Greetings K-12 Members:

We are disappointed in having to report that the employer has denied the grievance we filed regarding members having to use their sick days to cover quarantine time due to contracting COVID-19, as opposed to paying you separately under the quarantine language of the collective agreement.

You may be asking, what’s next?

The union advised the employer yesterday that we are going to advance the matter to arbitration and have a third-party external person determine the matter. Unfortunately, arbitrations can take a long time, but we are hopeful to find an arbitrator to hear the matter sooner as opposed to later.

In the meantime, if you or someone you know becomes ill with COVID-19, please have them send us their name, the dates they were in quarantine, and a screenshot or picture of their positive test. If they don’t have a test result to show, they will require a letter from a physician confirming the positive test.

In addition, if you believe you contracted COVID-19 from your worksite, we suggest you also file a WorkSafeBC claim, as we understand many employers are losing their appeals to workers who have filed claims under WorkSafeBC, thus resulting in employees being compensated through WorkSafeBC.

To say we are disappointed in the employer’s position would be an understatement. It is still very clearly laid out in the health orders, by both the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), that people are still required to isolate if they test positive for COVID-19.

We will keep everyone updated as this matter progresses, but it can and will take some time unfortunately.

In addition, please encourage your co-workers to provide us with their personal email addresses, so we can ensure that they are receiving these important updates as well as the upcoming collective bargaining updates.

Thank you very much.

In solidarity,

Warren Williams