Monday May 18, 2020 is the Victoria Day Holiday
CLBC Conference Call for Front Line Staff:
CLBC is inviting agency staff to join a conference call with Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and Dr. Daniele Behn-Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer this Friday.
Please invite your staff and support workers to join us on Friday, May 1, 2020 from 9:35 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. for a teleconference update. (This message will also be posted and promoted to all support workers in the sector on CLBC’s web site.)
Shane Simpson, Minister, Social Development and Poverty Reduction
Dr. Daniele Behn-Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer
Ross Chilton, CEO, Community Living BC
Gentil Mateus, CEO, Community Social Services Employers’ Association of BC
Brenda Gillette, CEO, BC CEO Network
When: Friday, May 1, 2020
Time: 9:35 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
How to call in:
Vancouver – 604-681-0260
Elsewhere – 1-877-353-9184
Participant code: 37568#
Special Instructions: Due to the large number of participants, please start dialing in by 9:25 a.m.
Support workers are invited to pre-submit questions to CLBCInfo@gov.bc.ca by 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, using the words “Support Worker Question” in the subject line.
SunLife Dental and Extended Health Benefits:
Because it has been difficult for people to access health and dental benefits for the past month, SunLife has let us know they will be rebating us 50% of dental premiums and 9% of health benefits for the month of April. This rebate will arrive in June and we will provide it to employees covered by the benefits plan. Watch for details in June.
Policy & Procedures Meeting – May 25, 2020 – 4pm on Zoom
Mark your calendars and get ready to log in to our Zoom Policy & Procedures meeting on Monday, May 25th at 4pm. We will be sending out a summary of proposed policy changes in advance and welcome your input now. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to give us your suggestions for policies that could be clarified or improved.
Ways to Stay Home, Stay Safe in your Neighbourhood
We had a Zoom meeting on Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 to share ideas on ways to keep healthy and busy while we stay home and stay safe. There is lots of room for your ideas too, so send them to Arlene for addition to this page. Thank you Arlene for collecting the ideas, and thanks to everyone who shared their ideas and joined us on the zoom!
- Stay social – find ways to connect with family and friends.
- Stay active – get exercise every day
- Get fresh air – Get outside and appreciate nature
- Be creative – explore arts, crafts, baking, writing
Re-opening the Economy
There have been a variety of government initiatives around the world focused on reducing restrictions and helping people get back to work. In BC, we have been successful in flattening the curve and protecting our hospitals from being overwhelmed. But there is not a vaccine for COVID-19 and there is not a reliable test for immunity, so we will be vulnerable to the virus returning and infecting people in the community for many more months. We will need to continue safety measures this year and follow the instructions of the Medical Health Officer carefully.
Provinces and the Federal Government have agreed on a common set of principles and criteria for restarting the economy. You can read more here:
And BC has an Economic Recovery Task Force
The task force will help ensure the benefits of provincial programs are reaching their intended targets and complement federal programs, and discuss ways to ensure the best possible information is available to workers and member organizations.
It will also explore issues around the designation of essential and critical services; child care and other supports for essential workers, and safe workplace operations for businesses operating now, as well as those restarting after the crisis.
Importantly, the task force will begin to discuss long-term economic recovery following COVID-19. It will provide participants the opportunity to advise government on economic impacts in their sectors and solutions for long-term economic recovery.
“COVID-19 is a huge challenge, but British Columbians can be assured their government has their back – and together we will get through this,” Premier Horgan said.
Supporting People in Hospital a Concern during COVID-19
The government has ordered that access to hospitals and long term care facilities be restricted to reduce the spread of infection. This has caused concern for people with disabilities, their families and agencies that provide their community support. There has always been, from the beginning of the order, an exception for essential care and for end-of-life support, but it has been difficult to get hospitals to recognize what is essential. Recently in Surrey, a woman was taken to hospital with respiratory issues. Her support staff were not allowed to stay with her. Her condition deteriorated and her family was notified that she was gravely ill only 90 minutes before she passed away, so she died without anyone who knew her, by her side. There is more of this story available in this news article:
In the press conference on April 23rd, 2020, Dr. Bonnie Henry addressed the question of people with disabilities being permitted to have family or the support team in hospital with them.
“In terms of people with disabilities who are having challenges in communicating in particular, I know that this is something that has been a concern for many people. There are exceptions to the restrictions that we have in both long-term care and in the hospitals to ensure that people who have these extra needs around being able to verbalize or have other issues in not being able to communicate effectively or hear. We do believe that there is accommodation being made. My expectation is that there is accommodation being made. It can be very difficult sometimes and of course people need to wear appropriate personal protective equipment in that setting so that both the healthcare providers and the patients and the support people are protected.” – Dr. Bonnie Henry, April 23, 2020
Advocacy groups are asking for greater awareness in the health system of the essential need for family or support workers to be with people with disabilities when they are in hospital, to ensure their communication and wishes are respected.
There is a letter writing campaign under way to get governments to recognize the human rights of people with disabilities. Read more here:
- Wash your hands!
- Stay home when you are sick
- Be Kind, Take Care – We will get through this 😊
April 2020 Wage Increases
The Provincial Government has provided funding for an increase in wages of 2.25%. We continue to advocate for an increase equivalent to the Low Wage Redress provided to CSSEA agencies and we did get promising news in the Provincial Budget in February, but there have been delays in getting decisions from government while they are focused on COVID-19 emergency. We hope to have additional funding for increases this year and will let you know as soon as we know. The grid below includes the 2.25% increase provided by the Provincial Government.
In addition, one of the programs offered by the Federal Government was the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy:
The Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deduction required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
This program provided Spectrum with the maximum grant of $25,000 through a reduction in our Receiver General payments to the Canada Revenue Agency. We will use this $25,000 to give an extra boost to our pay grids for our front-line workers.
Finally, the Provincial Government will implement the third increase to the minimum wage, raising it to $14.60/hour effective June 1, 2020. This affects our asleep night rate and government will provide additional funding to raise these rates by about 5%, from 13.85/hour to $14.60 hour for the starting rate for Sleep Night shifts.
Spectrum Society for Community Living
WAGE GRIDS Effective April 2020
|Sleep Night||Sleep Night|
|After 1,500 hrs||$13.95||$14.70|
|After 3,000 hrs||$14.05||$14.80|
|After 4,500 hrs||$14.15||$14.90|
|Awake Night||Awake Night|
|After 1,500 hrs||$16.60||$16.95|
|After 3,000 hrs||$17.31||$17.70|
|After 4,500 hrs||$18.09||$18.50|
|After 1,500 hrs||$18.89||$19.75|
|After 3,000 hrs||$19.56||$20.50|
|After 4,500 hrs||$20.94||$21.50|
|Key Worker||Key Worker|
|After 1,500 hrs||$19.14||$20.00|
|After 3,000 hrs||$19.81||$20.75|
|After 4,500 hrs||$21.19||$21.75|
|After 1,500 hrs||$23.72||$24.25|
|After 3,000 hrs||$24.56||$25.25|
|After 4,500 hrs||$25.65||$26.25|
Low Wage Redress (LWR) is an extra wage increase meant to get community social service wages closer to comparable positions in community health. For the past twelve years, whenever government announced increases, it provided those increases equally to union and non-union agencies. We have been working with the BC CEO Network to have government understand that all employees deserve fair wage increases and hope to have resolution soon.