Province Proclaims July 22, 2020 “90th Anniversary of IUOE Local 963 Day” in BC!

In addition to the City of Vancouver recognizing July 22, 2020 as “IUOE Local 963 Day” the Province has also Proclaimed July 22, 2020 as “90th Anniversary of IUOE Local 963 Day” throughout British Columbia.

Congratulations to all the hard-working members, past and present, for this recognition. You have earned it! 

Text:

To all to whom these presents shall come- Greeting

WHEREAS safe, clean and well-maintained schools are critical to the excellence of Bristish Columbia’s public education system, and

WHEREAS the people who work as building engineers, assistamt building engineers, head custodians, assistant head custodians, custodians, culinary assistants, cafeteria teachers’ aides, food service workers, supervision aides and maintenance engineers for the Vancouver School Board can be counted on to deliver the highest possible standards of service, and

WHEREAS these workers have been represented since 1945 by the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), one of North America’s leading labour organizations, and

WHEREAS the IUOE Local 963 is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year as a leading organization in Vancouver’s labour movement;

NOW KNOW YE THAT We do by these presents proclaim and declare that July 22, 2020, shall be known as “90th Anniversary of IUOE Local 963”

in the Province of British Columbia.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, We have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent and the Great Seal of Our Province of British Columbia to be hereunto affixed.

WITNESS, The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of Our Province of British Columbia, in Our City of Victoria, in Our Province, this seventeenth day of July, two thousand twenty and in the sixty-ninth year of Our Reign.

BY COMMAND.

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City of Vancouver Proclaims July 22, 2020 “IUOE Local 963 Day”

 

On honour of our 90th year and the great work IUOE members have done in Vancouver schools, the City of Vancouver has proclaimed July 22, 2020 as “IUOE Local 963 Day.”

“It’s nice to be honoured by the City of Vancouver for the hard work our members do” said Local 963 President Tim Chester.

The Proclamation recognizes the “highest possible standards of service from the men and women who work as Building Engineers/Assistant Building Engineers, Head Custodians/Assistant Head Custodians, Custodians, Culinary Assistants, Cafeteria Teachers’ Aides, Food Service Workers, Supervision Aides and Maintenance Engineers for the Vancouver School Board.”

Business Manager Tim De Vivo added, “our Local has worked hard at maintaining certification levels for our members despite constant challenges.  We reject a race-to-the-bottom approach that has unfortunately taken place in many school districts across the province and it is being recognized in the statement ‘Vancouver has always been able to count on the highest possible standards of service…’ Congratulations to all members, including all former members.  Enjoy your day!”

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WorkSafeBC Right to Refuse Unsafe Work

The following is copied from WorkSafeBC’s website:

Refusing Unsafe Work

Workers have the right to refuse unsafe work. If you have reasonable cause to believe that performing a job or task puts you or someone else at risk, you must not perform the job or task. You must immediately notify your supervisor or employer, who will then take the appropriate steps to determine if the work is unsafe and remedy the situation.

As an employer, workers are your eyes and ears on the front line of workplace health and safety. When workers refuse work because they believe it’s unsafe, consider it an opportunity to investigate and correct a situation that could have caused harm.

If a worker refuses work because it’s unsafe, workplace procedures will allow the issue to be properly understood and corrected. As a worker, you have the right to refuse to perform a specific job or task you believe is unsafe without being disciplined by your employer. Your employer or supervisor may temporarily assign a new task to you, at no loss in pay.

Steps to follow when work might be unsafe

1. Report the unsafe condition or procedure
As a worker, you must immediately report the unsafe condition to a supervisor or employer.

As a supervisor or employer, you must investigate the matter and fix it if possible. If you decide the worker’s concern is not valid, report back to the worker.

2. If a worker still views work as unsafe after a supervisor or employer has said it is safe to perform a job or task.
As a supervisor or employer, you must investigate the problem and ensure any unsafe condition is fixed.

This investigation must take place in the presence of the worker and a worker representative of the joint health and safety committee or a worker chosen by the worker’s trade union. If there is no safety committee or representing trade union at the workplace, the worker who first reported the unsafe condition can choose to have another worker present at the investigation.

3. If a worker still views work as unsafe, notify WorkSafeBC

If the matter is not resolved, the worker and the supervisor or employer must contact WorkSafeBC. A prevention officer will then investigate and take steps to find a workable solution.
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Q & A:

Q. I don’t think my employer is implementing safety measures- can I stay home and refuse unsafe work?
A. No, In order to Refuse Unsafe Work an employee must see firsthand that the workplace is unsafe.

Q. My supervisor investigated a Right to Refuse Unsafe work allegation and said my concern is not valid. I do not agree with this and believe there is still an “unwarranted, inappropriate, excessive, or disproportionate” risk, above and beyond the potential exposure a general member of the public would face through regular, day-to-day activity. What should I do?
A. If you still feel the work is unsafe after a supervisor has said it is safe to perform a job or task you have the right to a second investigation, this time with “a worker representative of the joint health and safety committee.” Note: Should the employee agree that the matter is not or no longer a safety concern the issue is concluded.

Q. The joint health and safety committee investigated and said my concern was not valid. I do not agree with this for the same reason as above. What should I do?
A. If the matter is not resolved, the worker and the supervisor (or employer) must contact WorkSafeBC. A Prevention Officer will then investigate and take steps to find a workable solution. WorkSafeBC’s Prevention Information Line to report unsafe working conditions is toll-free 1-888-621-7233 (1.888.621.SAFE) 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Note: Should the employee agree that the matter is not or no longer a safety concern the issue is concluded.

Q. Can the employer assign me different tasks while the investigation process go on?
A. Yes, the employer is entitled to re-assign duties temporarily in order to affect an investigation. Making a Right to Refuse Unsafe work allegation is not authorization to leave work, but rather to investigate procedures or conditions that require immediate attention.

Should you have any questions about the Right to Refuse Unsafe Work please contact the union office at 604-876-6287.

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Vancouver School Board Employees Update- Wednesday March 25

6:00 pm

Members have received an email from the Vancouver School Board in their workplace accounts regarding next week. Please read this email fully.

Highlights include that “most school-based staff are not being asked to report to school sites next week (March 30 to April 3).

Employees will receive an email update with specific information from your principal or vice-principal on FRIDAY MARCH 27.

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Office closure due to coronavirus

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues in BC, IUOE Local 963 is committed to keeping all members and staff as safe as possible. In this regard the decision has been made to close our union office to members and the public until further notice.

We will continue to provide assistance via telephone (604) 876-6287, fax (604) 876-5687 and email at iuoe963@iuoe963.ca

Deferred Savings Requests: Members can provide these applications by mail, fax or email scan or by dropping through the office mail slot.

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A Message from VSB Chair Janet Fraser

Dear Tim, Tim and Harj,

With all the recent snow and ice I would like to, on behalf of the Board, thank all the IUOE members who have worked so hard to clear school sites so that students and staff can get safely to and from their schools. At every school snow has to be shoveled and the cleared paths salted and trustees appreciate that this work has been a focus for a whole week as well as more days this week. Our thanks are also extended for maintaining the operation of our school buildings during this extreme weather.

My thanks to the three of you for your leadership and please feel free to share this message with your members.

With regards,

Janet

Janet Fraser

Chair, Vancouver School Board

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