Please take a moment to look at the latest bulletin from CSSBA ( your bargaining association) it has a lot of information to answer some of your questions or concerns . Just click on the link below.
April 1st, 2020
To all CUPE Local 1936 Members,
We know you are all working hard in these incredibly uncertain times. We want to thank each and every one of you for your commitment to the people you support and for putting yourself on the line to continue your work.
The government has deemed you essential service workers. That’s because the work you do is invaluable and our society needs you.
Some of you have felt alone and even at times abandoned. Some of you have felt scared and worried about your loved ones as you have continued to support those in our communities who may put us at risk of contracting COVID-19. We understand these feelings. They are normal and completely understandable given the circumstances.
We want to thank each and every one of you for everything you are doing. These are not easy times, yet it is because of you that we will get through this together.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Lee-Ann Lalli your Vice-President and Grievance Officer, Bernice Way your Secretary-Treasurer and Grievance Officer and Sheryl Burns, your President.
Please take care of yourselves and one another and stay safe.
President, CUPE Local 1936
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The local would like to invite you to join our monthly membership meeting via the Internet. (See below for details)
This is to advise you that there will be a conference call on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 6:30pm PDT for approximately one and a half hours.
The information is as follows:
Dial in number (locally) 604-899-2339
Toll free line (long distance)1-877-385-4099
The Chair for your call will be Sheryl Burns, President, Local 1936.
Please let Bernice Way know ASAP if you will be participating on this call via return email.
Please note if the 604-899-2339 dial in number is busy, please try the toll free line. Telus is very busy during this time.
2. Land acknowledgement
3. Equality Statement
4. President, Vice President, Treasurer Report
5. Update on COVID-19
6. Questions and concerns
On March 26, 2020 the BC Government used their extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act, to issue ministerial orders to ensure a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic across all levels of government. These orders have direct implications for workers in the Community Social Services Sector.
- All Community Social Service Workers are Essential Service Workers under the Emergency Program Act
We have always known that the critical services and supports you provide to our most vulnerable members of British Columbia are “essential”, and of course, under the Government’s orders you have now been legally defined as essential to the functioning of our society in this pandemic.
The Government press release stated the following:
Essential services are those daily services essential to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning. They are the services British Columbians rely on in their daily lives.
Developed by Emergency Management BC in consultation with other government ministries and the provincial health officer (PHO), this definition is intended to clarify what qualifies as an essential service in the context of the Province’s response to COVID-19. In consultation with the PHO, these services should and are encouraged to remain open. They must, however, follow the orders and guidance provided by the PHO to ensure safe operations and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
The PHO has ordered some types of businesses to close. Any business or service that has not been ordered to close, and is also not identified on the essential service list, may stay open if it can adapt its services and workplace to the orders and recommendations of the PHO.
Child care providers and schools providing care and/or in-class instruction for children are to prioritize placements for those children whose parents are employed as front-line workers in public health and health services, social services, law enforcement, first responders and emergency response.
Specifically, essential services under the Emergency Program Act include all of the workers providing the services you provide in community social services. See here for the link to the full list of workers that the Government has defined as essential to the maintenance of our Province:
What does it mean to be declared an essential service worker?
The work you do has been determined to be critical to the functioning of the Province and the Government has ordered that the agencies that deliver these services and supports must remain open, wherever possible. Employers must still comply with all orders of the BC Public Health Officer the “PHO”) and with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. Please watch for our reminder bulletin on your health and safety rights and obligations, which will be posted soon.
- Community Social Service Workers Can Work at Multiple CSS Worksites and for Multiple Employers
We know that the PHO, some Health Authorities and Community Care licensing have provided conflicting information to employers in the community social services sector. Now we have clear direction.
If you work at a long-term care facility anywhere in BC, you cannot work at another long-term care facility anywhere else. These are facilities that provide care to the elderly and are, typically, funded by the Ministry of Health. This order was made by the PHO to avoid the transmission of COVID-19 to vulnerable seniors in long-term care. There are very few of these long-term care facilities in the community social services sector.
However, if you work at a long-term care facility, you are permitted to work at any other worksite in the community social services sector or elsewhere. Other than the limitation on workers working at more than one long-term care facility, workers in the community social services sector are free to work for multiple employers and to work at multiple sites.
We know that some employers have been asking you for information about other employers that you work for or have been trying to compel you to select one employer. They cannot do this and they must cease and desist in trying to limit your employment in any way, other than mentioned above. If an employer persists in asking you for this type of information, please contact your steward or union representative for assistance immediately.
CUPE National President Mark Hancock talks to members about strength and solidarity during these difficult times.
We are living in unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We know you are all being inundated with multiple questions from worried and confused members and co-workers. We understand that it is difficult to know how to respond at times or what to say. This is normal given the situation we all find ourselves in.
CUPE Local 1936 Table Officers would like to thank each and every one of you for everything you are doing during this particularly trying time. We want to thank you for going above and beyond in your efforts to respond to members concerns and allaying their anxiety.
We want to reassure you that we are doing everything in our power to access information and find clarity in support of each and every one of our members. We are in regular discussions with the majority of your employers and we are also in regular discussions with the Community Social Services Bargaining Association as well as the Community Social Services Employer’s Association.
We commit to providing updates as often as possible. These updates and information will be posted on our website in order to assist you in responding to your members and co-workers.
Thank you to each and every one of you. We know from conversations with you that you are doing an outstanding job in reassuring CUPE Local 1936 members. We couldn’t get through these unprecedented times without your hard work on the front-lines, as shop stewards and as workers.
Your Local Executive would like to remind you that, as ordered by the Provincial Health Officer, employers are NOT ALLOWED to ask for doctor’s notes to substantiate an illness during this time.
This will remain the case until either the state of emergency has been recinded, or until Dr. Henry orders something contrary to her current order.
You can read a notice about it by clicking here.
CUPE Local 1936 wishes to send a message of solidarity to all our members, including members of Chinese descent, who have experienced racism as a result of people’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
No one is to blame for this pandemic. We are all in this together and it’s important that we support one another during this unprecedented health crisis. Racism is not an acceptable response to the COVID-10 epidemic. If you experience a racist attack due to the coronavirus epidemic, know that CUPE BC stands with you. If you witness a racist attack, please let the victim of this attack know you do not support racism in any way and that you support them.
Now is the time to be united. Let’s stand together. If we support one another, we can get through this.
CUPE National has distributed a fact sheet outlining support for workers during the pandemic, which outlines the various type of support available and, in some cases, how to access it. Please see this information by clicking here.