As you are aware, the B.C. government has recently announced timelines for services and business to re-open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers are required to involve worker representatives to develop plans that meet government and WorkSafeBC requirements, and have these plans available upon inspection.
Your union is in regular communication with your employer as these plans are being made, and we are advocating for your rights and best interests as operations continue to change. The health and safety and collective agreement rights of members is our top priority.
This bulletin provides the latest details of your employer's plan to resume operations. If you have any concerns, please immediately contact your union steward, a member of your local executive or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What we know about the employer's plans:
- The employer is gradually re-opening school with K-5 students returning June 1, 2020.
- The employer has obligations to create a safe work environment. An exposure plan has been revised and safe work processes are being developed in consultation with your Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) committee.
What we've identified to be addressed & what we've been doing about it:
- Your union has had ongoing communication with the employer since the beginning of the pandemic to review telework agreements and exposure plans and to advise on safe work procedures.
- We have requested regular updates and for your OHS representatives to be involved to ensure compliance with requirements of the Ministry of Education, Public Health Officer and WorkSafeBC.
- So far, the employer has been cooperating with our requests.
What we recommend you do:
- Members have an obligation to report to work if directed by the employer.
- If you return to work and protocols are not being followed, or you feel unsafe, follow the proper process to exercise your legislative responsibility and right to refuse unsafe work. Review the three-step process to refuse unsafe work.
If these plans are not being implemented, or you are unable to follow our guidance, please notify your union immediately by contacting your shop steward or OHS representative.
This is what we know right now. We are committed to open and timely communication with you, so we will keep you informed as we learn more.
Finally, for information about other issues impacted by the pandemic, visit bcgeu.ca/covid or email email@example.com.
Cindy Battersby, Component 7 Vice President
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