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Victoria Cool Aid Society - Update on Tally-Ho Air Quality Meeting with Leadership - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

As we see the air quality situation evolve at the Tally Ho, your Stewards and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Representatives wanted to connect with you and let you know we are following developments closely.
We are pleased to see the changes so many of you fought long and hard for are finally taking place.
Your Stewards, Staff Representatives and Tally Ho OHS Rep Alex Guineau met with senior leadership on November 28th, and we plan to meet again in December.
Some of the things we are advocating for are:

  • Clear and timely communication with ALL staff
  • Improved and consistent responses to staff who have had exposures
  • Better support for casual staff and night staff during their shifts
  • Management acknowledgement and apology for dismissal of numerous concerns staff voiced over the air quality concerns.

We support the moves Cool Aid is now making to keep us all safer and want to see those positive actions continue.
At the same time, we know many of you have your own experiences with exposures and air quality issues, and your stories deserve to be heard and acknowledged. Please, don't hesitate to reach out to a Steward or OHS Rep with your stories, questions, and concerns. We want to make sure your experiences are heard and addressed!
Like most OHS initiatives, our staff were the first to flag concerns about the air-quality at the Tally Ho and push for real solutions. We alerted our employer and WorkSafe BC with numerous critical incident reports, grew activist networks, worked through their joint OHS committees, and alerted our union to the problem.
Thanks to the diligent work of our OHS committee and every member who advocated for the change, staff at the Tally Ho now have the protective gear that will keep those working their shifts safe in the interim. 
This is only the first step - supportive housing also needs better building design, and more robust resources for frontline workers and residents.
We also want to take this opportunity to remind you of our worker rights:

  • Employers must investigate when Indoor Air Quality complaints are reported and look to implement corrective actions to improve indoor air quality and follow up.

  • Employers and building operators have a responsibility to ensure that workplaces meet indoor air quality requirements stated in the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations Sections 4.70 to 4.80: (

  • If the indoor air quality at your workplace is affecting your ability to work safely, you have the right to refuse unsafe work.

For our OHS rights and the steps to refuse unsafe work, please go here: (

Let's not stop! We need to continue to voice our concerns and advocate for our safety – please continue to complete incident reports and to reach out to Stewards and OHS Reps for support.
Thank you for all the work you have done and continue to do.
In solidarity,
Kate Banky, Local 301 Chairperson and Steward
Marina Bazalitskaya, Local 301 Treasurer
Matthew Busby O'Connor, Steward
Brian Calderwood, Local 301 First Vice Chairperson and Steward
Luis Desousa, Steward
Jaime Eaglestick, Steward
Lucas Hayes, Steward
Peter Janz, Local 301 Recording Secretary and Steward
Rebecca McEwan, Steward
Rhett Palas, Steward
Kenon Sugie, Steward
Kathleen Mann, Staff Representative
P.S. Stay up to date on union news by signing into BCGEU's Member Portal. Access it with your login at: or, if you haven't logged in before, you can sign up for an account here:

Download a PDF of this notice here.