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Wildfires and natural disasters: your collective agreement rights, and union support

Wildfires and natural disasters: your collective agreement rights, and union support

With the onset of wildfire season in British Columbia, tragically marked by devastating losses in Lytton, including St. Bartholomew’s Health Centre, HSA advises members to take measures to protect yourselves and families this season.
 
In the event of a wildfire or other disaster evacuation in your community, your first priority must be getting yourself and your family somewhere safe.
 
When your safety is secured, but you are unable to get to work, call your employer’s absence reporting line, and your manager. If your workplace does not have an absence reporting line, contact your manager. Once you are safe, ensure you provide any new contact details to your employer so that you can be contacted. If your facility is evacuated, you may be redeployed to a different worksite.
 
Many HSA employers have an obligation to deliver services to the community, and in an emergency the demands will increase. If your facility is evacuated, patients and clients will need to be relocated, and staff will have to be redeployed to ensure patients are receiving the care they require.
 
In the event of an emergency, your employer has the right to reassign you to a different location, cancel your vacation, change your hours, and even reassign you to a different job, provided you are qualified and physically able to do that job. If you are assigned to a job at a lower pay scale than your regular job, you will maintain your regular rate of pay.
 
HSA has made a $10,000 emergency relief fund available for members affected by wildfires. Members will have access to $500 for immediate relief to support unanticipated expenses related to evacuation, or other consequences of wildfires.
 
For any questions related to your rights and obligations in the even of a natural disaster, contact your Labour Relations Officer at the HSA office.
 

  • Outside Lower Mainland – toll free: 1-800-663-2917
  • Lower Mainland: 604-517-0994
  • Email: info@hsabc.org

 
Important Information Resources:
 
What to do in the event of an evacuation order: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021PSSG0045-001290
 
Wildfire status: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status