Greetings K-12 Members:

We wish to update you on a few things currently taking place.

As traditionally happens each March, the employer will now be holding all postings until the VSB budget is finalized and the status of enrolment for classes next year is known. These postings are held so that there are positions available should some employees be displaced from their worksite.

As many of you know, this could mean displacement from a school should the enrolment numbers drop and not as many staff are required.

Also, the employer has notified us under Section 54 of the Labour Relations Code that they are giving us notice in the event there may need to be a reduction in staff. This is an action that takes place every year at this time, but the union has always expressed an opinion with the employer that this does not constitute appropriate notice pursuant to the terms of the collective agreement for layoff. Therefore, the parties have agreed to disagree on how the notice is provided.

This does NOT mean layoffs are anticipated at this time, but we will be meeting with the employer as the VSB budget process moves along. We assure you we are watching it very closely!

We have also filed today another policy grievance for quarantine pay for those members who may have been denied quarantine pay as a result of orders from the Canada Border Services Agency for having to quarantine for 10 days due to international travel.

It came to our attention while compiling the information for the previous quarantine grievance that the employer was erroneously interpreting the compulsory quarantine language for employees who had to quarantine as a result of international travel. It is the union’s position that those employees are eligible for the compulsory quarantine pay whether it is provincially or federally mandated! Compulsory quarantine, is compulsory quarantine.

If you have been negatively impacted by this and told to draw from your personal sick days or vacation to cover international travel quarantine (10 days), then please provide your name and dates to the union office, so we can include it for reimbursement for the grievance.

Feel free to contact the union office should you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter.

Preparation is ongoing for our next round of collective bargaining and the bargaining committee has already begun site visits to all our members and their VSB worksites. Those visits will continue until all worksites have been contacted personally by a bargaining committee member. If you missed a committee member visit and you wish to provide information to the union, please feel free to contact the union office at any time in order to share your ideas or contact information.

It is vitally important for members to be engaged in this round of bargaining as you know we have many serious issues that need to be addressed, so PLEASE ensure the union office has your personal email address and phone number as we are not permitted to communicate with you on the VSB email system.

We hope every member will participate in the process as it is your collective agreement.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

In solidarity,

Warren Williams