Stephanie Smith released the following statement:

"At least 70% of independent shareholders supporting this resolution represents a stunning victory for human rights given the company is controlled by one family, the Thomson family. Shareholders have registered their concern loudly and clearly. Thomson Reuters is failing to tackle very serious and concerning human rights risks related to contracts with agencies like ICE, and shareholders aren't buying their excuses," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith.

Thomson Reuters has received over $101 million in ICE contracts to provide data brokerage services that help the U.S. agency target undocumented immigrants for detention and deportation. It currently has contracts worth US$52 million with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, including at least US$39.1 million in active contracts with ICE.

These contracts provide, among other services, social media monitoring, license plate readers, and "risk mitigation services," in which ICE agents paint immigration activists as "threats" to ICE and surveil them, often retaliating against them with deportations. This work sometimes involves Thomson Reuters employees embedded directly in ICE offices, working with ICE agents to provide personal information on targets.

"Thomson Reuters is one of Canada's best known media companies and its rapid pivot to become a tech and data brokering giant has left investors in the lurch with regards to human rights risk. Today's AGM shows clearly that investors need more information to better understand how risks are being managed at Thomson Reuters as the company transitions to a technology and AI business. For a heavily controlled company like Thomson Reuters, this is an overwhelming win," said Smith.

Thomson Reuters's technology has been directly linked to the deportations of undocumented immigrants in the United States, potentially involving family separation and the detention of people in conditions that violate their human rights.

The proposal was endorsed by both Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis, the leading independent governance analysis and proxy voting firms in the world which collectively advise on trillions of dollars in assets under management, in addition to other high profile institutional investors, lawyers, and human rights experts.

At today's virtual shareholder meeting, Thomson Reuters only disclosed the percentage voting results. The additional figures given in this press release are based on information provided by Thomson Reuters during the virtual meeting, including that over 90% of Thomson Reuters' shares were voted at the meeting.

View the BCGEU shareholder proposal here: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/bcgeu/pages/896/attachments/original/1623198535/Thomson_Reuters_Proposal_Text_2021_.pdf?1623198535

View BCGEU's investor brief here: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/bcgeu/pages/896/attachments/original/1620432598/F2021-May_INVESTOR_BRIEF_THOMSON_REUTERS_TRI_.pdf?1620432598

For media inquiries, contact Emma Pullman, BCGEU Capital Markets Advisor [email protected]

***

About BCGEU: BCGEU is one of the largest unions in British Columbia, with over 82,000 members in almost every community and economic sector in the province. Under BCGEU's capital stewardship strategy, the union has submitted shareholder proposals at Canada's top companies on topics like human rights, sexual misconduct, and executive compensation.

UWU/MoveUP

June 01, 2021

BCGEU Indigenous Advisory Committee statement on discovery at Kamloops Indian...

On behalf of the BCGEU Provincial Executive Indigenous Advisory Committee and all Indigenous members of the BCGEU, we express our deepest condolences to the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, the survivors of the Kamloops Indian Residential School and the kin of those who never came home. The BCGEU's Indigenous members across the province, including members of the committee, have shared their stories about the impacts of residential schools on their personal lives and in their communities. We all carry heavy hearts especially at this time.

We know that the discovery made by the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc is not an isolated case; with almost 140 IRS operating across the country over 150 years it is inevitable that other mass graves exist on other territories and that they will be found. In fact, survivors of Indian Residential Schools from across Turtle Island (North America) have shared their lived experiences, including stories of graves similar to the one found this week. In Canada specifically, these stories are reflected in The Survivors Speak: A report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2015) and the transcripts from past reports, such as the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996).

In the coming days and weeks as we grieve and heal together, it is critical that every Canadian understand settler colonialism-including the tragic legacy of the Indian Residential School system-not as a historical event or a closed chapter but as an ongoing reality that continues to damage Indigenous lives and communities from coast to coast to coast. The last IRS was shut down in 1996, but the removal of Indigenous children-and the cycle of harm perpetuated in families and communities denied the opportunity to raise and protect their children-continues to this day. While roughly 150,000 children went through Canada's residential school system between 1890 and 1996, more than 130,000 Indigenous children are currently in Canada's child welfare system. 

As the BCGEU Provincial Executive Indigenous Advisory Committee we call on all levels of government to do the following:

  1. To provide adequate and sustainable mental health and addictions services to Indigenous Peoples on and off reserve in both rural and urban areas of British Columbia and Canada.
  2. To provide First Nations communities with the necessary funding to conduct ongoing searches of the graves of children who lost their lives in these schools in British Columbia and the rest of Canada. 
  3. To fully implement all 94 calls to action from Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action (2015); all 231 calls for justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (2019); including providing adequate funding as well as enforcement, reporting and accountability mechanisms to support implementation . 
  4. To legislate full adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007), with full support and collaboration from Indigenous Peoples.

From the BCGEU's more than 82,000 members, we would like to share our message of grief and urge all Canadians to join and support us as this healing carries on. BCGEU members and others who want to show their solidarity can:

  1. Wear orange shirts during the month of June, which is Indigenous Peoples Recognition month, to honour the children and support the survivors and families impacted by the Indian Residential Schools.
  2. Call on your local MLA and MP to integrate the calls to action in the TRC report, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the calls for justice of the MMIWG report into their work, and to advocate for the necessary funding to conduct further searches for grave sites across British Columbia and Canada. Click here to find your MLA and click here to find your MP.

As Indigenous Peoples we have survived government's extraordinary genocidal policies of all levels of government and we will continue to survive, as our ancestors did. We hear the drums in our hearts that give us strength, and we honour the lives of our children who lost their lives and their families across British Columbia and Canada. May they be at peace. 



UWU/MoveUP

May 26, 2021

World’s top proxy advisory firms back call for greater human rights oversight...

BURNABY– Today, leading global proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) became the third prominent proxy advisory firm to back a human rights shareholder proposal at Thomson Reuters (TSX/NSE: TRI). The shareholder proposal, filed by the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU), was filed in response to Thomson Reuters's work for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Both Glass Lewis and UK based Pension and Investment Research Consultants have also advised investors to back the proposal which goes to a vote at Thomson Reuters's 2021 annual general meeting on June 9, 2021.

Thomson Reuters has made its CLEAR® investigation software available to ICE where it has been used to track and arrest immigrants and asylum seekers. The shareholder proposal asks the company to identify potential human rights risks as the company transitions to a technology and AI business. Thomson Reuters's lags behind its technology peers like Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, RELX (owner of Thomson LexisNexis) and salesforce.com who have all adopted approaches to human rights.

According to ISS:

"… the company's Trust Principles which governed it as a media company no longer appear to be sufficient in addressing the human rights risks that might arise from the company's changing business. To address its changing business, the company adopted the AI principles in 2020 …[h]owever, these are high level principles and do not establish a process that addresses the access to information risks, as well as related human rights risk and a chain of board and management accountability.

Given the controversy the company is involved in and in the absence of clear policies and processes to mitigate these human rights risks and manage future risks as it transforms to an AI technology company, the specific disclosure requested by the proponents could be beneficial to shareholders and their ability to assess the ongoing risks and have comfort that the company and the board are appropriately prioritizing their oversight of these risks. Furthermore, it appears the company's strategy should be informed by the UNGPs as the most widely accepted set of governing principles on human rights risks. In light of the above, support for this shareholder proposal is warranted at this time."

Last year, a similar resolution received nearly 30% vote of support by independent shareholders.

"These critical endorsements make it clear that Thomson Reuters must take its commitment to human rights more seriously as it transitions to a technology and AI business," said BCGEU President Stephanie Smith. "As a union we understand that standing up for human rights around the world is essential to our collective progress towards social justice, and we hope to see a strong vote on this proposal on June 9th."

"Thomson Reuters has a long history of supporting immigration enforcement in the United States, including funneling the data of tens of millions of Americans directly to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has used this data to terrorize and deport immigrants throughout the country," said Jacinta Gonzalez, senior campaign organizer for #NoTechforICE at Mijente. "They continue to provide ICE with technology for deportations and raids, which continue under the Biden administration. The company has a responsibility to investigate these practices for human rights abuses."

Historically a publishing business, Thomson Reuters announced its "Change Program" in 2021 to transition the company "from a content provider to a content-driven technology company." The company will increasingly rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning to grow revenues, and TRI sees its U.S. government business as a key driver for growth.

Thomson Reuters says its contract with ICE has expired, however the company still has at least $4.5 million in active contracts with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as other contracts with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that involve electronic intelligence research tools and data analysis.

Thomson Reuters' virtual annual general meeting takes place on June 9, 2021.

View the investor briefing here.

View the and the excerpt from management circular here on page 113 or B-1.

Emma Pullman | Capital Markets Advisor | B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) | [email protected]

###

The BCGEU is one of the largest unions in B.C. with over 80,000 members in almost every community and economic sector in the province. Learn more at www.bcgeu.ca

Under BCGEU's responsible investment strategy, the union has engaged with some of Canada's largest and most influential companies on issues including human rights, worker's rights, sexual misconduct, and executive compensation. The union's strategy has succeeded in achieving strong commitments on human rights due diligence, executive compensation, food waste and climate disclosure.



UWU/MoveUP

May 25, 2021

May 2021 Safety Tip: Making a claim with WorkSafeBC - BCGEU

May 2021 Safety Tip: Making a claim with WorkSafeBC

If you are injured on the job, you should submit a claim to WorkSafeBC. This notice is to guide you through the process and inform you of the supports available to you through our union, the BCGEU.

When should I file a claim?

Experiencing an injury on the job can be a traumatic experience. You should submit a claim to WorkSafeBC as soon as possible if you:

  • Are injured and need to go to a medical facility for treatment
  • Miss work after the day of the injury
  •  Lose consciousness on the job
  • Are diagnosed with a work-related disease
  • Develop mental health symptoms due to work or the work environment
  • Suffer broken eyeglasses, dentures, hearing aid or artificial limb due to a workplace incident

What if I am exposed to COVID on the job?

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and there's a possibility it was contracted while at work, you should also file a claim.

If you are required to self-isolate due to possible COVID-19 exposure, you may also decide to file a claim. However, if you do not test positive, WorkSafeBC will not provide any additional wage-loss benefit to any STIIP benefits you are entitled to.

How do I file a claim?

Information on how to submit a claim as a worker can be found here on the WorkSafeBC website. You will need to gather some information. For your claim to be as complete as possible, gather the following:

  • Contact information for yourself and the employer
  • The date of the injury/exposure and how it happened
  • Who you reported the injury to (e.g., your employer, your health care provider)
  • If you have missed work, the days and shifts you have missed and your earnings from a) your most recent paystub and b) the last 12 months
  • If you have other employers, information about them
  • Names and phone numbers of your health care providers (doctor, physiotherapist, etc.)
  • Your social insurance number and your personal health number (BC Services card or CareCard)

Once you have all the information you need, you are ready to file the claim. You can submit the claim by phone, fax or electronically through the above link.

What do I do if I'm denied? Or the claim doesn't cover all of my treatment expenses?

Our union can assist you with an appeal.
When WorkSafeBC makes a decision on your claim, you have a window of time to appeal it (usually between 30 – 90 days from the date on the decision letter). If your claim is denied or you would like to appeal the amount of your claim, our union can assist in the appeals process. Please be sure to contact the BCGEU as soon as you decide to appeal your claim so that we don't miss the deadline specified on your letter.

What you need:

  • Your Personal Access Number and
  • Your full decision letter from WorkSafeBC

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the appeal intake will need to be submitted electronically or by fax. Detailed instructions can be found here: https://www.bcgeu.ca/wcb_covid19

If you have question or concerns, please reach out to your steward or local chair. We can be reached at [email protected] or you can find us online at http://ohs.bcgeu.ca

In solidarity,

BCGEU Component 5 (Retail Stores and Warehouse) Occupational Health and Safety Committee


Download PDF of notice here 


Reference: "How workers report a workplace injury or disease," WorkSafeBC (accessed May 2021)
https://www.worksafebc.com/en/claims/report-workplace-injury-illness/how-workers-report-workplace-injury-illness



UWU/MoveUP

May 20, 2021

BCGEU releases Investor Brief calling on Thomson Reuters (TSX, NYSE: TRI) to ...

Ahead of the Thomson Reuters (TSX, NYSE: TRI) annual meeting of shareholders on June 9, 2021 the BCGEU has released an Investor Brief about its shareholder proposal, raising concerns about human rights impacts at the Toronto-based company. 

Historically a publishing business, Thomson Reuters's "Change Program" announced in 2021 will transition the company "from a content provider to a content-driven technology company." The company will increasingly rely on Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to grow revenues, and TRI sees its U.S. government business as a key driver for growth.

Thomson Reuters has made its products such as CLEAR® available to ICE, which has been used to track and arrest immigrants on a massive scale. The shareholder proposal asks the board to produce a human rights risk report identifying the potential human rights risks as the company transitions to a technology and AI business, and to compare the approach to human rights against those of other prominent technology companies.

As a technology business, Thomson Reuters lacks the risk mitigation safeguards its technology company peers have adopted, heightening the risks of adverse human rights impacts through the use of the company's products.

Screen_Shot_2021-05-20_at_12.52.44_PM.png

BCGEU encourages investors to vote for this proposal.

Download a full copy of the Investor Brief now

View the and the excerpt from Thomson Reuters’s management circular here.



UWU/MoveUP

May 20, 2021

Glass Lewis, influential proxy advisory firm, endorses Thomson Reuters human ...

Leading proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis has endorsed a human rights shareholder proposal at Thomson Reuters (TSX, NSE: TRI) in light of the company's work for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The proposal was put forward by the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) and is up for consideration at Thomson Reuters's 2021 annual general meeting on June 9, 2021.

Thomson Reuters has made its products such as CLEAR available to ICE, which has used Thomson Reuters software to track and arrest immigrants on a massive scale. The shareholder proposal asks the board to produce a human rights risk report identifying potential risks as the company transitions to a technology and AI business. Thomson Reuters's lags behind its technology peers including Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, RELX (owner of Thomson LexisNexis) and salesforce.com who have adopted approaches to human rights.

According to Glass Lewis's analysis:

Particularly in light of the Company's Change Program, we believe that adoption of this proposal could provide some insulation from reputational harm and would allow shareholders to better understand how the Company is monitoring and managing potentially significant risks.

Last year, a similar resolution received nearly 30% vote in support by independent shareholders.

"This critical endorsement makes one thing clear: Thomson Reuters must take its commitment to human rights more seriously as it transitions to a technology and AI business," said BCGEU President Stephanie Smith. "As a union we understand that standing up for human rights around the world is essential to our collective progress towards social justice, and we hope to see a strong vote on this proposal on June 9th."

"Thomson Reuters has a long history of supporting immigration enforcement in the United States, including funneling the data of tens of millions of Americans directly to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has used this data to terrorize and deport immigrants throughout the country," said Jacinta Gonzalez, senior campaign organizer for #NoTechforICE at Mijente. "They continue to provide ICE with technology for deportations and raids, which continue under the Biden administration. The company has a responsibility to investigate these practices for human rights abuses."

Historically a publishing business, Thomson Reuters announced its "Change Program" in 2021 to transition the company "from a content provider to a content-driven technology company." The company will increasingly rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning to grow revenues, and TRI sees its U.S. government business as a key driver for growth.

In its response to the shareholder proposal, Thomson Reuters says its contract with ICE has expired, however Thomson Reuters still has at least $4.5 million in active contracts with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as other contracts with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, that involve electronic intelligence research tools and data analysis.

Thomson Reuters' annual general meeting takes place on June 9, 2021. The virtual meeting will be available at this link.

View the investor briefing here.

View the and the excerpt from management circular here on page 113 or B-1.

 

Emma Pullman | Capital Markets Advisor | B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) | [email protected]

###

 

The BCGEU is one of the largest unions in B.C. with over 80,000 members in almost every community and economic sector in the province. Learn more at www.bcgeu.ca

Under BCGEU's responsible investment strategy, the union has engaged with some of Canada's largest and most influential companies on issues including human rights, worker's rights, sexual misconduct, and executive compensation. The union's strategy has succeeded in achieving strong commitments on human rights due diligence, executive compensation, food waste and climate disclosure.

 



UWU/MoveUP

May 19, 2021

Public Service Members with ‘on hold’ Classification Appeals - Update and Zo...

Members have expressed concerns about the length of time being taken to reactivate appeals that were placed on hold in the spring of 2020. The hold was due to a backlog of appeals dating back to 2011. At that time, after a period of trying to manage these older appeals as well as those being newly filed, both parties agreed to concentrate on the older appeals out of fairness to the appellants who have been waiting a very long time. We recognize this has now resulted in another backlog of newer files.

The Union's classifications department will be hosting two zoom information sessions in the coming weeks to discuss the current status of appeals.

Members with current appeals that are waiting for on-sites to be set have been sent an email with zoom credentials.

Please note that participants will be muted upon entry and the chat function will be disabled during these sessions to ensure everyone has an opportunity to listen to the presentations. There will be time to ask questions during the sessions and participants will be asked to use the raise hand function on zoom should they wish to ask a question.

Zoom sessions will be held over the typical lunch hour period of 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. to ensure maximum attendance. If you feel this will impede on your scheduled work time, provide your supervisor with reasonable notice that you need time away from your desk to address matters related to your classification appeal.

If you are new to using Zoom, we encourage you to learn more about Zoom well in advance. If you access the meeting online, you will have the option of seeing whoever is speaking (if they have a webcam enabled) and the option of being seen. If your computer is not equipped with a webcam, speakers and microphone or if you have difficultly joining the meeting online, then the teleconference option may be best.

Information for those retiring or potentially leaving their position:

Appeals continue even if an appellant leaves the positon, and therefore, if you have left or will be leaving the BC Public Service (including retiring), we need your personal contact information to share with the PSA in order to action retroactive pay, should you be eligible at the conclusion of the appeal.

Please keep the BCGEU up to date with your personal (home) email and phone information at [email protected].

If you retire or move to another position before your appeal is heard:

  • Consider setting aside work examples that will demonstrate the highest level of complexity of your work. The best work examples will be narrative examples that are detailed, specific, practical and relevant to important aspects of your work under appeal.

  • If you think you will need to refer to examples involving actual emails, reports etc., consider sending these in advance to [email protected] for us to access during the appeal, although we will be asking for specific information once we begin work on your appeal.

 

In solidarity,

Classification Appeals



UWU/MoveUP

May 13, 2021

SECRETARY LEVEL 3 - Organizing (Temporary) - BCGEU

BCGEU – HEADQUARTERS OFFICE

INTERNAL POSTING

May 13, 2021

 

 

POSITION: SECRETARY – ORGANIZING (Temporary)

GRADE: LEVEL 3 - MoveUP AGREEMENT

 

A secretary is required to perform secretarial and word processing functions for staff representatives in the Organizing department. Term of assignment is up to 5 months or return of incumbent.

 

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES 

Duties will include: processing a variety of documents such as LRB submissions, minutes, meeting notices, reports, memoranda, forms, schedules, questionnaires, leaves of absence and general correspondence; making travel and hotel arrangements; arranging appointments; setting up and maintaining departmental filing systems; maintaining a daily bring forward system; responding to telephone inquiries and walk in visitors; preparing and coding purchase orders; preparing cheque requisitions for signature; sorting and distributing mail, other related duties as required.

 

QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE:

Applicants must have 2-4 years' secretarial experience; high school graduation supplemented by secretarial training; excellent keyboarding (60–70 wpm); excellent Microsoft Word and Excel skills; excellent communication, spelling and grammatical skills; an aptitude for organization and detail; good telephone manner; the ability to set priorities and work within time limits.

Hours of work are 32 per week, four days.

General aptitude tests will be administered to all applicants. Keyboarding tests will be administered to regular/temporary employees who are not presently working in, or have not previously worked in a secretarial position.

The BCGEU supports employment equity. Workers of colour, women, aboriginal workers, LGBTQ2SI+ workers, and workers with disabilities are encouraged to apply for positions with the BCGEU.

Apply in writing with resume to Sharon Penner, Human Resources Administrator, Headquarters by 5:00 pm, Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

 

Resumes will be accepted by e-mail to: [email protected]



UWU/MoveUP

May 05, 2021

COVID Update - BCGEU

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, our understanding of the virus is rapidly evolving. It is now widely recognized that airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 can occur under certain conditions. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) recently updated its guidance to acknowledge that SARS-CoV- 2 is spread through aerosols (smaller droplets that can hang in the air for periods of time).1 Further, PHAC has updated their guidelines for Long Term Care Facilities2 and Home Care settings3 to include guidance on ventilation at these worksites to control for airborne transmission of the virus.

We are in the third wave of the pandemic. While case counts are starting to decline, hospitalizations due to COVID are at an alarming high, largely due to the increase in the presence if variants. In light of these developments, and in keeping with the precautionary principle and best practices, we encourage all workplaces to review your COVID-19 Safety Plan (CSP) with a specific eye to airborne transmission and ventilation needs. 

To assure the most up-to-date practices are in place, employers must fully and seriously consider the risk of airborne transmission of COVID-19 in their worksites. This includes re-evaluating processes that require close contact with high-risk individuals. The CSP should be updated as needed, taking into account the variants as a higher risk, with the hierarchy of controls in mind4:

  • The most effective control is to allow for remote work or other alternative work arrangements that minimize the number of workers and the number of customers and clients at a given workplace, and this should be implemented wherever possible. 

  • Where workers are required to attend the workplace, the employer must ensure that additional measures are implemented to minimize risk, and that their effectiveness is monitored. This includes looking at:
    • Effectiveness/efficiency of ventilation in enclosed spaces (for best practices click here)5;
    • Minimizing occupancy limits in areas where people may congregate;
    • Limits to the duration of close contact with other individuals where possible.

  • These measures should also be applied as much as possible where workers are attending clients' homes.Risk assessments and direction from your supervisor must take into account any additional risks due COVID-19.

  • Travel between health regions for work should be limited as much as possible. This includes where community health workers are performing home care visits. 

  • While Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is the least effective measure to protect workers, following the Hierarchy of Controls, throughout the pandemic BCGEU has consistently advocated for the appropriate usage of masks, both indoors and in public spaces. As such, we recommend that where workers are required to be at the workplace, that:
    • Appropriate, high quality masks, and training on their use be provided to workers by the Employer.
    • Employers should have a policy and safe work procedures for interacting with customers, clients and others that require masks when they are interacting in-person with workers.
    • For interactions with clients who are considered exposed to, or suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19:
      • PPE consistent with a minimum of Droplet and Contact Precautions (e.g., gloves, a gown, a medical mask and eye protection) should be worn.
      • An N95 or equivalent respirator be worn in place of a medical mask where possible.

As a worker, you have rights under the Workers Compensation act6:

  • The Right to Know about all known or foreseeable health and safety risks;
  • The Right to Participate in your workplace OHS program: this applies to all workers, not just OHS representatives;
  • The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work: Please see the refusal procedure here7;
  • And your have the Right to Protection against Prohibited Actions. This means you cannot be punished for raising health and safety issues in the workplace.

For any questions on your workplace COVID-19 safety plan, please contact your OHS committee, OHS rep or local steward. If you have urgent COVID-19 concerns or would like to become an OHS rep, please contact us at [email protected].
 
You can find us online at http://ohs.bcgeu.ca

1See the following links for guidance/ information on SARS-CoV-2 modes of transmission: Public Health Agency of Canada (October 2020) "COVID-19:Main Modes of Transmission":
 https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/main-modes-transmission.html
 
CDC (October 2020) "Scientific Brief: SARS-CoV-2 and Potential Airborne Transmission": https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/scientific-brief-sars-cov-2.html
 
WHO (July 2020) "Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: implications for infection prevention precautions": https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/transmission-of-sars-cov-2-implications-for-infection-prevention-precautions
2 PHAC (April 2021) "Infection prevention and control for COVID-19: Interim guidance for long-term care homes" https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevent-control-covid-19-long-term-care-homes.html
 
3 PHAC (April 2021) "Infection prevention and control for COVID-19: Interim guidance for home care settings" https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/infection-prevention-control-covid-19-interim-guidance-home-care-settings.html
 
4 WorkSafeBC (April 2021) "Controlling Risks" https://www.worksafebc.com/en/health-safety/create-manage/managing-risk/controlling-risks
 
5 MFL Occupational Health Centre (April 2021) "Ventilation Resources" http://mflohc.mb.ca/covid-19/ventilation-resources/
 
6 BCGEU Occupational Health And Safety (April 2021) "Your Rights" https://ohs.bcgeu.ca/your-rights
 
7BCGEU Communication (Dec 21, 2020) "How to refuse Unsafe work" https://www.bcgeu.ca/covid_on_the_job_how_to_refuse_unsafe_work


Download PDF of notice here

UWU/MoveUP