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Team News

August 3rd we will celebrate BC Day!  The Spectrum Office will be closed.





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Wage Equity Update #34

July 29, 2020



Recruitment and Retention Means Wage Increases!

On June 10th, our funders (CLBC for Spectrum) let us know that they would be providing a recruitment and retention increase to our contracts that would assist non-union organizations to address challenges we are facing.  The only limitations were that the funding could be for training initiatives or compensation, for direct support staff.  For Spectrum, our priority is wage increases and we have applied the funding to our wage grids as displayed below.  As well, this funding is retroactive to April 2020 so there will be a 3.5% retroactive payment on your July 31, 2020 paycheque. 


Spectrum Society for Community Living


(April 2020)

(July 2020)




Sleep Night

Sleep Night

Sleep Night





After 1,500 hrs




After 3,000 hrs




After 4,500 hrs














After 1,500 hrs




After 3,000 hrs




After 4,500 hrs




Senior CSW







Key Worker

Key Worker (add 0.25 to CSW)

Key Worker (add 0.25 to CSW)











After 1,500 hrs




After 3,000 hrs




After 4,500 hrs




MGR SP specialist





SunLife Dental and Extended Health Benefits:

Because it has been difficult for people to access health and dental benefits in April and May, SunLife will be rebating us 50% of dental premiums and 9% of health benefits for the months of April and May. As services began re-opening in May, the rebate ended in June.  To provide the savings from this rebate back to the employees on benefits who could not use their benefits, we will be paying the LTD50 amount (50% of LTD premium) on the end of month paycheques in July and August.  Normally this is only added to the paycheques on the 15th of each month when the LTD premium is a deduction on your paycheques. 

Sick Pay for all employees:

One of the most important ways to keep our teams and the people we support safe is to have people stay home when they feel sick. This is hard to do if you don’t have paid sick time.  We are implementing a paid sick time policy for all employees in August and will send you the updated policy next pay period. 

Equal Work Equal Pay BC

We have joined a coalition of agencies to press government to make an ongoing commitment to equal pay for non-union staff.  The Recruitment and Retention funding was a welcome increase for 2020, but government did not address the increase for 2019 or the next planned increase for 2021. 

We want government to know this is a serious problem for community social services.   Our workers deserve equal pay, and the people we support deserve stable staff teams with skilled caregivers. 

The website has a page where you can send a letter to your MLA by entering your home address.  The website will enter your MLA’s name and email address and the letter will be sent to their office.  Over 1,400 letters have been sent in one week!  Please add your letter to your MLA’s mailbox so they know this is an important matter for them to bring to the government’s attention. 

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Thank you for your ongoing dedication to the people we support and their families.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Outdoor Pools and Libraries are Re-opening

Vancouver residents can now cool off in one of the city’s outdoor swimming pools.  Kitsilano, New Brighton and Second Beach pools opened on July 13, followed by Maple Grove pool on July 20th.  Indoor pools remain closed.  Outdoor pools are also open in Surrey and Burnaby, along with three of Burnaby’s indoor pools.  For more information, check the municipality website for your area.

Libraries are also re-opening in many municipalities, with some limitations on services available.  Check the public library website for your area to learn more.

Sterling James and his team of community inclusion staff have been keeping tabs on the re-opening plans for city amenities and other community activities that are enjoyed by the people they support.  Thanks to Simon and others for your investigative work, and helping people safely access some of the activities they are eager to get back to.  We’re excited to hear that many individuals are resuming more of their usual routines, including swimming, visiting the library, and volunteering.

We join with Dr. Henry in encouraging everyone to get outside and enjoy the beautiful summer weather.  In her update today, Dr. Henry reiterated that spending time outside with friends, at a safe physical distance, is preferable to visiting indoors.  Having more amenities opening provides more options for things to do, more opportunities for people to get back into something resembling their normal routine.

If you are planning a visit to your local pool or library, please check the website or call first to confirm hours of operation and any safety measures you’ll need to know about.  Here are some tips from Sterling and Simon based on what they’ve learned about the Vancouver amenities:

(Swimming pools) The change rooms will be closed, so people have to arrive and leave in their swimming gear. There will be an online booking system, people can book up to 90 minutes at a time. There will also be a bunch of signs and rules for physical distancing. There won’t be any flutter boards or anything like that allowed.

(Libraries) Five of the Vancouver libraries have re-opened, with new hours.  Visits are limited to 30 minutes, or 45 minutes if you are booking a computer.  At Renfrew where Simon visited, there was a reduced number of computer stations for physical distancing, two per table (see picture below).  The library has new occupancy limits and asks that patrons sanitize their hands and maintain physical distancing.

There is a Worksafe BC page on sports and recreation as well:

Federal Government Support for People with Disabilities

Bill C-20, An Act Respecting Further COVID-19 Measures, received Royal Assent today, and also came into force. This Act includes the one-time financial assistance of up to $600 to people with disabilities. It’s a done deal.

As a reminder, to be eligible for the funding you must be a recipient of one of the following programs or benefits:

* A Disability Tax Credit certificate provided by the Canada Revenue Agency;
* Canada Pension Plan Disability benefit or Quebec Pension Plan disability benefit
* Disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada.

You can read more about this Act at:


If your Emergency First Aid Community Care Training has expired we have good news!

St. John Ambulance (SJA) has resumed Emergency First Aid Community Care training.

To accommodate the new distancing regulations, SJA has reduced class sizes, provides full body mannequins to remove the need of partner activities, and is selling masks for students to wear during the course.  Spectrum can provide you with a cloth mask prior to you attending the course. If you choose to purchase a mask through SJA for $12.99, you can do so separately on the day you attend the course.

If you have already obtained your certificate, please forward a copy of your certificate to the office so we may update your file.

If you have not obtained your first aid certification, please register yourself and email me ( please, letting me know the date you have registered to complete the course.

How to Register for Emergency First Aid Community Care:

  • Call St. John Ambulance: (604) 321-7242
  • They above number is their main line, but they have a number of locations across the lower mainland if you would like to call a location directly:
  • Register yourself for Emergency First Aid Community Care.

If you did not have your first aid certificate upon hire, you are responsible for the initial cost, which is currently $102.00, and Spectrum covers renewal fees.

  • If you are renewing your first aid, ask St. John Ambulance to invoice Spectrum Society
  • Let them know Spectrum Society will be paying for your course fee.

*St. John Ambulance may request authorization from Spectrum. Email with the date/location you want to complete the course and we will call them to confirm your registration.

First Aid is a requirement for employment as indicated in ‘Policy 4: Requirements for Employment.’

If requirements for employment are not met within a timely manner, shifts will be suspended without pay until this requirement is met. Below is a link to Spectrum’s First Aid policy:

Please respond back with your course date by August 1st, 2020.

Please let Judy know if you have any questions or issues registering, by emailing her at